Trying something new here this week on the blog that we think will be pretty fun. We asked one of our awesome tour guides here at Mint Julep Tours if he would share with us what he loves about his job, some of his favorite experiences and provide a unique perspective on what it is that truly sets Mint Julep Tours apart.
What I love about being a Mint Julep Tours guide
As a tour guide with Mint Julep Tours, I lead groups through Bourbon Country and visit stops along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. I keep our guests entertained with facts and stories about Kentucky history, horses, moonshine, and bourbon. We cover lots of territory between stops so I’m usually able to squeeze in a few bad jokes as well.
I love getting to know our guests. We get all kinds on the bourbon bus. The folks on a typical tour range in age from twenty something hipsters exploring their love of bourbon to senior citizens that want to take in the bluegrass and horses as we cruise through thoroughbred farms. We often have veterans and active duty military as guests. Everyone has a story to tell. I’m often shocked by our guest’s stories about home distillation and moonshining. The common thread amongst our guests seems to be an appreciation of fun. Mint Julep Tours’ motto is “The purpose of fun is to have some, so come join us!”, and we DEFINITELY have fun out on the trail.
An especially fun part of exploring Kentucky with MJT is coming across interesting characters along the way. One of the most interesting people we’re likely to bump in to is Freddie Johnson at Buffalo Trace distillery. Freddie is a tour guide extraordinaire. He is the third generation from his family to work at Buffalo Trace and he is bubbling over with information and charisma. He can read an audience like an A-list comedian and creates incredibly memorable and interactive tours for our guests. Your sides will hurt after one of Freddie’s tours.
We sometimes have the opportunity to meet important people at the distilleries we visit. One of my most memorable experiences was leading a group through the Wild Turkey distillery and meeting Jimmy Russell the octogenarian master distiller. He visited with our guests, posed for photos, and signed bottles. He finally had to leave, explaining that he had to fly to the west coast for an important marketing meeting with some “guys in suits”. I was astonished to see him climb into a twenty year old, rusty pickup truck and drive away. Here is a gentleman that has achieved success and wealth that most of us can only dream of and he is still very much a man of the people and as down to earth as the bourbon he creates.
I never get tired of driving through the lovely Kentucky countryside and meeting new and interesting people. By the end of a bourbon tour I usually have at least a dozen new friends. The wide variety of bourbon, the characters, the behind-the-scenes look at where the greatest whiskeys in the world are made…. Yeah, I have the best job ever!!
Brendan has been in the bourbon industry for several years and has been with Mint Julep Tours for over a year.