|Historic downtown Harrodsburg|
|County courthouse. This is the fourth built on the same site, this one circa 1880|
Kentucky was initially considered a county of Virginia and Harrodstown was the original county seat. The settlement was officially recognized by the Virginia Commonwealth in 1785 at which time it was renamed Harrodsburg. It seems like every town in Kentucky is somebody's name followed by burg or town or ville or borough or some other synonym for "tiny little settlement in the middle of nowhere". How they decided which was which I have no idea so I can't tell you why they decided Harrodsburg was better than Harrodstown. Probably some kind of international trademark dispute.
|Looking across the Kentucky River from our campground|
|Old homestead circa 1801|
This area is classic Kentucky, covered with bluegrass, horse farms, old plantations and most importantly, the manufacture of that most Kentuckian of drinks, bourbon. The second day we were here, we took a tour of the Wild Turkey bourbon distillery to learn about the drink the locals consider the nectar of the gods.
The name comes from the place of origin, Bourbon County which in turn was named after the French Royal family at the time (while
|Corn, barley and hops.|
Your brew must be:
Produced in the United States
made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn
aged in new, charred-oak barrels
distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume)
entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume) and be
bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume).
Bourbon has no minimum specified duration for its aging period. Products aged for as little as three months are sold as bourbon. However, the aging in charred oak barrels is what gives bourbon much of its distinctive color and flavor. Unaged whiskey is clear and is frequently referred to as white dog or white lightning.
Bourbon that meets the above requirements, has been aged for a minimum of two years, and does not have any added coloring, flavoring, or other spirits may (but is not required to) be called straight bourbon.
As noted above, bourbon can be made in any of the United States and is actually produced in about 12 of them, but 95% of the stuff comes from Kentucky. Credit for its invention is usually given to a Baptist minister named Elijah Craig, a story that would not sit well with my Baptist teetotaling grandmother. But Elijah was apparently a businessman first rather than a preacher. He also built Kentucky's first fulling mill (for cloth manufacturing), its first paper mill, its first ropewalk (for manufacturing rope from hemp), and the first lumber and gristmill at Georgetown.
|On the Turkey tour|
|Fermenter or medium pool|
water of any other community in America. It takes only three days to ferment out all of the sugar in the mash and then the resultant liquid is filtered and fed into the stills where it is distilled twice to produce a pre-aged product of about 120 proof. This is a lower alcohol percentage than most other distilleries which they claim allows them to bottle a product with less water added, providing more flavor.
|The barrel warehouse, where the magic happens|
|The Beaumont Inn|