Kentucky - Frankfort & Lexington - Horses & Bourbon!

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Thanks Received:
    4,565
    Central Kentucky (KY) - Introduction

    Each year usually in the fall, Susan & I visit our son & DIL in Carmel, Indiana which is a town along the northern beltway of Indianapolis, a city slightly larger in population than Charlotte, NC (the largest city in our state). We usually fly (2 planes needed, typically via Greensboro to Charlotte to Indy on USAir) - an annoying all-day process, so this time, I decided to drive (about a 9 hour trip) but typically limit myself to 6 hrs/day at the most; SO, where to stop on the way there and back?

    The trip traveled through the state of Kentucky (KY) - now we have visited western KY, i.e. Louisville (home of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs) & environs (e.g. Mammoth Cave and Bardstown - bourbon capital of the world!), but have NEVER seen the sites in two important central KY cities, i.e. Frankfort & Lexington - thus, my choice of stops.

    The two maps below show our routes: 1) Going via I-77/74 through West Virginia, then 64 into Kentucky to our first night destination, Frankfort (the capital of the state) - two nights - then I-64 to I-65 into Indiana and finally to Carmel for 3 nights; and 2) Retuning from Carmel to Lexington for three nights - then back home via a different route around Knoxville (a travelogue from last year) on I-75 and then I-40. I'll concentrate of the many activities we did in the Kentucky towns w/ just a post or two on our stay in the Indianapolis area. Dave :)
    .
    Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 1.53.59 PM.png Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 1.58.21 PM.png
     
  2. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Thanks Received:
    4,565
    Kentucky - Location, History, & Geography - Places Visited

    Kentucky is one of the most unique states in the USA because of its geographic location and natural beauty, Civil War history, horse culture, and bourbon production - the state was also the second (after Vermont) to be admitted to the original 13 states of the Union in 1792; both presidents of the Union (Abraham Lincoln) and Confederacy (Jefferson Davis) during the Civil War were born in Kentucky; quoted below just the introduction to the state in Wiki's article (Source).

    Kentucky geographically borders 7 other states, a crucial location relative to the Civil War - the northern and western borders are defined by water, mainly the Ohio River and also on the west for a short distance, the Mississippi River - along this border the state touches (from east to west) West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri; on its western boundaries, West VA & Virginia; and on its southern boundary, the state of Tennessee; the maps below show these relationships; on the first map, I've put a capital 'C' for the 11 states of the Civil War Confederacy along w/ the 4 border states (Kentucky in red and arrows on the 3 others, i.e. Missouri, Maryland, & Delaware - Missouri & KY were the MOST important in this struggle).

    The last map shows the geographic divisions of the state - most of our time was spent in the 'bluegrass' areas (Kentucky is known as the 'Bluegrass' State and the name given to the string music developed and popularized by Bill Monroe, a native). I've also put arrows on the places we visited on this current trip and also one on Louisville, which Susan & I have been to multiple times, so will include a post or two on that city, along w/ the Mammoth Cave, a visit by us in the late 1960s. SO, let's begin the travelogue. Dave :)

    P.S. West Virginia (adjacent to KY on the east) seceded from Virginia during the Civil War and was admitted to the Union in 1863 (the middle of the struggle), so just an additional consideration.

    .
    KY_ConfBorder.png KY_PlacesVisited.png KY_Geography.png
     
    #2 giradman, Oct 22, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  3. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Thanks Received:
    4,565
    Frankfort, KY - State Capital - Day of Arrival

    We arrived in Frankfort by mid-afternoon the first day, checked into our hotel and had time for a tour & tasting at an historic bourbon distillery, i.e. Buffalo Trace which is claimed to be the oldest continuous operating distillery in the bourbon area (even making 'medicinal' products during Prohibition in the USA). Below a short quote on Frankfort which is a small town located on the meandering Kentucky River and surrounded by rolling hills - the fall colors were beautiful.

    Also, a second longer quote on the Buffalo Trace Distillery, a fun tour - some images below - aerial views of the city w/ an arrow on the State Capitol (more in a future post) and the distillery w/ a double-arrow on the Visiting Center/Gift Shop and the famous water tower, plus my own pics of the bottling line, a storage warehouse w/ aging oak barrels, and some of the many products made on the grounds - one of the most famous (and more expensive) is the Blanton's w/ the little horse on the top.

    We stayed in Frankfort two nights, and had one full day which involved visits to the Frankfort Cemetery, the State Capitol and surrounding buildings and a drive to Bardstown (Bourbon Capital of the World!) w/ a tour of the famous Jim Bean Distillery - click on the links for more information - more later on our full day and probably a post about bourbon whiskey for those who have an interest - a unique American product made in a relatively small area in the bluegrass portion of Kentucky. Dave :)

    P.S. Why Frankfort as the Kentucky State Capital? Well, there was tremendous debate between picking either Louisville or Lexington (the largest cities) - the compromise was a location 'in-between' and the choice was a place on the Kentucky River.

