By Janice Carter Levitch
Castle & Key Distillery recently held their official opening, and I had the privilege of being on the guest list. The place was overflowing with magical, jaw-dropping attention to detail – from the outdoor space revitalized by Jon Carloftis Fine Gardens to the rustic barn interior, where the tour concluded with an enchanting dinner catered by The Apiary. Midday, a tasting was held in the sunken garden that is reminiscent of Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France. The tables were set with specific glassware filled with spirits on mats, each designed to guide you through the different levels of the tasting. What I walked away with was a true revelation: I love gin, especially the London Dry gin referred to as a Restoration Release that Marianne Eaves (Kentucky’s first female master distiller) has created. I can’t wait to saunter up to a high-class gin joint soon so I can order a martini, shaken not stirred.
Speaking of sauntering, that’s what folks did while attending the inaugural Supper Under the Spires, a Churchill Downs Foundation Fête. Everyone enjoyed cocktails in the paddock and dinner on the racetrack. Tonya Ramsey Abeln, community relations director at Churchill Downs, kicked off the evening with a warm welcome and an eloquent homage to our beloved John Asher. There are moments in time when you are fully aware that something extraordinary is happening and that you have the chance to be part of it. This was definitely one of those moments.
Next up during my busy week of social escapades was tailgating for a University of Louisville football game. Doug and Julie Dorsey are the proud parents of Derek Dorsey, a 6-feet-3 defensive lineman for UofL weighing in at 275 pounds (I don’t think they call him their baby boy anymore). Their tailgating tent is rockin’ to say the least. Everyone who joined in the fun brought a favorite dish, and Doug added the finishing touch by setting up a TV so we could watch more football while enjoying the afternoon.
What else do you do after tailgating but attend an art gallery opening at Moremen Gallery with owner Susan Moremen? Located at 710 W. Main St., opening night included an artist talk by Matthew Metzger regarding the current exhibit. His work is a series of paintings created by mixing his own paint from different organic materials (eggs and limestone) to form abstract images of atmospheric landscape. The exhibit also includes figurative sculptures that are meant to be considered in relation to the paintings.
Lastly, the Frazier History Museum hosted Crafting the Guest Experience with Maker’s Mark Distillery COO Rob Samuels. He was joined by a panel of designers, blacksmiths, chefs and artists who work at the distillery, resulting in a fun-filled night that celebrated all things handmade. Rob introduced each panel member as they discussed their passion for the craft and the legendary distillery. Full of history, Maker’s Mark Distillery just knows how to do it right: first class all the way. VT