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Kentucky is horse country, home of the Kentucky Derby, but it's also bourbon country. This is where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made.
Louisville is a uniquely cosmopolitan city, peppered with old world luxury, a hip urban vibe and a healthy dose of kitsch. Here, you can get some of the finest bourbon cocktails you'll ever drink and any bourbon-related product you could imagine, from bourbon coffee to bourbon shower gel! Churchill Downs is in Louisville. In the rolling hills of horse country outside of the city is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
This is where the bourbon distilleries are and many open their doors for tours. You can also tour the Brown-Forman cooperage, where they make the barrels for their bourbons.
You can do a public tour, where you hop on a bus and they'll pick the stops for you. Or, you can do a custom tour, where you get to choose the distilleries. Two things to know before planning a trip to the bourbon trail: 1) The distilleries can be anywhere from 8 to 74 miles apart and 2) bourbon isn't that kind of drink. So, you're not going to be able to hit five in a day. The best way to do the distilleries is one by one, but if you're from out of town and don't have that luxury, you'll get a max of three in a day—two distilleries where you'll do the full tour and tasting and one just for the tasting. No matter which ones you go to, leave time for the gift shop! Each has some unique bourbon offerings, from copper shot glasses at Woodford Reserve to turkey callers at Wild Turkey.
Prices vary depending on how many distilleries you want to do and how many people are in your group. The two main tour companies are Mint Julep Tours and R&R Limousine. Or, you can drive there yourself. Just be sure to drink responsibly.
They'll issue you a Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport upon your arrival, as well as an Urban Bourbon Trail passport, which will help jump-start your tour of all the fine bourbon offerings the city and countryside have to offer—some you may have been dying to try and some you didn't even know existed! Collect enough stamps in your passport, and they'll name you an official citizen of Bourbon Country!
There are only eight distilleries on the official Kentucky Bourbon Trail—Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Town Branch, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve and Evan Williams—but there are other distilleries that do tours.
Here on the bourbon trail, you'll see everything from giant mash vats the size of swimming pools, to big copper stills, secret passageways of bourbon and the system used to transport the barrels around the distilleries—train-track like barrel runs. Oh, and did we mention the flaming barrels?
Click ahead for photos from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
—By CNBC's Cindy Perman. Follow her on Twitter
Posted 24 Sept. 2013.
Kentucky is where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made and when you embark on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, you'll learn a whole lot about bourbon— and the state of Kentucky along the way. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Kentucky and bourbon:
1.) All bourbon is whiskey is but not all whiskey is bourbon. The folks over at Jim Beam say, "Bourbon is kinda like whiskey's 'sweet spot' … because corn is a sweet grain. The more corn, the sweeter the whiskey. And to be called bourbon, it must be at least 51 percent corn. (Most distillers use 65 to 75 percent corn.)
2.) Bourbon, by law, must be aged in a brand-new, charred white oak barrel to be called straight bourbon whiskey—that means, a barrel can only be used once for bourbon. Where do they go after that? They get shipped to Mexico for aging tequila, Scotland for aging Scotch or elsewhere to store all kinds of things, including coffee, tobacco, beer and maple syrup. For the best infographic you'll see all day, check out Mutineer Magazine's, "The Secret Life of Bourbon Barrels."
TV and film characters like Don Draper from "Mad Men" and Gordon Gekko from "Wall Street" may have you thinking that their professions are enviably glitzy, but the truth is, they're not all that glamorous.
"It's all about perception. It's the perception that it's a great job," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast. "Every one of these overrated jobs, people think of as, 'I've got huge autonomy. I'm in control of my day and I manage everything the way I want to manage it,'" Lee said.
"The reality is that either due to a poor hiring outlook, falling salary, rising stress or a number of other criteria, it's not as great as it appears," he said.
Stress, in particular, is among the biggest factors that land a job on the overrated list. You may think being a CEO is a glamorous world of corner offices and private jets, but in fact, it's a lot of stress. It's overrated.
Lee said these lists are among the most subjective that CareerCast puts together, compared to some of their other lists like the best and worst jobs. Still, the economy has played a huge role in jobs on both the overrated and underrated lists.
When it comes to the impact of the economy on overrated jobs, perhaps some of them lost perks like expensive client lunches, experienced a shift in the type of work they were getting, or have not yet seen their hiring outlook bounce back even though the economy is improving.
To come up with these lists, CareerCast takes a look at 200 jobs, using Labor Department and other statistics. On average, Lee said, hiring in those jobs are expected to increase by about 12 percent during this decade. What's particularly encouraging, he said, is that CareerCast has found more job openings for each one of the occupations on the list than in at least the last five years.
Click ahead to check out the 12 most overrated jobs of 2013.
By Cindy Perman
Posted 17 Sept. 2013
You probably never heard a mother brag, "My son, the biologist!" but maybe she should.
"These are jobs that most people look at and think 'eh,' when in fact they typically have a strong hiring outlook, rising salary, a fair amount of autonomy and the people who have them tend to really like them," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.
