Exploring Louisville, Kentucky: Part II
The Scottish are known for their Scotch and the Russians are known for their Vodka. The United States, specifically the State of Kentucky, is known for its Bourbon. The State actually produces about 95% of the distilled spirit.
Bourbon is made from at least 51 percent corn and aged in new charred oak barrels. It must be bottled at a minimum of 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume). It doesn’t necessarily have to be produced in Kentucky, but it does need to be made in the United States.
While I was in Kentucky, I participated in a little bourbon tasting. I had a choice of tasting three sweet bourbons or three oaky tasting bourbons. I went with the latter. I was first offered Town Branch Bourbon. The flavor was very oaky and woody. Next came Ridgemont Reserve 1792. It was full bodied and smooth. The bourbon was named after the year that Kentucky became a State. The final tasting was Eagle Rare which the bartender said was the most favorite. It is aged for a minimum of ten years. The flavor was bold and had a dry finish. Not having a lot of experience with bourbon, I liked the Ridgemont Reserve 1792 the best.
If you are really into Bourbon, there is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail where you could visit seven bourbon distilleries in about three days time. The tours provide education on the bourbon making process as well as bourbon tastings. Another option is to visit Kentucky in mid September for the Kentucky Bourbon Festival which are six days of bourbon, food, and entertainment.