I should have pictures, but I don’t. I was having so much fun, enjoying myself, it was like the last ten or so years were just erased, that I forgot to memorialize the time together. I think FaceBook and Twitter make us think we have to do this. I’m sure before there was Social Media, not as many people took pictures, candid yet posed, to show off to family and friends. But now, I guess, you’re supposed to remember to do that. LOL, it was like the time I came in by boat to the White Cliffs of Dover and I watched and forgot to take pictures. Just like that.
So it was a great weekend, time with friends we could have lost and thankfully have not! So today we proceeded to the event that was our raison d’être for this week in Kentucky–the Bourbon Trail. Is it a gimmick? Yes. Is it hokey? Well, sort of. But still, marketing aside, how many people know exactly how and why the spirit [alcoholic drink] known as Bourbon, is the national American drink? Did you know it’s regulated by law? Just like champagne must be grown in Champagne France, or like the coffee beans must be grown in a twenty mile by two mile side of the hill in Hawaii to be called Kona, in order for a whiskey to be called Bourbon it must meet several requirements. It must be made in the US. It must be made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn. It must be aged in new charred oak barrels. It must be no more than 160 proof or 80% alcohol by volume. It must enter the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof or 62.5% alcohol by volume. And it must be bottled at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume. We started with the distillery that is the oldest, longest running [yes, even through the thirteen years of Prohibition] in the entire United States.
As a side note, Bushmills, operating in County Antrim, [yes, part of the UK] was already over two hundred years old when the distillery that is Buffalo Trace was begun. But I digress. While we tend to think of Kentucky as the only place to make bourbon, that’s not true. It’s made in Tennessee, Michigan, California, Illinois, lots of places. That’s not to say it’s good, just that it’s made.
So, before I toddle off to sleep.. Bourbon is named after a county that is named after the French royal family, house of. It can be aged four years or twenty four years. It ages more aggressively in the heat and actually has a hot after taste. And, it’s bright amber golden color comes from the charred oak. By law, nothing can be added to the mixture, if they do, they can’t call it bourbon, it is just plain old whiskey!