Woodford Reserve Distillery - Woodford Reserve Bourbon 2024 Kentucky Derby Bottle

The Kentucky Derby® was first run on May 17, 1875, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the longest continually held sporting event in America and one of the most prestigious horse races in the entire world. In 1924 for the 50th running of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs presented a gold trophy to the winning owner of the famed Run for the Roses®. And in 1999, Woodford Reserve Distillery partnered with Churchill Downs to become the first official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. And they’ve been creating custom bottles ever since.

Churchill Downs Celebrates the 150th Running of the Kentucky Derby and the 25th Anniversary of their Partnership

As the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve is honoring “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports®” with the release of its 2024 commemorative Kentucky Derby bottle.

This year’s special release celebrates the Kentucky Derby and features the artwork of Kentucky native Wylie Caudill – AKA: The Chalk Guy, known for his bold, repetitive patterns, and his signature roses. His painting, “Adorned in Roses,” depicts a racing thoroughbred covered with red roses, with a background of multi-colored roses.

“Wylie’s artwork embodies the spirit of Woodford Reserve, the liveliness of Churchill Downs during race day, and the heart of Kentucky,” Woodford Reserve Distillery Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall said. “We’re thrilled to have a Kentuckian’s artwork on our bottle during this monumental year.”

Caudill grew up drawing and painting in Cynthiana, Kentucky. During college at Eastern Kentucky University – EKU, he spent his free time creating chalk drawings, leaving his mark around campus and leading to his title ‘Chalk Guy’ among locals. He expanded his public street art to painting murals in Lexington after college, and many of his murals can be seen across Kentucky today. Caudill also created the Official Art of the Kentucky Derby for Churchill Downs for the 150th Derby, marking the first year that Woodford Reserve and Churchill Downs used the same artist.

“As a Kentucky native, I am honored to be a part of this milestone celebration,” Caudill said. “I have painted my signature roses many times over the years, but this one is truly special. The colorful roses symbolize the diverse Derby fans from around the world, connecting people beyond the track.”

2024 Woodford Reserve Bourbon Bottle Artist Wylie Caudill talks about the inspiration for this year’s bottle.
Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Emeritus Chris Morris and Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall lead a toast.


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25 Years of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Bottles

The partnership between Woodford Reserve Distillery and Churchill Downs began in 1999 when Woodford became the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. The first year was a very basic bottle that simply included the Churchill Downs logo. Over the years, the importance of the annual bottle has become more important. Woodford Reserve works with different artists each year to create a unique piece of art to adorn the annual bottle. Over the years its become a collectors item.

Related StoryTake a look here at every Woodford Reserve Derby bottle since 1999 here.

The 2024 Woodford Reserve Distillery’s Distiller’s Select Kentucky Derby bottle retails for $55 for a one-liter bottle and is available at the distillery and retail outlets around the globe beginning March 5, 2024.

Woodford Reserve bourbon is crafted at the historic Woodford Reserve Distillery, tucked in the heart of thoroughbred country in Versailles, Kentucky. A National Historic Landmark, the Woodford Reserve Distillery represents craftsmanship with a balance of historic heritage and modern practices. Woodford Reserve is a product of the Brown-Forman Corporation, a premier producer and marketer of fine quality beverage alcohol brands including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia, Korbel, Tequila Herradura, Old Forester, Sonoma-Cutrer and Chambord.

Related Stories
Woodford Reserve’s 2023 Kentucky Derby Bottle Celebrates Secretariat’s 50th Anniversary Triple Crown Win [VIDEO]
Woodford Reserve Unveils the 2022 – 23rd Anniversary Limited-Edition Kentucky Derby Bourbon Bottle
And They’re Off: Woodford Reserve Releases 2021 Kentucky Derby Bottle – Pairs Well with 2020 Bottle
Woodford Reserve Distillery Introduces the Woodford Reserve 146th Kentucky Derby Bottle [VIDEO] – 2020

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How Did Wylie Caudill become ‘The Chalk Guy’?

While attending college Caudill was known to create chalk art around campus. He gained national attention in 2016 when he spent Labor Day Weekend drawing all 151 original Pokémon characters in chalk.

And if you are really interested, check out the rest of the story around The Chalk Guy’s 151 original Pokémon characters.


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Churchill Downs - Home of the Kentucky Derby

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