Kentucky Whiskey Decisions!


I really like Kentucky!

I love visiting Kentucky. I love the beautiful countryside. I love all the horses. I love all the different distilleries. I love the Louisville Slugger baseball factory. There are so many great things about the state


This was the consensus recommendation as a top Kentucky whiskey. I especially loved the bottle with the Kentucky Derby.

After visiting Scotland, Ireland, and a previous visit to Kentucky, I have gained an appreciation for enjoying nice whiskey. In the Louisville area, there are many, many, many different distilleries. Some famous (e.g., Jim Bean, Maker’s Mark) and others are much smaller (e.g., Four Roses and many others).


A highly regarded Kentucky whiskey (note the different spelling).

After arriving in Louisville, I looked for a local liquor store to learn more about different distilleries. It is a very difficult choice to select what to buy. I talked with the employees as well as other customers. The consensus was that Woodford Reserve was one of the top products among many highly regarded options. I wanted to buy something unique to Kentucky, so I bought a bottle with thoroughbreds racing on the label.


I have never heard of 57.5% alcohol. Probably too rich for my taste. I passed buying this bottle.

Old Forester certainly had its fans too. One customer kept encouraging me to buy the “Prohibition Style” bottle of Old Forester. It is 57.5% alcohol!!  In contrast, the “Original Batch”  version of whiskey is 45% alcohol. I decided to try a small bottle of this too. More things to see and do…



Maker’s Mark and the Bourbon Heritage Center!


I liked all the products in the gift shop that had the characteristic red dipping as they do with their Maker’s Mark whiskey bottles.


Maker’s Mark has a wonderful variety of famous products!


Very famous whiskey!

For my last visit to distilleries I drove to Maker’s Mark and then to the Bourbon Heritage Center and Heaven Hill distillery. Maker’s Mark had beautiful grounds and an excellent gift shop.



Their characteristic dipping of the whiskey bottle top with red was available on my items. I thought the shot glass was nice and purchased one.


I bought this shot glass! It is shaped like the upside down top of their whiskey bottles.



The Bourbon Heritage Center was interesting. It provided background about how bourbon was developed in Kentucky.


This sign in the Heritage Center made me laugh!


I almost bought this t-shirt in the Heritage Center gift shop.


I liked this t-shirt! It seemed like it applied to me!

Louisville Slugger and Evan Williams


I loved seeing all the baseball bats! This bat outside was HUGE!!

In the midst of a big rainstorm, I drove to the Louisville Slugger baseball factory! I am not a huge baseball fan, but it was fun to see such a famous and favorite American item. Many, many famous baseball players have used Louisville Slugger baseball bats. All kinds of bats were available for purchase. I discovered a special treat that they would make bats with specific inscriptions. I bought each of my grandsons a small baseball bat with their names and birthdates!


Evan Williams had very high quality whiskey!

After buying the baseball bats, I walked down to the Evan Williams distillery store. I was able to join two other people in having a taste test of various Evan Williams products. I especially like tasting whiskeys that are not commonly available. I especially liked the Single Barrel vintage flavor of the Evan Williams, so I bought a bottle.


This was not the most expensive Evan Williams whiskey I tasted, but I thought it was the best flavor!

Woodford Reserve and Four Roses Distilleries




Woodford Reserve is a very famous distillery and I needed to drive near Lexington to reach it. The windy, narrow, country roads were surprising. However, I thoroughly enjoyed driving through horse farms to reach the distillery.


I looked through the gift shop and purchased a 30ml taste of straight (“neat”) malt whiskey. It was very flavorful and I enjoyed sipping on it as I walked through their visitor area. The grounds of Woodford Reserve are gorgeous!



This is a map of some of the most well-known distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail! I quickly gave up all hope of visiting all of them! There are too many to sample!

I next drove to Four Roses Distillery. This distillery is now owned by the Japanese company Kirin. From my time in Japan, I remember that whiskey is very popular there. I enjoyed seeing some of the products in the gift shop. I also bought a taste of their 3 products. I think these products are going to be quite popular as I enjoyed them very much. I think I liked their “small batch” product the best.


A much smaller distillery, but they had great products!


Small Batch was my favorite product!


This is an old prescription prescribing Four Roses!



Churchill Downs!


I love visiting Churchill Downs!!

