On to the Woodford Reserve…. Distillery that is.

Spending a Sunday afternoon touring a historic distillery and sampling the some very nice bourbon.

Cut stone buildings define the character of this distillery.
Cut stone buildings define the character of this distillery.

The tour begin with a ride from the Visitor’s Center down the hill and across the tracks used to roll the barrels to the rickhouse.  The tracks and the barrels come out of the side of the building where they are filled and bunged.

Not a small gauge railroad, tracks are to direct barrels to be aged.
Not a small gauge railroad, tracks are to direct barrels to be aged.

Once inside, I was struck by the rather small size of the interior of the building.  But realizing that this is small batch bourbon at it’s best, that really made sense.

No huge distilling towers here, only the "pot stills" fro the small batch production.
No huge distilling towers here, only the “pot stills” for the small batch production.

An interesting note is these stills were made by copper-smiths in Scotland.   There is another spot on the floor for a future still that will be made this time in America.  And where but the town of whiskey road… Louisville Kentucky.

Forsyth & Sons Coppersmiths in Scotland
Forsyth & Sons Coppersmiths in Scotland

Even the “proof box” had a unique sort of charm matching the large copper stills.  Here is where the whiskey is sampled for proofing before being put in the barrels.  Remember at this point it’s still just whiskey.  It is the aging in the charred oak barrels that does the magic of making bourbon.

View of the proofing box where the whiskey is sampled.
View of the proofing box where the whiskey is sampled.

After the proof is set the whiskey is put into barrels and labelled with the date and batch number.

Remember that whiskey has to be aged to make bourbon.  So the date it went into the barrel is very important.
Remember that whiskey has to be aged to make bourbon. So the date it went into the barrel is very important.

From here the barrels follow those tracks we crossed coming down the hill.  And this is where they end up, the rickhouse.

It's pretty amazing to think that these barrels are going to remain here to mature for years.
It’s pretty amazing to think that these barrels are going to remain here to mature for years.

And the last step after it’s aged to maturity is to put it in bottles that are easier to handle than those big barrels.

Bottling and boxing line.
Bottling and boxing line.

Well the tour ended with an explanation of where this unique bourbon gets that special flavor.   The limestone rich water, the quality grain mix, the fermentation, the distillation, and finally the maturation in the oak barrels.  These five elements combine to make this bourbon.

The five essential elements of Woodford Reserve bourbon.
The five essential elements of Woodford Reserve bourbon.

This wonderful tour was completed with a very nicely done tasting of this fine bourbon.

The perfect end to a perfect tour.
The perfect end to a perfect tour.

 

Where will we go next?  I’m not sure.  I’ve got several projects going at the same time including an upgrade to a larger van to pursue our travels.  So, I guess you’ll have to come back by and see where we end up.

 

Until next…

Get out, Be Safe and Go adventure.

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