Why not stay a little bit longer and enjoy the warm hospitality of Louisville, Kentucky after the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. There are so many great things to do as we hope to show you in these weekly installments. And where else to start than with bourbon, America's only native spirit.
Did you know that 95 percent of the world's bourbon comes from the state of Kentucky? Bourbon Whiskey, called America's Native Spirit, has its roots in Kentucky where maltsters have been crafting batches large and small the city's founding in 1780. You'll find bourbon distilleries and bourbon bars ranging from the historic to the hip, from household brand names to the smallest of small batch handcrafted Kentucky Bourbon in Louisville, the gateway to Bourbon Country.
A great way to experience the bourbon experience and culture is through the Urban Bourbon Trail. The trail, now in its fourth year, provides a cheat sheet of the best of the best. In any other city, having 10 or 20 bourbons on your menu would qualify you as a bourbon bar, but not in Louisville where the bar was set at 50.
The establishments on the Urban Bourbon Trail vary from historic hotel properties that once served Kentucky Whiskey to the likes of Al Capone and F. Scott Fitzgerald to cosmopolitan "scenes". Five are in downtown hotels, four have been internationally recognized and all are serving up bourbon-inspired dining. And why not a little bourbon for breakfast? Dish on Market is offering a tribute to a former president who liked whiskey with the first meal of the day.
So how does it work? Pick up your paper 'passport' at Visitors Center (4th and Jefferson Streets in downtown Louisville) or at any of the participating stops (just ask your server). Or download your digital passport – yes there's an app for that - an iPhone or Android app.
In the passport, you'll find each location identified on a map with its address, hours of operation, a short description and a suggested cocktail, along with space for notes. The booklet also includes instructions on how to use the Passport, and pointers on how to taste bourbon like an expert. There is also a map and guide to the Kentucky distilleries that offer public tours.
Passport holders receive 10 percent off bourbon and Just Add Bourbon Merchandise at Liquor Barn and Westport Whiskey & Wine.
And don't forget to collect stamps along the way! Collect a stamp from six of the many stops along the Urban Bourbon Trail and you'll receive a special Urban Bourbon Trailblazer t-shirt that can be claimed at the Louisville Visitors Center.
The program is open to all residents and visitors age 21 and older,, and there's no time limit for completion.
Read more about the Urban Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Country on gotoLouisville.com
The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® is a registered trademark of the Kentucky Distillers' Association.