Experience Kentucky with Castle and Key Master Distiller Marianne Barnes

Castle and Key Master Distiller Marianne Barnes has been hard at work over the last year renovating the historic Old Taylor Distillery. While tours of Castle and Key may not happen till 2018, Barnes is already honing her tour guide talent with America’s Best Racing.

Barnes takes viewers through a quintessential Kentucky day at the races. She begins her day with a visit to the Maker’s Mark Secretariat Center, where she learns to helps retired thoroughbreds learn life outside racing. Next she tours Ashford Stud, home of American Pharoah and designed by the same Col. Taylor who built what is now Castle and Key.

At Pin Oak Stud, Barnes (the first female master distiller in Kentucky) bonds with legendary owner Josephine Abercrombie. Finally, Barnes arrives at Keeneland Racetrack, where she stops by the milliner, the Winner’s Circle, and the betting booths.

“If I thought I loved Kentucky before, its hard to say I don’t love it even more now,” says Barnes of the experience. Bourbon and horses – what more does a Kentuckian need?

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.