Archive for the ‘Bourbon Trail Tours’ Category
Friday, December 6th, 2013
The growth of bourbon is a huge success story today, considering that 80 years ago, everything came to a standstill. Prohibition wiped out 85% of U.S. distilleries and 100 percent of breweries. Legal liquor retailers went down in number by 90 percent. The few breweries and distilleries that stayed open switched to making non-alcoholic beer, industrial alcohol, or medicinal whiskey!
Well into the 1930’s, two-thirds of Americans still thought Prohibition was a good idea.
Thats where the imitators came in. Soon good straight whiskey was hard to come by, thus the introduction of blended whiskies. By one estimate, just one-fourth of this blended whiskey, was actual whiskey!
This is essentially how the cocktail was born, as the booze available was disgusting, which spurred the popularity of cocktails to mask its taste.
Still today, there are many absurd restrictions still in place. To this day, the sale of alcohol is still banned in 10 percent of the country under local dry laws. It only took 13 years to realize this experiment was a disastrous mistake.
So sit back and relax, enjoy your favorite bourbon, and thank God for Repeal Day!
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Bourbon is one of those subjects that tends to inspire strong opinions. Maybe it’s the Bourbon talking, but Bourbon has a long history in this neck of the woods. Lets explore some of the myths:
“It can only be called bourbon if it’s made in Bourbon County”
Well the Federal government says, Bourbon can only be made in the United States. However, most Bourbon is indeed made in Kentucky, however none is currently distilled in Bourbon County as a result of changes in the political borders of the County.
“Bourbon needs to be aged for two years”
The regulation reads as follows: “Whiskies conforming to the standards prescribed in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, which have been stored in the type of oak containers prescribed, for a period of 2 years or more shall be further designated as ’straight’; for example, ’straight bourbon whisky.’” So just “straight” bourbon whisky must be aged for 2 years.
“All Bourbon is made in Kentucky”
While most bourbon comes from the Bluegrass State (according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, 95 percent of the planet’s supply is born there), by law the alcohol can be distilled anywhere in the United States. Much of the reason why bourbon is made here is the limestone rich water, true 4 season climates, and the abundance of raw materials like corn.
“You can speed up the bourbon process”
Good things take time. Distilleries have experimented heavily with smaller barrels, rotating barrels, shrink-wrapping barrels to lessen the angels share, and probably more that we don’t even know about yet. Some are even using modern methods like pressure aging and ultrasonic technology.
The Buffalo Trace Experimental project has been heavily written about. “As expected, the smaller 5 gallon barrel aged bourbon faster than the 15 gallon version. However, it’s as if they all bypassed a step in the aging process and just never gained that depth of flavor that we expect from our bourbons. Even though these small barrels did not meet our expectations, we feel it’s important to explore and understand the differences between the use of various barrel sizes,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley.
Want to check out more fun facts and history of your favorite drink, check out the 2013 book Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage disproves pretty much every previously held belief about the birth and early history of this American-born booze.
Historian Michael R. Veach reveals the true story of bourbon in Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. Starting with the Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s, he traces the history of this unique beverage through the Industrial Revolution, the Civil War, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and up to the present. Veach explores aspects of bourbon that have been ignored by others, including the technology behind its production, the effects of the Pure Food and Drug Act, and how Prohibition contributed to the Great Depression. The myths surrounding bourbon are legion, but Veach separates fact from legend. While the true origin of the spirit may never be known for certain, he proposes a compelling new theory.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
At Mint Julep Tours, we are the experts at Bourbon Experiences. We provide weekly tours along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and beyond, as well as Louisville City Tours, and Horse Farm Experiences. We customize bourbon experiences for any size group.
What you may not know, we get pretty creative with Bourbon Events, tastings, and corporate outings. Pair a customized bourbon event with a Bourbon Tour or Horse farm tour, and you have an amazing experience. Or dream up of your own day, weekend, or week of bourbon activities. We have mastered bourbon on land, and on sea.
Well, the Ohio River is the closest sea we have to Bourbon country!
