Louisville Magazine

NOV 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1042970

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Page 13 of 172

kosair.org/donate ymcalouisville.org/downtown LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.18 11 others have carefully cultivated. While I, like Dan, will leave it to your judgment to determine whether the excellence continues, I can guarantee that the editorial independence will. Speaking of traditions, one of my all-time favorites comes from the late and wonderfully traditional — and innovative and wise — Owsley Brown II, who also happens to have been my father- in-law. He was a fourth-generation leader of his family company, Brown-Forman, in the great Kentucky tradition of making and selling bourbon. But he cared just as much about tending to the metaphorical bourbon of Louisville. Dan did too. And so do I. Soon after I met Owsley, he explained to me that making bourbon takes three steps. During the first, fermentation, you need to let a lot of different natural ingredients react with one another, including yeast, which acts as the catalyst. ings must be allowed to bubble up over time. But if you stop at the end of step one, you get beer. Beer is fine (and maybe better than fine), but it's not what Owsley was after. e next step is distillation, which uses heat and vapor to narrow things down and arrive at something more essential. But stop there and you get vodka. Owsley reminded me, meaning no disrespect to our Eastern European friends: "You can make vodka in an afternoon." Bourbon needs a final step. If you ask people to guess what that is, most will say "aging," which is close. Time is indeed part of it, but it's not time alone. It's time in the charred barrel — the whiskey expanding into the wood and contracting with the changing seasons. It's called maturing. It's not so different from a community's ebbs and flows of gratitude and resentment and agreement and disagreement and competition and cooperation and so on. Maturing is what gives character, color and complexity to a great bourbon. And to a great city. At Louisville Magazine, we'll continue to catalyze and bubble things up. We'll distill and always try to focus on the richness of our time in the barrel together. We know that Louisville makes us. So we'll keep making Louisville. — Matthew Barzun, publisher

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