Reasons to go to Kentucky: The bluegrass. The derby. The hillbillies.
And for drinkers of the stiffer stuff, there's the bourbon. 95%of the world's bourbon is distilled and aged in Kentucky, and most of it is centralized, helpfully enough, in eight key distilleries. All of which sit on something called the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Or at least, that's what it's been called for the past ten years, ever since the Kentucky Distiller's Association decided to make itself a vacation destination.
Good for them. Or more to the point, good for you.
Start in Frankfort, Kentucky's picturesque capital, and hit Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, or Woodford Reserve. Begin in Bardstown, and you'll find yourself closer to Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, Maker's Mark, and the Historic Tom Moore Distillery. Either way, download a passport and get stamped at each locale.
(Hint: designated driver.)
Meanwhile, you'll witness bourbon's creation, in a process not too different from the one used 200 years ago, when things started getting really bourbony in Kentucky. There's the corn, the meal, the mash, the fermentation, the stills, and the charred oak barrels—albeit on a scale that would have toppled the Irish and Scottish immigrants of yesteryear.
We imagine there's some tasting involved as well.
Go down smooth.