Our Team at Mint Julep Tours makes event planning easy. You call us, and we handle the rest from transportation to food to bourbon to activities.
Check out a few of our past experiences:
- Kentucky Style corporate outing with a Bourbon themed dinner & tasting
- Dinner Cruise, Bourbon tasting, and bluegrass music entertainment
- Kentucky Style Dinner, bourbon tasting, and a Mixology lesson how to make your favorite cocktail
- The History of Bourbon Whiskey as Told Through Bluegrass Music. You will hear, see, smell and TASTE bourbon as the history of it is told in story and song. Here’s a short video!
- Pair a famous Kentucky Horse farm & a Bourbon distillery for a day long Taste of Kentucky for your group
- Roll out the barrel as you select your own barrel of bourbon, that will be individually bottled and labeled just for your group
Kick your team meeting into gear and do something different. Our experiences make for the perfect appreciation outing for your office staff, so take the fun on the road and let us plan your next corporate event. Not only can we provide VIP Transportation, we’ll also handle event coordination for stress free party planning!
Our bourbon tour and event experts are ready to dream your custom bourbon experience. Click here to dream up your adventure!
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Bourbon is flowing in Kentucky
Just the past several weeks, so many new bourbons have hit the market, here in the “Bourbon Capitol of the World”!
There is no shortage of innovation from the great bourbon makers we visit weekly.
Bourbon hunting is a great addition to add to your tour, stopping in on some of the secret spots on the Trail, where these bourbon gems are hopping on the shelf, and jumping off the shelf just as fast.
Just in the past few weeks, here are a few bourbons that are creating a “Bourbon Buzz”:
2013 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition
Wild Turkey Forgiven
2013 Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
Buffalo Trace Stagg Jr
Jim Beam Signature Craft
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
Make sure to check out the stories behind the bourbons, so you can look like an expert amongst your bourbon friends!
New Sights on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®
Not only are our favorite distilleries putting out some great juice, they are building new experiences you can enjoy when you visit.
At The Jim Beam® American Stillhouse & distillery, Fred’s Smokehouse opened on the grounds in Clermont, Ky. Named after seventh generation Beam family member and great grandson of Jim Beam, Fred Noe. The smokehouse offers the same heritage and Beam family tradition, as the Noe family home in Bardstown, Ky. Many of the recipes are family inspired from members of Fred’s family, like country ham and biscuits his mother used to make in the family kitchen. Fred’s father Booker Noe was a huge country ham fan and smoked and cured hams in his back yard smokehouse.
Check out the new Knob Creek Smoked Maple Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, inspired by Booker’s love for curing.
You see, we are always adding new sights here in Bourbon Country. So even if you have visited before, the bourbon landscape is ever changing. Why not wander on down to enjoy some Devi’s Cut Pulled Pork BBQ or some homemade chocolate bourbon pie with Graeter’s Jim Beam® Bourbon ice cream.
“The Purpose of fun is to have some…So come join us!”
Monday, August 19th, 2013
On August 17th, we joined in on the festivities at the Angel’s Envy bourbon dinner, at the Marriott East Hotel, Kentucky’s newest luxury and ONLY Bourbon themed full-service hotel. Located off I-64 & Hurstbourne Lane, the hotel is a perfect location for your start or finish of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour or Urban Bourbon Trail® adventure. The Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen & Lounge has over 80 Bourbons under one roof as well as Bourbon-enhanced cocktails & food.
The Bourbon Lovers group, comprised of around 400 bourbon lovers, traveled in from Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, & Alabama, just to name a few.
Highlights of the evening include:
The Angel’s Envy family headlined the event with Lincoln, Wesley, & Kyle Henderson.
The event was a huge success as Mint Julep Tours gave away several tours and gift baskets in a drawing held at the event. The Henderson family also donated a Port Barrel that Angel’s Envy is finished aging in. This was bid on in a silent auction throughout the night with proceeds going to a Colon Cancer foundation.
To join in on the bourbon fun, head over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/bourbonlovers/ and request to join the group!
