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Thread: Bourbon Country

  1. #1
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Bourbon Country

    I started yesterday in Frankfort, KY, home of Buffalo Trace.


    A window to salute.


    Beautiful grounds.


    A still.


    Still.


    Go to the light.....



    Where bourbon comes from. We got to stick our fingers under the barrel for a little taste.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  2. #2
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    dont forget Owensboro in your tour, they have a few distilleries there as well..... and try the barbecue as well, they have a very unique way of doing it and use a different meat than usual as well. Have a great trip back to Cali.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  3. #3
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I visited Maker's Mark that day too. There are lots of nice roads to get you out to the distillery, including one that goes by Heaven Hill distilleries. Insterestingly, most distilleries have a name and then a bunch of different bourbons they distill there. Buffalo Trace, for example, distills Buffalo Trace, Blanton's, Ancient Age, W.L. Weller, Salzarac and a couple more. I think they distill about a dozen different brand names at the one distillery.

    Anyway, here's Maker's Mark. It was decidedly more commercialized than the Buffalo Trace experience. At BT, I felt like I was getting a tour with someone that actually knew a ton about distilling and bourbon history. He knew how all the names were interrelated throughout history, which was cool.


    Where the Maker's Mark really gets made. These are the tuns where the mash is created.


    That innocuous looking column in the corner is the real Maker's Mark still. All the MM you've ever had has come through that device.


    After they've got the mash done, they pump it up to these giant vats. They're probably 15 feet deep. This is where they add yeast and get it to start fermenting. The sugar in the mash mixture gets converted to CO2 and alcohol. They call it "beer" at this point, since it's basically a real sweet wort without hops. It tastes just like bread. They let us taste it.


    This is the outside of the distilling building. They have two bottling lines in another building, but only one was running when I was there. Over across the floor were a couple of women just yakking away and dipping bottle after bottle in the trademark red wax. No picture. I suck.




    They have warehouses at Maker's Mark too, but the Buffalo Trace tour actually took you in to the place and told you how a warehouse worked. MM just talked about how barrels get made. Ho Hum.

    Comparatively, here's the BT guy talking to us about how barrels get loaded and how they get shifted to take advantage of the temperature. BT had the first cliimate controlled warehouses to help keep the bourbon aging in the winter. Below 50F, bourbon stops aging.


    Also, no samples at MM. At BT, were allowed tastes of both warm and chilled Buffalo Trace, along with a taste of Rain, their vodka. They claim to be the only vodka fully distilled in the United States. They do the whole thing in one place, right there in Frankfort. Other domestic vodkas get their start elsewhere and are only aged here.

    Both places gave us a bourbon ball after the tour too.

    Anyway, I went back to the gift shop and dipped a bottle of MM for myself. Kind of cool, actually.

    Next Stop: Corvette Museum
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Corvette Museum







    I like prototypes.






    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    OK, so I left Kentucky eventually. I had a way better time there than I would have ever imagined. The sideroads were pretty, the traffic was pretty much non-existent and the people I talked with were uniformly nice.

    But, I had to go home.



    So I rode across Kansas again.


    It was hot enough that my rear tire got these little hoobers growing on it. 100F. 90MPH. Dunlop220.


    And there was still more of Kansas to go.



    I ran into this guy (Paul, call me Treet, Mitchell) who was from Nova Scotia and on his way to Paonia.


    I spotted this place, The Safari Motel, in Limon, Colorado and knew it was operated by one of my Polska brethren.


    I mean, look at that paint!

    But best of all, no more Kansas and the Great Plains.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Soon, I was back in the hills.






    And then I was back in Utah.




    Salina, UT is where I finally gave it up for the night. There was a huge thunderstorm on down 70. I was jumping off for 50 and figured I'd bag a hotel while the getting was good.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Next morning, I get up early. I'm 860 from home and want to rip it in one day and just be home. I put the key in the bike, turn it and the lights come on half intensity. I push the button and all the lights go out. I wind up taking the bodywork off and pulling the battery. Like an imbecile, I've left my multimeter at home, so I can't test the battery. I pull it out and go down to the truck repair joint down the hill. They put it on the charger for me, but the battery is ailing.



    I get the bike started and then consider that I'll be spending the majority of the day on Rt. 50, the Lonliest Road in America. I go to the local NAPA and buy the biggest motorcycle battery they have that will fit in my tank bag, along with a couple of battery cables and some stuff to bolt it all together. I don't want to be standing by the side of 50 and having a 250 mile tow. Salt Lake City BMW is a huge detour. I figure I'm good and set off.


    Soon, I'm back in Cali.


    The tankbag battery doesn't get used.


    The RS gives me a toothy grin


    I'm home. MrsKbasa makes me a big ol' martini and feeds me sushi. Forget motorcycles. So I wait until Sunday to go for a ride.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #8
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    Very nice ride report Dave, you do an excellent job with both pictures and content. If riding with you is half as enjoyable as reading your reports, you may bunk at my place anytime and we can do some riding around here, as well as sip bourbon or martinis if you wish.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  9. #9
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    You bet. But it's going to be a couple years before I've forgotten enough to do this ride again.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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