Louisville, Kentucky is famous for many things. Besides whiskey, probably the most famous is Churchill Downs where the Kentucky Derby is run. The timing of my visit here was very special. The Belmont Stakes was run yesterday and Justify was the horse that won and therefore he won the Triple Crown this year! I did not know until after the race was over that Justify is trained at Churchill Downs and he is supposed to make it back to Louisville tomorrow! It was fun to visit Churchill Downs and feel the excitement of everyone that Justify won the Triple Crown.


Jim Beam Distillery


Jim Beam had the best gift shop of any distillery!


I had a surprisingly sentimental visit to the Jim Beam Distillery. This was the drink my Dad preferred. Seeing all the Jim Beam logos and products made me miss my parents and think about sitting in the backyard in Flagstaff as I was growing up and Dad you open up a bottle of Jim Beam. Special memories.


There were a large number of fun products and clothing in the gift shop!


Jim Beam had a broad range of products!

I was surprised at the number of Jim Beam products that have been developed. I asked several people in the gift shop which product they preferred, and everyone game me a different answer. I guess it is good they have expanded product development. The Double Oak product seems to be quite popular.


After visiting Jim Beam, I drove to a much smaller distillery called Boundary Oak. What was interesting about this distillery is that they worked with the Patton Museum and developed the whiskey that Patton put together and made famous.




This was the product created using Patton’s recipe.


Wild Turkey Distillery!


I had a wonderful time on the Wild Turkey Distillery tour!


I arrived in Louisville, Kentucky during the late morning today. Once I setup the motorhome, I got online and looked distillery tours. Wild Turkey caught my attention, so I paid for a tour ticket, jumped in the Jeep, and drove about an hour to their distillery.



I loved the Wild Turkey tour! It was very informative about how they make their bourbon, how different Wild Turkey products were developed, and the most fun was the whiskey tasting of 5 products at the end of the tour.




These are the barrels that are stored for years for the aging process needed for the bourbon. This is where the “magic” happens!

Churchill Downs!


I was very excited to visit the most famous horse track in America!


The famous twin spires of Churchill Downs!

After I finished giving my lectures I quickly changed into jeans, grabbed a taxi and went to Churchill Downs. I have watched the Kentucky Derby on TV for years. I was so excited to see such a famous horse track. I was able to join the last tour and learned about the history of the track and facilities. I really enjoyed seeing the twin tours of Churchill Downs and learning about some of the famous horses that won the Kentucky Derby.



The paddock area was beautiful.


This starting gate is so famous!


I especially enjoyed seeing the paddock area, the track, the grandstands, and watching two horse races. It was so much fun to walk all around Churchill Downs. The gift shop sold hats that are so popular for the Kentucky Derby.


Here is the famous finish line of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs!



The Kentucky Derby is famous for all the hats people wear.


There are many famous horses revered at Churchill Downs.

Bourbon Trail


This was a very smooth bourbon that I thoroughly enjoyed!

I arrived in Louisville, Kentucky and thoroughly enjoyed learning about the city. I am staying the Brown Hotel and have enjoyed seeing this classic, historic hotel and their emphasis on horses and history. It has been maintained very nicely and highly rated. I like all the horse pictures throughout the hotel. It is especially popular when the Kentucky Derby is held.



The Brown Hotel was a fantastic, historic hotel filled with history at every turn.



It was also fun to learn about bourbon made in Kentucky. I was surprised to learn that one-third of all bourbon sold in the US is made in the Louisville area. Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark and other well-known spirits are prominent here. For dinner I ate in a restaurant and, after talking with the bartender, order a bourbon (Johnny Drum Private Stock) that is from a small distillery and basically not available outside of the Louisville area. It was very smooth and I really enjoyed it. The bartender told me about a store near my hotel where it is available for purchase and I bought a bottle to take home with me.



I will be teaching health outcomes lectures and I was excited to know that my lectures will be given in the Secretariat room. Secretariat still has the fastest time to win the Kentucky Derby at nearby Churchill Downs of any horse ever to win the Derby.


I walked to the downtown area and came to the Ohio River and could see Indiana across the river. I walked down to Whiskey Row.


I learned that the Louisville Slugger baseball bat is made here in town. Kentucky Fried Chicken is also based in Louisville.