Able to visit the company's main office, which is located at Lexington, Kentucky for a 3-week training. It was bad timing in terms of weather condition considering it was one of worst winter season of Lexington thus, I was not able to explore the city. Good thing though, the weather turns good on my third week that I was able to visit a bourbon distillery. Thanks to Josh!
We went to Woodford Reserve Distillery, one of the best bourbon in America, according to our tour guide. He said that for their bourbon to meet the desired taste and having used the correct ingredients as well as the right charred barrel, it has to be aged for 8 years.
The 1-hour tour cost 7US$. It started at the main hall where introductions are made.
We went to the mash room / fermentation room. He explained that to have the best quality bourbon, the right ingredients should be available. Kentucky water fits right for bourbon due to being an iron-free filtered through limestones. Mixing of ingredients and adding yeast and how the ingredients transform to alcohol happens in this room.
Next, we went to the distillery room where they are using pot still, its a copper-colored kettle I may say.
In the same room, filling of the barrels also happens when distilled alcohol reaches a certain alcohol proof. The tour says that barrel plays an important role in making bourbon since it stays in the barrel for 8 years thus it should be correctly charred. Then we went to the storage room where barrels are kept. Its like a waiting room and once it matures, the barrel goes to the bottling room where the bourbon is filtered, bottled, packed and ready for consumer's consumption. The white distilled alcohol turns brown after 8 years in the barrel, this is the evidence that the rbarrel does play an important role during storage.
We were brought back to the main hall where we were given chocolate bourbons and a shot of Woodford Reserve.
To drink the bourbon according to the guide is to smell it first, second is to take a sip and let it roll in your tongue and feel the sweetness and the burning sensation, third is to put some rock ice on it and wait for 10 seconds to take another sip.
I'm not fond of bourbons, but the sweetness and the burning feeling once swallowed really feels good.More about Woodford Reserve can be found here.