13 distilleries, 40 events and 25 years of festival history will take over Bardstown, Kentucky – the Bourbon Capital of the World for seven days this September. If you are a bourbon fan then you need to attend this Silver Anniversary edition of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Yes, there are lots of spirits festivals throughout the year but this one just happens to take place in the heart of bourbon country. So get ready, find your lanyard with that Glencairn tasting glass attached and get your taste buds ready for seven days of heaven in what Rand McNally and USA Today called the, “Most Beautiful Small Town in America.”
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The Kentucky Bourbon Festival celebrates Bourbon, America’s Native Spirit. The week long event runs September 12 – 18, 2016 and is jam-packed with live music, food, arts, crafts and, of course, a healthy dose of Kentucky hospitality. Oh and did we mention Bourbon? There’s lots of it and many pours that you only find at this event.
“We have another incredible lineup of Bourbon-focused festivities for this year’s festival,” said Executive Director Jill Hawkins. “With everything from Bourbon-style cooking classes to our black-tie gala, we’re going big to celebrate the 25th year of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Our events sell out quickly, so we encourage all the Bourbon lovers out there to get your tickets early. You don’t want to miss this!”
The festival’s most popular events will be returning for the 2016 season, but the Kentucky Bourbon Festival has put together some exciting new and reimagined (think Disneyland here) events this year, including:
- 1792 Flights of Bourbon – At this brand new event, attendees will join the crew from 1792 to explore Flights of Bourbon at the Bardstown airport, Samuels Field.
- Kentucky Bourbon All-Star Sampler™ – Join the Kentucky Distillers’ Association for a rare evening featuring Master Distillers as well as Kentucky’s newest craft distilleries. Sample iconic Bourbons, innovative new brands, Kentucky cuisine, music and more!
- Boots & Bourbon™ – Join the gang from Buffalo Trace for a Boot-Scootin’ good time. Dance along to live music, enjoy fantastic food, and be prepared to ride the buffalo!
- Bourbon Cocktail Mixology™ – Joy Perrine certainly knows a thing or two about experimenting with Bourbon and has been pushing the boundaries in creating Bourbon-based cocktails for decades. Once a day, every day between September 14 and 16, attendees will sample an array of unique cocktails, learn about the art of mixology, and receive a complimentary copy of The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book.
- Sip & Savor in the Spirit of Old Kentucky™ –Do you ever wonder how connoisseurs always manage to perfectly pair food and cocktails? This year, when you attend one of two sessions with Chef David Domine, you’ll get all the tricks of the trade, learning about specific characteristics of Bourbon and how they might pair with different foods.
- World Championship Barrel Relay™ – One of our most popular events each year, the World Championship Barrel Relay races are back. This event is free of admission and features strong, experienced competitors rolling 500 lb. Bourbon barrels in a race against time and accuracy.
- Bottled in Bond-Fire – Kick back and cozy up to majestic summer bonfires at this new, casual event hosted at Wickland, The Home of Three Governors. You’ll sip a variety of bottled-in-bond Bourbons in a historic environment, listen to music, and enjoy Bluegrass cuisine.
- Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History – An 1826 building housing stills, photos, artifacts and displays of distilling from pre-colonial days to the present. Gift shop includes historical Bourbon memorabilia.
Ticket prices for the events vary from $20 up to $400 for the VIP Loft Experience. The VIP Loft Experience package includes exclusive access to a penthouse retreat with panoramic views of the Great Lawn, access to an all-inclusive private bar with premium spirits, Bluegrass-inspired lunch and dinner every day of the festival, opportunities to visit with Bourbon experts from all over the world, and one-of-a-kind swag bags to commemorate the festival. There are also many free events like the barrel rolling, arts & craft show, balloon glow and tours of the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. Visit the Kentucky Bourbon Festival web site here for ticket information for the September 12 – 18, 2016 festival.
This year’s participating distilleries include,
- Barton 1792 Distillery
- Buffalo Trace Distillery
- Bulleit Frontier Whiskey
- Four Roses Bourbon
- Heaven Hill Distillery
- Jim Beam
- Maker’s Mark
- Old Forester
- Rebel Yell
- Wild Turkey
- Woodford Reserve Distillery