The Super Bowl of Bourbon
All photos courtesy the Bourbon Classic.
The Bourbon Classic, which I often refer to as “The Superbowl of Bourbon,” is in its fourth year of bringing bourbon enthusiasts a top-shelf spirits event in Louisville, Kentucky. When it first began it was only a two-day event meant to showcase Kentucky’s Native Spirit. Said local writer Steve Coomes of the event at the time, “What’s interesting about Kentucky is we’re fiercely proud of our two centuries of bourbon heritage, yet it’s taken nearly that long for us to get really fired up about it and promote it seriously. The state’s whiskey makers surely are saying and sighing simultaneously, “It’s about time!” and they’re right. They’ve done their part; it’s time to do ours. The good news is the urge to promote the only true American whiskey is upon us, and the pride in our potable past is really starting to surge.”
Now the event has grown to Five days of epicurean whiskey events, the likes of which you can only find in Kentucky. The week begins with an already-sold-out Pappy Van Winkle dinner at Copper and Kings American Brandy Distillery and ends with the final day of The Bourbon Classic. There are two new events this year:
- Bourbon Classic "Savor" featuring Blackberry Farm and Pappy Van Winkle will be held Thursday, February 25th at 7:30 p.m. at the newest event venue in town- the Speakeasy of The Frazier History Museum’s Prohibition and Kentucky Blackberry Farm’s Executive Chef Josh Feathers will serve a four-course dinner along with the 15 year-old Pappy Van Winkle Preston Van Winkle will serve. Blackberry Farm’s culinary team will also be serving up handcrafted cocktails while guests enjoy the museum’s Prohibition exhibit. Tickets are $200 and are extremely limited.
The Bourbon Classic itself features two days of exciting culinary and mixology competitions, education sessions, and bourbon tastings. The main Friday night event is the cocktail and small plates competition. Teams from Louisville restaurants represent a specific distillery, making cocktails and corresponding appetizers for a panel of judges. Guests are free to roam around trying all the creations while judging is taking place. This competition was named one of the 7 best cocktail competitions in the United States by Travel + Leisure Magazine.
The second day of The Bourbon Classic features several education sessions on varying topics. There’s a large panel of Bourbon Masters- everyone from Master Distillers to Presidents of bourbon companies. In the past additional sessions have included bourbon and country ham pairing, history sessions, and a dusty bottle appraisal event. Click here to see if tickets are still available.