The Bourbon Review: Summer 2008, The Bourbon Review, LLC.Contents, Illustrated, pp82.
This is the first issue of a magazine dedicated to Bourbon Whiskey, The Bourbon Trail and Kentucky. The magazine is a full color glossy illustrated magazine that is well designed. The stories are interesting even if they do seem a bit canned, but what else can be expected on the first issue. The publishers are all from the Lexington, Ky area and the articles and advertising proves this. They are mostly about Lexington people, but to the credit of the publishers, they did pick some interesting Lexington people to discuss. The stories mentioned on the cover are "Traditions of Gainesway", "Businessman Larry Redmon", and "Master Distiller Fred Noe". Gainesway is a horse farm north of Lexington and the interview with the owner Antony Beck will interest horsemen but is written to appeal to casual tourist interested in Kentucky's horses as well. Larry Redmon is a bar owner and singer in Lexington who owns "Redmons" and "The Bluegrass Tavern". The article is very interesting with bourbon discussion on several levels. The least interesting article is the Fred Noe article. It reads like a canned article from the marketing department of Jim Beam. One would hope that someone will tell Fred that using the old "Barrels were charred to take the fish smell out of the barrel" story makes him appear ignorant of the mechanics of the barrel. The only way to get the fish smell (and taste) out of a barrel that held fish for a prolonged length of time is to burn it to ash. There were a few times in the article that it seemed Fred was being himself and not repeating the story line from marketing and they add some interest to the story. Let us hope that more of that will come out in future interviews.
The magazine has short descriptions of each of the distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and they could have been copied straight from the marketing brochures at the distillery. There are some whiskey reviews and cocktail recipes a list of upcoming events and a couple of other stories in the magazine. The illustrations are all very well done and it was nice to see that Julian and Preston Van Winkle were not the only father and son team as Jimmy and Eddie Russell are also shown together in the illustrations. The other thing that is interesting about this nagazine is their mission statement, proudly listed on the credit page. They have a mission to support Kentucky's land and water resources and give free advertisement to non-profits as well as 50 hours manpower and 1% of their profits to such organizations as the Bluegrass Conservancy, this issues recipient of free advertisement.
The magazine is offered on line at thebourbonreview.com. You can subscribe to the magazine or look for it your local distillery and liquor store where it is a free magazine, paid for by advertising.
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873