Bardstown is located about 50 miles south/southeast of Louisville and about 62 miles southwest of Lexington. Bardstown is the self proclaimed Bourbon Capital since there are a substantial number of distilleries surrounding it, including: Makers Mark, Heaven Hill, Four Roses, Jim Beam and Barton 1792. We took the opportunity to visit Makers Mark while we were here.
A visit to the Bluegrass region of Kentucky would be incomplete without a stop at a bourbon distillery (pics). While bourbon can be made anywhere, approximately 95% of all bourbon comes from Kentucky and most of that is produced in northern Kentucky in what is known as the Bluegrass region. Bourbon is a type of whiskey and is generally made using the sour mash process. In order to be called bourbon it must be made with at least 51% corn and will be combined with barley and rye in order to make the mash from which it will be distilled. The distilled liquid is placed in new, charred oak barrels to be aged for no less than 2 years, although most distillers age their bourbon for 6 to 8 years. The barrels can only be used once for aging bourbon so they are sold to be used for aging other products such as scotch, tequila, beer and even hot sauce.
We visited two distilleries: Buffalo Trace in Frankfort and Woodford Reserve near Versailles, Kentucky.