Day 2 of our Road Trip adventure is sponsored by the Letter "B".
A trifecta of B things.....
We checked out of the death trap motel room.....
Yes that was our smoke detector dangling from the ceiling. At least it was still connected as the little green light attests.
Me thinks the Quality Inn in Huntington WV needs a new handyman.....
And before bugging out I tried to double check our directions for the day since the GPS was having seizures and couldn't be relied upon.
And here is what MapQuest told me about our route...........
I now know that it's really true that you "can't get there from here" if the locations are Huntington, WV and Lawrenceburg, KY.
A quick stop for refueling the car and there was no doubt that we were in "Dew Country".....
I've heard tales that there is a real problem in WV went it comes to soda drinking. The soda of choice is Mountain Dew and the kids start imbibing it here as infants/toddlers. Mtn. Dew is very high in citric acids and sugar which leads to dental problems.
We then went a block down toward the interstate and made our first visit to Tudor's Biscuit World.
If you love a biscuit then BW is your version of Biscuit Nirvana!
So many choices so what to pick!?
The front-end employee was very friendly(yes, we are in the South I reminded myself)and helped guide us through the Biscuit Maze of Choices.
I got a pretty basic country ham biscuit while Hubs opted for one of the specialty multi-ingredient choices.
I also got a Fried Apples Biscuit which the employee recommended but I was too full to eat it so it was tucked into the cooler to save for my snack that evening.
Next time maybe I'll get that BIG TATOR Platter.....yikes!
We had such a good time chatting with the employee I asked to take his picture for the blog.
Robert is truly an asset to Huntington's Biscuit World location. He has such a good attitude and treats his customers like royalty!
The employee's tip jar on the counter got stuffed before we left for sure.
Listen up BW owner--Robert needs/deserves a raise before another business snatches him away from you!
I'm just sayin'.....
Finally onto the interstate and heading toward the next state on our agenda......
Oh goody....another place playing up the whole Lincoln myth....just what I need.....lolz
We crossed over into KY outside Ashland, a grimy non-scenic oil refining town. Not a very good first impression of our time in Kentucky but it is what it is and you've got to exploit your natural resources after all.
As we drove further west into the state the scenery greatly improved.
But we didn't stop until we got to Lexington.
And here is the extent of my sightseeing in Lexington.........
A big liquor store in town we just happened to drive by on our way through. I am still kicking myself for not buying that coconut moonshine! Didn't see that flavor any place else on this trip. sigh
You gotta love the name of this ale....Cougar Bait! It's made by the local Lexington brewery, Country Boy.
I guess after a few of these if you wander out into the woods you would be considered Cougar Bait! lolz
Once we hit outside of Lexington the stereotypical horse farm scenery of the Bluegrass State was evident.....
Just one of many horse farms we passed.
We even got to see the Versailles Castle. It started out in 1969 as a private residence but divorce and death got in the way of the owners finishing it. It was sold in 2003 and despite a fire and having to rebuild it's now operating as an inn.
The website is HERE.
The rates are a bit rich for my blood and there isn't even a pool! lolz
We finally made it to Lawrenceburg before noon to see the house the Jimmy built.
The Jimmy in question is Jimmy Russell the master distiller for the past 60 YEARS at Wild Turkey Distillery.
So we got to the new Visitor Center at Wild Turkey(which was pretty snazzy)bought our tour and tasting tickets and poked around the gift shop while we waited.
He should have bought it as it's a mite better than the one he sports now.
He ended up getting this "Give 'Em the Bird" t-shirt(at my insistence)....I am a bad, bad influence.....
I tired on this Bourbon Trail hat but at $24.95 it was definitely going to stay in that shop! lolz
Then it was time to get on the short bus.....
We toured various buildings at the Wild Turkey Distillery with our guide, Bubba. Yes his name is Bubba.
He was quite the ambassador for the brand.
Hubs took this shot of me and a really big bird......
I have placed the videos I took of the tour on my YouTube page. If you are interested in Bourbon Talk you can access them via these links...........
Part One HERE
Part Two HERE
Part Three HERE
Part Four HERE
Part Five HERE
Other than the videos I didn't take many more still shots at Wild Turkey.
Here's a vast open vat of mash fermenting.......
And here is Hubs inside one of the buildings with the fermenting mash tanks with a "photo op" specifically placed here for this purpose.
I will tell you that that building smelled amazing! 8-)
Here is the outside of one of the "barrel" buildings. These are huge old warehouses where the barrels of bourbon age. Though it was quite muggy and warm the day we toured the distillery facilities it was quite cool inside this dark dank building. And kind of creepy too......
I don't have any photos of the bottling production building. Compari bought out Wild Turkey a few years ago and build a million dollar bottling facility here in Lawrenceburg KY but they don't allow photos of the insides of the place. We did see various production lines though no bottling was being done that day.
This is a large copper still that sits in the Wild Turkey tasting area. Nothing notable to say about it, it was just interesting as room décor. lolz
And here is the tasting bar with the varieties of bourbon they make set out. We each got 4(I think? It's been so long I can't recall and drinking bourbon makes me forget shit anyway)samples. The one I really wanted to try they were out of....boooo!
But I soldiered on and made the best of it. ;-)
After tasting we went back to the gift shop and Hubs got his t-shirt and a few bottles of bourbon. He even paid extra to have his name put on the label of one bottle.......
Then we were off to our next stop of the day.
We were passing right past another craft distillery so we decided to stop in before going to visit my friends.
The problem is we passed right by this distillery! When they said it was a MICRO distillery they weren't kidding. lolz
We go in and were greeted.
