*Edit: I began and promised this post last week, but when I got home from my trip I just never opened my laptop! So without further ado, welcome to Frankfort, Kentucky…
My job takes me to some off-the-beaten-path places, and this week I’m traipsing through the wilds of my Northern neighbor, the Bluegrass State of Kentucky, where (just as an aside) one of my childhood’s biggest disappointments was discovering that the grass here is not actually blue. Lies. Everywhere. As an adult I can accept those disappointments a little easier with a fine Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which brings me to today’s little adventure at Buffalo Trace.
Buffalo Trace Distillery – 113 Great Buffalo Trace, Frankfort, KY 40601
“We make fine Bourbon. At a profit if we can, at a loss if we must, but always fine Bourbon.” – Col. Albert Blanton
If you are familiar with Whiskey, you have probably heard of Buffalo Trace. As one of the longest running distillers in the United States (even during Prohibition!), they do make a fine Bourbon. I’m not going to talk about the process behind making their Bourbon and other spirits (I don’t want to ruin the tour for you!), but I highly recommend going to take in the history, the amazing smells, and the very photogenic campus. I was barely there five minutes before I declared that my new dream was to work there, just so I could smell the Bourbon all day!
When you arrive at Buffalo Trace, you really can’t get over how beautiful the campus is. I don’t think there are many instances where you can walk into a working industrial complex and think of beauty! The Visitor’s Center is where you want to start- they have the museum, the gift shop, tasting room, and this is also where the free tour begins. The tour is about an hour long, and you get to go through one of the warehouses where the aging barrels are stored and you get to see the bottling process and talk with the bottlers about their jobs. After the tour, you get to sample the goods at a free tasting. I was so impressed by how they really go above and beyond with their guests – they have obvious passion for their jobs, and go out of their way to share that with you when you go! I highly recommend going to Buffalo Trace if you are ever in the area. (Also – this place is a photographer’s dream!)
Gibbys – 204 W Broadway St, Frankfort, KY 40601
We wanted to eat local after our tour and found Gibbys, a great little diner downtown! They have counter service during the day and then have table service in the evening. They have a wide variety of food on the menu. I saw reviews on Google that complained about it being a little pricy, but I didn’t think so (it depends on what you’re used to). I had a huge Tuna Salad sandwich, beer-battered onion rings, and a drink for about $10, and the food was very good! Totally worth it, in my humble opinion.
We were only in Frankfort for less than 24-hours, and there are some other places downtown that I’d like to go back and check out if I’m in the area again, but the intro was worth it!