Garden & Gun

A Bourbon Immersion

More than nine million barrels of spirits are currently aging in Kentucky, and not surprisingly, most of them contain bourbon whiskey. That’s roughly two barrels for every person living in the state, and enough, distillers hope, to keep pace with a growing global thirst for America’s native spirit. As a born-and-bred Kentuckian, I’ve consumed my fair share. However, I’m stumped as I study the list at Doc’s Bourbon Room, which opened this year in downtown Louisville. A back bar filled with gleaming amber-liquid-filled bottles is table stakes these days, especially in Kentucky, but Doc’s is all in on its bid to offer the world’s largest whiskey selection. More than three thousand bottles fill every wall, with library ladders and a Dewey-decimal-like numbering system.

I decide on a pour of fourteen-year-old King of Kentucky. Spirits giant Brown-Forman resurrected the historic brand in 2018 as a high-end single-barrel bourbon, with an only-in-Kentucky release of fewer than a thousand bottles and a suggested retail price of $199. Where else am I going to try a taste? We are living in a time of peak bourbon, when whiskey

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