Whisky Magazine Issue 118
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Rob finds a craft distilling scene bursting with stunning spirits
I recently had the pleasure of being invited to Louisville, Kentucky, to be a judge in the inaugural American Craft Distillers Association (ACDA) spirits awards.
It was great to be back in Kentucky, despite the bitterly cold winter it was in the grip of. How very strange seeing Louisville covered in the white stuff; normally I see it in the heat of the summer when the rickhouses hiss and groan with joyful maturation.
Only being there for a few days it was a full on visiting schedule but it was lovely to spend some time catching up with people I haven't seen in an age: hearing from Chris Morris about the plans for Woodford Reserve, seeing the new experimental warehousing being built at Buffalo Trace (and the gorgeous little micro-still that has been installed), taking a tour round Alltech's brewing and distilling site and meeting with the Kentucky Distillers' Association to hear of its future developments. Like the rest of the whisky world, Bourbon's heartland has stepped up a notch in recent years and is a very exciting, thrilling and busy place at the moment. Demand for Bourbon and Rye is still increasing and there is an industrious hum to Kentucky as distillers raise their game to meet the demand.
The main bulk of the trip was concerned with two days of judging the wares offered by ACDA's members.
The association has hoved into view at just the right time when the craft distilling scene is becoming big enough to need a body to help address issues at the various levels o...