Monday, May 29, 2017

The Bourbon Trail

Happy Memorial Day!!! Hopefully your weekend was nice and relaxing and everything you hoped it would be! The husband and I planned a last minute road trip to the Bourbon Trail. Ever since my work trip to Nashville in March, I've been hooked on Woodford Reserve. That's probably and understatement. The husband has been into it, too, and since we've both been craving a road trip lately, we figured Memorial Day weekend would be a great time to venture to Kentucky! We are headed back today, with one more distillery to hit on our way out, but I thought I would share what we have done so far!

One teaspoon shorts outfit with flannel top and Adidas superstar sneakers
--- Outfit details: Sunnies: Quay "High Key" | Plaid top: American Eagle | Tank: CS Gems | Necklace: CS Gems | Shorts: One Teaspoon (similar here and herebudget option) | Sneakers: Adidas "Superstar" ---

First, my outfit. It's a good 5 hour drive and sitting in a car for that long means a lot of wrinkles. We planned to hit up a distillery as soon as we were there, so freshening up beforehand was not an option. It's been pretty hot and humid, though I'm always cold in the car, so I opted for the outfit in my flat lay on Friday! I wore sneakers instead of sandals only because it was supposed to rain and I haaaaaaate having wet feet with sandals in the rain!

Buffalo Trace distillery

The husband loosely planned out our trip. We decided to head past Louisville on Saturday closer but not quite to Lexington. We had both heard great things about Buffalo Trace, so that is where our trip officially began! We arrived around 3pm local time (so we lost an hour), and unfortunately, all of the tours were already sold out. We were still able to do a tasting, which was free! Always amazes me when things are free.

Buffalo Trace bourbon

We had about 40 minutes to kill before our tasting, so we used that to browse the gift shop and just stretch our legs for a bit. When it was time, we were led upstairs where there were about 4-5 different bar areas. I would say there were at least 30 people in our tasting group. The bartender gave us a quick history lesson, and then had a bunch of glasses lined up on the bar that she filled for us to take. We each got to take 2 samples plus a dessert, but it wasn't closely monitored, it was all by the honor system. The dessert ended up being their Buffalo Cream (similar to a Bailey's) with root beer and a bourbon ball! It was all really delish. I had never had Buffalo Trace before this tour but needless to say, we left with two bottles (one of which was the Buffalo Cream!)

We ended up staying in Frankfort for the night and found our way to Cattleman's for dinner. After all that bourbon, we were craving a good steak. This restaurant had good reviews, so we decided to try it. I would say it is not quite as "nice" as an Outback or a Longhorn Steakhouse, but it is definitely worlds better than a Ponderosa. The reason I even bring Ponderosa into this discussion is because it has a salad bar - a very good one at that! But salad bars within a steakhouse can often make you think of Ponderosa, Ryan's, or Sizzler. This was higher end than that, but certainly more casual than fancy. It was good regardless, my belly was happy!

Kentucky state capital
Kentucky State Capitol

I won't even begin to get into the hot mess of a hotel situation we experienced on Saturday night! I shared the drama on Snapchat, but let's just say, we ended up getting a free night's stay. Everything was fine, just a few inconveniences to say the least! After housekeeping tried to barge into our room while we were asleep in the morning, we figured it was time to just get dressed and get out of there! (Thank goodness for deadbolts!!!) We found Cliffside Diner nearby and headed that way for a quick breakfast. Since we were around the corner from the State Capitol, we had to stop for a photo op!

We wanted to make sure we got to Woodford when they opened at noon so we would for sure be able to get tickets for the tour! Of all the distilleries, I couldn't miss this tour. It was basically the reason for our entire trip after all! The parking lot was full even though we arrived at 12:01pm, one minute after they opened. We were able to buy tickets ($14 per person) for the 12:40pm tour.

Woodford Reserve distillery

We didn't get to explore the entire grounds of Buffalo Trace because it was torrentially down pouring when it was time for us to leave, so I can't say how Woodford compares, but I really, really loved their gathering areas like the one pictured above. Their gift shop was off to the side, they had these comfy seats in the lounge type area, there was a little snack bar with some food, and there were tables outside on the patio as well. You could definitely hang out here for a bit if you wanted to! We made mental notes of what we wanted to buy and then waited for our tour to begin.

woodford reserve tour

woodford reserve versailles kentucky

The only thing that could have made this tour even better was to be able to see the workers in motion! Since it was a holiday weekend, there wasn't anyone working, which was nice for photos, but I would have also loved to see the action! It's amazing how much stuff goes into just one bottle of bourbon! The sampling room was this dark, "candlelit" skinny hallway that was on the lower level of one of their barrel buildings. (I used quotes around the word candlelit because they were faux candles. Flames and alcohol do not mix after all.) They had barrels lined up as makeshift tables with enough samples for 4 people on top of each barrel. It was great! I loved the ambiance.

