Whiskey Run 2014

bourban trailLast week, Charlie and I decided to make our way over to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. See, I’ve been a Maker’s Mark Ambassador since 2007. I got my name on Barrel #795817. It matured in March.

So we packed our bags to go to Loretta, Kentucky to the distillery (the mothership) to fetch some bottles out of my own personal barrel. Charlie is generally a good sport about most of these little adventures I plan. This time was no different. But there were definitely some moments when the music of the Talking Heads seemed to be playing as a soundtrack… You may ask yourself… HOW DID I GET HERE? 


Heaven is for real.

We had a time. Lots of telling tall tales and sipping tall drinks. What was really the best was to be able to listen to peoples’ stories and not be in a hurry about it.

We had the great pleasure of spending time with Bill Samuels, Jr. and Fred Noe, the current patriarchs of the Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam families, as well as extensive enterprises.

Sure, these men produce some fine products, but more than anything, they tell amazing stories. Some of them fascinating pieces of history. Some of them funny enough to pee your pants. Some of them genuinely loving for the family members who came before them and respect for the work they’d done. They were absolutely the best part of our trip.

We also saw one of the best pieces of irony anywhere: the location of the Clermont Baptist Church. The Beam family owns almost all the land in Clermont now. But they don’t interfere with the church. Today it sits between two of the largest Beam storage warehouses, each housing barrels of aging bourbon. Each Sunday, the members sit between 40,000 barrels of bourbon, presumably praying for sinners like me.


Clermont Baptist Church on the Jim Beam property. Oh how I love some irony.

There is so much more to tell. And I will at some point. The problem is that anytime something big happens, the way I sort it out is to tell Charlie. But he was there for this story. So I can’t really tell back to him what he already knows.

Once I get it all straight in my head, I’ll write more. Until then, I’ll sip on the substantial haul of hooch we drove across four state lines. I initially thought there might be trouble with the law. But then I remembered we’re a middle-aged couple in a Subaru. Not exactly the kind of people the law throws up road blocks to stop.

It’s the first time being wretchedly uncool has worked to my benefit where booze was concerned. So I’ll drink to that!



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