i must admit, i was a little grumpy (actually a lot) having spent the first day from 3AM-10PM in the car with the next day 5AM-9PM just to arrive in Louisville, kentucky for a full 2 day rest before starting the yard sale.
but it was worth it and i and sorry (gustavo) for being so grumpy.
Kentucky cooperage & the bourbon trail::
Gustavo found a placee where bourbon barrels were made- kentucky cooperage. about 1.5 hrs south of Lousiville in Lebanon, if you are into spirits this is a must. the waiting room for the tour is in the break room where we start our tour viewing how the pieces of a log are transformed into staves that will create a barrel. we then put on headsets and go into 3 separate rooms this is what we saw:
- barrel making: staves intricately placed together to create the barrel (tip: alternate btwn large and small staves). the barrels then go into a wet room (to bend the barrels) then dry room.
- “charring” room: incredible to see and smell, barrels are charred in these crazy fire tunnels and cooled while metal rings/bands roll high above your head to the barrel making room
- repair room: this was amazing, by hand a person extracts the weak stave (knocking out all the metal bands), then finds a replacement and puts the bands together. this is how people built barrels back in the day- crazy!
we weren’t allow to take pictures or i would have had a ton to show, this is one i liked from the break room of rivets marking that the barrel came from kentucky cooperage. for sure a must do!
–limestone branch distillery: this very new micro-distillery is operated by one of the descendents of the beam family (of “jim beam” fame). Specializing in moonshine and infusions, we had a tour (just us!) and got to run our finger over freshly distilled moonshine- super nice people and literally a 2 min drive from Kentucky Cooperage.
–jim beam distillery: you can tell that they have some bucks- this was a really nice distillery with some cool state-of-the-art tasting room (loves me the honey stag)! they also have a new little cafe that opened just the day before. they had a mutton stew, bourbon baked means…it was nice to have a snack, there’s usually no food at the tasting rooms.
–buffalo trace: i think this was a favorite. the oldest continuously operating bourbon distillery in the US (even during prohibition- it was “medicine” damn it!), the grounds and storage buildings for the barrels are beautiful- some of the buildings go back to the 1700’s. we arrived right when it opened so had a private tasting and discussion. one of the items we tried was a bourbon cream that is only sold in a few states around the distillery and “mad dog” (the pre-bourbon corn whiskey) that is only on sold on the premises. needless to say, we picked up several bottles of each!
– Seviche: james beard nominated restaurant that we had dinner in that is mexi-southern inspired. be still my beating heart with the green-chile Caesar salad- so good!!
-new faves i will create at home: benedictine sandwiches, pimento cheese, and man-o-war cocktails …for sure there will be some recipes in a future posts…i am obsessed with all of these!
–NuLu: the artist/indie business district off market street (market st from hancock to wenzel respectively) has a number of cute shops, restaurants that focus on local farms and many of the buildings are leed certified. i bought this adorable 2- tone skirt from local designer Linda of Alter Eco and had a great conversation with her and a customer about the area. if you come to Louisville check out the area!
– The Brown and The Seelbach: the two iconic hotels in Louisville are literally 2 blocks away from each other. We stayed at the brown where in the evenings we would have Man-o-wars at their cute little bar. Our last day in Louisville we had breakfast at the seelbach, where F scott Fitzgerald stayed…we poked our heads in the bar (GORG!). for sure we will be checking it out next year.
next post will be from 127- we made it!!