Trip Report -Oct 7 & 8,2005, Bourbon Trail TN & KY
Here is a summary of the events of the past two days during the trip thru Tennessee and Kentucky by several of the Site-members. Photos are included for your viewing pleasure.
The group assembled in Nashville, Friday morning. Participants were Bushie, Poverty Pete, Sundancer, Pogophile, and The Mayor and Mrs. Mayor. We met mid-morning and headed south thru Shelbyville TN. After a stop at a cheese-store that had us munching on Dairy products for the rest of the morning, We arrived in Lynchburg, the Home of the Jack Daniels Distilling Operation. Here are the guys at JD's
Bushie, Sundancer and Pogophile took the tour of the operation, learning all the mystical secrets of the Master Distillers and inhaling a consider amount of 'side-effects' of being close to all that Mash for any length of time. While they were sniffing thru the Barns, PovPete, Janet and I checked out the village. Even on a damp cool weekday there were quite a number of tourists in the area. The usual bus tours made up most of them. There also were a number of BMW motorcycles from the Northeastern States Motorcyle clubs in the area too. We saw hundreds of them everywhere we went in that part of Tennessee.
When the tour ended we gathered up our members and headed over to Mary Bobo's Boarding House Restaurant for a long anticipated luncheon. We had been on a standby list for that day for several weeks, and only got confirmation of having a table for 6 ready earlier this week.
Here are Paul and Janet at the entrance to the establishment as we prepped for Lunch.
The lunch was very nice, well planned and served in the traditional 'boarding house' format. We shared the table with folks from other parts of the country and one fellow from Great Britain. Conversation was interesting and the mealtime seemed to pass quickly.
Here is Pogophile describing the local whiskey lore at the table.
While the ambience was very nice, the food was more like the typical cafeteria food...OK, but not jumping out at you with the special qualities we had hoped for. We would urge you to try the place at least once for the experience, but we probably would not make long range reservations again !
From Lynchburg, We rode over to Tullahoma,TN and stopped at the George Dickel Distillery. Dickel is a small rural location that is almost forgotten in the rush for everyone to get to Lynchburg. It was a real 'down-home' kind of place. The guys took the tour, learning again about 'Sour-Mash' versus Bourbon Whiskies.
Here are Steve and Paul tagging along at the end of the group on the Dickel Tour. Note that Paul's hat seems to be inflating like a hot-air balloon from the after-effects of a long walk thru a warm heavy-aired storage barn!
Following the visit to Dikels, we loaded up and headed North to Nashville. Since the PowerBall jackpot WAS well over $200 million tonight, we decided that the karma of the group could be a good supporting reason to buy some Lottery tickets. The drawing is in a couple of hours...and if by chance we win, this will be the last post I do on Roadfood.com, and the last time I ever am within reach of the other contributors to the ticket purchasing group. (I have the tickets!!)
WE DID NOT WIN, SO I AM STILL HERE !! On the other hand apparently NO-ONE won, So we can try again !
I will add the description of the great meal Poverty Pete led us to in Nashville in chapter two posted tomorrow morning. Who would believe that we could find some really great Mexican dinners in NASHVILLE?? I will use this photo of Bushie downing his SECOND 45 oz Margarita
during the dinner as the teaser for things to come in the second episode of this travel record!!
More to come !!CHAPTER TWO- The Friday Night Dinner and Saturdays Tour
Steve(Pov.Pete) had convinced us that after all the Comfort food a good Mexican Dinner would help balance the evening off. While we were a bit reluctant, we joined in and BOY, AM I GLAD WE DID! Steve led us back to Nashville where we said goodbyes to Pogophile and Sundancer, they both had family obligations that sent them home early. Then the four of us headed for the "LA HACIENDA" Mexican Restaurant. The place had NO ambience. Lots of bare tables and cheap straight back chairs...but they made up for that with some really great food and three sizes of Margaritas that were NOT all soft-drink and no tequila! They made a 16 oz (for Janet), 45 oz'ers for us, and the lady at the next table ordered a 60 oz. just to show us city-boys who was the meanest witch in Nashville !
The food was really good and not expensive at all.The chips and salsa and guacamole were fresh and quite tastie with the opening round of beverages. All dinners were under $10 and even with the big drinks the total tab for the food and bar for the four of us was just $60 even!!(plus tip)
Here is a shot of Steve's Fajitas and my Carnitas dinners just to show that we did do more than watch Bushie down the drinks!
We closed out the nite at the Country Inn near the airport...reasonable and new and clean ($62 total for Jan and I). Saturday morning we got off to a good start and headed back up I-65 into Kentucky. Our first stop was at the Woodford Reserve Distillery near Versailles, KY. Saturday was the opening day of the Fall Meet at Keenland Race track near the distillery, so the place had set up a couple of special events for the day. The public was invited to an art show and book signing in their visitors center and it looked to be a rather busy place as we came by. There was also a specail luncheon set up for invited guests. We were in that catagory, due to some advance contacting and being part of the internet 'fan club' for the place. There are times when being a member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels is a real treat!
Anyway we came to their conference center and shared in a really nice buffet made up of all locally produced products using Bourbon in the recipes.
Here is Steve checking out the Buffet. The decorative plants were behind the serving tables but appear to be reaching out to grab the visitors !
The food was excellent. You can see the baked Squash, Candied Apricots, Roast Pork, Pickled Beets, Link Sausage, Beans, Cheese Souflle(sp?) Grilled Chicken, A wonderful Salmon and some other local vegetables
And for a LIGHT Dessert---
Pumpkin Pie with a Carmel-Bourbon sauce, A dark chocolate cake (with a bit of the sauce on it also, and a couple of locally produced Bourbon-filled Dark Chocolates.
While you digest all of this, let me say a word or two about the difference we found between the Tennessee and the Kentucky Distilleries. Setting aside any Corporate ties, or "chain" thoughts. We noticed that the image
of the distilleries in Tennessee were a bit more 'laid-back' and working class in their make-up and locale. Dickel was a good example. Small, Kinda out of the way in a real woodsie setting with just a few pickup trucks around etc etc.
Woodford Reserve set the tone for the Kentucky Distilleries. Surrounded by Horse Farms in the heart of the Bluegrass region they appear to represent the "genteel" folks of the Kentucky 'Horse Set'. Here is a shot taken near the entrance to the WR plant, it is typical of the area you drive thru to get to the distillery. If you haven't driven around all the 'Million Dollar Horse Barns' do it sometime. What a beautiful area!!
I don't say this to create any argument or competition etc. But it extends beyond the 'Marketing Image' of the product. Both regions produce some excellent whiskey. It is interesting to me to see how the sub-cultures have evolved in different directions in the development of the product that both are well recognized for creating.
By this time we were full, and going a bit road-weary so we decided to purchase some memories of the tour and head in the direction of home.
Here are the samples that came along with te four of us
You can see that the guys have excellent taste and that we have enough samples to keep the tour in the front of our mind until the next time we hit the road! We drove past signs pointing to Buffalo Trace
Plus a bunch of the sub-brands of each of these distilleries. In Fact as we drove thru Bardstown the odor of the Mash could be 'tasted' as we passed by on the freeway. Hopefully next time we will have the energy to spend some time in Bardstown for not only the Bourbon locations but to do the Stephen Foster Story
, a Summer evening Mucical production at the state park named for the author of "My Old Kentucky Home"
So we bid farewell to Bushie and Poverty Pete and headed up to fetch the dogs from their PET-RESORT and close this chapeter of the log with a parting shot of my two Roadfood Buddies as we split up