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Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2023

september, 2023

15sepAll Day17FeaturedKentucky Bourbon Festival 2023Celebrating America's Native Spirit.Bardstown, Kentucky

Event Details

SAVE THE DATE for the 2023 Kentucky Bourbon Festival®. America’s original bourbon festival celebrates Kentucky bourbon in the Bourbon Capital of the World®. This year’s festival will be like no other. Mark your calendars for September 15-17, 2023. We highly recommend you order tickets in advance, once they are available. (The 2022 event completely sold out.)

The information below is an example of what was included in the 2022 event. We’ll update with 2023 information when available.


All Kentucky Bourbon Festival Tickets Include


  • SAMPLING included from all distilleries throughout the weekend
  • ABILITY TO purchase bottles from the distilleries AND exclusive KBF Single Barrel bottles from the KBF Bottle Shop.
  • ACCESS TO distilleries, educational sessions, musical entertainment, food trucks, and exhibits.
  • UNLIMIITED re-entry to the festival grounds throughout the duration of your pass.


The Festival on the Great Lawn


Over 40 of Kentucky’s finest distilleries – from the heritage brands you know and love already, to the craft distilleries you need to discover – offering sample pours and bottle sales throughout the festival weekend on Distillers’ Row and Craft Distillers’ Row. Add to that, musical entertainment, food trucks, Bourbon Bar + Cocktail Lounge, Cigar Lounge, Bourbon Marketplace, barrel making demos by Independent Stave Co., the Oscar Getz Whiskey Museum, and the KBF Merchandise Tent to get your exclusive festival and distillery wearables.

While you are enjoying the festivities, stop by the KBF Bottle Shop – in partnership with Justins’ House of Bourbon – and pick up your choice of our 20 unique, limited-availability bottles from the 2022 “Distillers’ Row Series” of single barrels.

Buy Exclusive KBF Bottles – Buy bottles directly from your favorite distillery at the festival!

Serious Fun for 21 and Older – KBF 2023 has been reimagined for bourbon fans ages 21 and older. The purchase of a three-day general admission ticket will provide attendees a Glencairn sampling glass, a limited-edition 30th Anniversary challenge coin and access to multiple activities and events.

Sampling and Sales – For attendees of all levels eager to sip their favorite and hard-to-find and bourbons, special wristbands can be purchased for use at nearly two dozen distillery booths. Are cocktails more your speed? Get signature mixed drinks prepared by pro mixologists at our new bar on the Great Lawn!

Single Barrel – Choose from 20 single barrel offerings from the “Distillers’ Row Series” – available on-site throughout the weekend at the KBF Bottle Shop. In partnership with Justins’ House of Bourbon!


World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay


This free event is open to the public (no ticket needed). Watch distillery warehouse teams race against the clock to roll and position multiple full, 500-pound barrels perfectly into a rick. This exciting and family friendly event is FREE to the public and open to ALL AGES!

The World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay will be held behind Spalding Hall- just outside of the festival grounds.

Learn more about the 2023 Kentucky Bourbon Festival here.

Schedule

    • Day 1
    • Day 2
    • Day 3
    • Day 4
    • Day 5
    • september 14, 2022
    • 1:00 pm EQUIPPED AND READY TO COCKTAIL1:00 pm - 2:30pmGreat cocktails are made with correct tools, delicious amendments, precise recipes and specific techniques. In this hands-on session Samantha Montgomery, national brand ambassador for Bardstown Bourbon Co., will discuss the tools included in attendee’s personal cocktail kits, how cocktail amendments affect each drink, why drink recipes are necessary for good results, and lead the group through hands-on drink making. Cost: $125 and includes each student’s cocktail kit and light bites. Location: Bardstown Bourbon Co.

    • september 15, 2022
    • 1:00pm TASTING WHISKEY’S PAST & PRESENT1:00pm - 2:15pmIf you ask whiskey expert Travis Hill how best to understand American whiskey’s past, he’ll tell you to learn how differently it was made way back when—and then pour you some of it. Join Hill for this extended tasting of some fine “dusty” whiskey and their comparisons to some modern favorites. This year’s lineup includes: Old Forester 1996 Olympic Bourbon, 96 proof, compared with Old Forester Single Barrel, 90 proof Virgin Bourbon (distilled by Heaven Hill in 1992), 10 years old, 101 proof, compared with Henry McKenna (made by Heaven Hill) 10 years old, 100 proof Old Granddad (made by United Distillers in 1981) no age statement, 114 proof, compared with Castle & Key Single Barrel Rye, 5 years old, 113.9 proof Class cost: $150 and includes whiskeys and light bites. Location: Bardstown Bourbon Co.

    • 2:30pm DISCOVERY SERIES DECONSTRUCTED2:30pm - 4:00pmEver wondered how Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s (BBC) blending team creates its Discovery Series whiskeys? These amazing whiskeys contain as many as five unique bourbons, corn and rye whiskeys of widely varying ages that are blended into a single amazing product. Join us when Dan Callaway, vice president of hospitality and product development at BBC, deconstructs one of its Fusion whiskeys, lets you taste its individual parts and then guides you to reconstruct that amazing blend. Class cost: $100 and includes whiskeys and light bites. Location: Bardstown Bourbon Co.

