Whisky Magazine Issue 7
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It was show time in Kentucky and Damian Riley-Smith found it very much to his taste.
The newcomer to Kentucky may be forgiven for thinking he had come to whiskey heaven – for indeed he has. Arriving at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville at 11pm would, for many, be the time to try out its fabulous four poster beds. But not during the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. The Seelbach was playing host to chefs from throughout the Hilton Group in the US who were making final preparations for the presentation at the gala dinner on Saturday night.
And so, being from out of town, the only hospitality deemed suitable was a late-night bourbon whiskey tasting. Informal and educational, Adam Seger, director of restaurants, and Max Allen, the great bartender of Louisville, brought the Whisky Magazine team up to speed in no time at all. Pappy Van Winkle's Old Rip and Woodford Reserve were just a part of this detailed introduction to Bourbon County's finest. This, the eighth Kentucky Bourbon Festival, brought together all the best ingredients that make the drink special: great people (who make it, mature it and market it), wonderful places (the lush fields and hills of Kentucky) and
The festival attracted visitors from throughout the Americas and across the world. Whether barrel-making, visiting the Oscar Getz Whiskey Museum, listening to jazz or buying at auction, the tasting of bourbon was never very far away.
The focal point of the festival is Bardstown, on the lawns outside Spalding Hall. Here craftsmen, folk artists, barrel-makers, and, of course, the...