Bourbon Classic TOP SHELF - Sold out!
Hosted in the Atrium at luxuriously eclectic 21c Museum Hotel (winner of Conde Nast "Top Hotel" award) 

Title Partner: Liquor Barn and Party Mart 
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm 
View menu here

This kickoff to Bourbon Classic is an exclusive event featuring the fine quality of 10y, 12y, 15y and 20y Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and select whiskies from the award winning Buffalo Trace Distillery. In addition to mingling with Julian & Preston Van Winkle, we'll be joined by Chef Levon Wallace of Gray & Dudley (Nashville) and Chef Mike Wajda of Proof on Main in Louisville who will provide progressive food pairings to complement the fine quality of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. 


Bourbon Classic SAVOR: A Taste of History  Click here for tickets
Hosted by the Frazier History Museum
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm (doors open at 6:00 p.m.)

Don’t miss your chance to taste Final Reserve, James Thompson & Brother Bourbon during one of the most exclusive tasting events in Kentucky Bourbon history in partnership with the Frazier History Museum. For the very first time a Bourbon that aged in the barrel for 45 years will be available for tasting. A very select 100 ticketed guests will also get the chance to meet the man behind the project, James “Buddy” Thompson, and celebrate Thompson’s great name in Kentucky and Bourbon history. 

Stir Your Senses Click here for tickets
Art Sanctuary
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm 

Sight. Touch. Sound. Smell. Taste. Join us for an innovatively interactive tasting with Woodford Reserve, Chef Madeleine Dee of Fond and surprise guests that will open your olfactory's, enchant your ears, engage your eyes, stimulate your skin and tickle your taste buds

Proceeds benefit arts awareness at Art Sanctuary 

 Friday, March 2, 2018  

Click here for tickets.

Bourbon Classic Cocktail & Culinary Challenge: Presented by Kentucky Proud - SOLD OUT!
New Venue - The Foundry at Glassworks 
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

“Mix things up” at this exciting exploration of what’s classic and contemporary in the world of Bourbon cocktails and small plates.

Teams of master bartenders will be matched with an acclaimed chef and Bourbon Classic sponsor distillery – and vie for the title of “perfect cocktail” and "perfect small plate."

Meet the contestants and hear them discuss their creations … chat with the distillers and representatives about what makes the brands unique … and enjoy a tasting portion of each cocktail and small plate. A select panel of media personalities and industry experts will evaluate the cocktails and small plates individually and as pairings and select winners for each category.

2018 Participants 
Barton 1792 Distillery Greg Galganski and Oliver Miller, Proof on Main  Chef Mike Wajda, Proof on Main
Blade and Bow Nic Christiansen, Butchertown Grocery  Chef Bobby Benjamin, Butchertown Grocery
Blanton's Bourbon Shelby Pipes, Volare Italian Ristorante Chef Josh Moore, Volare Italian Ristorante
Buffalo Trace Distillery  Norma Beekman, Lockbox Chef Jonathan Searle, Lockbox
Four Roses Bourbon Hunter Greene, Bistro 1860 Chef Michael Crouch, Bistro 1860
George Remus Bourbon  Austin Garrison, Bouquet Restaurant  Chef Stephen Williams, Bouquet Restaurant 
Heaven Hill Distillery Brianna Hlava, Butchertown Social  Chef Loreal Gavin, Private Chef
Michter's Distillery, LLC Morgan Polson, Down One Bourbon Bar Chef Ryan Smith, Harvest 
Woodford Reserve Isaac Fox, La Chasse Chef Andrew Welenken, La Chasse

Amber Lounge - VIP Experience (VIP Ticket Holders Only)  - SOLD OUT!
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sponsored by: 


VIP ticket holders will enjoy exclusive access to the Amber Lounge, which features special bourbon tastings from I.W. Harper, additional food options and comfortable seating. Kentucky Straight Ice will also provide specialty, hand carved ice made from natural limestone springs. 

After Party - Whiskey Dry by Ed Lee  
10:30pm at 412 S. 4th Street 
Enjoy free burgers served at the bar 


All Saturday events will be held at the Kentucky Center for Performing Arts
Click here for tickets.

Bourbon University: Presented by Liquor Barn and Party Mart 
Session I
(Classes subject to change)
4 classes/demos will be offered during this time slot
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Don’t miss this exciting educational opportunity featuring moderated discussions, demos and tastings. 


Bourbon, Sweet & Salty: A Kentucky Trifecta
(North Lobby, Main Lobby Level)
Steve Coomes, Author, Cured Ham Aficionado 
Kelly Ramsey, Chocolatier and Owner, Art Eatables
Andrea Wilson, Master of Maturation, Michter’s Distillery, LLC
Bourbon’s broad range of taste and aroma essences serves to complement flavors and aromas in many types of foods. In this seminar our experts will demonstrate how well Bourbon pairs with cured ham, local cheese and bourbon-accented candies and cookies. Come taste for yourself and learn how easy it is to conduct a Bourbon and food pairing at home.   