Woodford Reserve sampling

Forever 21 crochet mock top, olive shorts, and sam edelman leopard gigi sandals outfit
--- Outfit details: Hat: Forever 21 (option) | Earrings: Nickel and SuedeSunnies: Quay "High Key" | Top: Forever 21 | Necklace: Kendra Scott "Milla"Shorts: Express (option) | Sandals: Sam Edelman "Gigi" ---

Woodford was everything I hoped it would be! We spent way too much money in the gift shop!! As far as my outfit for day 2, I had brought a romper to wear with me, but I decided on this easy top and shorts instead. I thought the romper might be a bit annoying if I had to go to the bathroom a lot, which I didn't, but that's ok, I was still happy with my outfit choice. It didn't rain on us, so I was good with my open toed sandals, too.

It took us a bit to decide where we wanted to head to next. There are so many distilleries in the area, so we really relied on the ones who people have told us were their favorites! Four Roses was on top of his parents' favorites list, so we wanted to make sure we made it there.

Four Roses bourbon tasting

They had tours available, but the lady said that it was a modified tour since they were under some construction. Based on that, she said many people prefer to simply do the tasting since you get the same history lesson and samples anyway. Don't quote me on this, but I believe it was just $5 a person for the tasting, and you got to keep your rocks glass, which was nice. (We've been buying a pair of glasses at every distillery we have visited.)

Four Roses distillery

The man behind the bar is Elijah, and he did a great job with the presentation! Very informative and funny which is always appreciated! One little piece of trivia that I found interesting was about this iconic photo of the sailor kissing the stranger in Times Square. The very top billboard sign in the background says "Four Roses" and I had never ever noticed that before.

We finished up here at around 3pm which was kind of an awkward time because it didn't quite give us enough time to hit up one more distillery. Jim Beam was also on our list but they close at 4pm and were about 53 miles away. Their samplings and tours were sold out for the day anyway. So, we decided to head towards Louisville, find a place to have an early dinner then post up at the hotel for the night!

Doc Crow's smokehouse and raw bar brisket and fried okra
Doc Crow's brisket and fried okra

A quick search for good restaurants in Louisville brought me to Doc Crow's. I thought it would be perfect because they had oysters (which I love) and BBQ (which the husband loves.) I did end up getting my oysters, but I also decided to try some brisket, too, because it looked so good and I can't ever pass up fried okra! 

They had about one million bourbons to choose from, and I ended up getting Elijah Craig because it is also one that comes highly recommended. I loved it, too! I'm beginning to think that they're all good.... Though my favorite so far is Woodford Double Oaked. Ok, back to the food before I get on a tangent!

Doc Crow's Wilbur Sundae

I had to try this dessert! It's a brown praline ice cream sundae that is topped with candied bacon and a bourbon cherry. Those are cinnamon pork rinds that you are seeing there, too! It was a great mix of sweet and salty! So good! I can barely breathe writing this!!!

We are about 20 minutes from Jim Beam, so our plan is to wake up in the morning, head to Jim Beam when they open at 9:30am, do the tour and sampling and then start our 5 hour drive back home. Not a bad way to end the long weekend, eh? Unfortunately, I will have to fill you in on Jim Beam at a later date, but I still had plenty of info to share for this post anyway!

What to wear to the bourbon trail outfits

Here is one more look at the outfits I wore for the trip. Easy breezy shorts and shoes. The weather was perfect, despite the rain. Though it was a bit steamy outside, the cloud cover made it not overly hot! I was neither too hot nor too cold in either outfit, so that's a win for me!

And super not bourbon related at all, but I am an auntie again!!!! My brother and his wife had their first baby! Meet Carter! They just announced they were pregnant when they were here visiting for Thanksgiving and now poof! He is here! He was born yesterday, May 28th at 11:01am central time! Her water broke at dinner Saturday evening, so my brother was texting us updates throughout the night! She wasn't due until June 13th, so this guy was definitely early! I shall be flying to San Antonio to meet him asap!!!!

Definitely a jam packed weekend! So much to share with you guys! Hopefully yours was equally as good! What did you do?!


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  1. Such a fun weekend - congrats on being an auntie again, Carter is so cute! :) I like your casual outfits in this post too :)

    Thank you for the link up!

    Enjoy the final tour and the rest of your long weekend!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  2. My hubby is a bourbon fan and this is on his bucket list. Hoping to the do the Bourbon Trail soon. Love this casual look and congrats on you becoming an auntie!


  3. What a fun weekend!! We just did a post about what to wear for a road trip--and I tend to wear a skirt so I can move around without getting a wedgie...ha ha!

  4. Your outfits are darling and Kentucky sounds like a lot of fun! Congrats on the new nephew!


  5. Your distressed denim shorts are DA BOMB.

  6. Congrats on your nephew! He is a cute little fellow.

  7. I've been loving following your road trip and your RT outfit is oh so cute.


  8. Love this post! Now I want to put on cut offs, grab a drink and some fried food! Heaven for sure! I hope you can join our link up next Friday . . . Ladies Who Link Up! Peace!
    Cheryl Tucker

  9. loved reading your weekend recap! those shorts look amazing on you!

    cute & little

  10. You and Matt are so good at planning fun adventures for just the two of you! Loving both of your cute travel outfits and congrats on becoming an aunt for the second time! It's one of my favorite "jobs" ever. :)
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  11. You were so close to me! I live in Lex, which is about 30 minutes away from where you were:) And congrats on the new nephew!