Birth of Bourbon
Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries
by Carol Peachee
University Press of
by abandoned buildings in the Distillery District of Lexington,
Kentucky, photographer Carol Peachee compiled this documentary record
of old distilleries, both active and closed down.
"It was as if I were stepping into an earthbound Titanic,"
she explains. "Here once were heat, noise, human activity, a thriving
business and Kentucky’s signature industry –
bourbon whiskey. Now time and nature floated through the space,
transforming the building into a museum and machinery into art. In fact
I came to see the whole distillery as both a museum holding individual
works of art, connected works of art, and a work of art itself as a
whole. This work of art was still in progress; what had once been here
was inferred by what was present.”
Birth of Bourbon is an
assemblage of more than 220 color plates documenting the
historical process of making bourbon through objects, colors, shapes
and shadows. It includes an index of the distilleries
and processes illustrated.
is co-founder of the Kentucky Women’s Photography Network.
featuring Old Taylor Distillery
A beautiful and
spring, surrounded by a colonnade, sunken gardens with a natural
limestone spring, pergolas, embellished windowworks and stoneworks, and
even a fermenting room once used as a greenhouse, with small-paned
French windows throughout its interior – all these charming
elements adorned this distillery. It was a showcase for its legendary
owner, E.H. Taylor, who entertained senators, bankers and businessmen
on its grounds.
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