On April 18th and 19th, I took a group of 12 guys on a tour along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  We visited three distilleries, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve, before ending the trip in Lexington, KY.  The group met in Murfreesboro and climbed into a fifteen passenger van.  The guys enjoyed the provided breakfast as we began the drive to our first stop, Jim Beam Distillery.  The distillery is located just off of I-65 and is spread out over a large compound.  Amazingly all men were eager for tastings, despite the early hour.  After the quick self guided tour (no behind the scene tour provided to date) and the samples, the group loaded back into the van and we continued on our way to the Maker’s Mark Distillery.

Maker’s Mark is nestled in a picturesque, remote valley.  The guided tour moves throughout the buildings and the process of distilling a select bourbon.  In the tasting bar the groom-to-be was able to dip his own bottle and take it with him as a memento.  After two rounds of tastings it was time to get some lunch.  We loaded back into the van and made a stopped where the guys were able to choose from multiple restaurants.

With stomachs full we made the drive towards Versailles and Woodford Reserve.  The large horse industry of Kentucky was seen in its finest as we drove the winding roads surrounded by double black painted fences separating us from million dollar horses.  The gorgeous stables faded away as we entered the old stack stone distillery of Woodford Reserve.  After the cost of the tour was paid (the only distillery to charge) we were able to tour the property with a knowledgable guide.  After the final tasting the guys loaded back into the van for the short drive into Lexington.

We arrived at the Lexington Downtown Hotel and Convention Center, with plenty of time for the guys to shower and rest up.  The guys met in the hotel bar for a quick drink before the walk to dinner.  After dinner we made stops at a few bars and ended up on the back patio of an Irish pub.  After quite a few hours . . . we made our way back to the hotel minus a few who wanted to further explore Lexington.

The event was a complete success and all anyone could talk about until the big day.  The trip was an inclusive trip with the travel, breakfast, tour costs and lodging covered in the package.