Woodford Double Double Oaked

Woodford Double Double Oaked hits gift shop on Feb. 1, plus a lottery

We’ve got two chances to score a bottle of the highly sought-after annual release of Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked, so let’s hope we’re extra lucky this year! So far I have one bottle from each year they’ve come out, so I am determined!

First up, you can head to the Woodford distillery on Tuesday, Feb. 1, where they will be for sale (limit 2 per person) starting at 10 a.m. Chances are, people will camp out/line up early, so depending on how many they have for sale, it might be a cluster-f#$k trying to score even one bottle.

The second chance is a sweepstakes lottery-style release, where you can sign up online for the chance to win a bottle (one sign-up per person). The bad news here is that anyone in the country can sign up for a chance, so winning might be just about impossible. The caveat is winners must pick their bottles up at the distillery in Versailles, Ky., so that might deter someone from, say, Oregon throwing their name in the hat. But who knows.

Woodford Double Double Oaked
Double Double … Yes! Yes! | Courtesy of Woodford Reserve

“Double Double Oaked has such a cult following, which makes it very difficult for consumers to get their hands,” says Woodford Master Distiller Chris Morris in a news release. “This sweepstakes will allow more of our fans to have the chance to try this special release.”

You can enter the sweepstakes anytime from now through Feb. 8. Winners will be notified by Feb. 10 and have until April 10 to purchase their bottles in person at the distillery.

So what makes Double Double so special special? Well, they take fully mature Double Oak and age it for an additional year in a second, heavily toasted, lightly charred, new oak barrel. The extra year creates a bourbon that is distinctly spicier and a little darker and richer than the original.

These bottles are also only 375ml and are sold for $49.99. The bourbon is 90.4 proof, following the standard Woodford Reserve proof of most of its products.

Good luck! And if you end up getting two, remember to reward the messenger!

Neat Bourbon Bar menu

Neat Bourbon Bar: It’s history by the pour

Neat Bourbon Bar
Neat Bourbon Bar specializes in vintage bottles. | Photo by (Neat bartender) Dante Wheat Jr.

If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “Oh no! Not another bourbon bar,” I’d be able to afford a decent pour of a Maker’s Mark bottled in 1972 at the newly opened Neat Bourbon Bar & Bottle Shop in the Highlands.

I don’t care what you think, Louisville does not have too many bourbon bars. Why are millions of visitors filling up our hotels year after year? Because they want the Wellerz and the Pappiez and everything else in between. They want a one-of-a-kind bourbon experience they can brag about to their buddies back in Kansas.

Besides, would you rather have another smoke shop or tattoo parlor? How about a pizza place or coffee shop? I think I’ve made my point, so let’s get on to Neat.

Neat is unlike any other bourbon bar in town because its particular niche falls firmly in vintage, dusty category. Opened by bourbon buddies Owen Powell and Danielle Elder, Neat caters to those curious about bourbon’s past.

You won’t find a wide variety of today’s releases on the shelves here, but instead you’ll find older expressions of some of your favorites — bottles that once they’re gone, they’re pretty much gone forever.

vintage bourbon
This vintage Yellowstone was bottled in 1941. | Photo by Sara Havens

I chatted with Neat General Manager Craig Rupprecht and Powell last night while I was there to try a bottle of Yellowstone from 1941.

Rupprecht and Powell have been friends for quite some time, bonding over bourbon and even starting an online club called Louisville Bourbon Hounds a few years back.

While that has since disbanded, you can see their friendship and passion for this hobby called bourbon is evident throughout the comfy confines of Neat.

Rupprecht says of the 165 open bottles on the shelves, about 90% are vintage. That being said, the prices aren’t stiff, which allows you to truly enjoy “history by the pour” ( a phrase Rupprecht coined that is used on the front of each bourbon menu).

Neat is a throwback to a time when bars were dark and moody. Red velvet curtains keep the sunlight out, and plush 1920s-style couches and chairs dot the main bar room. The bar itself is a dark mahogany dotted with red leather bar stools. And memorabilia from bourbon’s past is scattered throughout, a nice touch for fanatics who like to geek over an Old Crow statue or a J.W. Dant serving tray.

