Recently Roderick Weaver, Husk head barman and four father of Charleston Brown Water Society (CBWS), was selected to head up the beverage program for Bluegrass Hospitality Group’s rebranded Old Bourbon County Kitchen (OBC Kitchen) in Lexington, KY. And on Wed. December 3, OBC Kitchen held a grand opening of the restaurant in conjunction with a charity auction to benefit the Calipari foundation which provides for the physical, educational, and developmental needs of people and communities. In an act of solidarity and support of the CBWS member, the other three four fathers (myself, Darryl Cscilla, and Dan Latimer) made the trip to Lexington, spreading the word of the CBWS in the mecca of bourbon.

The opening gala was a spectacular event with many highlights — University of Kentucky coach John Calipari was on hand along with Charles Medley, the founder of Charles Medley Distilling, and Trey Zoeller of Jefferson Bourbon, and an Old Rip Van Winkle 23 Decanter set was auctioned off — let’s just say my $500 bid was close. The following day Cscilla had to return to prep his Repeal Day cocktail at Husk, Weaver was busy working, and Dan and I had the tough job of being guests of the Lexington Bourbon Society for a Willett Distillery dinner hosted by their distiller Drew Kulsveen at Enoteca Wine Bar. 

We tasted six different selections: a two year small batch rye (Willett’s first offering from their own personal new still in almost 30 years) which looks to be promising for the future with lots of dark herbal notes; a seven-year single barrel rye; a seven-year XCF American rye finished in a Curaçao barrel that really softened the rye and brought out the citrus notes; a 12-year single barrel bourbon; and a 24-year single barrel rye. The 24-year was fun to try, but extended time in the barrel brought out too much oak tannin for my palate.

One of the food courses was Kentucky barbecue, which is lamb mutton with a Worchestire-based sauce. After the dinner CBWS got to enjoy Willett’s Johnny Drum private stock and plans were made to have both Willett and Lexington Bourbon Society visit Charleston in the near future.

All in all it was a great trip, copious amounts of brown water were consumed, five flights were missed, Lexington was explored as were a couple of social apps. CBWS will more than likely be making a trip back in April to see the horses run at Keeneland.