2020 Kentucky Bourbon Festival Goes Virtual

The weekend is here and so is the Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2020! Didn't know this was happening this year? Well it is! In light of Covid-19, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is a virtual event where you can learn about your favorite bourbons and interact with distillers and brands from all over the country from the comfort of your own living room. Remember its not drinking alone if the computers telling you to!


Head to https://kybourbonfestival.com/ for a full list of everything being offered during this weekends event.

The weekend kicks off on October 15th with a variety of free events you can register for. One of the highlights of Thursday will definitely be From the Shadows to the Spotlight: Barton 1792 Distillery and Four Roses Bourbon:


Some American whiskey fans assume Barton 1792 Distillery and Four Roses Bourbon were always coveted selections. But for many years both distilleries’ bourbons languished while others grabbed headlines. Join us when Barton visitor center manager, Josh Hollifield, and Four Roses master distiller, Brent Elliott, share the stories behind these brands’ history-making rebounds.

8:30pm – 9:00pm EST - register here


FRIDAY | October 16

Has a full day of amazing events! You can sign up for all of them by heading to the events page by clicking here. There are too many to just pick one, there is: Why Bottled-In-Bond? at 7:00pm EST, Cocktail Quickie! at 8:15pm EST but the one I am looking forward to the most is the The Art of Whiskey Making series.


Part 1: Fermentation: Every step and ingredient in fermentation influences all spirits profoundly. Listen in as master distillers Danny Kahn (Barton 1792 Distillery) and Steve Nally (Bardstown Bourbon Company) describe how the simple interaction between grain sugars and yeast create the complex and unmistakable flavors and aromas bourbon drinkers love. 7:15pm – 7:45pm EST - register here


Part 2: Distilling: Learn from master distillers Denny Potter (Maker’s Mark Distillery) and Conor O’Driscoll (Heaven Hill Distillery) how fermented grain mash is converted into delicious whiskey via distillation. 8:00pm – 8:30pm EST.

register here




Part 3: Aging: The influence on whiskey created by the barrels in which it’s aged is complex and fascinating. Few know the facts of how these vessels of ancient design combine to transform distilled grain into delicious whiskeys better than Andrew Wiehebrink (director of spirit innovation and research at Independent Stave Company) and Mike Sonne

(process engineer and master taster at Heaven Hill Distillery).

8:30pm – 9:00pm EST - register here


SATURDAY | October 17

Part 4: Rickhouses: The massive warehouses in which whiskey is aged have a profound influence on how they taste. Internal airflow, temperature changes and position to the wind and sun are all points of significance in their construction. Listen as Koetter Construction president, Bob Koetter, and Buzick Construction vice president, Donald Blincoe,

describe the crucial roles rickhouses play in whiskey aging.

5:30pm – 6:00pm EST - register here


Part 5: Mingling: Creating the final flavors in the whiskeys you crave requires the mingling of many barrels and lots of tasting. Listen in as Four Roses master distiller, Brent Elliott, and Bardstown Bourbon Company chief operating officer, John Hargrove, discuss this careful and time-consuming craft. 6:00pm – 6:45pm EST

register here


Single Barrels: The Real Whiskey Unicorns: America’s largest distilleries have millions of barrels of bourbon, rye and other whiskeys aging in their rickhouses. So how do distilleries select the perfect ones to be released as single barrels chosen by private groups? Join us when Aaron Lawrence (international brand ambassador at Blanton’s Bourbon) and Grant Wheeler (barrel program manager at Jim Beam) discuss finding their best single barrels, and why these “one-time-only” bottles are the most unique in American whiskey.

7:30pm – 8:00pm EST - register here


To register for all Saturday Events click here


SUNDAY | October 18

A Closing Toast to the Future of Whiskey! Join us for the official closing toast of the 2020 Virtual Kentucky Bourbon Festival as Rabbit Hole’s founder and whiskey maker Kaveh Zamanian and David Mandell, chairman of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, discuss where they see the industry going. From different barrel finishes to new recipes, they’ll be tasting exclusive unreleased whiskey from Rabbit Hole’s innovation lab.  One lucky attendee will be randomly selected to win a signed bottle of Rabbit Hole’s first ever Founder’s Collection release Boxergrail Cask Strength Kentucky Rye Whiskey. Only 1,315 bottles have been made so be sure not to miss it! 2:30pm – 2:55pm EST - register here


Emma will be live streaming the giveaway for 14 signed bottles featured during the virtual KBF weekend and to be on the panel to pick our Maker’s Mark Private Selection / 30th Anniversary KBF Barrel. Join in on Facebook Live to see the drawing at 3:00pm EST - Facebook Live


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