March 23, 2016

Bourbon Trail: Four Roses

Our first stop on the Bourbon Trail - Four Roses. I must say, Four Roses was a great way for Bryan and me to begin our bourbon tasting adventure. Pulling up to the distillery, we were greeted by yellow buildings adorned with terra-cotta roofs echoing a spanish/mediterranean vibe. We parked in the visitor parking lot around the back of the building pictured above and excitedly went into the welcome center to purchase our tour tickets and pick up our personal bourbon trail passports. Arriving around 9:45 in the morning after a three hour drive from Knoxville, we were lucky to claim the last two spots on the 10 am tour of the facility.

Our tour was enjoyable despite the scorching late-July heat. We began with a short video before heading outside to the production building. Unfortunately, Four Roses doesn't operate at full capacity during the summer, so we weren't able to witness the bourbon-making process with our own eyes, but we had a knowledgable and entertaining tour guide who was able to explain everything that goes on during the production process. After the tour, we got to the fun part - the tasting! We tasted all three of the Four Roses bourbons. I liked the small batch the best as it was smoother going down and I didn't have to wince.

There is one unique feature about Four Roses, and it's that Four Roses has a separate location for the bottling and warehouses. We visited the production site in Lawrenceburg, which is where the actual distilling takes place. The rick houses that store the barrels of bourbon during the aging process and the bottling happen a little less than an hour away in Cox's Creek. You only have to visit one of the two locations to get your stamp for your passport, and if you ask me, I think it's much better to visit the production location in Lawrenceburg. I feel like the production is much more interesting than the bottling, and you'll get to see and go inside rick houses at other stops on the Bourbon Trail. Though they are very cool, all rick houses are basically the same.

Four Roses does offer a cool option though if you'd like to visit both locations. If you save your ticket from one location, you can visit the other for free if you visit within 60 days of your ticket date. If you live close-by or if you'll be doing the entire Bourbon Trail in one trip, this is definitely something to wiggle in to your schedule if you can. Plus, there are tastings at both locations, which we all know is the only reason we're there in the first place.

Tips for visiting Four Roses

Tour times: Monday - Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm, on the hour
Sunday, 12 pm to 3 pm, on the hour

Cost: $5 per person,
which will cover both locations if visited within 60 days of each other

Our next stop: Wild Turkey

Other info: Be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before your desired tour time to secure your spot. Be prepared for heat if you visit in the summer; the production building does not have air conditioning. Don't forget your stamp!

*All stops on the Bourbon Trail offer tours to people of all ages, but you must be 21+ to taste.

Click here for my post on the Bourbon Trail. 
Links to individual distilleries can be found at the end of the post.

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