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I love being able to share some of my favorites from each of my photo sessions.

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30 minutes in september {woodford reserve – versailles, kentucky}

Sep 23, 2013

This month I found myself in Lexington, Kentucky, so I decided to hit up one of the distilleries on the famed “Kentucky Bourbon Trail” for my 30 minute project.

Woodford Reserve, begun in the late 18th century, is one of the oldest distilleries in Kentucky. Snuggled in between several lush horse farms, Woodford Reserve is a small but beautiful operation, housed in several very old stone and brick buildings.  As I went on the first tour of the day at 10am, it was an unsurprisingly small group.  Our tour guide was so sweet and knowledgable, and took us through the different buildings showing the entire process of crafting real Kentucky bourbon.  (Fun fact:  apparently Kentucky bourbon is so delicious because central Kentucky sits over a huge limestone aquifer).

The process at Woodford involves grinding a mixture of corn, rye, and barley and then they add the special local water and ferment it in large batches over several days.  This converts the sugars to alcohol.  The mixture is then distilled through 3 different brass contraptions, ending up a clear liquid that is very high in alcohol content.  The workers then fill the handcrafted oak barrels (which are toasted/charred on the inside to inspire flavor), stamp them and store them in huge above-ground cellars for several years until it is ready to bottle!

I was lucky to witness the actual bottling and packaging process while I was there.  It was definitely a cool experience and gave me even more of an appreciation for bourbon!  After the short 30 min tour ended, we were led back to the main building where there were free samples for us to taste, along with dark chocolate bourbon ball candy!  😉 Psst!  Now that you’ve finished exploring the Woodford Reserve Distillery, go check out all of the other photographers in our group’s take on the “30 minutes” project! Click here and enjoy!

comments +

  1. Stacey Weller Markel

    September 23rd, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Looks like a really cool place, Colleen! Great images!

  2. Amy Butterfield

    September 23rd, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    These are really great Colleen. It looks like an amazing place.

  3. Amanda Voelker

    September 23rd, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    These are so fun, Colleen. I see why you were excited about this month. I love how southern charm-y everything is and love the way you captured it.

  4. Sharleen Hudson Stuart

    September 23rd, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    I love your pictures Colleen. I remember in Napa doing something similar. It is so interesting to see all the different stages of how things are done. I love the chair and barley (?) pictures and especially the barrels with the light in the picture. Great work – I love your capture.

  5. Karen Cornwell Hunt

    September 23rd, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    This post is great. I love your processing and taking this tour through you!

  6. Rebecka LeFoll

    September 24th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Oh how cool! These are awesome! There is something so old school and charming about these. Your work is amazing!

  7. Kristi Libutti Burton

    September 24th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Colleen, Love your composition and how well you captured the process! Looks so interesting! xo

  8. Summer Christen Kellogg

    September 28th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    These images are just beautiful. I love how you composed them and pieced them together for this post. Really, really, beautiful, Colleen!

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