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Dedicated to regular ADAC and AmericasMart visits, Chenault James is a former Atlantan who keeps up with trends but prefers items with a sense of staying power. Forgoing heavy draperies and Persian rugs put the focus on elegant architectural details like metal windows, a molded-stone mantelpiece, an arched transom, and a hexagonal coffered ceiling.
“Two cubes?” asks Corina Darold, the bartender at Cakes & Ale in Decatur, before she pours my glass of Pappy Van Winkle’s 23-Year Family Reserve. I nod. Water unlocks the aromas and flavors of bourbon, but I particularly like the way slowly melting ice awakens the character of this unusually mature whiskey. Drinking it is like lingering over a world-class pastry chef’s ace creation: Apple and toffee scuffle for taste-bud space with sneaky spice and vanilla. A flash of orange peel shimmers through each sip’s afterglow.