Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Visit to the Woodford Reserve - Our Holiday Tradition

My home state of Kentucky has a strong heritage connected to the making and distilling of fine bourbon whiskey. Our natural resources of wheat, corn, oats, and swift flowing rivers for transportation made Kentucky a primary manufacturing site for bourbon whiskey as early as the late 1700's. Kentucky's naural limestone filtered waters are the key ingredient to making exceptional bourbon whiskey~~

Our family has a holiday tradition of visiting the Woodford Reserve Distillery at Christmas time to enjoy their wonderful holiday buffet. The Woodford is the oldest of nine bourbon whiskey distilleries in our beautiful state. The buildings and grounds are listed on the National Historic Register and it has been cited as a National Historic Landmark.

Kentucky's famous Bourbon trail is a listing of all the distilleries in this state. Each year thousands of visitors make a project of visiting each of the distilleries listed on the trail. Once you have accomplished this goal and successfully retrieved a sticker from each location - you will be rewarded with a (highly coveted!) Tshirt that highlights each of the Distilleries. This is a great way to tour our beautiful state.

You don't even have to like bourbon whiskey to be excited about the Bourbon trail! (We don't drink (well, not too much!) but I LOVE to cook with bourbon!) Each of the distilleries are unique and beautiful - they have beautiful grounds, gift shops, and the opportunity to tour each distillery and see the manufacturing process at each location. The Gardener and I, along with my son and his family are in the process of making this tour. We will complete our rounds of visiting the distilleries this summer. The Woodford is definitely my personal favorite.

So~~welcome to the Woodford. You can take your beautiful tour of the grounds here with me and never even have to put on your coat or boots! The grounds are absolutely lovely in every season - truly this is one of my favorite places in our state to visit. Our special day here was cold and icy - the snowy blanket and frozen grounds made everything look especially beautiful. You would not believe the crazy risks I took to take these fabulous photos!


the welcome center and gift shop




these buildings date back to the early 1800's





the fabulous buffet



I love how they use the bourbon bottles in the festive decorations

Now we're talking!
This is alone is worth the trip!!
Guess what?

I'm giving you the recipe at the end of this post!

This was Keri Beth's first big Holiday outing!

Her little Christmas bib says -
"are these people really my relatives?"


love this photo!

The Woodford is lovely in the spring and summer also.
They serve a lovely lunch here on the outdoor patio
that overlooks the stream and dam.


love these gray limestone buildings

the bourbon barrels are stored in here
(can you see the ice on these trees?)

the entrance to the distillery



just me - tryin' to be fancy!
that 's the welcome center in the reflection


we're talkin' solid ice here!
I scooted across this just to take these photos!

click on this photo for a close up view of the horse
There is a lovely painting of the Woodford grounds
on his side.

the dam had floating ice chunks everywhere


the tour bus
we have taken the tour here several times - love it!
Later this year, I will post photos
taken during the tour.
(it will be the next best thing to being there!)

solid ice again!

and for everyone in the Gardener's fan club!~~
here he is!


(my sister's gave me these mink leg warmers
for Christmas last year - LOVE these!)

My all time favorite picture
that I have EVER taken at the Woodford.
Love these snow covered
whiskey barrels.

the beautiful gift shop
is located inside the Welcome Center.

I am just warning you now~~
I am obsessed with taking photos of these
whiskey bottles!



our sweet baby ~~
she always steals the show!




ho hum~~
another whiskey bottle photo!


she makes me laugh!

We bought this Bourbon vanilla sugar - (to die for)!!
Everybody on my Christmas list is getting this next year!
Maybe I should give one away to you guys too - what do you think ?

Ahh - these bourbon balls are out of this world.
You see the place where one is missing?
( this was the BEFORE I pigged out picture!)

These treats are free
for guests at the Welcome Center


~~just want to kiss on those sweet cheeks!

now we are on the road out of the Woodford grounds~~
(Did you notice?
his belly is a whiskey barrel)


we wander past beautiful pastures




check out those icicles!

the end

Woodford Reserve Mocha Bread pudding

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate ships
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
3 1/2 cups French bread cubes
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bourbon

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat 8-inch-square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Place bread cubes in prepared baking dish. Combine sugar, chocolate chips and coffee granules in small bowl. Beat evaporated milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until well blended; stir in sugar mixture, add bourbon. Pour over bread, pressing bread into milk mixture. Place dish in 13 x 9-inch baking dish; fill 13 x 9-inch dish with warm water to 1-inch depth.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. Serve with Bourbon sauce.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon (or more!) Woodford Reserve Bourbon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a sauce pan mix all ingredients. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Serve warm.

***Vicki's notes -
I like to double this recipe for the sauce because I like a LOT of sauce with my bread pudding - and because what is not used for the pudding - (I just eat anyway!)

Coming up next - in about 10 days or so - a little blog posting about what is keeping me so BUSY right now! (I can hardly wait to show you the photos!!)
AND our first give away of the NEW YEAR.
A little something to keep you warm and cozy~~


DreamChallenge said...

