Discover why Kentucky is the home to the USA’s finest bourbons on these virtual tours.
We might not be able to visit the United States right now, but that’s not to say you can’t be there in spirit – bourbon to be exact. America’s southern state of Kentucky is an attractive holiday destination for many reasons, not least because it’s the birthplace of America’s answer to Scotch whisky: bourbon. You can find bourbon (also known as American whiskey) distilleries dotted all over America. But, with 95% of the country’s output distilled in Kentucky, it’s the go-to destination for any bourbon fan.
In honour of National Bourbon Heritage Month this September, here’s how you can get a taste of Kentucky (and its liquid gold) from the comfort of your couch.
Virtual Tour and Trivia with Buffalo Trace Distillery
Gone are the days of having to jump on a plane to Kentucky to experience the behind-the-scenes of bourbon. While sitting at home doesn’t give you quite the same experience as being there in the flesh, online experiences like Buffalo Trace Distillery‘s ‘virtual tour with trivia‘ do a pretty good job at making you feel like you’re right there amongst the stills. Jump online and follow the tour along to discover all there is to know about this Frankfort based distillery and their bourbon-making processes. For authenticity’s sake, make sure you’ve got a bottle of Buffalo Trace Bourbon in stock and pour yourself a dram before settling in for the tour.
If you’re keen to keep the educational bourbon experience going, the distillery’s home page acts as a portal for more 360-degree videos, fun facts, and interactive games.
Whiskey 101 with Heaven Hill Distillery
Bardstown’s Heaven Hill Distillery has got those that are a little green on the bourbon scene covered with their Whiskey 101 video and interactive webpage. If you’re confused between your corn and rye whiskey, if you never knew whiskey even contained corn, or if you’re looking to understand what goes into a bottle of Kentucky bourbon, jump online and let them guide you through it all. There’s a handy video of the grain-to-glass distillation process and some super informative interactive components that detail the differences between corn and rye whiskeys, single barrel and small-batch bourbons, and more.
If you’re keen to get to know Bardstown’s finest, make sure you do it all with a drop of the Heaven Hill Old Style Bourbon Whiskey in hand.
Behind the Beam with Jim Beam
If there were a bourbon brand recognition Olympics, Jim Beam would be the champion of it. It’s one of the south’s most well-known bourbon distilleries, and now you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Clermont-based stillhouse from the comfort of your own home. Jump on their Facebook page to watch the ‘Behind the History, Behind the Scenes – Behind the Beam!’ video, featuring American Whiskey Ambassador Beth Burrows. It gives plenty of insight into the history of their bourbon, best enjoyed with a glass of their own.
On the Rocks with Kentucky Tourism
For an alternate taste of the great bourbon state of Kentucky, tune into the Kentucky Tourism ‘On the Rocks’ web series. The 6-episode series has a focus on the liquid gold, featuring local bartenders and their step-by-step cocktail recipes for at-home whiskey mixology; perfect for anyone who’s still finding their feet with straight-up bourbon. It also offers a change of scenery from the state’s other distilleries, giving you some insight into the bars around the area.
Woodford Reserve Distillery Tour with Kentucky Tourism
A (virtual) trip to Kentucky wouldn’t be the same without visiting Kentucky’s oldest distillery. Grab your favourite bottle of Woodford Reserve and take a tour of the Versailles (the American Versailles, not the French one) based distillery in the third episode of the Kentucky Tourism web series ‘Stoked with Adam Glick‘. In this episode, Glick joins Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall for a tour, followed by some fun cocktail mixing for your Friday or Saturday night at home.
Feature image: Kirk Schlea/Kentucky Distillers’ Association
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