Woodford Reserve

Kentucky Bourbon Trail via Pinterest

Kentucky is a place where men carry on about the soil, being married to the land and being buried in it. It's also home to the world's finest burley, cradle of the best Thoroughbreds and birthplace of MR's favorite bourbon.

Photo | Lisa Porter

A year ago my daughter mentioned that she had been invited by a gentleman friend to visit The Woodford Reserve Distillery. MR. recalls watching one of my eyebrows raise from across the room. He told me that he admired the way that I casually gathered all the pertinent information – who, what, when, where, and "WHY on earth would you want to visit a distillery?"

Photo | Lisa Porter

This one said it sounded like fun and wanted to go too - of course he did. We took MR. for Father's Day and we all loved it! Some of us more than others.

Photo | Lisa Porter

All Kentucky distilleries are steeped in tradition; Woodford Reserve is a showplace of the distiller's art and Kentucky bourbon heritage. This small, picturesque distillery is nestled along Glenn's Creek at the site where Elijah Pepper, one of the famous early Bluegrass distillers, set up his distillery in 1812.

via Insider Louisville

The L & G on the smokestack goes back to 1878 when James Graham and Leopold Labrot bought the property. 

Photo | Lisa Porter

In 1995, the distillery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.

Photo | Lisa Porter

As the founding member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, the Woodford Reserve Distillery gives visitors a sense of what bourbon making was like in the 1800s.

Photo | Lisa Porter

Photo | Lisa Porter

On our tour, we learned about each aspect of the bourbon-making process, starting with fermentation. Making whiskey at this stage is a lot like making bread. Woodford uses its own unique yeast strain which is added to the mix to start the fermentation process. The average fermentation time for bourbon is three days, but Woodford Reserve ferments for a full 6 days, one of the longest fermentations in the industry.

Woodford Reserve Fermentation Tank Photo | Lisa Porter

According to master distiller Chris Morris, Woodford Reserve has its roots as a 500-acre working family farm with cattle and grain. Here he breaks down five sources of flavor in whiskey to grain, water, fermentation, distillation, and aging.

After fermentation, Woodford Reserve is distilled three times in these massive copper pot stills.

Photo | Lisa Porter

Woodford then ages their whiskey in stone rack houses that date back to 1870. They use a process called cycling which involves heating and cooling the warehouse to manage the maturation.

Photo | Lisa Porter

The summertime heat expands the whiskey, pushing it into the charred layers of white oak. During winter the cold weather draws the liquid back into the barrel.

Photo | Taylor Porter

These cycles give bourbon its characteristic color, flavors and aromas. 

Photo | Lisa Porter

Woodford is aged for an average of 7 years before it’s blended and hand bottled.

That's why it's called "small batch."

Photo | Lisa Porter

At the end of the tour we sampled two of Woodford’s offerings.

Photo | Lisa Porter

and a bourbon ball ~ sweet!

Followed by some golf and a nap. A good Father's Day indeed!

Photo | Lisa Porter

The Woodford Reserve Distillery

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

via wandering tastebud

Don't forget to mind your manners & drink responsibly.


Aging Gracefully

August 12 2011

Aging ~

There's no getting around it. It's what we do over the course of a lifetime. Aging naturally is best. Aging naturally & gracefully is even better. However we choose, it depends on our outlook and how we live every day. A body, heart and mind free from impurities is a lifetime of work as we're hardly perfect - and when we're broken physically, mentally, or spiritually - it can take every cell of our being and every thought in our mind to stay centered. In doing so, we gain wisdom.

The fear of aging is allayed when we realize the wisdom that comes with it ~ 

The Girl With the Pagoda Vase 8x10 acrylic on wood by Catherine Nolin"The Girl With the Pagoda Vase" by Catherine Nolin 2012 

Aging beautifully ~

  A woman's relationship with her body is sacred. It's the ultimate garment. How she views herself has everything to do with how she feels about herself. If she's unhealthy, unhappy or unsure, it shows. If she's strong, content and confident, it shows. If you were to ask me what lies below the surface of my skin, I would tell you my heart and soul, a lifetime of love and lessons; and my deep desire to grow physically, mentally and spiritually stronger. If we were to spend time together you'd come to know all of that and more.

Right Under Your Nose 9x12 acrylic on canvas by Catherine Nolin 2014"Right Under Your Nose" by Catherine Nolin 2014 

Life comes with wrinkles ~

 Being healthy and taking good care of ourselves is important at every age and it shows. Attention sons and daughters; the way you care for your skin in your 20's will determine what it will look like for the rest of your life! Aging gradually & naturally is flattering - and those "crow's feet" and "laugh lines" - they tell many stories. This doesn't mean that we know everything there is to know. I believe that if we stop looking for new opportunities, or imagining new possibilities, then we stop aging gracefully.

When We Dance by Catherine Nolin 2010 " When We Dance" by Catherine Nolin

Personally, I can tell you that aging prematurely with deep pronounced lines - due to years of sun damage - does not feel particularly graceful. Good thing wisdom brings choices to those of us who don't embrace the damage.