Such fun to revisit the site through your eyes. KB is so adorable. Thank you for sharing.

JenW!~ said...

Thanks for a wonderful visit.I don't drink but it sure makes me want to visit. I see a road trip in my future.

Acorn to Oak said...

Woodford looks like a wonderful place to visit! Fascinating, beautiful and delicious! Thanks for the tip on the "Bourbon Trail". It sounds like a lot of fun and just got added to our list of places to visit/things to do! That recipe looks yummy too! :-)

beachhouse etc. said...

i just want to curl up in one of those little nest you make how sweeet them thanks for stopping by suzanne hope u win...

Anonymous said...

Your photos are outstanding...and so is the Reserve! My husband and I were in your great and beautiful state of KY in September for the World Equestrian Games and were SO impressed at the beauty we saw and the lovely people there! We saw the signs for the Woodford Reserve, but alas, didn't have time to visit. What a treat to see it through your camera lens. THANK YOU. If we're ever there again, we'll be sure to visit.
YES, the Bourbon Sugar looks yummy and I for one would love to taste it! So is you ever have a giveaway, I'll be one of the first to sign up!
Thanks for the recipe, too.

Looking forward to your next outstanding post. I don't know how you'll top this one, tho!


Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings... said...

Such a wonderful many gorgeous photos!...thank you for sharing. Would love to visit sometime.
I'm smiling very big today...can you tell why?
Hugs, Kathy @
sweet Up-North Mornings...

Finding Joy said...

I would love so much to visit this place , it looked so beautiful in winter. I love old buildings and the photos you took of them were great.

Thankful so much for sharing this as I had no idea Bourbon Trail or it's history. I learn so many new things from your blog:).

Anonymous said...

Great shots but I don't like the idea of you taking "crazy risks" to get them.

PoetessWug said...

I' not much of a drinker either, but I do love a pretty bottle!...And chocolate...and food! :-) The photos you took of the grounds were breath-taking too! Thanks for sharing!

myriamkreativ said...

My dear Vicki,
thank you for sharing the wonderful photos. The Woodford Reserve seems to be a wonderful place to be. Expecially for me - I love bourbon every now and then *lol*. I bet you had a fantastic day there and you definitely have to go back in summer - the nature must be fantastic then. I wish you a wonderful week Hugs & kisses Myriam

Juju said...

Always a pleasure to travel with you Vicki! Gorgeous!!

Loui♥ said...

Hi Vicki!
thanks for stopping by.. just had to reciprocate..and boy am I ever glad I did!! what an awesome treat to explore the Woodford Reserve along with you and your camera!! !
Such fun!!
i just became your newest follower!!
warm sandy hugs..Loui♥

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

I feel like I'm really getting to know Kentucky by your amazing photos. What a spectacular setting. I bet that bourbon would taste good in eggnog. you think?

Anonymous said...

Vicki, what a fabulous post! Love all of the pics, but I especially love the unique horse statues! The grounds at this stillery are so picturesque. ~ Who knew so many unique dishes could be concocted out of a rich spirit! And those bottles are lovely ...
How I LOVE bread pudding! This recipe sounds absolutely HEAVENLY ... thank you for sharing!

Wishing you a most blessed and blissful week, my friend! {{warmest hugs}}

Jody Hammer said...

Vicki, I have been there! I remember that beautiful drive with those beautiful horses. It's been so many years ago.... We went for a company Christmas party. The food was fabulous. There was a singer there from West Virginia that was called the "Black Diamond". He was fabulous as well. Look him up on the internet, you will be surprised! ;-)
As far as the pictures of the bourbon bottles, I love them. I really think these are some of the more elegant bottles/labels for bourbon I have seen. We got miniature bottles of bourbon as favors...I sure do wish I could remember where they are....

Sherri said...

Vicki-what a wonderful post! I love all the pictures you took! I'm glad y'all had a wonderful time!

Gypsea Nurse said...

Vicki.. thanks so much for stopping by.. but I must say.. your blog BLOWS me away!!! Stunning!!! Your photos are great..(personally I think its a nurses thing..hehehe) Yes.. I am a nurse as well.. going into my DNP program... I did OR forever... and L/D at our nations first hospital... pure craziness... over 150/wk.. I bless you for what you do.. I could never.. I have been asked..but it is not the babies I couldn't handle.. it is the parents.. the pain at times... I took a turn..and went into Forensics.. and now I do Psych lockdown at a State Psych Hospital... (reason for back surgery..lovely patients of mine!) Also am a S.A.N.E. So... there's that! I am so glad you popped in... I see good times ahead...
Many hugs..

Pat said...

Vicki, I so enjoyed this tour! I agree with you about those whiskey bottles...beautiful! And, I think my favorite photos are of the snow covered pastures and your sweet baby, you and the gardener, of course! We are having our first snow of winter...started an hour or so ago and we have over an inch already! Stay warm....pat

Unknown said...

