Courier July Courier - Page 32

CITY SPOTLIGHT LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY Evan Williams Bourbon Experience I arrived in Louisville late in the afternoon and immediately headed to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in the heart of downtown. I joined a few other whiskey aficionados on the Traditional Tour & Tasting, a one-hour crash course in the history of bourbon in Louisville, the biography of Evan Williams and the nuances in distilling the spirit. Our knowledgeable guide led us through elaborate re-creations of historical settings: the banks of the Ohio River in the late 1700s, the streets of Prohibition-era Louisville and a midcentury cocktail club straight from a scene in “Mad Men.” At each stop, we watched brief film clips to supplement the context our guide provided. Very little bourbon is produced onsite, but the tour does take groups by the large room where vats of corn mash are distilled and barrelled before the wooden casks are taken away to age. The tour concluded with tips for novice whiskey drinkers as we sipped the distillery’s products, which include both budget and premium products. The Bourbon Experience offers room rentals for groups, including period settings and more contemporary spaces, and catered meals can be arranged. After imbibing, my next stop was the Muhammad Ali Center. For all the intensity that a prize fight might evoke, the setting of the museum was peaceful, inviting and thought-provoking—much like its namesake, I would learn. After watching “If You Can Dream,” a 14-minute introductory film about the life of Ali, I walked through the museum’s permanent exhibits. The Core Principles galleries explored the guiding philosophy of Ali’s life: confidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect and spirituality. At video booths, guests can sit and record messages about what these principles mean to them. Train with Ali took me through the boxer’s regimen of mental and physical exercise in preparation for fights. I tried my hand at punching the speed bag and shadow boxing before deciding that I was fine floating like a butterfly and would leave the “sting like a bee” business to the professionals. Other galleries contain memorabilia from Ali’s career, and interactive displays supplement biographical information with historical context. Together, these pieces form a fascinating look at Ali’s youth, athleticism, conversion to Islam and growth as an activist for peace against the backdrop of the civil rights era and the Vietnam War. Groups should make reservations at least three weeks in advance, and special pricing is available. The museum offers easy motorcoach drop off, and free bus parking is available close by. Fans might also check out the Muhammad Ali Childhood Home and Museum, open Thursdays through Sundays. The next day at sunrise, I met Jennifer Riddell, group tour manager for the Kentucky Derby Museum. The museum entrance is adjacent to the gates of Churchill Downs, where the famous race is held, and Riddell took me through what a group would experience during the attraction’s Backstretch Breakfast Tour. While we ate a hot meal in the Track Kitchen, we watched horses run by during their morning workouts. The Derby was less than three weeks away, so the barns and stables were bustling. “In the spring and fall, we focus on live racing,” says Riddell, but tour groups have options throughout the year. “In the winter, we have beautiful Christmas decor and activities like creating ornaments from horseshoes. Groups can visit in the spring and again during the holidays for a completely different experience.” Other options include a mock race day with archival footage—following a presentation by a professional handicapper and wagering—a make-yourown-hat session, a curator’s tour of museum treasures not on display and a jockey appearance. After photo ops on the backstretch and from the stands below the famous twin spires, I headed inside the museum for its 360-degree film, “The Greatest Race,” and a walk through the exhibits. Artifacts cover every aspect of the Kentucky Derby, from the fashions of its famous attendees to the history of horseracing. Muhammad Ali Center GABE WEBB 30 July 2017 LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY Evan Williams Bourbon Experience I arrived in Louisville late in the after- noon and immediately headed to the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in the heart of downtown. I joined a few other whiskey aficionados on the Traditional Tour & Tasting, a one-hour crash course in the history of bourbon in Louisville, the biography of Evan Williams and the nuances in distilling the spirit. Our knowledgeable guide led us through elaborate re-creations of his- torical settings: the banks of the Ohio River in the late 1700s, the streets of Prohibition-era Louisville and a mid- century cocktail club straight from a scene in “Mad Men.” At each stop, we watched brief film clips to supplement the context our guide provided. Very little bourbon is produced on- site, but the tour does take groups by the large room where vats of corn mash are distilled and barrelled before the wooden casks are taken away to age. The tour concluded with tips for nov- ice whiskey drinkers as we sipped the distillery’s products, which include both budget and premium products. The Bourbon Experience offers room rentals for groups, including period set- tings and more contemporary spaces, and catered meals can be arranged. 30 July 2017 After imbibing, my next stop was the Muhammad Ali Center. For all the inten- sity that a prize fight might evoke, the setting of the museum was peaceful, inviting and thought-provoking—much like its namesake, I would learn. After watching “If You Can Dream,” a 14-minute introductory film about the life of Ali, I walked through the muse- um’s permanent exhibits. The Core Principles galleries explored the guiding philosophy of Ali’s life: con- fidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect and spirituality. At video booths, guests can sit and record messages about what these principles mean to them. Train with Ali took me through the boxer’s regimen of mental and physical Ali Childhood Home and Museum, open Thursdays through Sundays. exercise in preparation for fights. I tried my hand at punching the speed bag and shadow boxing before deciding that I was fine floating like a butterfly and would leave the “sting like a bee” busi- ness to the professionals. Other galleries contain memorabilia from Ali’s career, and interactive dis- plays supplement biographical informa- tion with historical context. Together, these pieces form a fascinati )ЁéѠѡѥʹٕͥ)Ѽ%ͱɽѠ́ѥ٥Ё)Ёѡɽѡ٥)ɥ́ɄѡYѹ]ȸ)ɽ́͡ձɕ͕مѥ́)Ёѡɕݕ́م)ɥ́مQ͕մ)́䁵ѽɍɽɕ)́ɭ́م͔丁)ЁͼЁѡ5աѥ́ѡɽ՝Ёѡ啅ȸq%ѡݥ)ѕȰݔٔѥհ ɥѵ́)ѥ٥ѥ́ɕѥɹ)ɽ̸͕͡ɽ́٥ͥЁѡ)ɥɥѡ́)ѕ䁑ɕЁɥt)=ѡȁѥ́ՑɅ)ݥѠɍمхQݥ)ɕ͕хѥ䁄ɽͥ)ȁ݅ɥQȴ)ݸЁ͕ͥɅѽˊéѽȁ)͕մɕɕ́Ё䁅)䁅Ʌ)ѕȁѼ́ѡɕэ)ɽѡх́܁ѡ́ݥ)ɕ̰$ͥѡ͕մ)̀ɕqQɕѕЁIt)݅ѡɽ՝ѡᡥ̸ѥ)ٕȁٕ䁅Ёѡ-Սɉ)ɽѡ́́́͡ѕ)́Ѽѡѽ䁽͕Ʌ)QЁ䁅Ёչɥ͔$Ё))Iɽѽȁȁȁѡ)-Սɉ5͕մQ͕մ)Ʌ́ЁѼѡѕ́) ɍݹ̰ݡɔѡ́Ʌ)́Iѽѡɽ՝ݡ)ɽݽձɥɥѡ)Ʌѥé ɕэ ɕЁQȸ)]ݔєЁѡQɅ)-эݔ݅э͕́ո䁑ȴ)ѡȁɹݽɭ̸Qɉ)݅́́ѡѡɕݕ́݅䰁ͼѡ)ɹ́х́ݕɔѱ+q%ѡɥݔ́ٔ)Ʌt́ͅIЁѽȁɽ́ٔ)5ա ѕ) %QdMA=Q1%!