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Issue 117 - The Bardstown Bourbon Crawl

Whisky Magazine Issue 117
February 2014

 

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The Bardstown Bourbon Crawl

Your guide to drinking in Bourbon's capital

Mention to anyone the possibility of putting together a drinkers guide to Bardstown, and you will be met with laughter. Guaranteed. Which is odd, considering the fact of its status: home to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, to a clutch of distilleries; Bardstown's claims to being the Bourbon capital of the world are a trademarked reality. Visit in April or September and you can't move for fans of the 51 per cent plus corn. It's heaving with the great, the good and the downright thirsty. It's a pop-up city, homage to a god called Bourbon. Only, as my naysayers well know, that's just the point. Outside of festival time, the more regular benefits of distillery tourism shared with nearby Louisville, and with horse-mad Lexington, Bardstown shrinks back to what it is: a small and perfectly formed country town, one stuck on Bourbon, but less the sheer local drinking power with which to sustain more than a clutch of genuine drinking holes.

Even so, that's the charm of the place. Bardstown's a one-off. It's fantastically idiosyncratic. It's beautiful. It lives and breathes Bourbon. So, to business: My downtown Bardstown pick: five bars, the world's finest whiskey museum, a liquor store to the stars and a diner that serves Bourbon. All within walking distance of each other. My very own Bourbon crawl. Let's roll.

1 The Talbott Tavern
107 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004 www.talbotts.com
Top of many a Kentucky Bourbon hunter's bucket list, the Talbott Tavern lays reasonable cl...

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