Meeting the Buddha of Bourbon at Wild Turkey Distillery
We toured 5 distilleries during our time in Kentucky Bourbon Country. We really enjoyed our visit to Bardstown Bourbon Company, the tasting at Heaven Hill (where we purchased coveted Old Fitzgerald 14-year-old bottles to bring home) and doing the hard hat tour at the 1930s industrial complex still in use at Buffalo Trace. Yet, it was hard to top our visit to Wild Turkey in the serene bluegrass country outside Lawrenceburg. One look at those rickhouses blackened on the outside from evaporation and you can sense the history. In fact, a distillery has been operating at this same site since 1869. We had a wonderful guide, Edwina, who showed us the whole process of making bourbon, from seeing the mash bills and fermentation tanks to walking inside one of those old rickhouses and eyeing all those barrels stacked to the ceiling. Wild Turkey currently has 7 to 8 million barrels aging, forming the largest distillery on one site in Kentucky. Outside, the rolling hills led to a bridge over the Kentucky River and the countryside was aflame in late fall foliage.