Kentucky is known for horse racing and bourbon whiskey. During our trip to Kentucky a few years ago, we visited the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Located a little over an hour away from Louisville, Kentucky, the distillery is located in the heart of horse country in the town of Versailles. The tour starts with a history of bourbon in general as well as Woodford Reserve itself. Unlike some other distilleries that create thousands of barrels per year, Woodford Reserve produces a limited number of barrels per year. Even if you are not a fan of whiskey, the tour is fascinating and the scenery is beautiful.
As you wait for the tour to begin, you can walk through the museum with the history of bourbon and its relationship to Kentucky. There are displays that include a miniature representation of the distillery as it existed when it was first built. The stone distillery buildings are hundreds of years old and add to the ambiance of the tour. Seeing the large copper vats and learning about the distilling process is very educational. From how the barrels are charred to create the unique color and enhance the flavor to the “angel’s share”, which is the evaporation of a portion of the whiskey, you will learn everything about distilling bourbon.
At the conclusion of the tour, you are treated with a tasting of some of the Woodford Reserve bourbons. We are not bourbon experts by any means, but we did find the Woodford Reserve to be extremely smooth. Having gone to other distillery and brewery tours, this is definitely one of the nicest tours that we’ve taken.