There’s even another room toward the back with more plush seating. And in the back corner of the main room, there are some shelves of both modern and vintage bottles that can be purchased.

Neat also employs some of the city’s best bartenders who can help educate you if you’re not sure what to order. But don’t be alarmed — it’s not all neat pours and men boasting about their latest bottle score. There’s a cocktail menu with seven different options, as well as wine and beer offerings. The Old Fashioned is always a solid choice, and Neat’s is quite good.

Neat ribbon-cutting ceremony
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Jan. 13, 2022. | Photo by Sara Havens

Neat is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. every day except Sunday, when it opens at 1 p.m. There are no snacks, so eat before you bourbon. It’s located at 1139 Bardstown Road, across from where Highland Coffee used to be.

Elvis Whiskey bottles

All shook up about Elvis Whiskey?

On Saturday, Jan. 8, Elvis would have turned 87, if you can believe it. I don’t know much about the man’s sordid history other than the great songs he left us, but I do know he loved to entertain. So the fact that there’s now a whiskey named after him, I think he’d kinda dig it.

It’s not cold Kentucky rain — I mean whiskey — but it is bottled in Tennessee, where Elvis began his career and where his historic mansion Graceland still resides. In fact, the company that is launching Elvis Whiskey is Grain & Barrel Spirits, which is based out of South Carolina and doesn’t indicate exactly where this whiskey was distilled or aged. There are actually two Elvis bottles: Elvis Tiger Man Whiskey and Elvis The King Straight Rye Whiskey.

Elvis Whiskey bottles
Return to sender or not? | Courtesy

My guess is if you’re buying the whiskey because Elvis is on the label, you probably don’t really care where it’s distilled. It’s cool, it’ll look cool on your bar, and that’s that.

So let’s take a look at both releases.

Tiger Man Whiskey

Bottled at 90 proof and aged for 2 years — ack! — the aroma and flavor is very mild and sweet. Since it’s quite young for a whiskey and hasn’t spent much time in the barrel, the color is a light gold that you can see straight through. I like my whiskey aged at least 4-6 years, so for me it leaves a lot to be desired.

One of Elvis’ many nicknames was “Tiger Man,” and he had a song by the same name, which he first performed in 1969 at a Las Vegas concert. The mash bill is: 80% corn, 10% rye and 10% malted barley, and the suggested retail price is $49.99.

Elvis The King Straight Rye Whiskey

This 90-proof straight rye whiskey is also 2 years old and has that standard rye whiskey mash bill of 95% rye, 5% malted barley. It’s a bit more spicier, as you would imagine from all that rye and 0 corn, and it sticks around longer — like the chorus to the Elvis hit “Hound Dog.” It’s also priced at $49.99.

Elvis first launched his career in 1954 and quickly became known as “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” With his controversial hip gyrations, his crooning voice and knack for hits, Elvis entertained millions and continues to do so. He even inspired many musicians then and now, including The Beatles. In fact, John Lennon once said, “Nothing affected me until I heard Elvis. Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles.”

Final Thoughts:
Elvis montage
Elvis was cute! | Courtesy

Again, I’m guessing if you’re interested in one of these bottles, you’re not buying it for taste. If my mom was still alive today, I would probably get her a bottle for display purposes because she was a huge Elvis fan.

I could never get her to truly appreciate the nuances of whiskey, but I bet I could talk her into a few sips (OK, maybe just one) of this while “Love Me Tender” — her favorite Elvis song — played in the background.

Elvis Whiskey is available online and will also be available in Kentucky starting in February.

Pappy bottles

Let’s go Krogering: Pappy lottery starts Friday!

Pappy bottles
Hopefully gettin’ lucky in Kentucky! | Courtesy of Sazerac

Kentucky Kroger stores are about to get busy — as if they’re not busy enough this time of year. It’s time for the annual Pappy Van Winkle lottery, where thirsty bourbon hunters and gatherers descend upon every Kroger store within a 50-mile radius to enter their name for a random drawing of five varieties of the highly sought-after bourbon.

