Whisky Magazine Issue 103
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Liza Weisstuch finds a wonderful weirdness in Bourbon country
At Rye, a bar on Louisville's bustling Market Street, you can get a world class, ultra-hoppy IPA on draft. At the Silver Dollar, you can get a giant chicken-fried steak or pillow-y empanadas. And at Meat, you can take wasabi peas and peanut butter-filled pretzels from glass jars. There's a veritable endless supply of snacks if you're inclined to nosh. I'm not generally inclined to nosh, but I did. How else to sustain myself as I tasted my way through the thoughtful, creative drink list? I certainly couldn't abort my mission after my second drink, the Smoked Hickory Stick (Old Forrester Signature, Fernet Branca, luxardo, lemon chips).
Meat opened in October on a remote, industrial patch of Louisville's Butchertown district (get it?), a neighbourhood settled in the 1820s by German immigrants. My friend and I walked past the entrance to Blind Pig, a tranquil bar on the ground floor with stylish brick walls, shelves crammed with Bourbon. We slipped around the grey building' side, up narrow outdoor stairs, along a hallway toward a glassenclosed, dramatically lit curing room, slabs of pork suspended like kids dangling from a jungle gym, and through a heavy curtain. The room beyond is dark and loungelike: couches, candles perched on glass tables, antique lamps. The “tower of treats” on the bar.
“We resisted the ‘speakeasy' description. We want to be of Louisville, not emulate places we've seen in Chicago or New York,” Peyton Ray, a co-owner Louisville native, tells me. T...