There is only one place in the world that produces authentic bourbon, and that is the original home of the spirit—Bardstown, Kentucky.
In celebration of the town’s historic expertise in distilling bourbon, it holds the week-long Kentucky Bourbon Festival each September, which brings more than 50,000 visitors from all over the world. The 2018 event will take place September 12–16.
Local sponsors and sips
The biggest names in bourbon bring the best of their products to the festival each year, including Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam, Four Roses, and Maker’s Mark. Each host special events throughout the festival for tasting and educating on the process of making their unique bourbons.
This year, Exploring the Flavors of Bourbon, held by Woodford Reserve on Sept. 13, offers a special luncheon and fasting on the grounds of the Woodford Reserve distillery. Flights of Bourbon, a flight sampling held by Buffalo Trace Distillery, will take place at sunset at the hangar of the Bardstown airport.
Bourbon creation, from start to finish
Visitors can not only sample a variety of bourbons but also can learn the ins and outs of bourbon creation, from expert distillers that have been operating for over one hundred years.
During the Flavors of Fermentation event on Sept. 14, guests can explore the process of turning grains into alcohol, and the steps to giving bourbon its unique flavor. Later at The Science of Maturation event, you can learn more about the aging process of bourbon and the barrels that help give it the recognizable amber color.
For the family
Those who can’t dabble in bourbon tastings will still find plenty to do at the family-friendly offerings of the festival, including a Family Fun Area with games, rides, and inflatables. There will also be arts and crafts vendors throughout the festival, and an opportunity to tour the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame at the Frazier History Museum.
Music lovers can also enjoy live performances from local and national acts at the festival’s Great Lawn, Sept. 14–16.
For more information on the festival, visit www.kybourbonfestival.com.