I’m included in this badass bombastic bourbon bunch, and lucky for us, we’ve got some extra time to make it to as many stores as we can this year. Entries will be accepted at all participating Kroger liquor stores between Friday, Dec. 17, and Tuesday, Dec. 21.

If you’ve never participated, here’s a quick rundown. You walk into the Kroger liquor store, fill out a slip of paper with your name and phone number, and then do a “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky” rain dance while dropping the slip into the large bin filled with everyone else’s bourbon wet dreams.

If your name is selected Wednesday morning when they draw winners, you will win the chance to buy one of these five Pappy brands:

  • Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon 10 Year Old: $69.99
  • Old Rip Van Winkle Special Reserve Bourbon 12 Year Old: $79.99
  • Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 15 Year Old: $119.99
  • Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 20 Year Old: $199.99
  • Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Year Old: $299.99 

It’s as simple as that. And let’s say you win but don’t feel like spending that much money on bourbon. In that case, you message your favorite Bar Belle (shavens76@gmail.com) and she will happily purchase the bottle from you, plus $20 extra for your troubles. It’s the least I can do.

Each store will have at leasts six bottles up for grabs, and you can only enter once per store (although I’m not sure that’s once, period, or once per day).

Here’s the list of participating Kroger stores in Kentucky, starting with the Louisville area. Gather up a group and go hit all the nearby Krogers while singing carols and sippin’ eggnog. Good luck!

Louisville Area Kroger Wine & Spirits Shops:
  • 2219 Holiday Manor Center
  • 2200 Brownsboro Road
  • 9812 Linn Station Road
  • 2440 Bardstown Road
  • 3039 Breckenridge Lane
  • 5533 New Cut Road
  • 12501 Shelbyville Road
  • 6900 Bardstown Road
  • 5001 Mud Lane
  • 4501 Outer Loop
  • 9080 Taylorsville Road
  • 291 N. Hubbards Lane
  • 9440 Brownsboro Road
  • 12611 Taylorsville Road
  • 3165 S. Second St.
  • 1265 Goss Ave.
  • 9501 Westport Road
  • 10645 Dixie Highway
  • 4915A Dixie Highway
  • 2034 S. Highway 53 (La Grange)
  • 5929 Timber Ridge Dr. (Prospect)
  • 185 Adam Shepherd Parkway (Shepherdsville)
  • 234 Eastbrook Pointe Drive (Mt. Washington)
Lexington Area Kroger Wine & Spirits Shops:
  • 4101 Tates Creek Centre Drive
  • 150 W. Lowry Lane, Suite 190
  • 1808 Alexandria Drive
  • 3650 Boston Road
  • 3165 Majestic Drive
  • 4750 Hartland Parkway
  • 1060 Chinoe Road
  • 3175 Beaumont Centre Circle
  • 1600 Leestown Road
  • 704 E. Euclid Ave.
  • 106 Marketplace Circle (Georgetown)
  • 212 Kroger Way (Versailles)
Other Kentucky Kroger Wine & Spirits Shops:
  • 102 E. John Rowan Blvd. (Bardstown)
  • 568 Bypass Road (Brandenburg)
  • 200 Skywatch Drive (Danville)
  • 111 Towne Drive (Elizabethtown)
  • 3040 Dolphin Drive (Elizabethtown)
  • 1309 U.S. Highway 127 S. (Frankfort)
  • 302 Brighton Park Blvd. (Frankfort)
  • 810 Indian Mound Drive (Mt. Sterling)
  • 515 N 12th St. (Middlesboro)
  • 967 S. Main St. (Nicholasville)
  • 1650 Starlight Drive (Owensboro)
  • 2630 Frederica St. (Owensboro)
  • 890 Richmond Plaza (Richmond)
  • 181 S. Highway 127 (Russell Springs)
  • 311 Boone Station Road (Shelbyville)
  • 50 Stonegate Center (Somerset)
  • 1661 Bypass Highway 1958 (Winchester)
Four Roses Visitor Center

Four Roses debuts its expansive new Visitor Center

Four Roses Visitor Center
The new Four Roses Visitor Center is 14,446-square-feet. | Photo by Sara Havens

It had been quite some time since I last visited the Four Roses Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky., so when I pulled into the long driveway, I shocked to see a brand new Spanish mission-style building sitting right alongside the rest of the distillery like it had been there all this time — since 1910, that is.

