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Issue 68 - Bourbon's oasis

Whisky Magazine Issue 68
December 2007


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Bourbon's oasis

Four years after it opened the Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge is an island of quality in a sea of garish neon. Our man took refuge there.

Louisville's Fourth Street is a disturbing glance in to a nightmare future. It serves as a reminder as to what might happen if the anti-alcohol lobby across the world gets its way and starts to introduce cultural apartheid in our city centres.

Louisville is, of course, the capital of Kentucky, the home of bourbon. It's a quirky city nestling up on the southern shores of the Ohio River, and is known as the gateway to the south.

Ever since the pioneering days when frontier men, hardened drinkers and gamblers,would carouse the night away on gambling ships, it has always had a rebellious heart.

It was here that Louisville son Muhammad Ali threw his Olympics medal into the Ohio's brooding waters, and from here that the great names of bourbon set up the companies that would define bourbon in to the 21st century.

And it has always had a healthy college fraternity,boasting two of the country's best college football teams and a social scene that spawned a world class record store called Ear-Xtasy and a plethora of wonderful casual bars and diners.

Fourth Street Live, though, is an attempt to sanitise any form of individuality and spirit. It is sited just a few metres from the legendary Seelbach Hotel and at night it is a garish hell hole of multi-million dollar theme outlets such as the Chicago Rock Café on an artificial, covered street policed by security folk with a set of rules that includes the instruction that it is not acceptable to wear your baseball cap the wrong way rou...

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