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Bardstown, KY: Awash in Bourbon for 25th Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Quick Overview

Bourbon and boots. Bourbon and cigars. Bourbon and jazz. Fine Kentucky bourbon pairs well with most anything – and there’s no better time to enjoy such pairings than during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Marking its 25th anniversary in 2016, the festival takes place over seven days in September in – where else? – the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, KY.


 

Bardstown, KY: Awash in Bourbon for 25th Kentucky Bourbon Festival

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Bourbon and boots. Bourbon and cigars. Bourbon and jazz. Fine Kentucky bourbon pairs well with most anything – and there’s no better time to enjoy such pairings than during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Marking its 25th anniversary in 2016, the festival takes place over seven days in September in – where else? – the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, KY.

 

 

The festival began in 1992 as a simple bourbon tasting and dinner. Today, it is a week-long salute to America’s only native spirit, and one that offers bourbon aficionados the chance to meet with legendary master distillers, sample a variety of bourbons and bid on vintage items and unusual bottles of bourbon at a Master Distiller’s Auction.

 

 

Everything’s coming up bourbon

 

 

Kicking off on Monday, Sept. 12, this year’s festival will have 40 events, including sure sell-outs like Boots & Bourbon; Bourbon, Cigars & Jazz; Bourbon Cocktail Mixology; the Kentucky Bourbon All-Star Sampler; and The Great Kentucky Bourbon Tasting & Gala. Thirteen Kentucky distilleries will participate, including Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark.

 

 

New events include Tuesday’s Flights of Bourbon, hosted by Barton 1792 – the oldest fully-operating distillery in Bardstown – and Bottled in Bond-Fire, which takes place Saturday at historic Wickland, Home of Three Governors. Cozy up to the bonfires for an evening of history, music, Kentucky cuisine and Bottled in Bond bourbons, a special indulgence because these bourbons are bottled at 100 proof and aged in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years.

 

 

Dine with Chef John Varanese from Louisville’s Varanese Restaurant during Culinary Art: Bourbon-Style Cooking School. Explore the “Flavors of Bourbon” with Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris, Woodford chef-in-residence Ouita Michel and the executive chef of My Old Kentucky Dinner Train in the train’s historic depot. “Sip & Savor in the Spirit of Old Kentucky” with Chef David Domine. Grab a bourbon cocktail in the Spirit Garden.

 

 

Learn how to craft the perfect bourbon bar during “Any Way She Likes It,” hosted by Susan Reigler, bourbon author, president of the Bourbon Women Association and executive bourbon steward. Join author and local historian Dixie Hibbs for “Half Pint of Whiskey History with a Shot of Humor.”

 

 

Fans seeking a more exclusive experience can book the Loft VIP Experience, which gives them entrée to a penthouse retreat at historic Spalding Hall and access to bourbon dignitaries of every stripe. In addition to panoramic views of the Great Lawn, where much of the action takes place, VIPs will enjoy a private bar with premium spirits and classic Kentucky cuisine, Wi-Fi access and private restroom. Tickets are $400 per person, food and drink inclusive, and include a one-of-a-kind swag bag. NOTE: Extremely limited availability.

 

 

Other fun includes live music Friday through Sunday; Bootleggers & Bushwhackers Train Robbery; and a family fun area with interactive fun and inflatables. The festival opens with Bardstown’s free-admission hot air Balloon Glow at the Nelson County Fairgrounds on Monday, Sept. 12, and concludes with a full schedule of events on Sunday, Sept. 18, including A Very Special Bourbon Brunch.

 

 

Travel Info

 

 

For more information about the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, event lineup and tickets, visit www.KyBourbonFestival.com. Tickets sell out very quickly, especially for the Signature Events. For information about accommodations, visit www.VisitBardstown.com.

 

 

Kathy Witt

 

September 7, 2016

 

PHOTOS

 

The boots come out for Boots & Bourbon, this year on Thursday evening at the Guthrie Opportunity Center.

Photo: Kentucky Bourbon Festival

 

Bourbon, Cigars & Jazz takes place on Friday evening in the Great Hall and Rotunda of My Old Kentucky Home.

Photo: Kentucky Bourbon Festival

 

Bourbon Cocktail Mixology is always a fan favorite.

Photo: Kentucky Bourbon Festival

 

Bourbon aficionados have a great time during lawn activities during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

Photo: Kentucky Bourbon Festival

 

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