The Woodford Reserve visitors center. The distillery is surrounded by miles of rolling hills, in the heart of horse country.
The Woodford Reserve Distillery has a long and complicated history.
The main distillery building dates back to 1838. It was then that Oscar Pepper built the Old Oscar Pepper Distillery on this site.
The other stone buildings on the property are all over 100 years old.
Brown-Forman acquired the distillery, by then known as the Labrot & Graham Distillery, in 1940.
They later sold the distillery and it sat inactive for decades.
In 1995 Brown-Forman re-purchased the property and renovated it to the facility you see today.
Woodford Reserve is unique in the Bourbon industry in that they use three copper pot stills, similar to those used in Scotland. This triple distillation gives the product a distinct flavor.
Woodford Reserve offers a wide variety of tours during the week.
The ultimate tour is their Bourbon Academy. This all day event is held several times a year and features classroom instruction and hands-on experiences around the distillery with Master Distiller Chris Morris.
These are the spirit safes where the spirit passes between each distillation.
Chris filled a glass from each box and passed it around for us to see and smell. Spirit from the first box was very oily and raw while each successive box was more refined.
Some of the old limestone rickhouses.
Cyprus fermentation tanks.
A look down into one of the large cyprus fermenters. Cold water circulates through the metal coils to control the fermentation temperature.
Chris took us to the bottling house next. We saw the bottling line and where barrels are dumped.
Chris tipped a barrel that was sitting at the dump station and poured two full glasses to pass around to the students. This was as straight out of the barrel as you are ever going to get and it smelled and tasted fantastic.