A couple years back, I was moving my business into a new building and had saved up enough points on my credit card from the construction costs to grab a free plane ticket to Europe. My first thought was to head into Paris and spend 2 1/2 weeks getting to know The City of Lights and test my French speaking skills. But after I booked my reservation, I started to think - just Paris?
I had never explored Europe. Maybe this was my chance. I could rent a car and go on an adventure.
Two things struck me when I arrived in Johnstown, PA.
First, it was September 10th, a day before the anniversary of 9/11, the worst human caused disaster in U.S. history. That dubious feat unseated Johnstown, which had held that distinction for well over 100 years.
So, traveling on my own, I didn't have to worry too much about making sure the family or friends I brought along were happy and entertained, so I could have just stuck to bourbon the whole time. However, I've made the journey to a great section of the country, so I couldn't resist a day of baseball and architecture in Cincinnati.
After a fun day in Cincinnati, it's time to get back to the business of expanding my knowledge of bourbon. And what better way to do that than to hit another craft distillery and then roam the streets of Louisville, including Whiskey Row!
A couple of things really surprised me about this tour. First, that I would have so much fun discovering bourbon that after a week I could have kept going. And second, that in a week, I'd go from bourbon novice to an educated consumer of it.
Out of Kentucky and on to my old stomping ground of Tennessee. Here, I'll figure out what constitutes a Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey and find out the difference between that and bourbon, both in flavor and in production techniques.
What you don't know can sometimes lead to awkward situations, unnecessary issues, or even expensive mistakes. Before I took off on a long drive across Europe, I filled my itinerary with some additional notes to make sure I was prepared with each country border I crossed. Here are some of the important items of note for a trip to Germany.
A couple years ago, I planned a European trip using James Bond as my guide. He always goes to such exotic places, it seemed the perfect way to see the Old Country. Information was scarce at that time, so I did the best I could. There are a lot more resources now. I'll be working on a guide to condense this information by country, so you can more easily track these places down. First stop, Austria!