Bourbon, Music & Hunter S. Thompson

Story by Robbie Clark


The Gonzo Bar at Forecastle

Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” protagonist Raoul Duke may have been worried about stopping in “bat country” – “somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert,” as the novel opens – but he would have found refuge at this year’s Forecastle Festival in downtown Louisville.


Bourbon Country.

Thompson, a Derby City native son, was honored at the riverside festival near the main stage with a befitting tribute (at least within the confines of legality), a funhouse-themed Bourbon lounge dubbed the Gonzo Bar – “gonzo” being the author’s homespun narrative reporting style. Once inside the sloping and colorful booth, presented by Louisville’s White Clay Consulting, guests were granted a whole galaxy of Bourbon variety choices, from Four Roses Single Barrel to Old Forester (or “Old Fo,” as the locals call the Louisville house Bourbon). And at $7 – $8 for a fair pull, the establishment was sweet solace for festivalgoers opting to forgo the $6 Pabst tall boys for something with a little more grit.


Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo bar