20 October 2014
We left on Wednesday 15 October to go back to Pennsylvania for Hazel’s funeral. It was a sad occasion, but at another level it was nice to see their family and mine again. The grandbaby is just as cute as she can be.
Since we were focused on getting there, we really didn’t see anything on the way out. The one highlight was in West Virginia, there is a chain called “Tudor’s Biscuit World” They have great biscuits and will put pretty much anything you want in them. Highly recommended!
On the way home today we passed through Kentucky Bourbon country. There is pretty much a distillery at every exit on the Kentucky Parkway. Being unable to resist temptation on the way back we stopped for a tour at Makers Mark.
We got the spiel about the water, it’s fresh spring water with no iron in it so it won’t have a harsh taste. They then use “soft red winter wheat” instead of rye like most other whiskey’s in the area. We got shown the entire process from grinding and cooking the grains to the dipping the neck of the bottle (by hand!) into red wax to seal it.
We also got to taste the products at the end. First we sampled the “wine” that is put into the cask to age. I could taste some of the grain flavor, but it really isn’t any more than moonshine at this point. Next was the “Makers Mark” that I know and love.
Third was their new brand called #46. After the 6 year age process, the open the barrels and put in some staves made of French Oak that have been “toasted” and reseal the barrel. It ages another 6 to 9 moths to get the additional flavors from the Oak. It was OK, but not my favorite. It has lots of wine like fruit flavors that didn’t do anything for me.
Last was “Maker’s Cask”. They just filter and bottle the contents of the barrel. It’s not blended with any other casks and is about 114 proof, about 57% vs the regular Maker’s at 40% or 80%. They cut the regular with water to get the proof down. It has lots of flavor and it really didn’t have a harsh taste.
The highlight for Susan was the glass ceiling on the way into the giftshop. It’s a sculpture by the glass artist Dale Chihuly. We had seen his work before at the St. Louis Botanical Gardens and the Art Museum in Milwaukee.