Whisky Magazine Issue 6
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There's nothing like a heady blend of sunshine, history and great hospitality to create a great drink, as Marcin Miller discovered
I'm not sure about you, but travelling around in the air-conditioned luxury of a Chrysler Voyager, driving past signs proudly advertising 'The most awesome fleamarket in the world', admiring the yard art while listening to Tom Waits' Mule Variations playing on WFPK Radio all makes for a pretty good time. Add to that blazing sunshine and temperatures in the ‘90s and it gets even better. Then, of course, there's the Bourbon and the Kentucky hospitality.
May or June has to be the ideal time if you're planning to visit Kentucky; it's the horse-racing season and it's hot. Go before and you'll freeze, go after and the humidity will do you in. The extremes of temperature go some way to explain why Bourbon matures so much more quickly than Scotch. Coming from the airport, less than an hour from Chicago, you enter Louisville via Mohammed Ali Boulevard. Many of the small wooden houses on the small estates that line the route are identical; the locals call these cookie-cutter homes. Louisville itself is essentially small-town America.
It's easy to imagine getting disorientated as there are few real landmarks. However, there are some gems; for example the gigantic Roman Catholic cathedral rejuvenated recently and the stunning Gothic-style Seelbach Hotel spring to mind.
Louisville makes the ideal base from which to explore Kentucky's distilleries and other attractions.
About 200 years ago a Gaelic diaspora took place, triggered by religious persecution further north and many of its...