We used to have busy seasons in the bourbon world, now we have a brief breather before things take off again. It seems like we just caught our breath from Derby season and already it was time for the Kentucky Bourbon Affair. If you’ve never heard of the Kentucky Bourbon Affair, it’s basically fantasy camp for bourbon geeks. You want to bottle your own bourbon? No problem. You want to go skeet shooting with Jimmy Russell? No problem. In addition to the regular programming there are plenty of other things going on around Louisville as always, so even if you aren’t one of the 50 lucky ones to purchase a Golden Ticket, ensuring your first pick for activities, you will still have plenty of fun. Here’s what my week looked like:
- Al Young’s 50th Anniversary Party
Al Young started off doing quality control for Seagram’s Calvert Distillery at 7th and Central in Louisville in 1967. He went on to become the Distillery Manager at the Lawrenceburg Distillery and eventually would become the archivist in charge of preserving Four Roses‘ history. They put together a lovely anniversary part at the Louisville Palace for him, complete with a toast with his anniversary small batch bourbon. Attendees were given a coupon that allowed them to buy a bottle as soon as it was released at the distillery. Cheers to fifty years!
2. The Jeptha Games
New kid on the block Jeptha Creed Distillery has already fallen into the groove when it comes to putting on top notch events. The Jeptha Games were adapted from The Highland Games and included archery, ax throwing, and soccer golf. Guests were also treated to a cocktail upon arrival, a distillery tour, and a lovely dinner by Volare. This was a fabulously fun event, and it turns out I’m a natural at throwing axes. Who knew? The best surprise of the night was when we got to bottle, cap, and seal our own single barrel Bloody Butcher’s Creed, only available to Kentucky Bourbon Affair participants!
3. Grand Opening Of Match Cigar Bar New Albany
I went to the soft opening of Match Cigar Bar during Derby week, but this grand opening took things up a notch. Jonathan Drew and Julian Van Winkle were there to greet enthusiasts and hand out Drew Estate swag. There was also a new Pappy Van Winkle cigar launched, and the Tienda Exclusiva Hererra Esteli made for Match were finally back in stock.
4. Whisky Live! Louisville
I thought I was prepared for Whisky Live! Louisville, but it turns out it was bigger and badder than even I had anticipated. There were Scotches, Irish whiskeys, Japanese whiskeys, Mexican whiskeys, Indian whiskies, dusties in the Jack Rose VIP Experience, and even Tasmanian whiskey, and of course more bourbon than you could shake a stick at. I tried in earnest to branch out and sample as many new whiskeys as I could, but I barely scratched the surface during the four hour event. The next Whisky Live USA is coming to Los Angeles October 4, 2017.