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The Place: Kentucky
The Poison: A whiskey distilled from rye, barley malt, corn, and yeast, with limestone-filtered water. Sweeter than, say, Scotch, but still potent enough to channel your inner Johnny Knoxville.
The Buzz: Before Prohibition, there were hundreds of stills in Kentucky; today, the distilleries are mostly along the Bluegrass Parkway between Lexington and Bardstown. The drive is not to be missed, as the road meanders through classic Kentucky bluegrass countryside dotted by horse farms.
Down the Hatch: Bypass the big boys like Jim Beam for the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg (20 minutes from Lexington), which produces its own fiery Four Roses label and the smoother, drier Bulleit. It gives tours Monday through Saturday, with nips of the Four Roses batches along the way to keep your strength up.
Sleep It Off: Crash (not literally, please) at the historic Gratz Park Inn in Lexington's Old Town, across from the park. The rooms are decorated like your grandma's house—if she grew up as a Southern belle, that is. Think 19th-century Arts and Crafts style, with mahogany furniture, lavish window treatments, lots of horse art, and, thankfully, a very modern Tempur-Pedic bed.
Drink at Home: Bulleit, on the rocks. It's rye-centric and thus somewhat drier than many bourbons ($22).
Four Roses Distillery
Tel: 502 839 3436
Gratz Park Inn
Tel: 800 752 4166
Doubles from $165