If you are coming to Louisville for the 2015 Annual Meeting, consider taking one of the special tours offered that give you the true Kentucky experience. The Roll Out the Bourbon Barrel tour on Saturday offers a uniquely Kentucky experience.

bourbon barrels

Hop aboard the AASLH bourbon bus bound for Woodford Reserve, the oldest working bourbon distillery in the U.S. This National Historic Landmark is located smack dab in the heart of horse country. The guided tour will explain the history of bourbon, the bottling process, and the difference between straight bourbon and rye whiskey.

After touring the distillery and sampling the spirits, it’s on to nearby Midway, a quaint town known for its gastronomic delights, headlined by Holly Hill Inn. Here, in this ca. 1845 setting, you’ll enjoy a three-course lunch defined by award-winning fare “that speaks Bluegrass,” says Southern Living Magazine. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Holly Hill Inn has been in continuous operation as a restaurant since 1979. The history of the building itself goes back to the early 1800’s. The current site, at the crossroads of the Leestown and Georgetown roads, was home to a stone and brick structure built circa 1800 known as Stevenson’s Tavern.

Wrap up the day with a visit to another National Historic Landmark, the 200-year-old Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, home of the “world’s most award-winning distillery.” This distillery is almost as old of the state of Kentucky and still uses some of its 1880s warehouses. They also will provide more samples of their bourbon.

You’ll get back to Louisville in time to meet up with your newest AASLH friends on West Main Street or Fourth Street Live where you can “speak bourbon” and regale your AASLH colleagues with your newfound knowledge of Kentucky’s true spirit(s).

To add this tour of the history of one Kentucky’s favorite exports, contact the AASLH staff to add it to your registration by email – info@aaslh.org or call 615-320-3203.