Many times I have praised Cincinnati’s proximity to the heart of bourbon country, but never was I more thankful for it than last February when I was able to attend the Bourbon Classic. I learned more about bourbon history and the current bourbon industry in that weekend than I had in the previous year. This year it is back and looks to be just as good as 2014. Once again Fred Minnick is MCing the Bourbon Masters Session and this year Jim Rutledge of Four Roses will be joining the line up. He was the one distiller I was very disappointed not to meet last year. The Bourbon University has some great classes lined up, including a very timely class on bourbon collecting. Here is the press release but for now all you need to know is this is the best bourbon opportunity you have within such an easy drive. And keep in mind that WhiskeyFest in Chicago is already sold out. Hope to see you there.
Bourbon & Culinary Weekend Returns to Louisville in February
Third Annual Bourbon Classic Focuses on World-Class Culinary and Bartending Talent
Louisville, KY (February 2, 2015) –Bourbon Classic 2015, the third annual Bourbon-culinary experience will take place in Louisville at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts next weekend, February 20 – 21, 2015. The event attracts Bourbon enthusiasts and culinary adventurists from across the country. A complete cross-section of the Bourbon industry will attend: Bourbon distilling legends, writers, chefs, bartenders, connoisseurs, and casual enthusiasts.
This year, Bourbon Classic will kick off with an exclusive pre-event reception, Bourbon Classic Taste, on Tuesday, February 17th. Chef Ed Lee and Julian Van Winkle will participate in this progressive tasting experience hosted at Copper & Kings American Brandy. Kentucky Proud-inspired food, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Four Roses Bourbon, Copper & Kings Brandy, Copper & Kings Absinthe, Van Winkle Special Reserve (12 year), Van Winkle Family Reserve (15 year), Van Winkle Family Reserve (20 year), and 1,000 Stories Barrel Finished Wine will be available. A limited number of tickets to this Kentucky Proud supported reception are available to the general public.
Friday, February 20 – Bourbon Classic Cocktail Challenge:
- MC Jared Schubert, winner of the 2013 Bourbon Classic Cocktail Challenge, will guide attendees through the event featuring contemporary and classic cocktails and small plates prepared by teams of chefs and master bartenders representing distilleries. Cocktails and pairings will be judged by an expert panel including Hannah Hayes, Southern Living, Joy Perrine, Jack’s Lounge, and Chef Albert Schmid, Sullivan University. Participating teams are as follows:
Barton 1792 Distillery
Beth Burrows, Down One Bourbon Bar
Chef Newman Miller, Harrison-Smith House, Bardstown, KY
Marie Zahn, St. Charles Exchange
Chef Levon Wallace, Proof on Main
Buffalo Trace Distillery
Jason Cobbler, Harvest
Chef Coby Ming, Harvest
Four Roses Bourbon
Isaac Fox, Volare
Chef Josh Moore, Volare
Heaven Hill Distilleries
Gary Gruver, Southern Wine & Spirits
Chef David Danielson, Churchill Downs
Sean Thibodeaux, 8-UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen
Chef Todd Rushing, 8-UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen
Hannah Kandle, Old Seelbach Bar
Chef Patrick Roney, Seelbach Oakroom
Amber Yates, Feast
Chef Ryan Rogers, Feast
Jacquelyn Zykan, Doc Crow’s
Chef Jonathan Schwartz, Doc Crow’s
Saturday, February 21 – Ultimate Bourbon Experience:
- Bourbon Masters Session
Mark Coffman, Alltech Brewing & Distilling Company
Wes Henderson, Angel’s Envy
Ken Pierce, Barton 1792 Distillery
Fred Noe, Jim Beam
Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery
Jim Rutledge, Four Roses Bourbon
Denny Potter, Heaven Hill Distilleries
Nicole Austin, King’s County Distillery
Willie Pratt, Michter’s
Jimmy Russell, Wild Turkey
Author Fred Minnick will MC this session sponsored by the Urban Bourbon Trail.
- The “Bourbon Classic University,” exploring focused learning sessions like Country Ham & Bourbon, The Life of the Barrel, Essential Bourbon Cocktails Past and Present, Straight Up Storytellers, Bourbon & Cheese Pairings, The Art of the Glass, Entertaining with North American Whiskey, Bourbon Collections, Bourbon Flavor Profiles, and Bourbon Icons. Sets of five sessions will be offered and attendees will have the opportunity to choose which sessions to join.
- The Bourbon Marketplace offering exhibits and displays featuring Bourbon tastings, book signings, food tastings, and culinary and Bourbon-related products.
- Bourbon Culinary Tastings prepared by Coby Ming, Harvest, Sean Ward, Ward 426, Levon Wallace, Proof on Main, and Ouita Michel, Holly Hill Inn.
Some of the bourbon industry’s most well-known brands are sponsoring the event. The Urban Bourbon Trail is the welcoming sponsor of this event joining Buffalo Trace Distillery, Four Roses Bourbon, Michter’s, Alltech Brewing & Distilling Co., Barton 1792 Distillery, Bulleit Bourbon, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, 1,000 Stories Barrel Finished Wine, Blanton’s Bourbon, Wild Turkey, Bingham Greenbaum Doll, LLP, Old Forester, Angel’s Envy, Corsair Distillery, Jefferson’s, Kings County Distillery, Copper & Kings American Brandy, and Willett Distillery. Media sponsors include The Bourbon Reviewand Louisville Public Media.
The Bourbon Classic was co-founded by Tony Butler of FSA Management Group, an established event planning and marketing firm based in Louisville, and Justin Thompson, Seth Thompson, and Bob Eidson of The Bourbon Review.