HANDCRAFTED Four Roses bourbon recently hosted a wide-ranging array of editors, spirits writers and bloggers — curated by The Baddish Group — on one of the whiskey maker’s exclusive press trips. The journalists flew to Kentucky from around the country, landing amid the Bluegrass State’s rolling hills in their full autumn glory, and were then shuttled directly to the landmark Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. After a sumptuous meal well-paired with Four Roses’ vintage single-barrel and small-batch at Bourbons Bistro, a night cap at The Silver Dollar, where they serve whiskey by the drink, it was time for a good night’s sleep. The next morning marked the start of the day’s whiskey-fueled tour, which began at Four Roses’ aging warehouses in Coxs Creek, where the group arrived as the sun began to peek over the tree line of the tiny hamlet. Stop two was the historic distillery in Lawrenceburg, an hour away along the famed Kentucky Bourbon Trail, for a private lunch and tasting with master distiller Brent Elliott and Al Young, a Four Roses brand ambassador and member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame who began his distilling career in 1967. During the vertical tasting of domestic and Japanese releases, the group was treated to a master class on Four Roses’ 10 distinct (and extraordinary) bourbon recipes, and toured the distillery, currently under construction as it undergoes a major expansion. They saw it all — fermenting tanks, copper stills — except for the roof, part of which is missing due to the renovation. (The whiskey remains secure; fear not.) Then it was back on the bus to return to Louisville while paging through personally inscribed copies of Young’s slim tome, Four Roses: The Return of a Whiskey Legend. A celebratory French-American dinner that evening took place at Bistro 1860, a restaurant that participates in Four Roses’ Private Barrel Program. All that was left: nightcaps at the Brown. Glasses drained and energy spent, the group departed the next morning, the subtle tingle of Four Roses still redolent on the palate.
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