Obviously that new building is the reason why I was there — it was a day of celebration as the media was invited to gather with state and local politicians and industry leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the brand new 14,446-square-foot Visitor Center.

Gov. Andy Beshear was one of the first to take the podium, and spoke with both enthusiasm and optimism for the future. Despite making it through the last grueling year of COVID and crisis, Beshear said, “What is in front of us is as bright as the commonwealth has ever seen. This new Visitor Center is another exciting accomplishment for Four Roses, the Anderson County community and Kentucky’s $8.9 billion tourism industry.”

A highlight of the ceremony was a toast led by Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott, which included a pour of the single barrel he hand-selected for the occasion: a 20-year-old OBSV recipe bourbon that was simply incredible. (The lucky guests at the ceremony were able to purchase a bottle of this special release, and the rest went on sale Wednesday morning when the Visitor Center opened to the public for the first time.)

After the ribbon cutting, we were ushered inside to check out all the fancy new bells and whistles. The size of the retail space alone is breathtaking and beautiful, made with white oak floors and ceilings, as well as 100-year-old reclaimed wood from a barn on site.

Off to the left is Bar 1888, named for the year Four Roses was first trademarked, where I found myself a Maple Old Fashioned — hey, they offered! Visitors will be able to get cocktails here while they wait for their tour, as well as tastings from all Four Roses expressions as well as the brand’s Limited Edition Small Batch series.

And on the right side of the retail space, you’ll find the Al Young Archive Collection featuring an interactive display showcasing the range of bottles and memorabilia from the bourbon’s 133-year history. I was lucky enough to call Al a friend, and although he is no longer with us, I know he would have absolutely loved this archive, especially since he helped unearth most of it throughout his 50+ years at Four Roses.

The Visitor Center also has four seated tasting rooms as well as a 3,850-square-foot outdoor covered patio and cocktail area.

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited Four Roses, it’s definitely time to book a tour and check this out for yourself. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.

Here are some photos of the event:

A scene from a former Bourbon & Benevolence

Eat, drink, be merry and give back at Bourbon & Benevolence Saturday

A scene from a former Bourbon & Benevolence
Bourbon & Benevolence from a few years back — it’s always a great time! | Photo by Drew Mackell (Mackell Photography)

December is the prime month to eat, drink, be merry and give back, and there’s no better way to do it than with an awesome bourbon event that gives back to the service industry.

Bourbon & Benevolence, which will be held Saturday, Dec. 11, from 6:30-9:30 p.m., is an annual event hosted by KOBBE (Kentucky’s Original Black Bourbon Enthusiasts), and each year they pick a different charity to raise funds for. This year it’s APRON, Inc., a local nonprofit that provides financial relief to professional food and beverage workers in the area who are experiencing financial distress due to illness, accident or emergency.

Basically, for three hours on Saturday, you get to sample bourbons from 11 different brands, enjoy food from several food trucks, bid on highly coveted bottles in a silent auction, smoke cigars in a fancy outdoor lounge, and also sip on wine, champagne or beer (if bourbon isn’t your thing — gasp!).

I’ve been to this event several times the last few years and it’s quickly become one of my favorite bourbon-centered events. Everyone is looking for a good time, whether you’re new the to spirit or an old coot like me, and appreciation for charity, bourbon, community and fellowship is felt throughout the room.