About Angel’s Envy:
Angel’s Envy Bourbon was created by Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson - the man who worked to develop renowned brands such as Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniel’s “Gentleman Jack” and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. One of the world’s leading spirits experts, he was an inaugural member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame and has received Malt Advocate’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Distilled from Kentucky-grown grains, Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged for four to six years in American white oak barrels, then finished for three to six additional months in hand-selected port casks.
Angel’s Envy will be a new addition in their creation of the only full scale distillery located in downtown Louisville, sometime in late 2014.
Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
If you have experienced a bourbon tour with Mint Julep Tours on multiple occasions, you know how each experience can be unique by who you meet. We are lucky to have an amazing group of Bourbon Tour Experts that guide your experience. We are also lucky to have amazing guests that add and enrich the experience with their personalities and talents.
Check out these recent bourbon tour highlights:
What a treat to run into Jimmy Russell at Wild Turkey Distillery on a recent Mint Julep Tours Bourbon Tour.
If any of you know Wild Turkey, then you know the name Jimmy Russell. He's been making bourbon in Lawrenceburg, KY for over 54 years. Mr. Russell is one of the great legends of bourbon and it's a real treat to meet him if you get the chance at the Wild Turkey Distillery.
Kathy Wells of Stuart, Florida is a 7th generation Beam and just got in touch with her roots while on a recent visit to Kentucky. She is Minor Case Beam's Granddaughter and the daughter of Catherine Beam Jennings.
Fred Noe signing bottles at The Jim Beam American Stillhouse for guests of Mint Julep Tours.
Mint Julep Tour group enjoying the new Jim Beam American Stillhouse in Clermont KY.
You never know who you will run into at Maker's Mark distillery. Here Bill Samuels, Jr signs a Maker's Mark bottle for a Mint Julep Tours guest.
Another encounter of bourbon royalty as we say, is Fred Noe, grandson of Jim Beam. Fred keeps the Beam family tradition barreling along at The Jim Beam American Stillhouse and Distillery in Clermont KY. Fred has a bold personality that makes him an entertaining encounter for any visitor at Jim Beam. If you are lucky enough to meet Fred on a bourbon tour, you will see his genuine passion and personality that flows through is veins, with a little bourbon, of course!
The sights, smells, & tastes are just a click away. Who knows what kind of story you may take away. Your bourbon journey begins here!
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
What is bourbon anyway?
Bourbon is a type of American whiskey – a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn.
By law, bourbon must be:
- Produced in the USA
- Made of a grain mix of at least 51% corn
- Distilled at less than 160 proof (80% ABV)
- No additives allowed (except water to reduce proof where necessary)
- Aged in new, charred white oak barrels
- Aged for a minimum of two years* (*to be called Kentucky Straight Bourbon)
Since 98% of the worlds Bourbon is produced in Kentucky, Louisville is a great spot to jump on the Bourbon Bus. Ranked as a Top 10 US travel destination for 2013, Louisville is a great spot to explore all things bourbon during the day on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and at night on the Urban Bourbon Trail.
How much time do we need?
If you’re looking to hit all the spots on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and beyond, you’ll need several days to get the most out of your exploration. A great two day option is THE ULTIMATE 2 DAY TOUR, offered on Thursday/Friday or Friday Saturday. If you only have one day open, you can experience a great day with a PUBLIC BOURBON TOUR that visits 3 distilleries.
Where to stay?
THE GALT HOUSE HOTEL is a great spot to stay, centrally located in downtown Louisville by the Ohio River. Plus it’s a convenient spot to jump on the PUBLIC BOURBON TOUR, since our tours depart from the 3rd floor RIVUE TOWER side of the GALT HOUSE HOTEL.
What to wear?
Tasting bourbon in Kentucky is all about relaxation, so wear light clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
What to bring?
For the bourbon and photography lover, bring along a camera to document your explorations at each distillery. Check out the scenery our guests have found to be great for photo ops.
What to buy?
