Last night I attended my first meeting of the Bourbon Society of Greater Cincinnati, an offshoot of the Bourbon Society in Louisville. After spending the evening with this crowd, listening to their goals, and soaking in knowledge from the amazing speaker they had brought in for the night I was asked to consider paying the dues to become a full member. My response can only be described as ‘Shut up and take my money!’
The April meeting was only the second gathering of this group but it was clear that the organizers of the society know what they are doing. Last month the speaker was bourbon historian and author Michael Veach, and last night it was journalist and best selling author Fred Minnick. Both of these men are huge names in the bourbon world and you usually can’t just sit and listen to them talk about bourbon without paying some sizable money for the privilege. Minnick is the author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey, which is a fascinating book. His talk last night focused on a brief outline of this history before taking questions from the audience about wider bourbon and whiskey subjects. He was entertaining, intelligent, and gracious throughout the discussion. Just don’t get him started on flavored whisky or vodka.
The Bourbon Society had also arranged for a sponsor for the evening, Cresent Springs Tobacco, Liquor & Wine Shop, which meant that attendees were treated to two pours of bourbon while we listened. The bottles selected were Woodford Reserve and Michter’s, both chosen because of the prominent involvement of women in their production. In addition members who had a birthday in April were encouraged to bring a bottle of their own to share with the group so there was also a chance for guests to try a few new things that weren’t on the menu. The discussion that followed the tasting was great. Nothing like being in a room of 60 bourbon lovers and just sitting back and watching the opinions and questions fly.
All told it was a highly successful evening. Several of the attendees were there for the first time and many decided to make the leap and become full members. Future meetings will take place in new locations and speakers will include distillers as well as new authors and historians. In addition there are plans to eventually purchase barrels directly from distillers and then auctioning bottles off to raise money for charity. For more information about the Bourbon Society and to make sure you don’t miss the next meeting check out their Facebook page or follow them on twitter.