What goes together like a horse and carriage? Why National Bourbon Heritage Month and the Kentucky Bourbon Festival of course. You can’t have one without the other!
This once little festival created in 1992 that started as a bourbon tasting and dinner has turned into one of the premier bourbon events in the world playing host to some 50,000 plus fans from 44 States and 14 different countries. What else would you expect from Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World ™ and home to the county that makes 69% of the world’s bourbon.
“The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is proud to have produced some really exceptional events over the years,” said Jill Hawkins, Executive Director. “This September, we’re putting our years of experience to work along with a healthy dose of innovation to bring you a Festival that continues to celebrate the storied history of Bourbon, and one that fuels an ongoing dialogue about the industry’s horizon.”
Chock-full of Bourbon ingenuity, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is introducing three new events this year.
The Science of Maturation
Have you ever wondered what happens inside of a barrel? Barrels have additive, subtractive and interactive properties, each will impact the whiskey in different ways. During this session the folks at Moonshine University will share how whiskey matures within the barrel it calls home. Come see what each action does and how the barrel, and where it is stored, will affect what is happening to the spirit inside. Instruction includes analysis of barrel pulls and how each individual barrel imparts its own unique flavor.
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A Whiskey and Its Grains
An in-depth class that examines how each individual grain can greatly affect the spirit that comes off the still. The class will examine corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley, the four grains that make up on 99% of whiskies, and how each grain adds its own specific flavors and aromas to whiskey. Learn the nuances of each grain and how it will impact the final product. It will also cover the fast growing trend of using alternative grains and how those will change the whiskies that we know and love. Instruction includes a thorough analysis of each individual grain distillate, as well as the production process of milling, cooking, fermentation, and distillation.
Punches & Parties
Learn how to craft delightful punches, and then pair them with delicious foods to make your next party the talk of the town. Hors d’oeuvres & punch will be served.
Other highlights for the week include,
The Ancient Craft of Barrel Making
A Coopers Tools of the Trade. Can you name these tools?
Learn about the historic craft of making special oak barrels for aging Bourbon. Watch hands-on demonstrations by Coopers from Independent Stave Company on how to make and prepare barrels for the liquid that goes in clear and comes out amber.
Q: Can you pick out the Coopers Hoop Driver, Flagging Iron and Croze in the photo?
A: Click here to see how well you know a Coopers tools.
Kentucky Bourbon All-Star Sampler
This is one of the best bourbon events of the year. If you are attending the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, this is the “must attend” event where you can sample iconic Bourbons and enjoy genuine Kentucky cuisine and music. It includes the big iconic bourbon brands but also the Kentucky Craft Spirits makers that are creating the world’s new iconic brands.
What is Bourbon Heritage Month?
How Whiskey Labels Earn Their Eagle Scout Badges [Infographic]
Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe Explains – How to Drink Bourbon [Video]
Bourbon Heritage Month Framer & Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning Passes
This year’s participating distilleries include,
- Barton 1792 Distillery
- Buffalo Trace Distillery
- Bulleit Frontier Whiskey
- Four Roses Bourbon
- Heaven Hill Distillery
- Jim Beam
- Lux Row Distillers
- Maker’s Mark
- Old Forester
- Wild Turkey
- Woodford Reserve Distillery
The 2017 Kentucky Bourbon Festival Runs September 11 – 17
Join spirits enthusiasts, master distillers, and brand ambassadors to enjoy incredible Southern culinary creations, live music and entertainment, and of course, the very best in Bourbon. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival runs September 11 through 17, 2017. Visit the Kentucky Bourbon Festival website here for a complete list of free and paid events and to purchase tickets.
Is the Kentucky Bourbon Festival and Bourbon Heritage Month Really Bourbon Heaven?
Well, since 1776, the people of Bardstown, Kentucky have been making Bourbon. If there’s a Bourbon heaven on earth, this is it. They don’t call it the Bourbon Capital of the World for nothing!
The 2017 Kentucky Bourbon Festival Poster
Welcome to the town the Bourbon Built