There are many benefits that come with being kind and self-nurturing to ourselves.

Some are visible and some are not. Rejuvenation is one. Courage is another.  By rejuvenation, I'm referring to improving my skin by smoothing the lines & stimulating the growth of new collagen. By courage, I mean finding the courage to undergo full face CO2 laser re-surfacing.


October 2014

It was the right time for all the right reasons.

Having full face CO2 laser resurfacing has given me a fresh start and the confidence to wear my years gracefully. As a thank you to my friends & family, my hand-holders & cheerleaders and to those who were kind enough to share their journey with me, I'm sharing my journey with you here ~

Skindeep - An open and honest look at Full Face CO2 Laser Resurfacing

artwork for skin deep button


    Special thanks to

Catherine Nolin

A wonderful artist and friend.

The Curiosity Surrounding Miss Claudette by Catherine Nolin 2013

"The Curiosity Surrounding Miss Claudette" by Catherine Nolin 2013


Catherine is at home in her studio in Andover, Massachusetts

Her original works and limited prints are available through


Catherine Nolin Art Studio

The Other Side

If you're a regular visitor here, then you probably know that instead of writing about the latest & greatest of the moment, I prefer to write from my heart about the other side of the moment ~ the quieter side. You also may or may not know that I write this blog from our home, in the heart of the Bluegrass ~ Lexington Kentucky.

Man-O-War, Photo courtesy of The Kentucky Horse Park

Horses are my husband's business and the reason we are here ~ 

He comes from out west, Arizona to be exact. Raised in a horse loving family, he started early, mucking stalls, cleaning tack and riding Western on a Porter saddle ~ made by his great-grandfather, Newton Porter.

Early morning on the back side with Barkley at Keeneland Most mornings he is on the other side, the barn side, with only one thing on his mind, helping horses to breathe easier. To have a healthy & happy horse though, takes the dedication of many ~ Breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, and grooms who always, always put the horse first.

The Amazing RAUL RODRIGUEZ never far from his best friend, California Chrome, await their turn to board the plane for Maryland. Photo | Barkley Porter

Speaking of…I love this photo that he snapped of groom Raul Rodriguez and his best friend, California Chrome ~ Taken after his Derby win, they were waiting to board the plane for the flight to Maryland.

Out of the limelight, on the other side, Raul is the private groom to California Chrome and plays a vital role in the daily health and well-being of this sweet & often smiling horse.

California Chrome after his Derby win waiting to board the plane for Maryland Photo | Barkley Porter

This morning I was reading the Twitter feed of Claire Novak who is the Online Features Editor at BloodHorse.com and I was moved by her wonderful video below. The short film beautifully documents my message about the vital role that Raul Rodriguez plays, out of all the limelight, on the other side, in the daily life of California Chrome.

 Claire Novak (@ClaireNovak) May 17, 2014

If you are unable to view this video on your mobile device, click here. I'd hate for you to miss it! 


After the video, I'd love to tell you a more personal story that I published 4 years ago about how lovingly these gentle animals give back. Our daughter will tell you, "There is nothing better than hearing a rider speak their first words while on horseback, or sharing the amazement of a student as they touch the soft nose of their equine partner for the very first time."

Read more of her story on The Quiet Side.


Happy trails ~

signature LP


Thinking about California this morning ~


Giannetti Architects | Photo | Lisa Romerein

Giannetti Architects


Family & friends, new & old, all up & down the coast ~


California Map Vintage 1930 Original Picture Map by SaturatedColor. via Etsy



Praying for calm ~


Giclee print on canvas of an original painting by Steve Giannetti



Keeping you all in our hearts as you battle the forces of nature & the unkind hand of man ~


Signature 2014


Interiors | Giannetti Architects   Photo | Lisa Romerein

Water and Air Series, No.81 Painting by Steve Giannetti
Courtesy of Brooke & Steve Giannetti

To learn more, visit Brooke Giannetti at Velvet & Linen

A Mother's Day ~ A Day for Remembering

 Thinking about our mothers today.
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
Family & friends who have lost their mothers, some in a long battle & some in a moment ~ Others who's mothers are living, but have walked away. My heart aches, deeply for all of them.
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
As you know, Mother's Day is tomorrow. When it seems like everyone in the whole wide world is celebrating over brunch with cards & flowers, I hope you'll also celebrate with someone who has lost their mom.
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
Hold their hand. Let them pour tears into your lap or laugh loudly about the time she… Plant flowers in her name, or make that dish she was famous for. Bring the good wine & decadent dessert. Look through the photo albums & let them tell you all about her ~
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
As I write, I'm thinking about family, friends & my own mother ~ They are all so strong and brave ~ Wise beyond words and filled with grace. They somehow manage to quietly tuck their heartache away, long enough to love, laugh, "like", and listen when we write about our own.
Today's post is written in their honor ~ Celebrating mothers who are with us & those who have passed.  
Photo | The Lisa Porter Collection
She is in you & with you & taught you more than she ever had time to share.
Happy Mother's Day
Signature 2014