Think: That guy with the pocket protector and calculator. You weren't nearly as dazzled by him as the stockbroker in the pin-striped suit. But he is totally in demand. Boom! Underrated.
This list is, for sure, more subjective than, for example, CareerCast's best and worst jobs. But the economic recovery has provided some objective criteria for the list, Lee said.
"As the economy slowly improves, that changes how various jobs end up getting ranked—their hiring outlook improves more than another and it might move up the list, or the average salary increased," Lee said.
The housing recovery has played a part for several jobs that have seen their hiring outlook improve as the housing market improves.
And, of course, there's that little factor called supply and demand—if there aren't a lot of applicants for a particular job, the salary goes up. Or, if you're starting to see a lot of turnover on your staff, which does happen as the economy and job market improve, what's the first thing bosses try to do to keep talented employees? Raise their salary. Combine that with a job that a lot of people say "eh" about and you've got one of the most underrated jobs.
To come up with these lists, CareerCast takes a look at 200 jobs, using Labor Department and other statistics. On average, Lee said, the hiring outlook for most jobs is about 12 percent, meaning hiring is expected to increase by that much through 2020. For some of these underrated jobs, it's as high as 30 or 40 percent. What's particularly encouraging, he said, is that CareerCast has found more job openings for each one of the jobs on the list than they've seen in at least the last five years.
Click ahead to check out the 12 most underrated jobs for 2013.
By Cindy Perman
Posted 17 Sept. 2013
These kids today with their twits and their tweets, their ninth-place ribbons and their gimme gimme gimme! Lazy! Selfish! Back in my day …
Pinning the "me, me, me" label on Gen Y, millennials, or whatever you want to call them, has become so ubiquitous, Time magazine actually blasted it across their cover a few months ago: "The ME ME ME Generation."
But guess what? Twentysomethings aren't apologizing. They say it's a good thing.
The housing recovery is starting to heat up—so much so in some areas, the "b" word—bubble—is starting to pop up.
"Nationwide, the housing market is not in a bubble. But there are probably some markets that are at risk for getting into bubble territory if they continue at the pace that they're going," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
In a recent report from Realtor.com, the towns seeing the hottest recoveries, based on factors such as inventory, median list price, days on the market and search activity, were primarily on the West Coast, with six of the top 10 in California. Six months ago, eight of the top 10 were in Florida. So, is the recovery, like the settlement of the U.S., moving east to west?
Good afternoon, class. My name is Carl and I'll be your teacher today. Oh, by the way— I'm a zombie.
From the TV show "Walking Dead" to the movie "World War Z," zombies are hot.
(Well, technically, they're cold. But they're burning up the charts!)
It's your worst nightmare: You're on a job interview, they ask you a question and you don't know the answer. Your heart races. Beads of sweat begin to form. C'mon, don't blow it — THINK!
Fun as it is to just show up and panic, it's better to be prepared for the worst. Well, job site Glassdoor.com is out with their annual list of the Top 25 most difficult companies to interview with.
It's like having an older brother who gives you pointers on what to expect from Miss Renkins' calculus exam.
Signs of the housing-market recovery are everywhere, from galloping mortgage rates to rising home prices and all those "under contract" signs popping up around the neighborhood.
Nationwide, homes typically sold in 83 days in the second quarter, 14 percent faster than a year earlier, according to Realtor.com. At the same time, the median list price rose 5.4 percent, to $196,000, and the number of homes on the market dropped by more than 10 percent.
Even some states hit hardest by the recession, including Michigan, California and Nevada, are starting to see their housing markets rev back up.
"Detroit has made remarkable progress in the last year, shrinking its inventory of unsold homes by more than 26 percent and becoming one of the most balanced markets in the nation," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, the parent of Realtor.com. "We'll be watching the inventory levels in the months ahead, but if this past quarter is any indication, Detroit won't be giving up without a fight."
Realtor.com is out with its list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013. Several metrics are used to develop the list, including inventory, median list price, days on the market, and weighted search and listing activity on Realtor.com.
Do you think Detroit made the list? Did it top the list? Click ahead for the full list of the Top 10 Turnaround Towns for 2013.
By Cindy Perman
Posted 7 August 2013
Follow Cindy on Twitter
The Holy Grail for Internet advertising is the viral video. And while many an executive has uttered the words "we think this thing can go viral"—few actually know how to tweak Web weather patterns to create a "Sharknado."
(Read more: Sharknado! Syfy's latest flick is causing a frenzy)
Well, the guy who rose to online stardom during the recession by starting a business as a professional T-shirt wearer thinks he knows. It's something he calls "an Internet advertising flash mob."
The idea is that, instead of just one guy wearing a company's shirt and generating buzz about the brand on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites, you get 500 or more people putting on a shirt and hitting the social media circuit—multiplying the buzz.
Who is Gotham's "Funniest Person in Finance" -- a trader? a financial advisor? an IT guy? Click ahead to find out!
Former college football coach Barry Switzer has turned a man cave in his Oklahoma home into a base for Coaches' Cabana.
Apeks Supercritical sells an extraction machine for medical marijuana users who prefer consuming oils over smoking the plant.