When traveling, it’s only normal to try and fit in with the natives. For starters, ditch that fanny pack and put down the camera. Next, it’s a good idea to learn about your destination’s customs, as well as the language.
This is true even in Kentucky’s second-oldest city, Bardstown. In Bardstown, you see, the difference in the language is more than a dialect. It’s definitely not a twang (but let’s be honest, you might hear a bit of a twang). It’s a language of love so warm and distinct, it could only be from Bardstown.
The bourbon industry and bourbon connoisseurs use words that no one else uses. And if you want to connect with the locals, you’ll want to bulk up your vocabulary for your visit to the Bourbon Capital of the World®.
ANGEL’S SHARE: The bourbon that evaporates from the aging barrel.
BACKSET: The alcohol-free liquid at the bottom of the still that’s added to the mash tub to prevent bacterial contamination.
BUNG: The wood stopper that seals a barrel.
BUNGHOLE: The hole where the bung goes.
CHARRING: Setting fire to a barrel interior to create a layer of charred wood.
DOUBLER: A large copper still with an upturned funnel.
MASH: The cooked grains and water mixture before yeast is added for fermentation.
MASH BILL: A bourbon’s recipe.
RICKS: The wooden structures where barrels rest during aging.
Fruit and spicy nose
A hint of smoke
While in Bardstown, there are oodles of opportunities to speak the language. Besides the obvious choice of distillery tours, you’ll also find a bourbon history museum, bourbon bars, bourbon shopping and bourbon-inspired gourmet dinners. In addition to these bourbon standbys, it just so happens that during the fall, Bardstown celebrates its signature spirit like only Bardstown can. Check all that out here.
Yes, the upcoming season is indeed the ultimate season for bourbon. Not only does its color reflect the golds and ambers of autumn, but its flavors and aromas create the perfect complement to the seasonal scents of cider, campfires, harvested grains, and decaying leaves. It’s the perfect setting for trying out your newly learned vocabulary. Who needs Hooked on Phonics when you can learn from what could be called Hooked on Bourbon. But that title might encourage overconsumption. And as always, Bardstown encourages responsible imbibing.