In January of 2018 a law known as the “Vintage Spirits Law” took effect in Kentucky. Passed in 2017, the law made it legal to buy and sell vintage spirits to and from those businesses holding liquor licenses. The question of what constituted a vintage spirit took some time to sort out, but once the law took effect many businesses took advantage of the new opportunity.
Bardstown Bourbon Co opened Bottle And Bond Kitchen and Bar with a full array of vintage spirits on the menu. Places like The Silver Dollar and Bourbons Bistro began offering vintage spirits on the regular menu. And one place opened up to serve as a retail outlet for vintage spirits- Justins’ House of Bourbon.
Justins’ House of Bourbon is now celebrating one year in business, and what a year it has been. There have been private barrel picks, cocktail classes, and the grand opening of the tasting bar. It’s a destination for people visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, especially those who want a taste of bourbon history.
Congratulations to Justins’ House of Bourbon. Below is a list of events during the month of February if you want to celebrate this one-of-a-kind Kentucky business:
- Willett Bourbon Release with Drew Kulsveen: On Friday, February 8th, Fifth-Generation Distiller Drew Kulsveen from Willett Bourbon will be at Justins’ House of Bourbon to sign bottles produced at his acclaimed distillery from 6pm-7:30pm. There will also be a limited number of bottles available from two special Willett Family Estate barrel picks, done specifically for Justins’ that go sale at 4:30pm that day. One of the Family Estate barrels is a 6-Year-Old Bourbon while the other is an extremely rare 15-Year-Old Bourbon. Visitors can select one of each bottle if available.
- Jim Rutledge and Cream of Kentucky Tasting: On Wednesday, February 13th, Bourbon Hall of Famer Jim Rutledge will be at Justins’ to be a part of a very special tasting that will be limited to only 10 participants. Those in attendance will sit down with Mr. Rutledge in Justins’ speak-easy room and sample his brand new and nearly impossible to find Cream of Kentucky, 11-year and six-month-old Bourbon. They’ll also be able to sample a Bourbon even rarer that, which will be an original Cream of Kentucky that was bottled in the late 1960’s. Attendees will also go home with a full bottle of the new Cream of Kentucky. This once in a lifetime Bourbon experience will start at 6pm and end around 7:30pm. Cost is $300 a person. For tickets call Justins’ House of Bourbon 859-317-8609.
- Sam Medley Tasting: Friday, February 22nd, eighth-generation distiller Sam Medley will be at Justins’ to meet with fans of his Wathen’s and Medley Bros. Bourbon brands from 6pm-7:30pm. A limited number of bottles from previous barrel selections made by Justins’ of Wathen’s Barrel Proof Bourbon will be available once again for folks to purchase during the event. Cost of those bottles is $99. There will also be Medley Bros. old-fashioned cocktails for $5.
- Old Carter Whiskey Tasting: Old Carter Whiskey Co. founders, Mark and Sherri Carter will close out the month of February at Justins’ with a meet and greet session on February 28thfrom 6pm – 7:30pm. Some of their very hard to find whiskies will be available to sample at Justins’ tasting bar with reduced prices.
Special Bourbon Releases
- Willett Family Estate Barrels: Some of the rarest Bourbon being bottled right now comes from Willett’s Family Estate line. These barrels gained cult status in the early 2000’s and continue to grow in popularity due to the quality and range of flavors they can produce. Justins’ doesn’t have just one, but TWO whole barrels of these almost impossible to find Bourbons coming at the beginning of February. One is six years old and has a proof of 131.4 at $259. The other is an extremely rare 15-year-old with a proof of 123 at $759. These Bourbons will be for sale in limited quantities on February 2ndstarting at 10am, February 8thstarting at 4:30pm and February 9that 10am. These bottles will be sold under a “first-come, first-served” policy, and quantities are limited on all three
- New Riff Single Barrel: Justins’ has also selected a special single-barrel Bourbon from New Riff Distillery. New Riff was launched as a bottled-in-bond brand last year to the delight of folks in Kentucky and Ohio who enjoy a full-bodied Bourbon. New Riff has hand-selected a few retailers and bars to participate in their single-barrel program again this year and Justins’ made the list. This will be one of the first New Riff Single-Barrels available that was bottled in 2019. Price $59 and will be available in early February.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl