Bourbon It Up at these 10 Events

To help celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month, below is LEO’s list of bourbon events. Also, here are a few tricks for getting a taste of the elusive Pappy Van Winkle, and, as Susan Reigler writes, Louisville and Kentucky are becoming the Napa Valley of Bourbon

Anytime

The Urban Bourbon Trail
Louisville Visitor Center
bourboncountry.com  |  Free  |  Times vary
Pick up the latest Urban Bourbon Trail passport at the Louisville Visitors Center or any of the 44 participating bars and restaurants. You can do it one weekend at a time, or, you can head to the Louisville Visitors Center on Sept. 20 for the Urban Bourbon Trail Night from 6 to 8 p.m. where you can fill it all in one night. And once you’ve filled your passport, you get a Urban Bourbon Trail T-shirt, and if you fill it all on Sept. 20, you’ll get a second, mystery gift. 

Saturday, Sept. 8

The Great Distillery BBQ Cook-Off
Clermont, Kentucky  |  jimbeam.com
Free  |  9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Enjoy the tastes of delicious barbecue and bourbon at this cook-off, hosted by Jim Bean and Master Distiller Fred Noe. The barbecue is part of a competition with a team of amateur cooks from eight distilleries competing in the categories of rib eye steaks, St. Louis-style ribs and chicken legs. The shindig will also have plenty of Jim Bean cocktails, live music, games and a chance to meet-and-greet with distillers.

Wednesday, Sept. 12

Michter’s Dinner & Tasting
The Silver Dollar  |  Search Facebook
$378  |  6:30 p.m.
Taste rare bourbons and discuss them with Michter’s Distillery owner, master distiller and master of maturation at this intimate, 13-seat dinner. The dinner will feature tasting pours of Michter’s Barrel Strength Bourbon, Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon, Michter’s 10 Year Rye, and Michter’s 25 Year Bourbon.

Wednesday, Sept. 12

The Bourbon Roadshow
Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar, Bardstown
Search Facebook  |  Free  |  2 p.m.
Find out what your unique or rare bourbon memorabilia is worth, or, save up some cash and buy a few bourbon antiques at this bourbon appraisal show. Three expert bourbon appraisers will be on hand to discuss the history and value of bourbon memorabilia. The show takes place in Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar in Bardstown, Kentucky during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. 

Thursday, Sept. 13

Maker’s Mark Delectable Distillery Tour
Loretto, Kentucky  |  makersmark.com
$130-$160  |  5-8 p.m.
Enjoy a four-course meal inspired by Maker’s Mark with paired cocktails, made by five Louisville chefs and four bartenders. And best of all, proceeds benefit the APRON, Inc., which provides temporary, limited financial relief to professional food and beverage industry workers in Louisville. Attendees also get an intimate tour of Maker’s Mark Distillery and get to dip their own special bottle of Maker’s Mark. 

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Wednesday, Sept. 12–16

Kentucky Bourbon Festival
Bardstown, Kentucky
kybourbonfestival.com  |  $40-$400
Times vary
Speaking of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, it’s now over 25 years old and still growing. Whether you’re a bourbon connoisseur, or just a casual fan looking for something to do, this festival has something for everybody. 

Saturday, Sept. 22–23

Bourbon & Beyond 2018
Champions Park  |  bourbonandbeyond.com
$90-$600  |  Times vary
At Bourbon & Beyond, you can mix your love of bourbon with your love of music. The music festival will feature performances by John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz, Sting, Robert Plant and over 25 other bands. And the festival’s Big Bourbon Bar will have a massive collection of bourbons from over 40 distilleries. 

Wednesday, Sept. 26

Historical Flights with Michael Veach — Diageo Bourbons
The Silver Dollar  |  Search Facebook
$30-$140  |  6:30 p.m.
Join Bourbon Historian Michael Veach for this three-part series on your favorite drink. You can choose to attend one or all three classes, with each one using a flight of bourbons to examine the history of a particular distillery. 

Thursday, Sept. 27

Bourbon, Brims, & Books
Frazier History Museum
fraziermuseum.org  |  $100  |  6 p.m.
This bourbon event is for a good cause, benefitting It Pays To Read, a local literacy program serving at-risk youths, families and schools. The party will have food by KMS Culinary, live music by Zack Longoria Project and, of course, plenty of bourbon!

Friday, Sept. 28–30

Bourbon Country Burn
Lexington, Kentucky
bourboncountryburn.com
$150-$300  |  Times vary
You probably don’t want to make a habit of it, but combining bourbon and biking is fun. This is a three-day tour through bourbon country on bicycles, with stops and tours of seven distilleries and a few horse farms in Kentucky. You can sign-up for one night or all three, and distances range between 20-100 miles per day with all rides beginning and finishing at the Bourbon Base Camp at Kentucky Horse Park. Which will have live music, food and more bourbon.

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