So which brands will be there, you ask? Check ’em out:

  • Michter’s
  • Russell’s Reserve
  • Maker’s Mark
  • Smooth Ambler from West Virginia
  • Bulleit Frontier Whiskey
  • Buzzard’s Roost
  • Ragged Branch
  • Rolling Fork Rum
  • Limestone Branch
  • Barrell Craft Spirits
  • Kentucky Peerless
Bourbon & Benevolence flyer
&

“This year our focus is fully on fundraising,” says Jamar Mack, founder of KOBBE. “We’ve always prided ourselves on bringing people together, so we’re glad to get back to that.”

And speaking of raising funds, the silent auction is going to be insane, with a list that includes many “unicorn” bottles you only dream about owning.

These include big hitters like Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, a 19-year-old Willet Family Estate Single Barrel, Pappy, Weller, Stagg, Blanton’s, and even some vintage bottles.

Tickets to the event are $110, which includes the full tasting experience, access to the silent auction and everything mentioned above, as well as two tickets for the food trucks. A proof of COVID vaccination or negative 72-hour test is required. Bourbon & Benevolence will be held Dec. 11 at Mint on Mellwood, 1631 Mellwood Ave.

The Kitchen Table façade

Beam’s new The Kitchen Table restaurant one-ups all other Kentucky distilleries

The Kitchen Table façade
The Kitchen Table: Come as a friend, leave as family. | Photo by Sara Havens

For 18 long months, the James B. Beam Distilling Co. (aka Jim Beam Distillery) in Clermont, Ky., was closed to the public. The powers-that-be decided, in essence, that while the world dealt with the ensuing global pandemic, it would be best to shut down tours and renovate and expand the campus.

After all, this was part of Beam’s five-year expansion plan, which included constructing a new distillery (Fred B. Noe Craft Distillery); expanding and renovating the visitor center, which is now called The American Outpost; and adding a full-service restaurant and cocktail bar called The Kitchen Table; among other projects.

Turns out the Beam crew was quite productive in those 18 months, and now the distillery is open again for tours — as well as delicious meals and creative cocktails.

I recently visited The Kitchen Table as part of a media experience, and I can say — with all due respect to the other distilleries in Bourbon Country — that Beam has just one-upped every other distillery in Kentucky and beyond. The restaurant is not only approachable and welcoming, but it offers gorgeous views of the distillery grounds and spectacular cocktails that highlight each Beam brand — from Booker’s and Basil Hayden to Baker’s and Knob Creek.

The restaurant was inspired by the Noe family kitchen table, where generations of Beams have shared meals and, of course, lots bourbon! Beam partnered with QED Hospitality out of New Orleans on the project, and the food as well as the vibe of the place is Southern hospitality at its finest.

Here are a few things I was able to try, which are a great representation of the menu.

First Course

  • Jim Beam Highball — I love a refreshing highball, and this was top-notch!
  • Spiced Pork Rinds — Yum! Cajun-seasoned rinds were delish!
  • Venison Poppers — I don’t usually eat venison, but I did, and it was pretty tasty.
  • Pulled Pork Empanadas — One of my favorites of the day: The pulled pork was smoked on the premises.
  • Lamb Ribs — A savory treat, with fall-off-the-bone meat.

Second Course

  • Golden Hour — This cocktail was made with Basil Hayden, Aperol and fillet blanc, and it was light and crisp.
  • Hot Brown Pizza — Fun fact: The chefs use the same yeast for the pizza crust that is used in Jim Beam bourbon. This pizza is a best-seller so far.
  • Smoked Pork Pizza — My favorite pizza of the bunch!
  • Wild Mushroom Pizza — The smoked gouda on this one was a highlight.

Third Course

  • Smash — A cocktail made with Old Grand-Dad 114, lemon, mint and sugar. It was kind of hybrid of a mint julep and hot toddy, served cold over crushed ice.
  • Burger — Wow! This was my favorite of the day, a double-decker fried burger that tasted like a Frisch’s Big Boy back when Frisch’s used quality meat.
  • Smothered Catfish — I don’t usually eat fish, but I made myself try this because it looked like chicken tenders. It was pretty darn good! Fluffy and fried.
  • Smoked Trout — I hate to say it, but I passed on this dish because of, well, fish.

