Woodford Reserve Trip 2019

Below are some standout moments from the trip as remembered (even if a little fuzzy):

  • Our Woodford tour guide, JP, was one of the most knowledgeable bourbon experts we have ever come across. His intricate knowledge of the area was fascinating. For example, we learned a lot about the limestone there. JP showed us crustaceans found within the limestone dating back nearly half a billion years ago when the area was covered by water. We learned that limestone in this part of the country is pure, meaning there is no iron in the water (iron is the kryptonite of the distillation process).
  • The most interesting thing is that he went to all of the county courthouses to research the linage of bourbon back in 1875. The idea of that area of the world. That’s why Indians used to fight over who got to hunt there. The magnesium and limestone made it for better grass, better water, bigger animals there.
  • One of the coolest parts of the Woodford visit was finding the tree that was planted on the property in honor of Ryan Hidinger following his passing. Hidi traveled to Woodford with us when we chose our very first barrel — “The Spirit of the Giving Kitchen” — and enjoyed the selection process, so to come full circle here meant a lot.
  • The private tasting we had with Woodford Head Distiller Chris Morris was fantastic and informative. Funny enough, throughout the entire tasting process all three of us partners landed on the same blend. It’s almost comical how we are synched up we are in appreciating the same styles now. We named the new barrel “Hidi’s Tree”. It arrives in December. Stay tuned!
  • The three of us carved out a little R&D visit a local pizza place in town called Butchertown Pizza. We also grabbed dinner at Butchertown Grocer. The food was tasty and we’d recommend both if you’re in the Louisville area. We also ate at a place called Doc Crow’s for BBQ + shellfish. The food was great and place was packed – even on a Wednesday!
  • We snuck in a tour of Old Forester led by Campbell Brown. Campbell is a fifth-generation descendant of company founder George Garvin Brown (whose signature remains on the bottle today). We got to sit in for a private tasting in their downtown rickhouse and visit their cooperage facility to see how barrels were made which was very cool.