May 2018 Panorama “From The Regions”

Submitted last night, will be part of the May (maybe April, but probably missed the deadline) Panorama From The Regions.

In the spring time, the only pretty ring time, when turbos do sing and backroads exhausts ring, car lovers love the spring. The Bard of Avon may not have written those words exactly, but were he alive today, he probably would.

The Chinese New Year and the opening of Spring Training all mean it’s time to shake off the car covers, start the cars and get out on the highway. Our first tour of 2018 was a visit to Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY. Edward Hessel and TH Morris, our intrepid activities committee, put together a route through Kentucky backroads. Weather is always questionable this time of year: sun? Cold? Snow? Heat and humidity? All in one day? Yup, that’s the Ohio River valley for ya.

Our driving route took us across many of the ridges forming Appalachian foothills prevalent in this part of Kentucky. Our final destination the 1:00 distillery tour. We arrived with more than enough time for a picnic lunch in the Gazebo before touring one of the oldest continually operating distilleries in Kentucky. One of only six distilleries approved to distill bourbon during prohibition (for medicinal uses only – “I been snake bit!”).

Post-WWII, the distillery fell on hard times with majority of product exported, remainder blended into “rotgut” primarily for poverty stricken college students. In 2003, under new ownership, product is now built from two separate mash bills (the bourbon recipe) and 5 separate yeast strains, producing ten possible flavors.

The region is off to a great start with full plans for the remainder of the driving season. Next tours: back to Lexington for a tour of West Sixth Brewery and, an “Endurance Donut Run”: four bakeries across small town Kentucky sampling their home made donuts, with lunch at Cap’n Franks Hot Dog Emporium (no reservations required).

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