Last Updated on August 16, 2021 by Jody Halsted
This month on the podcast I am celebrating the tastes of the Midwest.
I love food trails because I really think they give visitors a taste of a location’s traditions.
But we aren’t just talking about food! Drinks play a huge role in an area’s story and in Kentucky that means Bourbon.
I am thrilled to have Julie Kirkpatrick, creator of ‘the B-Line’, and president of Meet NKY joining me today.
Exploring The B-Line in Kentucky
The history of Bourbon predates Kentucky statehood and, more than being ‘just a drink’ it is a way of life, blending in and adding a rich flavor to the story of Kentucky.
How is bourbon different from whiskey?
All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.
There are many different type of whiskey; Scotch, Canadian, Irish… But bourbon was designated as a unique American product, “America’s Native Spirit”, by an act of Congress in 1964.
Bourbon can only be made in the United State of America. While all bourbon doesn’t have to be made in Kentucky, the state produces 95% of the world’s bourbon. Bourbon also must be made with 51% corn (or more), and must come off the still at no more than 160 degrees proof. It is then stored in new charred White Oak barrels.
When bourbon comes off the still it is a high proof, clear liquid, affectionately called the ‘white dog’. Bourbon has no legal aging process; soon as the liquid touches the wood it is technically bourbon. But it will taste bad.
Each distiller has their own aging ‘sweet spot’, but 4 years is about average for a good tasting Kentucky bourbon.
About the Northern Kentucky Bourbon Trail
The B-Line is not to be confused with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. According to Julie the ‘Bourbon Line’ or ‘B-Line’ is the Ohio River. It’s “where the Midwest kind of comes together and mingles with who we are in the south.”
While the expected distilleries are on the B-Line, there are other ‘sipping points’ that add to the experience. Along with the five amazing distilleries in Northern Kentucky you will also discover eight incredible bourbon bars, where bourbon is the basis of what they do, along with six culinary gems that have bourbon at the core of their menu.
Get the B-Line Guide
Access the B-Line guide mobile guide as well as suggested itineraries at thebline.com. Printed guides can be picked up at any of the B-Line stops.
Check in as you follow the trail to earn fun bourbon gifts.
More Things to do in Northern Kentucky
While planning a trip around Bourbon sounds like fun, there’s only so much you should imbibe in. Luckily you’ll find plenty of attractions and activities in Northern Kentucky.
Covington in Northern Kentucky is connected to Cincinnati, Ohio by the Roebling Bridge. Enjoy a walk across and take advantage of both sides of the riverfront.
Riverfront parks have plenty of trails and areas for picnics, or enjoy the water with a riverboat tour or rent a kayak for your own tour.
Cincinnati has major league sports, but for a truly fun evening head to Florence and take in a Y’alls game.
For outdoor adventure visit the Red River Gorge where you can kayak underground, zipline through the treetops, hike miles of trails, and even spend a few days in a treehouse.
Where to Stay in Northern Kentucky
The Hotel Covington was the state’s first modern skyscraper and high-end department store.
The Pickle Factory is a boutique stay in an old (you guessed it) pickle factory. View rooms on VRBO.