Charleston, WV to Bardstown, KY., Makers Mark, Jim Beam, Heaven Hill, Ft Knox
Bardstown Travel Blog› entry 35 of 169 › view all entries
Getting out of Charleston, WV., continued to be a challange. Once I got my self free from the mud, I almost got killed by an alligator. For those who don't know what an alligator is to a road traveler, it is the body of a tire after it has blown out and the tread gets thrown on the road. I was following a coal truck when one of his rear tires blew and almost hit me.
Bardstown, KY., is a little town I had visited in the 1980" when I was working for Vidal Sassoon. There was a plastic bottle plant there that I had to visit and one evening, we all went out to a nice restaurant for dinner. I asked for a scotch and water and the bartender said, "we don't serve scotch here". When I asked why, I was informed we were in the heart of Bourbon country. I then asked for a good Bourbon that I could get in California and he served me Makers Mark.
I digress, back to the trip. I parked at the Bardstown White Acres RV campground and decided to get out and explore Bourbon country, My first visit was the Makers Mark distillery in Loretto, KY. A few years ago, I became an Ambassador for them and as a result, got a bit of a VIP tour. I even have a barrel ageing with my name along with several other Ambassadors on a plate on the barrel. The tour was great and we got to see all of the distilling process along with the bottling line where the unique wax is applied to the bottle.
The next stop was the Jim Beam distillary which did not offer tours because of the size and scope of the facility.
Fort Knox was close so I decided to take a look. Our gold appears to be safe here but they gave no samples out. Interesting place as they have no tours and the place sits on a rise just a few hundred yards off of the highway with nothing but a couple of wire fences surrounding it. No guards in sight. Don't kid yourself, it sits on the edge of Fort Knox which is the main tank training base in the country. The Fort museum has many examples of the evolution of our tank forces form WW1 to present. Also here is the General Patton museum and they have done a good job showing his history and loads of memorabilia.
Bardstown has a very nice Civil War museum which is ranked in the top 5 in the country.
My third distillery visit was to see Heaven Hill which produces a variety of brands with Evan Williams being the leading one. Barton Brothers is the fourth distillery in Bardstown. They all have huge warehouses spotted all over town four and five stories high and each holds thousands of ageing Bourbon barrels. Each distillery paints their warehouse with a unique color so when driving around you can tell who is who. Possibly those employees who sample too much product and get lost can find the warehouse by the color.
The Kentucky Train Museum is here and I took a ride for about 30 miles through Bourbon country. Not worth the fare, so skip this.
The price of Bourbon at the city of manufacture is more expensive that 3000 miles away it CA. Go figure, must be state taxes.
Elks Lodges: 18, Escapees Parks: 5, Public RV parks: 9, Nat'l Parks: 16, Major Ships: 5, Forts: 9
Expenses 7 months on the road with an average of $1939 per month.