We know some great spots for finding bourbon that you can’t find in your neck of the woods. Since almost 98% of the worlds bourbon is made right here, you will find some great bottles you won’t find anywhere else. You will also find unique bottles and gifts only offered at each distillery’s gift shop. A unique experience is to dip your own bottle of Maker’s Mark® in the signature red wax or get your bottle etched with a message as a gift for the bourbon lover in your life.
What to look for?
If you have visited our Bourbon Heaven before, look for the specialty tours that provide EXCLUSIVE experiences. The highlight of the Jim Beam® Super Premium Tour is a private experience with the Master Distiller & 7th generation Beam family member, Fred Noe. Or explore the BE THE BOURBON TOUR at Maker’s Mark® Distillery to experience a behind the scenes look and taste from the folks behind the signature red wax.
When to visit?
What are you waiting for? Our Bourbon Tour Experts are waiting to tell you about our Bourbon Hospitality. Visit our website at www.MintJulepTours.com to learn why we are the #1 activity in Louisville, according to Trip Advisor!
Friday, June 21st, 2013
Mint Julep Tours is proud to announce - Online Booking!
Get ready for a full day of bourbon.
Experience Kentucky’s love of bourbon as you travel through the Bluegrass countryside to visit three premier distilleries. Learn about the art of bourbon-making being practiced much as it was 200 years ago. Discover the rich heritage of the bourbon industry and the proud tradition it holds in Kentucky. This outing will leave you with a new appreciation for our favorite secret sauce.
Public tours includes 2 guided tours & tastings, with a 3rd stop for a tasting only. We currently have tours pre-scheduled to “Barrel Out” to The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® on Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays.
We also have availability to CUSTOMIZE a tour to visit the spots that are at the top of your “Bourbon Bucket List”! All you need to do is go to our website and fill out the brief “Contact Us” form and we will have a Bourbon Tour Expert contact you to talk about your perfect tour.
Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Ready or not, the Kentucky Derby is coming at us full steam ahead and today marks the 100 day countdown to the races!
For many people, attending the Kentucky Derby is a Bucket List goal. But other than seeing “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, a visit to Louisville would not be complete without exploring our premier bourbon distilleries and thoroughbred horse farms. The best way to experience the region during the first week of May is get on board a Mint Julep Tour!
Travel through rolling hills of Bluegrass countryside to visit world renowned stallion farms and historic distilleries to learn about Kentucky’s proud bourbon heritage and rich racing traditions. Mint Julep Tours has three wonderful full day tour options available everyday of Derby week, (except Saturday) to experience horse country, the bourbon distilleries, or a combination of both. Derby is the busiest time of year in Louisville and we will be in a sold out situation, so it’s never too soon to make reservations.
CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO REVIEW OUR TOUR OPTIONS AND SEE DESCRIPTIONS, TIMING & PRICING.
Contact us today to book your seats for the time of your life!
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Mint Julep Tours has partnered with Men’s Health to offer the “Exclusive Master’s Tour”, as featured in their holiday gift guide.
This once-in-a lifetime weekend getaway to the “bourbon belt” in Kentucky includes four distillery tours, a three night discounted stay in a five star hotel and first class transportation (plus lunch and special gifts). But the real bonus is an exclusive tour and tasting with Wild Turkey’s Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell!
This extravaganza includes accommodations at 21C Museum Hotel, A 90-room boutique hotel is nestled in historic downtown Louisville, and is a contemporary art museum, award-winning restaurant and cultural civic center. It has been voted the “Best Hotel in the South” in 2012. The two full day bourbon distillery tours will visit Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace and features a rare and personal tour with Wild Turkey’s legendary master distiller Jimmy Russell. The tour follows the production process from grain delivery to bottling, and you’ll even get to see bourbon being poured into hand crafted oak barrels, ending with a tasting with the master himself. A dream come true for any whiskey enthusiast!
This experience is available on two weekends: April 11-14 or May 9-12. Fly in Thursday and depart Sunday. The price is $1,595 based on double occupancy; Air fare is not included. Space is limited, so call Mint Julep Tours 502-583-1433 or email email@example.com. To learn more, see the full tour sheet by clicking HERE.