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Before & After


MILLVILLE — The still at the Old Taylor site isn’t up and running yet but that isn’t stopping distiller Marianne Barnes. She’s already hard at work in her upstairs lab, cooking up different mashbills for future spirits.

Although the distillery will make bourbon, Barnes is focusing right now on gins. Specifically, on a gin to serve to guest at the upcoming Jon Carloftis Life + Style event at Old Taylor Distillery this weekend.

“Smell that,” Carloftis says, holding out a handful of plants to Barnes. “It’s nepeta.” The lavender-blue flower, otherwise known as catmints, is used in herbal teas and medicinal tonics.

Barnes adds it to her collection, which soon includes lavender, aronia, native mountain mint, juniper, echinacea and more.

She’s planning to concoct a gin flavored with estate-grown botanicals.

As Barnes and Carloftis make their way around a walking trail he’s installing on the grounds of the distillery, which has endured decades of neglect, vandalism and decay, the signs of progress are everywhere.

The peristyle, where the spring water flows in, has been dismantled for repairs. A wall along Glenn’s Creek is being raised to allow for a terrace for sipping drinks; the walking path is coming together with groups of plantings and landscaping throughout…

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Begins Friday with a cocktail party for attendees from 5 to 7 p.m. at historic Botherum, 341 Madison Place, his Lexington home. $50 per person.

Continues Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Taylor, for $125 per person or $900 for a table for eight. Includes breakfast by Frankfort’s Sage Garden Cafe, inspiring lifestyle presentations, lunch and a swag bag.

Proceeds from each LIFE+STYLE event benefit the garden, grounds and venues.

Tickets must be ordered in advance at

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