On and off Kentucky’s beaten Bourbon Trail
More live music can be found at Zeppelin Café. There, local acts range from blues to bluegrass to folk and Americana.
From Louisville, head south for more distillery action. If you are ambitious you can hit three official Bourbon Trail outfits on your way to a lesser known gem, Corsair. Jim Beam is 30 minutes outside of Louisville, Heaven Hill and Maker’s Mark are farther south, and all three offer free tours and tastings.
Ninety minutes south of the Jim Beam Distillery, Corsair Artisan Distillery is making unique spirits on a very small scale. In bourbon country, this three-year-old operation amid a sea of old-timers is doing surprisingly well. “We don’t really feel the competition because we’re barely a blip on their radar,” said Clay Smith, the head distiller. The company caters to a niche market, focusing on making unique and experimental spirits from all-natural ingredients. “We have wanted to be known for our flavours, not necessarily for being the next bourbon maker,” he said. The distillery’s portfolio includes barrel aged gin, pumpkin spice moonshine, oatmeal stout whiskey and a more traditional (though fairly young) bourbon. The Triple Smoke is a tasty American single malt whiskey with a golden colour and a peaty butterscotch flavour. Tours and tastings are offered all day Friday and Saturday, but you can call ahead about stopping in on other days.