I hear so many people complaining about my previous Scotland trips. “I can’t get away to fly overseas,” they say. “I don’t like being in a plane that long,” they say. “The weather there is so lousy,” they say.

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Well, Mr. Strawman I just created, maybe you can’t get to Scotland (shut up all of you who already live there), but you can probably get to Kentucky.

My drinking friends and I went to Louisville and visited bourbon distilleries. This was my second trip there (their third), so we tried to find stuff that could not be easily obtained at home.

From left to right we have:

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  • Willett 12 year Single Barrel. Only available at the distillery
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel 2006. Not terribly hard to find, but I like it and my local liquor store has stopped carrying it. It is pretty much the only thing I like out of Heaven Hill.
  • Wild Turkey Single Barrel. Also not very hard to find, but the liqor store we were at had selected their own barrel and it was on sale for a good price.
  • Bulleit Barrel Strength. Only available in Kentucky.
  • Blade and Bow. Somewhat hard to find in my area and I had tried it the night before.
  • Precinct 6 Sour Mash. Hard to find, but technically not bourbon. It must violate one of the rules. From Limestone Branch distillery which you may have seen on the reality TV show Moonshiners. I had not.

That last bottle is signed by the master distiller, Steve Beam. Half the people in the bourbon business in Kentucky are named Beam. Yes, they are all related. Don’t even try to make jokes, they’ll do it for you. “In Kentucky, you are allowed to ask if two people are related. You just aren’t allowed to ask how.”

Louisville is a nice little city with a pretty vibrant restaurant scene. We ate very well. It is only 300 miles from Chicago so we drove (no limit on how much you can bring back!) and stopped in Indianapolis for lunch. Our Californian contrived some business the day before, flew in and met us. Bardstown and Lexington are nice stops as well. This was a fun trip and I recommend it. Also, the accents are slightly easier to understand than in Scotland.