It’s almost springtime in Kentucky and that can only mean one thing – It’s Almost Derby Time! The time of year when the tulips are popping and people from all over the world descend on Louisville on the first Saturday in May and think, “I could live here.”
It’s the time of year that means three things are just around the corner – the greatest two minutes in sports, big hats and of course bourbon. Locals know all these things are always in style year round especially America’s Native Spirit, bourbon.
And at Derby time one of the premium bourbon brands you’ll find at Churchill Downs comes from Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, Kentucky. Woodford has been creating a limited edition Kentucky Derby bottle for bourbon and horse fans since 1999. Now in its 22nd year this year’s bottle artwork has just been revealed.
Woodford Reserve 2021 Kentucky Derby Bottle Artwork
If you liked the 2020 bottle you’ll also like the 2021 bottle. If you take a close look you’ll notice a lot of similarities because local artist Richard Sullivan has returned to share his unique water color painting skills again for this year. Richard is both an artist and an athlete having retired from the Atlanta Braves major league baseball diamond. He’s a former southpaw that now spends his time slinging paint on canvas instead of throwing leather and string covered balls at batters. You can see both bottles side by side below.
“The Kentucky Derby is resplendent with color, pageantry, and pure athleticism — and I wanted to capture that in my artwork,” Sullivan said.
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Sullivan played baseball at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and in 2008, he was drafted by the Braves in the 11th round as a junior and played six years of minor league baseball. He returned to SCAD in 2014 to finish his degree and focus exclusively on his artwork.
“There is a depth of beauty in Richard’s watercolors — and his back-to-back Derby bottles are a winning exacta,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris.
Sullivan said he enjoys the parallels between sports and creativity, connecting two seemingly divided worlds that, in reality, require the same sense of dedication, practice, and expertise.
His work is featured across the United States, including at The Atlanta Braves Truist Park, Mercedes Benz Stadium, and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
2021 Woodford Reserve 147th Kentucky Derby Bottle
The 2021 Woodford Reserve 147th Kentucky Derby collectors bottle holds the standard Woodford Reserve Bourbon bottled at 90.4 proof (45.2% ABV) with the annual Derby artwork on the label. The one-liter bottles of Woodford Reserve Bourbon are available at the distillery and the usual places where Woodford is sold across the United States and the globe with a retail price of $49.99.
A One of a Kind Close-up Look at 20 Years of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Bourbon Bottles and the Original Artwork [PHOTOS]
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