This year for Father’s Day I wanted to do something different for my dad. He doesn’t want or need any new things. He’s got plenty of clothes (he’s very hip) and they have more than enough “stuff”. So, I decided that instead of buying him a traditional gift I would take my parents on a travel adventure. I did some research, made some reservations, and off we went to Louisville.
There’s a lot to do in Louisville. It’s a decent size city and it’s easy to get around, not to mention close to Lexington! The downtown has been transformed with several stops on the Bourbon Trail. Urban distilleries and all things bourbon have taken over downtown Louisville!
Our first stop was the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience. I have wanted to visit for a long time, and I knew my parents would enjoy it. The cool thing about the Evan Williams Experience is that it has several options of “experiences” to take.
We have been on several distillery tours. I figure that once you’ve been on one tour you basically know how bourbon is made. I know that each distillery puts their own spin on the tour, but I think Evan Williams is on to something here.
Tours that are offered include the Chocology tour (what could be better than bourbon and chocolate!), The Speakeasy Tasting Experience, and the Speakeasy Movie Series are offered in addition to the distillery tour. All of the tours are around the same price, they just offer uniquely different experiences.
I chose The Speakeasy Tasting Experience for us. I purchased the tickets online (you have to make them at least a couple of weeks in advance) and we were off to the races!
There was a nice parking lot right next to the building. That’s important when you’re in a city! Sometimes city parking can be challenging.
We entered the building and it was very unique. Evan Williams offered several good photo opportunities. Like it or not, if the location isn’t Instagramable then you are losing out on a great (and free) marketing opportunity for visitors. Just sit back and let them snap and post away!
Evan Williams has several photo opportunities throughout the facility, but the best one has to be the giant glass of bourbon when you walk in. You can see if from the street. It’s spectacular!
The next stop was the tour. We went below to the basement. After all, speakeasies are supposed to be super secret! I’m sure you have seen all the movies from that time period, you have to have the password to enter! Evan Williams Speakeasy was no different. Good thing they told us the password!
We entered a bar downstairs which had a U-shaped bar. Everybody took a seat so we could listen to the barkeep. The time period was meant to be during the prohibition.
The “actor” bartender was very good. He made you feel as though you were in the time period of the 1920s. He told stories, we tasted several versions of bourbon, and we even played a game. It was very interactive.
The Speakeasy tour was really fun. I highly recommend you look into this when traveling on the Bourbon Trail. It’s fun and very educational at the same time!
Our next stop was to check-in at the hotel. We stayed downtown at the Hyatt. It has recently been renovated and the hotel is awesome. I highly recommend staying there!
After we freshened up, we called for an Uber. I think my parents really liked it, they felt like they were “cool”. After all, this is supposed to be an “experience” for Father’s Day!
To continue our prohibition tour we went to a new speakeasy bar called Hell or High Water. I had heard great things about the bar and really wanted to try it.
The Uber pulled up to a nondescript business front. 112 W. Washington Street was the address of the bar. There’s not a sign (after all, how secret would that be?) so you have to be aware of the location. We saw a few people standing outside and they confirmed we were in the right place!
You need to have a reservation for the bar, as it’s a seated cocktail experience. Even for Happy Hour, we made a reservation. This is one popular place!
After we checked in inside the door, we traveled down a steep staircase to a basement location. It was so interesting. The lighting was awesome (although not great for selfies!) and it has a very cool vibe. There are various areas of seating including a cozy area with velvet banquet seating, a library, a small bar, and even a secret closet! The bar had a glam vibe. What a better way to hide out from the police during the prohibition era!
I had to ask how the bar got its name. It seems that the building has survived a fire and a flood in its day! It only adds to the character of the building.
The menu is separated between Hell drinks which features such names as Bold Venture, Devil’s Advocate, and Sparks Fly cocktails. The Bold Venture cocktail is made up of Ginger infused Mezcal, Green Chili Liqueur, Velvet Falernum, Orange Acid, Lime, and egg white. I’ve never even heard of several of those ingredients!
The other side of the menu is Highwater. How could I not try Heat of the Moment cocktail? It’s made of London Dry Gin, Peach Sake, Mango Sake, Lemon Sorbet, Ginger, and Violet. Additional cocktails include The Trans-Pacific, Give it to Me Slo, and Strange Bedfellows. There’s one thing about Hell or High Water, they are certainly creative in both their names and cocktail recipes!
The cocktail lounge also serves small plates of various types of Charcuterie and sweets. The meat and cheeses were really nice. Several of the items used were Kentucky Proud products.
The staff really made us feel welcome and the service was great. The bartenders were trying out a new cocktail that contained coffee that they let me taste. It was really good. It was a fun experience!
Needless to say, our Prohibition tour was a success and we had a wonderful time on our trip to Louisville! I’m going to have to start thinking about next Father’s Day to try to match our trip this year!
Until next time! Xoxox