This year, the home base was the Omni Louisville Hotel, which offered guests a centrally located spot to explore Louisville, as well as provided ample space for the conference-style events like the Higher Proof Expo and the Angel’s Fare. Of course, many of the activities took place at several Kentucky distilleries, including barrel picks, dinners and even skeet shooting at Wild Turkey.
Insider was fortunate enough to tag along on a handful of events throughout the week, and we talked to many people who used their vacation to come experience Louisville and — we’re gonna say it — bourbonism. We met a nice couple from Birmingham, Ala., who drove to the event because they knew they’d be taking many bottles home with them. And we met one guy from the island of New Caledonia who was checking off his bucket list with this trip.
Our itinerary included the skeet shooting experience at Wild Turkey, dinner at Heaven Hill President Max Shapira’s house, a dinner featuring the O.Z. Tyler Distillery and chef Patrick Roney, the Higher Proof Expo, and Angel’s Fare, which included tastings of five bottles hand-selected by a team of notable master distillers at each distillery.
One highlight from the latter event was purchasing a bottle of Maker’s Mark Private Select that featured the signature of Woodford Reserve/Old Forester Master Distiller Chris Morris on the back. Our inner bourbon nerd was doing cartwheels all the way home.
Here’s a closer look at Bourbon Affair 2018:
The skeet shooting experience included a full Wild Turkey tour by Eddie Russell. | Photo by Sara Havens
Shelly Bowers of Birmingham tries her hand at skeet shooting. | Photo by Sara Havens
This attendee had good aim. | Photo by Sara Havens
Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell watches the activities. | Photo by Sara Havens
Eddie Russell helps his father, Jimmy, with the scooter. | Photo by Sara Havens
Bourbon Affair attendees learn about bourbon-makin’. | Photo by Sara Havens
Flavored bourbons are nothing new — this honey-flavored Wild Turkey came out in 1976. | Photo by Sara Havens
One of our challenges was to blend three bourbons to try and mimic the taste of Rare Breed. | Photo by Sara Havens
Jimmy Russell | Photo by Sara Havens
Dinner with the Shapiras at Heaven Hill | Photo by Sara Havens
Lounging with an Old Fashioned at the dinner | Photo by Sara Havens
Bartender Nathan O’Neill whips up a cocktail at the Shapira dinner. | Photo by Sara Havens
The O.Z. Tyler Distillery is located in Owensboro. | Photo by Sara Havens
The O.Z. Tyler event included cocktails that paired with several courses. | Photo by Sara Havens
Chef Patrick Roney explains his dishes. | Photo by Sara Havens
DrunkWood’s John King was part of the Higher Proof Expo. | Photo by Sara Havens
Forest Ramsey of Art Eatables sells his chocolates at the Higher Proof Expo. | Photo by Sara Havens
One Higher Proof Expo class included a whiskey and food pairing with Michter’s, country ham, chocolate and cheese. | Photo by Sara Havens
Bourbon pairs quite well with country ham. | Photo by Sara Havens
The five special whiskeys at the Angel’s Fare | Photo by Sara Havens
Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell (center) with his wife Joretta and Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott at the Angel’s Fare | Photo by Sara Havens
This vintage Michter’s bottle is from the late 1970s. | Photo by Sara Havens
By Sara Havens|2019-12-30T11:56:22-05:00June 11th, 2018|