    .
    Buffalo_FrankfortSkyline.png BuffaloTrace_Logo.png BuffaloTrace_aerial.png BuffaloTrace1.JPG BuffaloTrace3.JPG BuffaloTrace2.JPG BuffaloTrace4.JPG BuffaloTrace_Brands.png
     
  4. scifan57

    scifan57
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    26,312
    Thanks Received:
    7,757
    Thanks for another very interesting travel story. I eagerly await each additional post.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  5. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Thanks Received:
    4,565
    Thanks Scifan.. and others for looking at my Kentucky travelogue - will add some more posts this weekend - Dave :)
     
    #5 giradman, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  6. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Thanks Received:
    4,565
    Kentucky Bourbon - Unique American Whiskey

    Since I've mentioned a bourbon distillery already (Buffalo Trace) and we visited several others, some discussion of this Kentucky product might deserve an early post, especially for those 'bourbon lovers' who may be reading this thread.

    As of 2013, approximately 95% of all bourbon is produced in Kentucky. The state has 4.9 million barrels of bourbon that are aging – a number that exceeds the state population (Source - note, also same source for all of the quotes below). Nearly all of this bourbon whiskey is produced w/i 75 miles of Lexington, KY - Bardstown which is between Louisville & Lexington (see one of the maps in the first post) is considered the Bourbon Capital of the World - the quotes below are from the source given: 1) First describes the whiskey and the potential origin of its name; 2) Second lists the criteria for calling a whiskey bourbon (probably the two most important are the use of corn 51% or more of the mix - rye & malted barley are the other grains mixed and the use of NEW white oak charred barrels - these are recycled usually to other countries, such as Scotland for single malt whiskeys); and 3) Third talks about Bardstown and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

    As to the production of bourbon, please click on this Buffalo Trace link - there are multiple steps starting w/ the selection of the grains, cooking & fermentation of the mash, distillation, barrel storage and selection. Visiting these distilleries is a fun activity - the first smell in the air is that of the cooking & fermenting mash - another is in the barrel storage facilities, where water & alcohol escape through the porous oak while acquiring the flavors and color of aged bourbon - the second smell is wonderful and is called the Angel's Share - yes the barrels loose substantial volume annually (more water than alcohol, so the proof of the latter stays about the same - according to one of our guides).

    .
    Bourbon1.png Bourbon2.png Bourbon3.png Bourbon4.png Bourbon5.png Bourbon6.png
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  7. scifan57

    scifan57
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    26,312
    Thanks Received:
    7,757
    A very interesting post. Did you buy any bourbon during your trip?
     
  8. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Thanks Received:
    4,565
    Well, I'm mainly a wine & beer consumer now (a lot of craft breweries have opened in North Carolina and I love IPAs), but use to be a sipper of bourbons, single malt scotch, & cognacs. However, I did buy one bottle from the last distillery we visited (will be part of an upcoming post), i.e. Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (shown below) - their 'mash bill' is corn (72%), rye (18%), & malted barley (10%) - 90 Proof (i.e. 45% alcohol) - unique for a bourbon in that there is an additional but short aging in a second new charred oak barrel - referred to by our guide as their 'dessert' bourbon. Dave :)
    .
    Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.03.11 PM.png
     
    #8 giradman, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015
  9. giradman

    giradman
    Expand Collapse
    iPad Wizard

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Thanks Received:
    4,565
    Frankfort - Our Full Day!

    We just had one full day to tour Frankfort and the environs - our activities included: 1) Frankfort Cemetery; 2) State Capitol; 3) Lunch at Serafini; 4) Kentucky State Museum; 5) Bardstown & the Jim Bean Distillery; and 6) Dinner at Serafini w/ a special dessert for me!

    Frankfort Cemetery - is located on East Main Street in Frankfort, Kentucky. The cemetery is the reinterred burial site of Daniel Boone and contains the graves of other famous Americans including seventeen Kentucky governors. The cemetery is designed in a style similar to Mount Auburn, with curving lanes, terraces and a circle of vaults. Carmichael imported flowers from around the state, intending the cemetery to double as an arboretum in a time when residents could not easily travel to see mountain flowers not native to the region. A central feature is the State Mound, featuring a military memorial designed by Robert E. Launitz. The cemetery has views of the Kentucky River, which forms its western boundary. A bluff overlooking the river gives a view of downtown, south Frankfort, and the Capitol District (Source).

    We were at the cemetery by 9:30 AM and from the high bluff, the views of Frankfort were beautiful, especially w/ the mist over the Kentucky River - quoted below from a post about Daniel Boone's gravesite that I put in the 'pictures you like' thread a few days ago (w/ two of my own pics - click on each). Additional images from the cemetery, the first mine and the others from the web - will continue in the next post w/ the State Capitol and its grounds. Dave :)

    .
    Frankfort_Cemetery3.JPG CemeteryGates.png CemeteryChapel.png Cemetery_Capitol.png
     
  10. scifan57

    scifan57
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2011
    Messages:
    26,312
    Thanks Received:
    7,757
    Thanks for the interesting post. This is another place I'd visit if I were in the area.
     

Share This Page



Search tags for this page
mommoth cave
,

winstar breeding shed