Kentucky Bourbon Affair - BAR 18 Legend's Select at Angel's Fare

Legendary Master Distillers from the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame have banded together and hand-picked elite single barrels of Bourbon and Rye to be sold at the Kentucky Bourbon Affair closing event on June 9. These honey barrels were picked from the private stocks of Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Old Forester, Wild Turkey and Willett Distillery.

Barrel Picks, Vintage Whiskies and Divine Cuisine

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair takes place June 5 – 10, 2018. “Angel’s Fare” will be the culminating event taking place Saturday, June 9, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to these single barrel selections, this historic charitable event called “Angel’s Fare,” will also feature a silent auction of rare whiskies, a vintage spirit tasting and an all-star lineup of Kentucky chefs offering Bourbon-inspired culinary delights in collaboration with Kentucky Proud, the state’s official marketing program for farm products raised, grown or processed in Kentucky.

“This is an unbelievable, unprecedented, bucket-list experience that showcases the heart and soul of Kentucky Bourbon, with five of our signature industry’s most beloved icons coming together to raise money for local causes,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.

“This could not happen in any other industry or any other state. More than 200 years of combined experience in crafting the world’s finest Bourbons, all recognized by their peers as the best in the business, working together in a spirit of camaraderie and compassion.”

Who Done the Pickin’ for the BAR 18 Legends’ Select Series

Kentucky Bourbon Affair - BAR 18 Legend's Select at Angel's Fare
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The Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame was created in 2001 to recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact on Bourbon’s stature, growth and awareness. It is the highest honor given by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association members.

The five Hall of Fame distillers participating in this first Angel’s Fare selection include:

  • Chris Morris,Woodford Reserve and Old Forester – Hall of Fame Class of 2017
  • Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey – Hall of Fame Class of 2010
  • Fred Noe, Jim Beam – Hall of Fame Class of 2013
  • Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey – Hall of Fame Class of 2001
  • Steve Nally, Bardstown Bourbon Company and former Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark – Hall of Fame Class of 2007

The blockbuster group came together in April for a remarkable road trip of single barrel selections at five landmark distilleries, which will be sold only at Angel’s Fare under the limited-edition label of Bourbon Affair Release (BAR) 18 – Legends’ Select Series.

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Five Historic Distilleries

The BAR 18 Legends’ Select Series includes the following bourbons.

  • Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Single Barrel
  • Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style Bourbon Exclusive Single Barrel
  • Makers Mark Private Select
  • Knob Creek Rye Single Barrel
  • Willett Family Reserve 6 Year Single Barrel Bourbon

Number One
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At Wild Turkey, father-and-son Master Distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell led the group throughout historic Warehouse A, built in 1894, to find the worthy 10-year-old private single barrel of their namesake Russell’s Reserve Kentucky Bourbon.

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Brown-Forman Master Distiller Chris Morris, Master Taster Jackie Zycan and Old Forester CEO Campbell Brown gave the panel an in-depth education of Old Forester before they picked a special 1920 Prohibition Style barrel – the first and only single barrel of that expression.

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The unique Maker’s Mark limestone cellar was the site of the Maker’s 46 selection, where staff said the Hall of Famers’ preferred recipe of finished oak staves has never been chosen before – and will not be included on the label so it remains confidential forever.

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At Jim Beam, the party had a tough time picking the best of several barrels of Knob Creek Rye – a daunting task made even more difficult as each was distinctive in taste and finish despite aging in close proximity to each other.

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At Willett Distillery in Bardstown, the quintet reached consensus on an exceptional Willett Family Reserve 6-year-old single barrel from March 2012, when the Willett family stored its first barrels of Bourbon in generations on the anniversary of founder Thompson Willett’s 103th birthday.

“The Angel’s Fare release is truly a historic undertaking,” said Morris, who was inducted in the Hall of Fame last year. “Never before have the Master Distillers of the Kentucky Bourbon industry tasted and selected barrels from a competitive – yet collegial – distillery before.

KDA President Gregory said the bottles will be individually priced for sale between $100 and $200, with opportunities to purchase autographed sets. Quantities are limited, he said, noting that plans are for each year’s BAR series to be completely different.

Raising Money for Local Charities

Proceeds will benefit the organizations chosen by the distilleries that participated in the BAR 18 barrel selections: AMPED Louisville (Jefferson Co.), The Lee Initiative (Jefferson Co.), Anderson Humane Society (Anderson Co.), and Guthrie Opportunity Center (Nelson Co.).

Renowned whiskey collectors Bill Thomas and Jared Human from the Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C., are organizing the vintage bottle silent auction and tasting. Both will be on-hand to talk Bourbon, pour samples and educate guests on the history and lore of these scarce offerings.

With more than 2,600 bottles in its extensive whiskey collection, Gregory said Jack Rose will bring its respected expertise to Angel’s Fare, along with rare and limited-edition selections for tasting and auction.

Award-winning chefs at this event will include Newman Miller (Star Hill Provisions/Harrison-Smith House), Todd Stein (The Bar at Willett) and the Omni’s own Steve Gustafson. Guests will dine on Southern cuisine with farm-fresh food and ingredients provided by Kentucky Proud.

Tickets are still available to select events at this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair™, which runs from June 5-10 in Louisville. Tickets for Angel’s Fare, to be held at the Omni Hotel in downtown Louisville are $150 each. The full 2018 Kentucky Bourbon Affair schedule can be found here.

Kentucky Bourbon Affair - BAR 18 Legend's Select at Angel's Fare
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