The 2017 Kentucky Bourbon Affair, dubbed a whiskey fan’s “fantasy camp,” has added a new day-long workshop packed with unique educational and tasting sessions led by top industry professionals, capped with a vintage spirits appraisal from one of the country’s top collectors.
According to a news release, the Higher Proof Expo will be held on Saturday, June 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Louisville Marriott East, the official host hotel for the annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair showcase.
The Expo features 18 exclusive learning sessions, lunch and pop-up experiences with the best of Louisville and Kentucky’s food, drink and retail for the Bourbon aficionado. The one-day pass is $99 with access to four sessions. Seating is limited.
“Higher Proof is a deep dive into the history, techniques, science and lore of Kentucky Bourbon culture,” said Adam Johnson, senior director with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that coordinates the KBA. “The whiskey you’ll be tasting is alone worth the ticket.”
Tickets are on sale at www.kybourbonaffair.com.
- A breakdown and sampling of the four unique recipes that Four Roses Distillery used this year to craft its Limited Edition Small Batch honoring brand ambassador Al Young’s 50thanniversary, hosted by master distiller Brent Elliott.
- Diageo’s Orphan Barrel program shares barrels of delicious and rare whiskey, hidden away and nearly forgotten in the back of rickhouses. Diageo’s master whiskey educator Doug Kragel will take you behind the scenes at this private tasting with the tales and secrets of these rare selections.
- Experience the bold flavors and discover the subtle notes of country ham through whiskey as Andrea Wilson of Michter’s Distillery and Steve Coomes, author of “Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke,” team up to take your flavor detectors to the next level. Learn the art of complementing and enhancing flavors through pairings of whiskeys, cocktails, cured American hams and Art Eatables chocolates in this delicious and fun seminar.
- Join Heaven Hill’s national whiskey brand ambassador, Bernie Lubbers, as he reviews the origins and history of the acclaimed Parker’s Heritage annual series of American Whiskey, including samples of the 24-year-old Bottled-In-Bond offering and three no longer available prior editions.
- Discover the secrets and science of MB Roland’s dark-fired whiskey with co-owners Paul and Merry Beth Tomaszewski. Taste and compare samples of fired and non-dark fired distillate to gain a real appreciation for how this smoking process influences MB Roland’s products.
“With all the classes offered, I don’t know how people will be able to choose,” Johnson said. “Luckily, you can’t go wrong. Every one of these sessions is top-notch.”
View the full lineup by clicking here.
The event is curated by Stave & Thief Society, the official Bourbon Certification Program of the KDA, which sifted through dozens of submitted presentations to select the most exclusive experiences for attendees.
The Expo also is offering a vintage spirits appraisal from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with Bill Thomas, owner of the Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington, D.C., one of the country’s foremost experts on dusty bottles and Bourbon memorabilia.
KDA President Eric Gregory said vintage spirits are a hot topic right now, with Kentucky leading the way. The state legislature passed a new law this year that allows consumers to sell vintage unopened bottles to licensed retailers beginning Jan. 1.
“We’ve had so many calls from people who have found full, antique bottles or Bourbon paraphernalia in their grandmother’s attic and want to know what it’s worth,” Gregory said. “This is the perfect opportunity to learn the history and value from the experts themselves.”
Tickets are still available to several events at this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair, which runs from June 6-11 in Louisville, the official host city. Events include behind-the-scenes access at the world’s most iconic distilleries, nightcap events featuring top chefs, bourbon barons and master distillers, rare tastings, souvenir bottles, and much more.
But wait, there’s more! Make a day of it at the Marriott East by attending Whisky Live, starting one hour after the Higher Proof Expo. In addition to an ample supply of bourbon, this extensive international whiskey tasting event, sponsored by Whisky magazine, will feature a wide array of Scotch, Irish and Asian whiskeys for sampling. Want your palate and whiskey knowledge expanded? Don’t miss this. Find ticket information by clicking here.