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A Citizen's Guide to Promoting Bourbon Tourism in Louisville, Part 1
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On December 2 Mayor Greg Fischer held a press conference at Bourbons Bistro and declared that he wanted Louisville to become a bourbon and culinary Capitol of the world.  Included in the still-developing plan will be a tourism center downtown where people can catch a shuttle to various distilleries.

As a bourbon-and-Louisville loving citizen, I wondered what I could do to help promote this agenda.  Then I thought there must be others like me who want to help this happen, as well.

In this four-part series for Louisville.com, I will be outlining what we, citizens of the most bourbon-tastic city on the face of the Earth, can do to promote Kentucky’s native spirit and all the culinary treasures that accompany it.

Part I: Learn About Bourbon

There are lots of ways to do this, the most obvious of which is by drinking bourbon.  But then you will want to know what makes a certain bourbon your favorite.  So here are some other ways to learn about bourbon:

1. To learn about the history of bourbon, read Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage By Michael R. Veach.  Or learn from the man himself at the Filson Bourbon Academy.

2. Attend tastings and bottle signings at liquor stores and bars.  This is a great way to meet the distillers and ask questions about their products.  I’ve met a few Master Distillers this way, Jim Rutledge of Four Roses being my favorite so far.  These events usually take place during the holiday season and Derby season, so ask your local liquor store about these events.  (Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey will be at Cox’s on Hubbards Ln. 12/19/2014 from 4-7.)

3. Follow bourbonblog.com for all news bourbon-related.  You can also follow them on Twitter @bourbonblog.

4. Attend Bourbon 101 (and then 102 and 103) at The Silver Dollar.  They don’t have these scheduled for 2014 yet, so follow them on Facebook to find out when they announce the dates.  Classes fill up fast.

5.  Attend a one hour bourbon class at Haymarket Whiskey Bar by appointment Tuesday-Saturday at 5:30 pm.  The cost is $40 per person and includes a flight of five whiskeys.  (You can purchase a Livingsocial deal here, but due to state law drinks will be an additional charge.)

6. Attend the Bourbon Classic at the Kentucky Center for the Arts January 31, 2014-February 1, 2014.  This two-day seminar features cocktail competitions, seminars, and Bourbon University.

Once you do this, you’re well on your way.  As I always say, this is Kentucky: you pick a bourbon and that’s your bourbon for life.

Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Click here for Ten Best Bourbon Bars in Kentuckiana


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Maggie Kimberl's picture

About Maggie Kimberl

I'm a Louisville native with a passion for traveling and homegrown tomatoes. I originally intended to cover food and dining news and reviews for Louisville.com, but I've found so much interesting bourbon news out there I'm now the unofficial Bourbon Editor. See bourbon news happening? Contact me!

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