Big news: I just became a Certified Bourbon Steward through the Stave & Thief Society.
Funny aside: Six months ago I couldn’t tell you a thing about the history of Bourbon or much about the sensory nuances of this special spirit.
Like much of the population, I have stuck with beer and wine as my go-to choices when it comes to adult beverage consumption. In my 20s (going back a few years), I tried to mimic my father’s appreciation for scotch and water by ordering one. Needless to say, it wasn’t an enjoyable experience and I pretty much spit it out. It cured me from ever wanting to try that again.
Then a couple years ago, after completing a distillery tour, I thought the smell was fabulous and made a point to try bourbon again. Going to one of my favorite local restaurants, I tried a Kentucky Mule (mixture of bourbon, ginger beer, lime juice and mint sprigs). It warmed me up to enjoy our state spirit.
Now that it’s finally happened--Northern Kentucky has become an official trail head for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®--I had to explore more. There is so much to enjoy from the history of bourbon - from how some distilleries continued to produce it even through prohibition, to the aging process in oak barrels and noting the subtle differences when it hits your tongue.
It always felt a little disjointed for many years that we didn’t have a presence on the trail. However, there is a TON of bourbon history in this region and we're so excited to share it with the world!
Some local favorites to explore if you visit Northern Kentucky include New Riff Distilling (which will be introducing their 4 year-old Bourbon to the world this fall), Boone County Distilling Co., and Neeley Family Distillery (whose owner is an 11th generation moonshiner). All these are great options for tour groups and are a must-see whether or not you have acquired a taste for bourbon. There are also many additional great options throughout the state of Kentucky!
Stop by anytime and pick up a B-Line Passport or a Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport and enjoy some great experiences while learning about this wonderful spirit. Cheers!