May is a great time to be a Citizen Bourbon Ambassador  in Louisville. There are bourbon events around every corner, and many of them are free and open to the public. Even the liquor stores are throwing Derby parties this time of the year, which is a great way to meet your favorite Master Distillers and have them sign your bottles.
Cox’s Smoker’s Outlet is a locally owned chain of liquor and tobacco stores. Several of their stores have awesome events during Derby week. Cox’s in St. Matthews is where I met Jim Rutledge  last year during Derby week, and their lineup looks just as impressive this year. Here are some of the highlights of their schedule:
Cox’s 294 N. Hubbards Ln.
April 22- Chris Morris  of Woodford Reserve will be signing bottles (note that this is the week before Derby week)
April 28- Larceny and Evan Williams Single Barrel sampling
April 29- Mark Coffman of Town Branch
April 30- Willett Potstill and Johnny Drum sampling
May 1- Jimmy Russel of Wild Turkey (Russell is often referred to as the Budda of Bourbon and is the last remaining of the three Elder Statesmen of the Bourbon Industry.)
Cox’s Middletown- 12610 Shelbyville Rd.
April 30- Whiskey Professor Bernie Lubbers , Larceny and Evan Williams Sampling
Cox’s 4780 Bardstown Rd.
Monday April 28- Jim Rutledge of Four Roses Distillery (Rutledge is one of my all-around favorite people in the Bourbon industry. His knowledge and enthusiasm are contagious.)
There are many more events going on at these and other Cox’s Smoker’s Outlet stores in the Louisville area. See their website and schedule for more information. They also have food and wine pairing events and cigar events at these and other locations. If you like wine at all, you won’t want to miss Dr. Sandi’s food and wine pairing events at the store on Hubbards Lane. There’s a different lineup each day Monday-Thursday and she puts a lot of work into each one.
Photos Courtesy of Wild Turkey's Facebook page, Woodford Website, and Four Roses Website