Seeking advice for Kentucky Bourbon trail (1 Viewer)

dmoney

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Context: My dad and I have been talking about doing some Bourbon trail-type stuff for several years. I love Dave Matthews Band. He loves Tedeschi Trucks.

Enter:
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So we’re looking into planning the trip in September. The festival is in Louisville.

He gets around ok, but I think tastings may be a better fit than hour-long walking tours (although neither of us would object me going solo if there’s a great one).

We like Woodford, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace (these are closer to Lexington). We’re open to others brands as well, especially if they are a great experience, or better than “tourist traps.”

I’d also love to get some poker in if possible.

So, who has done some of these things and has things to look out for, must dos, great spots off the beaten path, recommendations for places to stay, and other things to eat, drink, and do?

Cheers!

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Add the Bar at Willett to your list if you don’t mind shelling out a little $ for some exceptional pours.

I’m dying to actually get to tour BT and 4R, they’re my fav distilleries by far, but didn’t have time when I was there on a work trip.

Downtown Louisville was a lot of fun and there’s like 4-6 distilleries right downtown almost within walking distance including Brown Forman (Woodford), where you can bottle your own bottle of a distillery only offering.
 
Add the Bar at Willett to your list if you don’t mind shelling out a little $ for some exceptional pours.

I’m dying to actually get to tour BT and 4R, they’re my fav distilleries by far, but didn’t have time when I was there on a work trip.

Downtown Louisville was a lot of fun and there’s like 4-6 distilleries right downtown almost within walking distance including Brown Forman (Woodford), where you can bottle your own bottle of a distillery only offering.
The Bar at Willett and their tour (5-6 tasting) is pretty damn good. If you're going to be near downtown, Bardstown Bourbon Co has a nice tasting spot and the Evan Williams Experience
 
You can let me know what area you'll be staying at and I can give you some spots to hang/eat/drink
I think we’ll book the concert tix first, then work on other to-dos after, which might help determine where we stay eg Louisville vs Lexington.
 
Lots of cool tours. Makers Mark tour is pretty cool. Keeneland fall meet isn’t until October (highly recommend if you are ever in town for it), but Churchill is live when you’ll be in town. Lots of great things to do in Lexington, also. And Northern KY is pretty close to both Lexington (1.25 hours) or Louisville (2 hours) and there a couple distilleries up there. New Riff has some nice bourbon and Boone County Distillery is pretty new. Also, some nice bourbon bars in Covington. And if you’re into baseball, the Pirates are in town against the Reds right across the river.

@Bluegrass Poker may want to chime in
 
Churchill is live when you’ll be in town
My only frame of reference for horse racing is Saratoga, which is (was? idk) very casual on the infield (free entry, no dress code, bring your own beer, etc). Is Churchill the same/similar?
 
Churchill is super chill, but going to charge for admission, probably $8-10, but no dress code, and unfortunately no BYOB
 
And it looks like Caesars Southern Indiana is the only casino poker option? Are there any social clubs, card rooms, or PCF home games in the Louisville or Lexington areas?
 
Highly recommend Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam tours. The MM grounds are beautiful and the JB tour shows the contrast between more-traditional operations and modern, high volume operations.

Woodford used to be one of our favorites but last time we went there they seemed really snobbish. Rumor has it B&F are getting more involved there in daily operations.

Beautiful place, though.

The inside tip one of the tour guides gave us at BT is to check the web site on the last Thursday of the month you want to tour. They go fast, he said, mainly because the tour companies snatch them up so quickly.

You won’t see any deals at the gift shops because they don’t want to compete against their own customers, but you will find unique bottles there.

Best deals we found were at Kroger, believe it or not.

We are going back down in the near-future. Want to see Wild Turkey since the new visitor’s center opened.
 
And it looks like Caesars Southern Indiana is the only casino poker option? Are there any social clubs, card rooms, or PCF home games in the Louisville or Lexington areas?
That’s correct. There’s a social spot called Club JAQK not far from downtown. I have a game scheduled but it’s the following weekend because there’s a home game for Louisville on the 21st :cry:
 
It is membership, not sure exactly the cost but, it's about $120 a year, then there is the hourly rate. Think it's $13 an hour. You can buy more hours for less. Think it's like 5 hrs for 55, and they're are other breaks on pricing. They do live stream. Tournaments, but, the tournaments aren't taking off, yet. Hopefully it thrives, it saves me a lot of driving time compared to going to Caesars. Caesars is 15 minutes from downtown Louisville, just across the river in Indiana. Nice room. Did pretty good action.

As far as the bourbon trail? Not much I can tell you. I've only taken one distillery tour, and that was Makers Mark almost 40 years ago. I quit drinking 5 years ago Christmas day, but, before then I blazed quite the trail from one bar to the next a well as liquor store to home buying up all the bourbon Icould drink.
 
Good time to visit the distilleries in September. You’ll probably want to to stay in Louisville since the festival is there. Lexington isn’t that far a drive but more than I’d want to go back and forth for the concerts.

Staying in Louisville you will have a lot of distilleries to choose from. Frankfort isn’t too far away so come visit BT. Here’s an insider tip, if you can’t get a tour scheduled online just get to BT close to open; we usually add a handful of tours that aren’t online each morning.

You also got Wild Turkey and Four Roses in Lawrenceburg; but I’d skip WT as they don’t have any tours or a real visitor centers right now.

Castle and Key and Woodford are close to BT as well. Castle and Key is a great place to visit but average bourbon; Woodford has a great campus as well but they just aren’t very friendly.

And really, you can hit whiskey row in Louisville and see quite a bit and stay close.

Not sure I’ll be hosting that weekend but if I do you’re welcome.
 
You’ll probably want to to stay in Louisville since the festival is there
We’re likely only going to the Friday shows, not the whole run. And…
Lexington isn’t that far a drive but more than I’d want to go back and forth for the concerts.
A few of the distilleries that are high on our list (Buffalo Trace, Four Roses) are closer to Lexington so I was wondering if the Lexington-area might be a viable “home base”
 
We’re likely only going to the Friday shows, not the whole run. And…

A few of the distilleries that are high on our list (Buffalo Trace, Four Roses) are closer to Lexington so I was wondering if the Lexington-area might be a viable “home base”
That does change things a little. Lex would be doable if you’re staying the whole weekend and just going to the festival one night. Still puts the distilleries you mentioned an easy drive away.
 

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