31 Jan Hermitage Farm Tasting Room Barn6
TOURISM NOTE: Hermitage Farm celebrates Oldham County’s unique heritage and the signature industries that make us a place like no other. Tours and Tastings are available at this historic farm which has just opened Barn6, an authentic thoroughbred barn, to the public for special events and for those who just want to sip and talk bourbon. At Hermitage, visitors can sample from every distillery on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and then some! Hermitage’s Bourbon Experience assembles Kentucky’s most sought-after bourbons all in one spot. Guided tastings are enjoyable for bourbon connoisseurs and novices alike where you will also learn about Kentucky’s rich bourbon heritage. While there, also experience Hermitage’s renowned thoroughbred horse operations, sustainable, organic farm-to-table restaurant, bourbon bar and mint julep experience, and contemporary art.
Barn6 at Hermitage Farm is home to a unique bourbon tasting experience.
By Michael L. Jones – Reporter, Louisville Business First Jan 22, 2022
Barn6 at Hermitage Farm has been home to countless award-winning thoroughbreds over the past century, but now bourbon lovers have moved in on their territory.
Hermitage Farm opened Barn6 to the public for bourbon tastings, cocktail classes and special events in October. Visitors to the 600-acre property in Goshen, Kentucky, can sip high-end bourbon flights while enjoying the company of Future Prospect and Dubious Miss, retired thoroughbreds who still call the barn home.
There is even a jar of peppermints on each table for people who want to feed the horses a treat.
Tour Director Barbara O’Connor said Hermitage Farm wanted to create a space where people could sit and talk intensely about bourbon in a uniquely Kentucky atmosphere.
“Future Prospect and Dubious Miss are accomplished racehorses, they’ve won $1 million between them, and it’s great to have them as members of our tasting team. To be able to open that barn door and just have these guys stick their heads out — and have lights and bourbon poured out — people love that,” O’Connor said.
Barn6 is one of the oldest buildings at Hermitage Farm. O’Connor said her staff spent about $14,000 to bring electricity to barn so it could be equipped with heaters. They also purchased mismatched tables from a seller in Indiana that the team members sanded and stained themselves.
O’Connor hopes to be able to do a larger renovation of the barn in the future. For now, it can hold up to 35 people.
The original article contained a photo here: Hermitage Farm Tour Director Barbara O’Connor shows off the liquor cabinet in Barn6. Photo by Michael L. Jones.
The Bourbon Tastings at Barn6 are held Wednesday through Saturday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. There are two levels of tastings — Standard Tasting and VIP. The Standard Tasting cost $25 and includes flights of mainstream products like Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, and Elijah Craig. The VIP Tasting costs $50 and includes select flights of single barrel products like Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel, Barrel Craft Spirits Private Release, and Peerless Rye Single Barrel Select.
“We want to be able to provide people with products and unique experiences and the best way to do that is through single barrels,” O’Connor explained. “Single barrels are like snowflakes; each one is unique. We actually try a variety of different products from different brands and pick out what we like best.”
On Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm., Hermitage Farm is offering a seasonal mixology class for $35. The current class is “Build Your Own Old Fashioned,” but in April it will switch to the mint julep and in June the bourbon summer smash.
“We want to keep it very seasonal and fresh,” O’Connor said. “With old fashions you’re talking a lot more about preserved products, whether it’s syrup, sugars, or things like preserved cherries. April and May are the time for mint juleps. And then throughout the summer we have fresh produce. We have fresh garnishes, things like that, that we grow here on site.”
O’Connor said the repurposing of Barn6 for the bourbon tastings and classes with the goal of Steve Wilson and Laura Lee Brown, Hermitage Farm’s owners, to help preserve as much of historic Kentucky farmland as possible. O’Connor said Kentucky loses about 25,000 acres worth of farmland to development every year.
Hermitage Farm also announced a new speakers’ series this week called the Whiskey Files. The series will feature industry professionals sharing their stories and personal experiences in the whiskey trade. Corky Taylor, the sole proprietor of Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co., will give a talk at the farm on February 9.