Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 10 Jim Beam Distillery Tour and Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown Ky

We drove down to Clermont Ky and toured the Jim Beam Distillery there.  Was a very interesting tour.  Everything you wanted to know about how the worlds finest bourbon is made.
Inside the master distiller's house, where several generations of Beam's oversaw the family business we watched a seven minute video on the history of Jim Beam bourbon distilling.  Here is a picture of a miniture distillery that was showcased at the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City.  This replica actually works.

From here we saw an exibit of one of the olodest copper stills in America.  It was capable of making three gallons of "white dog"  (moonshine).  The clear liquid was then stored in 53 gallon oak barrels and the aging process gives the bourbon its color.  Its aged anywhere from 4 to 9 years.

This is a warehouse where the barrels of bourbon is stored while aging.  These buildings are not heated or cooled.  There are nine floors.  Barrels are stacked in rows three high and fourteen deep. Each barrel contains 53 gallons of bourbon.  Thats a lot of bourbon!

Notice the color of the trees.  They are not burnt.  The black is a fungus that grows on trees and roofs of buildings around the distillery.  Its refered to as "angels share" because the angels get to sample fumes given off from the aging bourbon.  This helped the govt men in finding illegal moonshine stills.

After the tour we got to sample some of the small batch bourbons distilled here.  We sampled 129 proof Booker's and 80 proof Red Stag.  Believe me you can really taste the difference.
display of the different Jim Beam bourbons

Its late, tomorrow I'll post some pictures of the Bourbon Festival.  We intended to tour some of Bardstown but the town was so crowded due to the festival that we decided to try and come back on Monday and do that.  So we ate lunch at Mammy's Kitchen and then headed back to the campground.