- Cell phone service is spotty at best. If you think you can connect with the outside world while 40 miles from nowhere...you are wrong.
- The GPS system does not prove to be accurate. In order to not end up off in a field somewhere, go old school. Take a map and ask at distilleries, because the locals I asked weren't confident in their directions at all.
- You don't get that much to drink, via samples, at the distilleries. Due to laws and regulations, very small amounts are dispersed. If you want more, you will need to buy it.
- Trying to hit all seven locations in one day is fairly impossible, and downright dangerous. Plan on two-three days for the tours, sampling and socializing.
- Separate out the fun over two sections for the distilleries. One day will keep you near Lexington and the other is situated between Louisville and Bardstown.
- When going to the part of the tours around Lexington, visit Woodford Reserve first thing in the morning. Most visitors save it to last and the afternoons are always busier, according to the local experts. Hit it first thing and avoid the crowds.
- Plan on an extra day, or two, and hit the Urban Bourbon Trail in Louisville. It's a fabulously fun time filled with restaurants, bars and pubs dedicated to all the splendor of bourbon. They live it, breathe it and love sharing the information and bourbon knowledge with everyone.
- There is pretty much nothing you can think of that isn't made with bourbon in Louisville. Entrees, sauces, cocktails, even ice cream and brownies are whipped up, baked and blended with the golden amber that makes this state happy.
- Visit in the spring and autumn for the prettiest photo opportunities, and winter for fewer crowds and plenty of distilling happenings. Summer time is fine for visiting, but most locations halt distilling for a month or two during the hot months, so if you want to definitely catch corn mashing practices, go during the other three seasons or call ahead to every distillery.
- There are actually three trails: Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which includes the seven big guys; Urban Bourbon Trail, for the Louisville style of bourbon fun, and Craft Bourbon Trail, which includes small, boutique distilleries.
Monday, January 14
10 Things to Know Before Going on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail
Always helpful, I have compiled a list of facts, tips and advice through venturing on the trail myself. Here for you are the 10 Things to Know Before Going on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.