What a wonderful Post! My husband is fom Scotland and I lived there for 4 years with him. His Mum lives in the Highlands and Ive yet to see any distillery! Passed by them tho. I am needing to see them when we go home for a visit! Ahhh it must be beautiful where you live Fine Lady...xox

Deb said...

Vicki ~ wonderful pictures! I've never heard of this place, but you gave us a good idea of what it's like....lovely in the snow! Can't wait to see what you're up to next and what's keeping you so busy!

I had my first taste of bread pudding in August when we visited PEI and went out to eat with a blogging friend there. She ordered the bread pudding (to die for!) and gave me a bite of hers. I should have ordered it instead of the apple pie! I know your recipe would be good, but I'd leave out the bourbon and we don't like coffee, so maybe it wouldn't be good after all. LOL! I'll have to try and find a bread pudding recipe that's just a typical one. Thanks for reminding me about it!

Keep warm in all this cold weather! ~ Deb

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Oh my Vicki! That does look like such a beautiful place to visit. I'm not a whiskey drinker, but on a cold day like that, I could certainly use a nip or two (as well as a bite or two of all those wonderful bourbon spiked treats). Living in a "dry" country means I'm up for just about anything alcohol related. Bourbon vanilla sugar -- hello coffee! HA! Beautiful photos and a wonderful family outing. all the best to you and yours, Tammy

fromsophiesview said...

That's an eye-opener on bourbon and the countryside attractions. Bourbon isn't that popular in Canada. Now I have an understanding of it ritual and attractiveness.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Much happiness glows from your pictures, Vicki. I love the picture with the vibrant red lovelies in the bottle too, a lot.
Enjoy your snow, throw a snowball for me, will you, teehee.
Have a happy Tuesday, Vicki xxxx

Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings... said...

Miss Vicki....
A friend came by today and laid eyes on a little sea nest and lost her marbles!!!!!!
Made me promise to let her know when the new editions hit the market...
I think You should go big...Nests full time!
I'll be your manager LOL! have admirers here in snow country....
just thought you should know.
Hugs, Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Carole said...

You know you're killing me with that bread pudding recipe staring at me. I used to make one from the Silver Palette cookbook with Whiskey sauce that I could polish off in a day. NO lie! Bourbon would be even better. Too much over indulging over the holidays like most of us...uggh! so no sweets for me!
Loved this tour and so great of you to tell us about the Bourbon trial. I'd never heard of it before.
The food looked incredible and I can see why you love going there.

Getting snow our way too?


Esme said...

What a lovely place-I want one of those bourbon balls. It looks like you had an amazing time there. Thank you for sharing your photos.

Nancy said...

Thank~You Vicki for such a beautiful tour. We pass through KY so much and have often thought about participating on the tour. When it comes to Photography you have got to be one of Ky's hidden secrets!! Oh and the Bread Pudding is high on my list to make~just Love Bread Pudding!! Have a wonderful week dear friend!!
Huggs, Nancy

Lili said...

The Woodford looks to be the perfect place to enjoy a holiday visit with family! So warm, inviting and elegant. I love love love all that stone on the exterior and I'm so glad you showed us around outside as I am so warm and cozy now sitting by my woodfire as we are having a huge blizzard outside right now! That bread pudding sounds so yummy. Love your mink leg warmers, what a fun accessory Vicki! Thanks for the fabulous tour as I have never even been there before. xoxo ~Lili

elvira pajarola said...


I enjoyed it so very much: The fabulous photography; you made so very beautiful pics...the snowy landscapes; the details; the combinations: SUBLIME ART WORK, cara Vicky!!!!

...A big point in PLUS: My "better half" Antonio enjoyed looking at it also!!!!!

I love the fabulous pics of you, cara; you just look so fascinating in your "winter look";....and you are right: your pretty legwarmers are just a HIT...!

WONDERFUL little Baby and splendid Interior photos of this interesting place!!

Have a happy and sunny and warm(!!) weekend, cara Vicky!

Seawashed said...

I'm so thankful for your visits and that you dream with me! this place is my kind of place. I am coming back tomorrow to thoroughly read through this post. I love that first photo of you! YOu are so pretty!!! and your grandbaby has my name. :) I look forward to grandbabies. YOur life is beautiful. Truly. ox`kerrie

The Painted Garden said...

Hi Vicki,

Your photographs are always so beautiful. Thank you for the wonderful tour and fabulous recipe. Yumy - Yumy
Have a lovely day.

myriamkreativ said...

Hi mir dear Vicki,
hope you and everybody around are well and you had a wonderful weekend. Only jumped in to wish you a wonderful week. Hugs & love Myriam

marĂ­a cecilia said...

Hola Vicki, it´s so nice meeting you, your husband the gardener and your sweet and lovely grands, and of course I made some browsing through your blog... gosh, you have traveled a lot and really hope you had a great time in Santiago.
Looking forward to come back as many times as I can to your great blog!!
hugs from Chile
maria cecilia

Honey from the Bee said...

Can't wait to try this recipe... maybe next weekend! Thanks for sharing.