Back on the trail of Bourbon

Back on the trail and this time in Anderson county near Lawrenceburg Kentucky.

Four Roses near Lawrenceburg Kentucky
Four Roses near Lawrenceburg Kentucky

This tour starts just like the bourbon with the corn.

Receiving area for the grains
Receiving area for the grains
Grains are checked for quality and moisture content
Grains are checked for quality and moisture content

There’s a lot of decision made in this little shack.  A whole truck load of grain could be rejected if it does not measure up.

From there it is sent to the mill to be ground and stored to make the mash.

Here it is ground and stored as meal
Here it is ground and stored as meal

It’s then mixed with the yeast that begins the fermentaion cycle.  They have been using the same yeast recipe since it requires a very small amount of yeast to start.  I guess a little yeast not only leavens the whole loaf but the entire pot.

Where the working yeast is stored
Where the working yeast is stored

And now the magic begins…. fermentation!

Fermentaion vat
Fermentaion vat

And then the process of cooking of the alcohol begins in the stills.

Vertical still
Vertical still

Now just because it says “beer still” don’t be misled.  this is not actually beer but rather one of the first stages of the process.  it will go from here to the doubler and then be placed in the barrels.

Doubler is where the proof is raised once more before being put in the barrels.
Doubler is where the proof is raised once more before being put in the barrels.
Yes the liqour is still clear at this stage
Yes the liqour is still clear at this stage

It’s only after being put in the barrels and taken through the maturation process by aging that bourbon takes on that color and flavoring.  The true magic is in the barrels and how they are charred and how they are stored during aging.

As with all bourbons they must be stored in charred oak barrels for at least two years to be called straight bourbon.

The next stop???  Well for me it will be the Woodford Reserve near Versailles Kentucky.

So until then…. “Get out, Be safe, and go Adventure.”

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