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Issue 67 - A blue grass state of mind

Whisky Magazine Issue 67
November 2007


This article is 10 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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A blue grass state of mind

Now in its 16th year, this annual event has become the gathering for bourbon fans. Rob Allanson went to find out more.

Now the crown jewel of the recently titled National Bourbon Heritage Month, It's a pilgrimage you should make at least once as a bourbon lover.

Once you have made that taxi ride from Louisville airport into Bardstown – the heart of the festival – everything you could imagine is there from vintage bottles to tours round your favourite distillery.

The event has grown from essentially a bourbon tasting and dinner to attracting more than 52,000 people from 13 countries to bourbon's heartland.

There are so many events it is a good thing to spread yourself thinly and get to as much as possible, it may hurt a bit but in the end you will leave the bluegrass state with a deeper appreciation of the amber liquid.

Since 1776, the people of Bardstown, Kentucky have been making bourbon. Their dedication to the fine art of distilling eventually gave Bardstown the title of Bourbon Capital of the World.

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival gives you a weekend full of smooth bourbon, delicious food, and great entertainment, with a healthy dose of Kentucky hospitality thrown in for good measure.

On Friday afternoon, events included “Let's Talk Bourbon” at the Four Roses Distillery. Here a detailed seminar and distillery tour by master distiller Jim Rutledge on the history and process of making Kentucky Bourbon enlightened festival goers.

A private tour of the Jim Beam distillery was one of the highlights of the festival for me, full of smells and interesting cereal notes which could be ...

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