5 Star Bourbon Experience with an NFL Legend
Join Louisville resident and Buffalo Bill legend Eric Wood on a private insider tour, discovering the heritage of America’s only native spirit, the almighty Bourbon! With its magnificent horse farms and world famous whiskey, Louisville and its extraordinary landscape of gently rolling bluegrass hills, plays host to this ‘only of its kind’ experience, offering unprecedented access to an NFL legend and unique tours of the the most celebrated distilleries on the planet.
Meet Your Host & Buffalo Bills Legend
Meet The Legend
Eric Wood is a former center for the Buffalo Bills and nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award two years in a row, in 2015 and 2016. Eric played for nine years with the Bills, until a dangerous neck injury forced him to withdraw from professional football in 2018.
Always loving a challenge, Eric has since approached his post-football career transition with enthusiasm, bringing his wisdom of years of experience on the field to broadcast media and public speaking. He currently engages with fans as a color commentator for the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.
For an up close and personal perspective into his career transition, Eric hosts a podcast, What’s Next With Eric Wood, with a new guest interview every episode.
In 2014, Eric formed the Eric Wood Fund, inspired by his brother Evan Wood, who passed away from complications stemming from cerebral palsy as a child. The Eric Wood Fund helps provide chronically ill children and their families with care, support, resources, and encouragement to keep them going.
He played 49 consecutive starts as the center for the Louisville Cardinals, the second longest in Louisville’s history—all while being a star student. From there, it was straight to the NFL, where he was drafted in the first round in 2009.
Experience refined luxury in Louisville’s storied Whiskey Row in this gem of a property, part of the Autograph Collection of distinguished hotels. Hotel Distil is for those who thirst for new experiences. Located in downtown Louisville, this authentic hotel is a home for connoisseurs of the finest comforts and gracious service available in the hospitality industry. You will marvel at the juxtaposition of the historic facade with modern amenities, while you indulge in Louisville’s bourbon culture at many of the world’s most popular distilleries.
Known as Bourbon City, Louisville a is a vibrant city that combines heritage with innovation, authenticity with originality, quirkiness with friendliness in a way that’s completely unique to the region, it’s an entirely different type of Southern.
With a booming bourbon renaissance, iconic attractions, world-class hotels & venues and a renowned culinary scene, Louisville is an experience like no other city.
From its early days on the frontier, it quickly grew to be a major trading and distribution center in the mid 19th century, important industrial city in the early 20th, declined in the mid 20th century, before revitalizing in the late 20th century as a culturally-focused true blue American city. This classic American destination in Bluegrass country is home to some of the country’s best chefs, musicians & artists, while earning its reputation for being one of the best places to visit in the USA.
Though he spent his NFL career in Buffalo, Eric Wood is a native of Louisville and looks forward to showing you around his hometown on this one of a kind tour through Legends Abroad.
Day 1 – Meet & Greet Reception
Arrive in Louisville and check in to the Hotel Distil.
Meet and Greet welcome reception with hors d’oeuvres and bourbon tasting on the terrace at the Hotel Distil.
Day 2 – Stitzel-Weller Reserve / Kentucky Artisan Distillery / Angel’s Envy
Breakfast at the hotel and depart for a full day bourbon experience with exclusive, private tours.
Our first stop is the historic Stitzel-Weller Reserve where we will learn about the past, present and future of bourbon. It’s a distillery drenched in the rich history of Bourbon’s past that’s pushing the boundaries with innovations for the future. Walk in the footsteps of bourbon legends, as you step into an active barrel house, cooper shop and micro still-house. Your journey ends with a tasting of Bulleit Bourbon, Bulleit 10-year-old, I.W. Harper NAS and Blade & Bow.
Enjoy a delicious lunch at Louisville’s Premier Riverfront Dining Destination, River House. Famed Louisville chef and restauranteur, John Veranese, focuses on the smallest details in serving high quality cuisine using only the freshest local ingredients. Varanese’s eclectic menu boasts an array of options from stuffed grape leaves, and fried green tomato salad, to new signature entrées: the Bourbon Barrel Smoked Pork Chop, and Caramelized Orange Bourbon Salmon.
Afternoon tour and tastings at the Kentucky Artisan Distillery, the home of the Jefferson’s Bourbon brand, as well as Whiskey Row Bourbon and Billy Goat Strut. This hands-on on tour gets you up close and personal the equipment used and every step in the distillery process, wherein every drop of bourbon is still made by hand almost exactly like it was 200 years ago.
We then head over to Angel’s Envy Distillery for an insider’s tour and hands-on private mixology and cocktail class. Experience the first full-production urban distillery on Main Street along Whiskey Row, and learn how to mix up the best cocktails with the pros, putting you behind the distillery bar and enjoy top-shelf shelf charcuterie.
Day 3 – Bardstown Bourbon Co / Maker’s Mark
Morning workout with Eric Wood in the hotel gym (optional) and breakfast.
Depart for the “Exclusive Mad Scientist Blending Experience” at Bardstown Bourbon, one of the country’s most modern and technically advanced whiskey distilleries. Celebrating the art of making high-quality, authentic whiskey, the innovative distillery produces custom rye, whiskey and bourbon for prominent brands including Jefferson’s, High West, Belle Meade, Hirsch and many others through its one-of-a-kind Collaborative Distilling Program. Bardstown Bourbon Company honors tradition and drives innovation with this exceptional destination experience.
Private Lunch at the Harrison Smith House, a historic home with a special menu created for the occasion reflecting the rich agricultural heritage of the bluegrass and incorporating traditional ingredients and recipes. Bourbon will of course be highlighted in cocktails and paired with food.
After lunch, we head to the world-famous Maker’s Mark Compound for a Bourbon & Chocolate Tasting Experience. There’s not much sweeter than a bourbon and chocolate pairing. During this tasting experience, you will be tasting Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, an expression from their wood-finishing series (FAE-02), and a Private Selection picked by some of the Distillery team and meant to evoke notes of Toasted Marshmallow. Each bourbon will be thoughtfully paired with an artisan chocolate from ArtEatables.
Day 4 – Buffalo Trace / Mill Ridge Horse Farm / Keeneland Racetrack / Brooklyn & The Butcher
Breakfast at the hotel and on to Buffalo Trace distillery for a private tour and tastings. Throughout the challenges of floods, fires, tornadoes and even Prohibition, the American family-owned distillery has never compromised. Buffalo Trace, like all bourbon distilleries, carefully guards its unique mash bill–its secret combination of corn, rye, and malted barley. In addition to its flagship bourbon, Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the distillery produces other finely crafted bourbons including Blanton’s, W.L. Weller, Old Charter, and Eagle Rare. A variety of bourbon tours cover the history of the distillery (there has been a working distillery on the grounds since 1787) and the differences between whiskey and bourbon. You’ll get to visit the hand bottling hall and a century-old aging warehouse.
Our next stop is the Mill Ridge Horse Farm, a full-service thoroughbred farm located in the heart of Central Kentucky for our first taste of this region’s pastime and then on to spend the afternoon at the races at the Keeneland Racetrack. Tradition, beauty and world-class Thoroughbreds make Keeneland racing a spectacle to behold. For more than eight decades, the best horses, owners, jockeys and trainers have converged at Keeneland each April to compete in “racing as it was meant to be.”
Enjoy a Farewell Dinner at the modern steakhouse, Brooklyn & The Butcher, offering small plates and BIG STEAKS!
Day 5 – Departure
Breakfast at the hotel and departure.