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Issue 13 - Bourbon in the spotlight

Whisky Magazine Issue 13
December 2000


This article is 17 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Bourbon in the spotlight

Marcin Miller catches up with some of the key figures in the world of bourbon during the Gala Dinner of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Once again, Bardstown took centre staged for this year's Festival as whiskey enthusiasts poured into Kentucky from all around the world. A highlight of this year's Festival was the Bourbon Heritage Panel chaired by the enthusiastic and impressive Mike Veach (UD archivist and published whiskey historian working at the Oscar Getz Museum). The panel comprised Jerry Garden (the Master Distiller at JB), Max Shapira (Heaven Hill) Charles Medley and his son, Samuel (Charles Medley Distillers), Mark Waymack (whiskey writer), Freddie Noe (son of Booker Noe) and Sam Thomas (a Louisville-based writer and historian who worked very closely with Brown-Forman on the history of Labrot & Graham). The panel answered a variety of questions from the floor and engaged in some very good-natured banter, often at the expense of other panellists and the Scotch whisky industry. While at the Festival I took the opportunity to talk to key figures from the bourbon industry who attended the festival.

What is the significance of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival for the people of Kentucky?

Jim Rutledge – Four Roses:
"It gives us an opportunity as distillers for exposure of our products to the worldwide media, a tremendous amount of exposure not only for Bardstown, but statewide. Our distillery is in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, about 50 miles from here and it just provides the exposure that wouldn't otherwise be available to us. That's the greatest thing, I think, for us."

Bill Creason – Brown Forman:

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