Dessert

  • Basil Hayden Caribbean Cask — A neat pour, tried and true.
  • Bourbon Balls Can’t go wrong with these balls.
  • Spiced Apple — This as a treat: vanilla pudding with caramel, granola and baked apple pieces.
  • Chocolate Blackout Cake — Can I get a hell yeah!? This was my fav dessert because of the luscious hot fudge poured all over it, plus bourbon whipped cream and bourbon-soaked cherries.

As you can see, there’s a wide range of food here, and it’s all sourced locally (when possible). The table I sat at was patterned after a similar table in the Noe kitchen, and it’s reserved for VIPs, although you can request it when making reservations. Because everyone is a VIP at The Kitchen Table, right?! You better believe it.

And I also tried the Black Manhattan, which was made with Baker’s — one of my favorite Beam products.

Right now, The Kitchen Table is only open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday, and it’s recommended you just stop by and come on in. If you’re waiting for a tour or are killing time after a tour, it’s also recommended you sip on a cocktail or two from the oval-shaped center bar.

And lastly, I just love how the restaurant is all windows, showing the dazzling, serene sights of the distillery grounds. I could just sit there all day and look out onto the campus — as long as they kept my glass full, that is.

Here is a collection of photos from my experience. Enjoy!

A man at last year's Tailspin Ale Fest

Louisville’s best beer fest, Tailspin Ale Fest, returns Oct. 30!

A man at last year's Tailspin Ale Fest
Who’s ready for the 8th annual Tailspin? | Courtesy of Tailspin Ale Fest

The last time I attended Louisville’s best beer fest, also known as the Tailspin Ale Fest, I was unaware that a global pandemic was on the horizon and shit was about to hit the fan. It was February of 2020, and I still had a job, I didn’t own a single face mask, and I had a fondness for the word Corona — it goes well with a lime.

Had I known everything that was to come after, I would have cherished my time at the festival more. But honestly, I had a frickin’ blast sucking down samples left and right, and I don’t know how I could have had more fun.

Good news is, while Tailspin got postponed in February 2021, organizers are bringing it back for a Halloween-themed party on Saturday, Oct. 30. It’ll once again be held at Bowman Field, but this time at the Central American hangar closest to Taylorsville Road, which is outside. And it’ll run from 3-7 p.m. as usual.

Tickets are still available, and guests are encouraged to dress in costume for the 8th annual Tailspin. So what all is planned? I’m glad you asked.

First of all, there will be more than 250 samples of craft beer from near and far, along with cider and wine. Need more? Check out this list of amenities:

  • Shuttle stop options and a dedicated shuttle entrance
  • Cox’s Cigar Pavilion
  • Bourbon Barrel Beer Bar
  • Cider/Sour Bar
  • Drake’s Silent Disco
  • Live music from 100% Poly
  • Tarot Card Readers and other festive Halloween fun
  • Kentucky Heritage Section – Brews brewed in the bluegrass
  • Food Trucks

If you’ve never been, trust me on this, it’s worth every penny of admission. And if you have been, then what are you waiting for? Buy your tickets already!

VIP tickets are $80 and include early admission at 2 p.m., a free food voucher, a souvenir taster glass, and a Bell’s Brewery VIP Tailspin souvenir. And general admission tickets are $50 and include a souvenir taster glass. If you have a DD who doesn’t plan on drinking, tickets for them are $15. You must purchase your tickets online before the event, as no tickets will be sold at the gate.

Shuttle rides to and from Tailspin are an additional $15, and locations include Against the Grain downtown, Cox’s Spirits on Ruckreigel Pkwy., Drake’s Paddock Shops, Drake’s St. Matthews, Drake’s Hurstbourne, Evergreen Middletown, Highlands Tap Room, New Albanian, Union 15 near Iroquois Park, and Nachbar.

