A couple of friends have asked me what I did in Maysville, KY the Wednesday before Sampler weekend. I had been there briefly last Fall, was impressed, and wanted to go back with more time.
I rented a room with a river view at French Quarter Inn and asked a number of people to do the same or stay at the Best Western just out of town. Only John Lipman (John runs a well-known historical whiskey web site) was able to join me, and he had a similar room on the river side.
We sipped a bit and pondered early bourbon history in Maysville, when it was called Limestone Landing or just Limestone (circa-1800). We walked down to the water to see where the flat boats had lined up to take cargo. Today there is a flood wall partially obscuring the port area that existed, but you can still see how it operated. It was interesting to think how the bourbon must have been gathered from local and farther-afield distilleries to be put on the flat boats to be shipped far downriver, and even improved, as it proved in the end. Thus, bourbon partly owes its origins to Maysville, according to the history texts.
The town is very pretty, it has about three main streets running parallel. It is built on the river side of a large imposing bluff, thus is nestled and almost hidden from the land side of the bluff unless you know it is there.
One street is the main business street, one seems to have a lot of churches and other imposing structures, and one has mainly Victorian buildings, homes and small businesses. It is all very nice, an 1800's northern Kentucky town almost unchanged surely from what it looked like then.
Pogues - of the famous distilling family - are still based there and are behind a restoration of the family's historic distillery which operated in the area in the 1800's and for decades until closure in the mid-1900's I understand. Peter Pogue posted some great historical materials here not long ago, and information pertaining to the restoration of distilling. Two days after I left in fact, a ceremony was held to mark this important milestone. I know all here wish them well.
I plan to go back the Wednesday night before the KBF weekend in September. I'll take that opportunity to visit the restored Pogue distillery and buy their current output. I hope others, especially those driving from the north, will consider doing the same. It's a lovely town and a nice change from Bardstown. The restaurants are good and not costly. Gazebos, unless something more formal is organised, can take place in rooms or in any public area near the hotels where same would be permitted. When SBers gather, they find a way to make common cause.