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Issue 13 - Booker Noe

Whisky Magazine Issue 13
December 2000


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Booker Noe

Uncut, unfiltered and straight from the barrel Stuart Maclean Ramsay visits the house that Jim Beam built and has dinner with boubon legen, Booker Noe.

Mighty fine,” seems an apt description for Booker Noe, the Kentucky bourbon making legend, and for his namesake whiskey, Booker's. It also happens to be an expression that peppers his conversation on a frequent basis if you have the good fortune to meet up with him.

I had the fortunate pleasure to meet him earlier this spring on his home turf of Bardstown, Kentucky, the bourbon capital of the world. He had invited me to share dinner with him and his wife, Annis, at their home – a short, five minute walk from the centre of town.

When I arrived he was sitting on the front porch, taking in the societal ebb and flow of a Bardstown twilight. “You'll have some Kentucky tea?” he asks rhetorically, handing me a tall glass of Booker's with lots of water and ice. “Goes well with dinner or just about any time, for that matter.”

Dinner, Booker Noe style, is no ordinary affair. Our chef for the evening is Booker's friend, Marilyn ‘Toogie' Dick, on a one night sabbatical from the Kurtz Restaurant in Bardstown.

Toogie's parents started the restaurant in 1937 and the family has been serving classic Southern food ever since. How good is Kurtz cuisine? A national magazine rated the skillet fried chicken the best in the United States a few years back. Soon afterwards a half dozen executives from Kentucky's better-known fried chicken franchise arrived in Bardstown, cheque book in hand, wanting to buy the recipe. Toogie sent them
packing before they could even loosen their c...

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