First was a big chunk of family history though.
The owners are Paul and Steve(the master distiller)Beam who founded this distillery.
There immediate family goes back 5 generations in the alcohol business and they are part of the larger extended Beam family which includes many of the past and present master distillers in Kentucky.
The only distillery who has not had a Beam employed at it's facilities(or the different named predecessor of it's facilities)is Wild Turkey. The Beam family got it's start in the late 18th century when immigrants of the Bohm family came to America and settled in Kentucky. By 1795 Johannes "Reginald" Beam sold his first corn whiskey in the bourbon style under a brand known as Old Tub.
Steve and Paul are also the great great grandson's of Joseph Washington Dant who started the JW Dant distillery in 1836 and his Dant brand is still being made today over at Heaven Hill distillery.
Ah, the incestuous nature of bourbon whiskey making in Kentucky.....
After the history lesson, I pop into the ladies room to freshen up.
You know me and taking pictures of interesting bathrooms.....
Then it was off into the work area of the facility.
Here's a barrel of fermenting mash. We got to stick our fingers in this and taste it.
Don't worry it gets boiled to death later and our finger germs are killed.
Here are more barrels of mash fermenting.
Their signature banner on the wall of the distillery.
Hubs posing with their pot still(it's copper of course).
A side note about Limestone Branch......if you watched that Discovery channel reality TV show called Moonshiners, then you know that one of the people profiled is Virginia moonshiner Tim Smith and his assistant Tickle. then you might like to know that after Tim and Tickle went "legit" and started making legal moonshine, Steve Beam at Limestone Branch distills some of the Tim Smith "Climax". They don't sell it here but the bottle you buy may have been produced here.
Then it was on to the tasting room.
Their brand of Sugar Shines is named after TJ Pottinger(TJ as in Thomss Jefferson)a historical figure in Nelson Co. KY.
They have a whiskey called Minor's Revenge, named after their great grandfather Minor Case Beam.
They also make a "sugar whiskey" called Precinct No. 6. Technically not a whiskey but it is aged in oak barrels and has a whiskey like flavor.
They also are the only makers of Moon Pie brand moonshine. These taste like a moon pie meets alcohol.
They have some recipe ideas for mixed cocktails using their flavors on the website HERE.
After all that we strolled around the gift shop.
This was a cute little whiskey related item in there....a miniature pot still candle warmer....
But my favorite part of the gift shop was this......
The row after row of adult beverages!
I called Sonya Ann from here since I know she is a fan of flavored moonshines to see what she wanted me to bring her, but the call went to voicemail.
Too bad, so sad........
I bought a *cough* few *cough* things......
And 1 large bottle and a jar of banana moon pie moonshine.
I also bought a hat here as it was nicer and cheaper than the ones at Wild Turkey.
It was about 5pm by the time we were done here and we still had to get over to my friend Deanna's house for a visit. I called her and told her we were on the way.
At this point the plan was to meet them at 5ish but as luck would have it, a few miles down the road was a time zone change on the way to her house so we still had almost an hour to find it.
Good planning or just dumb luck?....You decide! lolz
So we overshot the turn off to her house(thanks to the schizophrenic GPS AND less than accurate MapQuest directions)but we eventually found it.
I have known Deanna and her Hubs Chester since 1998.
Deanna and I belong to a private email list of ex-Beanie collectors. That's how/where we met, online. This group had two actual meet-ups, one in Minnesota in 1999 and another in Missouri in 2000.
Deanna and Chester are from Southern California(well Deanna was born in the South and her military family moved around).
They moved in the last couple of years from Anaheim area to a multi acre mini farm in Podunk rural Kentucky.
And I do believe they are LOVING IT! ;-)
Here is a photo they posted last Christmas............
Why do I hear the theme from Green Acres in my head when I see this picture??
Picture of me and Deanna.....
Picture of me Hubs and Deanna
You'll notice in the background of the Xmas card photo of Chester and Deanna above there are some large hairy animals.....
They have two female alpacas, a mother and daughter. This is the momma alpaca with their dog.
When we visited the daughter was pregnant and Deanna posted on FB recently that she had her baby(known as a cria in alpaca terms).
Deanna talking to her girls.....
And you see that nice big garden she has?
This places was a horse farm before they bought it. There is a large horse barn and Deanna has her chickens in there. What a great multitasking building. lolz
Just some shots of their land both above the house and below is the "lower 40" with a pond.
So peaceful and tranquil here.....well if you can get down the shared road to the driveway past the vicious tiny dogs their neighbor has. lol
Quiet and beautiful....can I move in now Deanna?
Anyway after chatting, a glass a refreshing kombuca tea Deanna makes, and walking around the farm we went out for dinner in nearby Campbellsville KY at Yamato.
But first a stop at the nearby Holiday Inn Express to get a room for the night, then off for a very late dinner. All we'd had was breakfast and shots of bourbon/whiskey all day.....some food sounded awesome to me about now! lolz
I was too busy shoving my dinner in my face to take any photos at the restaurant so I grabbed this shot off their website HERE.
Who would have thunk there'd be a Japanese Steakhouse in the middle of rural Kentucky? lolz
And thanks for treating us to dinner y'all! We didn't expect that.
After we practically closed down the restaurant just gabbing forever, it was back to Deanna and Chester's house and after goodbye hugs we set off to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
But first I got a swim in at their pool even though it closed at 11pm the night front desk clerk let me in as we didn't roll into the lobby until 10:30pm(sssshhhh, don't tell).
Day 3 of the epic road trip of 2015 would be starting in a few short hours.....