Home' Hospitality Business : HB MAR 2018 Contents K
entucky lives and breathes bourbon; with the number of
bourbon bar rels easily outstripping the human population,
Kentucky is undoubtedly the spiritual and physical home
of the amber liquid. 95% of the world’s bourbon is made
in the state, and with many of the top distiller ies easily reachable from
Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city, a visit to the area is a must-do for any
ser ious aficionado of Amer ica’s official native spirit.
Start your bourbon jour ney at the Buffalo Trace Distillery in the state
capital of Frankfort – around 90 kilometres from downtown Louisville.
Set on the banks of the winding Kentucky River, the lush green
grounds of the distillery are home to more than 300,000 bar rels of
liquor aging in red-brick rackhouses.
“No other distiller y in the world has won more awards than Buffalo
Trace,” says Kris Comstock, Bourbon Marketing Director at Buffalo
Trace. “Writers, enthusiasts, and spirits competitions around the world
have awarded more than 500 accolades to our brands. The title of
‘world’s most award-winning distillery’ has been ear ned through the
uncompromising dedication of our craftsmen for well over 200 years.”
As proof of its her itage, in 2013, Buffalo Trace Distillery became a
National Histor ic Landmark, recognising the distillery and its people,
builders, preservers and protectors. More recently, in 2016, Buffalo
Trace unearthed what has come to be known as ‘Bourbon Pompeii’
the foundations of a previously lost distillery from 1873, which was
uncovered as workers prepared to renovate an old storage building close
to the r iver.
Flagship bourbon, the Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Whiskey, has been refer red to by Jim Mur ray (author of the influential
Whisky Bible) as “one of the world’s great whiskies”, and took home
the ‘Best Straight Bourbon’ categor y at the 2016 San Francisco World
Spirits Competition. It’s known for its balanced, pleasantly sweet taste
and complex aroma of vanilla, mint and molasses.
Buffalo Trace Bourbon also walked away with 11 Gold and 8 Silver
medals from other US and international awards in 2016 and 2017 – a
fact that was not lost on Jamie Dickens, National Sales Manager for
Tickety-Boo Liquor, which distributes the Buffalo Trace Sazerac
Portfolio in New Zealand. “The continued success of the Buffalo
Trace Distillery at these prestigious competitions Inter national only
strengthens the brand locally in New Zealand, as consumers and
bartenders seek high-end and quality product in an ever expanding
cocktail market,” says Dickens. “Sazerac as a company produces some of
the best whiskey in the world, so we strive to continue bringing these
products into New Zealand for the whiskey connoisseurs and enthusiast.
As a company we aim to have the world’s best spirit and liqueurs in our
portfolio, that win awards and the attention of our local market.”
Next stop on the trail is the Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked away
in the rolling hills near the town of Versailles. The distillery here is
one of only three in Kentucky that have gained the title of National
Histor ic Landmark (joining Buffalo Trace and Maker’s Mark). It’s a
scenic little spot, and the oldest and smallest on this tour – with iconic
copper pot stills, the longest bar rel run in the USA (at over 500 feet,
entirely powered by gravity) and 100-year-old cypress wood fer menters
that are still in use.
The distiller y’s flagship liquid, the Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Whiskey, is r ich and chewy, and has ear nt a swathe of awards over the
past two decades, while the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked is an
innovative, twice-bar reled bourbon, with the second bar rel deeply
toasted and treated with a light char r ing, extracting more oak character.
There’s also the Masters Collection ser ies of small batch products,
which honour the pioneer ing work of early owner Oscar Pepper and
Master Distiller James Crow way back in the 1800s and apply their
Woodford Reserve is also the official bourbon of the Kentucky
Derby, and is used to create some ser iously lavish mint juleps on race
day at Churchill Downs – pricing starts at $1000 for ‘Noble Cup’ (of
which 90 are available) all the way up to $2500 for a gold-plated ‘Royal
Cup’ (of which only 15 are made).
The leafy grounds of the Buffalo Trace
Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky
Woodford Reserve Distillery
TheShout NZ | HOSPITALITY BUSINESS | March 2018 | 7
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