A scene at Woodford Reserve Distillery

Woodford Reserve celebrates 25 years with special events and releases

A scene at Woodford Reserve Distillery
Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall celebrate 25 years. | Photo by Sara Havens

On an unusually warm Monday afternoon in October, media gathered at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Ky., to hear more about the exciting things planned for the Brown-Forman brand’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall were on hand to raise a toast to the milestone and fill us in on some upcoming events and news.

“We see no sign that the global demand for bourbon will diminish,” Morris said. “More and more consumers worldwide are discovering one of the greatest exports from Kentucky — bourbon. And they are especially enjoying Woodford Reserve.”

Morris added that Woodford Reserve is the top super premium whiskey in the world, and under his leadership and the rest of the Woodford team, the brand has grown exponentially from 1996 until now, adding four other expressions to the Woodford cannon: Double Oaked, Rye Whiskey, Wheat Whiskey and Malt Whiskey.

Potstills at Woodford Reserve
The iconic Woodford Reserve copper pot stills will soon be joined by three more. | Photo by Sara Havens

Morris and McCall also showed off the distillery’s newest expansion, which will double the capacity.

Not only are they adding three more iconic pot stills to the facility, but they also constructed a new building that’ll make more room for more fermenters in the current distillery.

During the event, the Woodford team topped off some newly filled barrels that’ll soon — well, in five or six years — be part of a commemorative 25th anniversary release.

To celebrate the big 2-5, the distillery will be offering special tastings, cocktails and releases all month long. And on Friday, Oct. 15, Morris and McCall will be at the distillery to sign bottles and answer questions from 2-4:30 p.m.

Not A Kale Ale Beer

Lettuce drink beer! Green District now has its own brew

Not A Kale Ale Beer
Eat like a rabbit, drink like a fish. | Photo by Sara Havens

It’s not fun trying to be healthy. I don’t care if you’re name is Oprah, I’m never going to eat a pizza with cauliflower crust and pretend it’s better than the real thing.

Trying to be healthy as you get older is also quite a challenge, and by challenge I mean damn impossible. My metabolism, which has never quite fired on all cylinders, has seriously left the building. I may have to hire Dog the Bounty Hunter to help me find it.

Anyway, we all know what we should be eating, but rarely do we stick to rules. So when I can find compromise in my diet, I’m all for it. Case in point: The Louisville-based salad shop Green District now has its own beer, so I can eat like a rabbit and drink like a fish!

If you don’t know what Green District is, there are a few locations around town now, and there’s about to be a whole lot more. They told me they hope to open about 100 new locations around the country in the next five years, so there’s that.

Green District salad and beer
Salad & beer

Think of it like the Qdoba of salad … the employees can help you create your own salad from dozens of topping options, or you can just pick one of the already created salad concoctions if you hate making decisions.

The beer, which is only available at the Highlands location (1449 Bardstown Road) for now, was made by Falls City Beer and is called Not A Kale Ale. The description on the can is a “Light & Bright Citrus Ale.”

I stopped by the other day to try out the $3.50 beer and grab a fresh salad as well, and I must say that the beer pairs very well with a cob salad drizzled in ranch dressing.

First of all, let’s talk about the salad. They way it was chopped made it simple to eat. I just plunged my fork into the greens, and up came a perfect bite. No big lettuce leaves or huge bits of broccoli — everything was perfectly sliced and diced. They may actually get me to eat salads on the reg if this is how it’s going to be.

Now the beer. It was light and refreshing for an ale, and it really did complement my salad. The citrus notes in the ale worked perfectly with the greens and the grilled chicken. I secretly wondered how many calories and carbs the beer had, but I didn’t want to ask. I figure if my meal is healthy, then I can at least enjoy a beer.

Go check it out next time you’re in the Highlands. It’s located in the building that formerly housed a Comfy Cow, right near the intersection of Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway.

Of course I couldn’t stop thinking about all my hot and sticky ice cream memories in that space, but I suppose I’m better off sticking to salad and a beer.