We hit the Bourbon Trail back in April for the second time, which was a long awaited return to our mother ship! Driving through the beautiful countryside filled with rolling pastures, historic tobacco barns, and herds of thoroughbred horses really brought us back to our roots. It is so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day routines, which unfortunately tends to take us away from the modest, simple beginnings that we all came from (in one way or another). I like to think of my trips through Kentucky as both a vacation and a cultural experience that ends up making me feel right at home.
One of our primary goals during this trip, besides betting on horses at the Maker’s Mark Mile, was to visit the historic Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. During our previous trip to bourbon country, we had to miss this landmark facility because of time constraints and blood alcohol levels. But as with most good things, the wait and anticipation only made our experience at Four Roses all the better.
Arriving to the smell of fermenting mash on the backdrop of the 1910 Spanish Mission-Style buildings was like taking a trip back in time. This is one of the very few large distilleries left that has maintained its historical identification, both in the actual buildings that house the distillery, and in the process by which they produce their bourbon. Unlike some of the other mass production distilleries on the Bourbon Trail, Four Roses is truly an authentic facility that has held true to its purpose and roots in the culture of bourbon.
I have to admit, Four Roses was not even in my personal bourbon collection prior to this trip. I had some mental block that prevented me from being able to think of any bourbon with the Four Roses name as the “sipping type”, which has turned out to be my loss. In fact, all Four Roses bourbons (even the “mixin types”) are made with extremely high quality and the highest respect for the bourbon tradition. They also produce several top shelf varieties that boast a smoother finish with a richer palette to satisfy those of us who prefer to enjoy bourbon by itself. In either case, if you have any negative pre-disposition towards Four Roses bourbon, I highly encourage you to visit their facility (if possible) and at least give their product another shot at a fair evaluation.
Pruitt and I have stocked up on Four Roses bourbon so that we can taste it and rate it ourselves. Check our Bourbon Reviews page periodically to see what new things we are discovering about these products and the many more that are emerging on the bourbon scene these days.