As it has been well established in this blog, Mama loves her bourbon. Mama loves her bourbon and only takes it neat or with a little ice. Don't mix my bourbon with any of your damn crap. Sure, I love me a Manhattan. And come this time of year, I do love the julep. But for the most part, give me the bottle and maybe a few cubes, and I'm happy. But I'll come back to that.
This past week, Roommate and I ventured to Lexington for a couple days to hit Keeneland. I do so love Churchill Downs, but Keeneland is so beautiful, especially this time of year, especially on a really gorgeous spring day (which it was not... we spent the whole race day inside).
We eschewed the highway both ways, so on the way to Lex, we just squeaked into the final tour at Buffalo Trace Distilleries in Frankfort (don't freak out when you go to their website, the buffalo on the home page snorts at you-- LOUDLY!). Big Mama Lou and I had hit many of the big distilleries a few years back-- Jim Beam, Maker's, Heaven Hill, etc-- but Buffalo Trace had been off my radar. Until, that is, I got an email from their marketing department announcing their "Blogging for the Buffalo" program.
So, I thought I'd check them out. Again, more on that email later. I want to get to the really really good stuff first.
As I said, I've hit the bigger distilleries, for the most part, but our tour of Buffalo Trace taught me more about bourbon than all those other tours combined. Our tour guide... I think her name was Becky... was lovely and patient and so well-versed in both the history of the distillery and bourbon in general-- it was fantastic.
As with most tours, it ended in a tasting room where we got to sample two wee shots of several offerings. Roommate and I shared our shots. He got the Rain vodka (which is made from 100% organic corn and has been winning vodka competitions worldwide) and something called White Dog Mash #1 (which is a 125-proof distillate which Becky cautioned us not to "sip"). I'm not a big vodka drinker, but I swear the Rain vodka was simply fantastic. There are several different flavors to choose from-- very exotic stuff like Lavender Lemon-- but the plain vodka was so good I would be happy drinking it straight. The White Dog? Wooo boy. Becky was right. First of all, it tastes very strongly of corn. Secondly, it feels like it's stripping stuff off your esophagus going down. And that's not always a bad thing. Roommate liked it so much that when it came time for us to both to choose a bottle to buy (we limited ourselves to one each), he bought it. And it fairly did me in later that night at the hotel.
I chose the two bourbon offerings: the standard Buffalo Trace and the Eagle Rare. If I'd had either before, I didn't remember it. But honestly, I really enjoyed the slightly cheaper Buffalo Trace more than I did the more expensive Eagle Rare. But what I bought I didn't taste til I brought it back to the hotel later that night: the bourbon creme, which is only available currently at the distillery. And damn if I didn't wish I'd bought more. If you like any sort of creme drink (I'm thinking Bailey's), but prefer a stronger liquor bite, this is your drink. Becky showcased the creme with a mixer of Dr McGillicuddy's Root Beer, so we also bought a 6-pack of that, but we haven't tried that concoction. I sure hope Buffalo Trace opens up the distribution of the bourbon creme sometime soon, or I'll have to head back to Frankfort.
And on our way home, we stopped at the Liquor Barn on Shelbyville Road to pick up some wine, and I bought a bottle of Buffalo Trace. Glad to have it. Darned good stuff.
Overall, I had an awesome time at the distillery and couldn't recommend it strongly enough. Go go go! And I discovered a few beverages that I just love. Not to mention the fact that I learned that Buffalo Trace is owned by Sazerac, the quintessentially New Orleans old-timey drink company. Love it. I do.
So why am I so "meh."
Back to the email. If my blog drives the most unique viewers to Buffalo Trace's new Saloon site, I could win a party for all my zillions of visitors.
According to the email: "