    • 6:00pm BOURBON IN THE AIR6:00pm - 8:00pmJoin us on the Great Lawn at Spalding Hall for this casual kick-off to the 2022 Kentucky Bourbon Festival weekend. Stroll through the park-like setting and visit nearly 50 distilleries’ booths for neat pours of Kentucky’s finest whiskey- while enjoying spirited conversations with industry brand ambassadors and a few of the icons of the industry, too! All-inclusive ticket allows access to all of this and a variety of heavy hors d’oeuvres and charcuterie delights and full bar service available throughout the evening. Presented in part by The Koetter Group. Event Cost: $100 all-inclusive Event Location: The Lawn at Spalding Hall

    • september 16, 2022
    • 12:30pm THE BOURBON OPENER, Featuring BARDSTOWN BOURBON COMPANY12:30pm - 2:00pmJoin the team of Bardstown Bourbon Company for a unique experience of beverage and culinary collaboration. Enjoy four premium whiskey expressions paired with curated culinary offerings from Executive Chef Stu Plush. Bardstown Bourbon Company’s expert team will be on-hand to walk you through the experience with insights into each product and pairing. Class cost: $125 Location: The Great Tent

    • 12:30pm COCKTAIL CREATIONS: THE BITTERS TRUTH12:30pm - 1:30pmMaking balanced cocktails nearly always requires a bitter element. But when it comes to just bitters alone, the choices are almost overwhelming. Join us when brand ambassadors from Scrappy’s Bitters, talk us through how bitters are made and demonstrate how they impact your cocktails. Class cost: $75 and includes cocktails and a Scrappy’s Bitters kit. Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 2:00pm COOKING WITH BOURBON2:00pm - 3:00pmOuita Michel knows a lot about Kentucky foods. As co-owner of Holly Hill Inn and several other restaurants, Michel is a seven-time James Beard Award nominee, cookbook author and nationally revered chef. Bring an appetite when she cooks a few items from her recent cookbook, “Just a Few Miles South.” Class cost: $95 and includes a welcome cocktail, tastes of Chef Ouita’s food and a signed copy of her cookbook, “Just a Few Miles South.” Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 3:30pm IT IS FINISHED: A DEEP DIVE INTO SECONDARY BARREL-FINISHING3:30pm - 4:30pmMaking and aging whiskey is no simple task, so why would whiskey makers complicate the process with secondary cask finishing? To create novel flavors, variations on longstanding grain themes tantalize whiskey lovers’ palates, of course. Join our expert panel of a distiller, a blender and a barrel maker to learn about—and taste—how secondary barrels drastically elevate whiskeys. Class cost: $75 and includes tastes of finished whiskeys Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 4:30pm THE BOURBON ENGAGEMENT with JAMES B. BEAM DISTILLING CO.4:30pm - 6:00pmWrap up Day One of the Bourbon Festival with your friends at The James B. Beam Distilling Co. This whiskey and culinary showcase offers guests a minimum of four of Beam’s signature brands as neat pours or cocktails, paired with culinary offerings, prepared by the culinary team at Beam’s very own ‘The Kitchen Table’ restaurant– all inspired by the original Beam family kitchen table. Join us in sharing Beam’s family tradition with The James B. Beam Distilling Co. Master Distillers Fred and Freddie Noe, who will offer the backstories behind the spirits you will enjoy. Class cost: $125 Location: The Great Tent

    • 5:00pm THE MASH HOUSE: THE FUN PAST & FRUSTRATING PRESENT OF WHISKEY COLLECTING **VIP ONLY**5:00pm - 6:00pmBrian Gelfo and Travis Hill remember whiskey collecting as fun. In the early aughts, dusties were easily found and affordable. Today, vintage whiskey difficult to find and prices are astronomically high. Same holds for modern whiskey, especially if it has a cult following. Listen in as Gelfo and Hill discuss how bottle shopping once was, what it’s now become, and what it’ll look like in the future. Class cost: VIP ticket required to attend Location: VIP Tent

    • september 17, 2022
    • 10:00am THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOURBON BARREL RELAY | PRESENTED BY INDEPENDENT STAVE COMPANY10:00am - 2:00pmWatch distillery warehouse teams race against the clock to roll and position multiple full, 500-pound barrels perfectly into a rick. This exciting and family-friendly event is FREE to the public and open to ALL AGES! Event cost: FREE to the public and open to ALL AGES. **No ticket needed to watch the World Championship Bourbon Barrel Relay.** Location: Don Harned Little League Field (adjacent to the Bardstown City Pool)

