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Louisville, Kentucky

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Whiskey Barrel Wagon at Maker's Mark Bourbon Whiskey Distillery

A wagon full of whiskey barrels sits on the grounds of Maker's Mark Bourbon Whiskey Distillery.

Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham
Low storm clouds clearing from the sky greeted the morning as we made our way from Louisville to Loretto, where the Maker's Mark Distillery is located. Clay "Beany" Smith has been driving tours for 30 years, now almost exclusively for the distillery, and has to be written in the history books as one of the jolliest, most entertaining drivers in the world. Beany is a friend to everyone he meets and is a long time companion of Bill Samuels Jr. and Fred Noe (of Jim Beam). A ride on Beany's bus is an experience, one filled with knowledge, jokes, folk lore and good times. As we drive out of the city it's apparent that Louisville is proud of it's people, art and, of course, the bourbon that comes out of the hills, or knobs as they're often referred to. Faces of the famous that call Louisville home dot the cityscape with enormous murals; the likes of Muhammad Ali, Diane Sawyer and Colonel Sanders watch over the city while down on the streets reminders of the Kentucky Derby and bourbon industry are everywhere. Louisville is proud of it's heritage, as is everyone we met there; Kentucky hospitality is at it's best in this area.
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