The Great Cocktail Debate: Bourbon Vs. Rye
(Mary Anderson Room, Main Lobby Level)

Paul Clarke, Imbibe
Adam Geisler, Bartender
Bourbon isn’t the only whiskey making its way into cocktails—rye whiskey has long been a favorite in Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, and other drinks in the cocktail canon. This session will pit these two favorite whiskies against each other, exploring which ingredients and preparations work best with bourbon and which favor rye, and attendees will walk away with a better understanding of which bottle to reach for the next time cocktail hour rolls around.

Bourbon and Cheese: Match Made In Kentucky
(Todd Hall, 4th Floor)
Brennen Campbell, Whole Foods
Drew Mayville, Buffalo Trace Master Blender & Director of Quality
Adam Steckler, Whole Foods
What better company could Bourbon keep than with the delicious and rich variations provided by cheese. Session attendees will learn which products work best together and have the opportunity to sample Bourbon and cheese pairings. Bourbon just got a new best friend.

Getting Crafty With It: Craft Bourbon 
(The Mex Theater, 4th Floor)

Carla Carlton, Moderator
Shane Baker, Wilderness Trail Distillery
Marianne Barnes, Castle & Key Distillery
Caleb Kilburn, Kentucky Peerless Distilling co. 
Joyce Nethery, Jeptha Creed

Craft distilleries are seeing a rise in popularity among Bourbon fans, but what does it mean to be “craft”? A moderated panel of Craft Master Distillers will discuss the creativity, artisanship, and hard work that goes into carving out a niche for these boutique brands.


GENERAL SESSION - Bourbon Hot Topics 
5:15 - 6:15 pm

Clay Whittaker, Moderator
Jason Horn, Freelance Writer
Maggie Kimberl, Freelance Writer
Fred Minnick, Bourbon Author
Noah Rothbaum, Daily Beast
Stacie Stewart, Whiskey Dry

Enjoy a discussion between veteran Bourbon journalists and spirits experts as they discuss what’s trending in the world of Bourbon.

Bourbon Classic University: Presented by Liquor Barn and Party Mart  

Session II (Classes subject to change)
4 classes/demos will be offered during this time slot
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Round two of sessions will continue to offer information on all things Bourbon. Session topics will include:

Bourbon History 101: The Rise of the Single Barrel
(North Lobby, Main Lobby Level)
Aaron Lawrence, Blanton’s Bourbon 
Justin Keating, Bluegrass Hospitality Group

Single Barrel Bourbon is a huge piece of Bourbon culture. Learn what makes this product unique and sample different types of Single Barrel Bourbons.

Party On: Bourbon Cocktails for a Crowd
(Mary Anderson Room, Main Lobby Level)
Paul Clarke, Imbibe
Susie Hoyt, Bartender, The Pearl

Making a Manhattan or Mint Julep for two? No problem—but when a houseful of guests come calling, you need bourbon drinks fit for a crowd. Attendees will discover (and taste) bourbon-based punches and scaled-up cocktails, and will learn from the experts how to plan, prepare and execute a bourbon bash at home. 

Bourbon Masters
(The Mex Theater, 4th Floor)
Brad Williams, Moderator
Pam Heilmann, Michter’s Distillery, LLC
Fred Noe, Jim Beam
Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery

This is a focused, one-on-one conversation designed to deliver unique insights into the product and the personalities.

Vintage Whiskey: Old and New  
(Todd Hall, 4th Floor)

Come hear the conversation with famed journalist Noah Rothbaum around the new laws permitting Vintage Bourbon tastings and sales.

Bourbon Classic TASTE: Presented by Liquor Barn and Party Mart   
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

It’s time for a Bourbon experience like no other! Savor Bourbon tastings from our Bourbon Classic distillers, then meet the distiller representatives and discuss what makes their product unique. As you mingle, enjoy delicious dishes from our featured restaurants that have been specially selected to complement the bourbon tasting experience. You’ll also explore displays of Bourbon-related products – the items that enhance the enjoyment of food and Bourbon, or specialty foods that feature Bourbon.

Featured Restaurants 

610 Magnolia/Whiskey Dry
Honeywood, a Outia Michel Restaurant
Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse 

Amber Lounge - VIP Experience (VIP Ticket Holders Only)  
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Sponsored by: 

VIP ticket holders will enjoy exclusive access to the Amber Lounge, which features special bourbon tastings from Buffalo Trace Distillery, additional food options and comfortable seating. Special guest bartender and bourbon cocktail extraordinaire, Molly Wellmann, founder and owner of My Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar in Northern Kentucky, will be showcasing her incredible gift for craft cocktails. Kentucky Straight Ice will also provide specialty, hand carved ice made from natural limestone springs. 

After Party - Milkwood
10:30 pm at 316 W. Main Street
Enjoy Free MilkWood wings and pulled pork sliders at the bar