    • 12:30pm THE BOURBON OPENER | TASTE THROUGH HISTORY WITH OLD FORESTER12:30pm - 2:00pmJoin Brown-Forman Master Distiller, Chris Morris, for a truly unique experience worthy ofinclusion at The Kentucky Bourbon Festival! You will taste Old Forester’s signature line-up of their original 1870 recipe, 1897 Bottled in Bond, their 1910 with its second-barrel finish, and the 115 proof 1920 ‘Prohibition Style’ whiskeys. Each will be served with complimentary bites to round out your enjoyment of the event. Class cost: $125 Location: The Great Tent

    • 12:30pm COCKTAIL CREATIONS: THAT’S AMARO! 12:30pm - 1:30pmFrom cocktails such as the black Manhattan to the Brooklyn and the Paper Plane, amaro and American whiskey play well together. Let one of our Distilled Living mixologists discuss amaro’s role in cocktails and show you how to make some. Class cost: $75 and includes cocktails made by attendees. Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 2:00pm COOKING WITH BOURBON2:00pm - 3:00pmNewman Miller, chef and co-owner of the Harrison-Smith House in Bardstown, returns to the Bourbon Festival for another entertaining round of cooking, sips and stories. Settle in for some amazing culinary stories and tastes of his amazing food. Class cost: $75 and includes a welcome cocktail and tastes of Chef Miller’s creations Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 3:30pm UNIQUELY SINGLE3:30pm - 4:30pmThe single barrel pick is the true unicorn of the bourbon world. Since every barrel of whiskey is unique, these one-and-done bottlings will never be repeated, and demand for them has never been greater. Join New Riff Distilling’s Creola Dickerson and Maker’s Mark’s Jane Bowie to learn the nuanced differences in each distillery’s single barrel program. Class cost: $75 and includes tastes of multiple whiskeys. Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 4:30pm ORIGINAL WORKS OF BOURBON | RABBIT HOLE HAPPY HOUR4:30pm - 6:00pmTaste Rabbit Hole’s Original Works of Bourbon at the Annual Kentucky Bourbon festival amongst friends and fellow bourbon lovers from across the country. In this fun but intimate evening, you will have a chance to sample Rabbit Hole’s one-of-a-kind expressions and cocktails with small bites and local live music. Class cost: $125 Location: The Great Tent

    • 5:00pm THE MASH HOUR **VIP ONLY**5:00pm - 6:00pmAmerican Whiskey Was Different We Started! For a combined 90 years, master distillers Chris Morris (Brown-Forman) and Fred Noe (James B. Beam Distilling Co.) have seen it all in American whiskey. And as both men will tell you, it’s a vastly different industry in 2022 than when they started in the 1980s. Grab a cocktail and a seat and soak up some of the most entertaining stories ever told by these industry legends. Class cost: VIP ticket required to attend Location: VIP Tent

    • september 18, 2022
    • 12:30pm BOURBON BRUNCH COCKTAILS12:30pm - 1:30pmBourbon at brunch, you ask? Yes, and doubly yes at the Bourbon Festival. Let one of our Distilled Living mixologists demonstrate how to make three bourbon-based cocktails that’ll pair with any brunch menu. Class cost: $75 and includes tastes of cocktails and light bites. Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 12:30pm BOURBON, BENEDICTINE & BACON with MICHTER’S12:30pm - 2:00pmJoin Michter’s Master Distiller, Dan McKee and Master of Maturation, Andrea Wilson for an authentic Kentucky culinary experience – a Bourbon Festival riff on the traditional Sunday Brunch. These icons of whiskey-making will offer unique insights and their own tasting notes for each pour, as you pair them with the culinary offerings that will mutually compliment the flavors. Benedictine is a classic Kentucky dish, created by Louisville Chef – Jennie Benedict in the early 1900s. And who doesn’t love bacon?! Class cost: $95 Location: The Great Tent

    • 2:00pm GO TO THE SOURCE!2:00pm - 3:00pmA large portion of bottles on retailers’ shelves are filled with whiskey sourced by non-distiller producers (NDPs) from distilleries with excess capacity. Some sourced whiskeys become legends, and some are coveted bottles in the modern marketplace. Listen in as Barry Brinegar (founder of RD1 Spirits), David Mandell (co-founder and former president of Bardstown Bourbon Co.) and Monica Wolf (president of The Spirits Group) discuss the art, science, difficulty and luck involved in finding great sourced whiskeys. Class cost: $75 and includes tastes of multiple sourced whiskeys. Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

    • 3:30pm BIG FLAVORS FROM CRAFT DISTILLERIES3:30pm - 4:30pm“Craft” implies many things when it comes to distilled spirits, but as America’s 2,500 craft distilleries have proven, the plant doesn’t have to be big to produce great whiskey. Join distillers Caleb Kilburn (Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co.) and Royce Neeley (Neeley Family Distillery) for a fun and factual discussion of craft whiskey and, of course, some sips of their whiskeys. Class cost: $75 and includes tastes of multiple whiskeys. Location: Kentucky Bourbon Festival Loft

Time

september 15 (Friday) - 17 (Sunday)

Location

Bardstown, Kentucky

114 North Fifth Street, Bardstown, Kentucky, 40004

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