If you love bourbon and you’ve never been to Louisville, you’re really missing out. Here’s why:
1. We have some of the best bourbon bars around. Like anywhere. These are my personal favorite ten in the area. Two of my favorite bars on this list, Haymarket Whisky and The Silver Dollar, both made Thrillist’s list of the 21 Best Whiskey Bars in America. The only shocker for me there was that other states had good bourbon bars. There are also great places like Bourbons Bistro and The Village Anchor that know how to do bourbon right.
2. This is the first stop for bourbon tourism. In addition to The Urban Bourbon Trail and The Evan Williams Experience, we are also home to the Bourbon Classic, The Kentucky Bourbon Affair, and Mint Julep Tours. And the list goes on.
4. Bourbon is also for dessert. Art Eatables doesn’t just make one generic kind of bourbon truffles. They make 22 different kinds, each with a different bourbon, and each is topped with an edible bourbon logo.
7. Some of the best bourbon and whiskey writers live in Louisville. Mike Veach, author of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage, is the official Bourbon Historian of the Filson Historical Society. He also hosts The Filson Bourbon Academy all over the country. Fred Minnick, author of Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey, also lives here. You can meet him and his signature ascot at most bourbon events around town.
8. Soy Sauce aged in Bourbon Barrels. Bourbon Barrel Foods has created some amazing things, such as bourbon barrel sugar, bourbon smoked sea salt, and bourbon barrel aged vanilla. They have everything you need to add a little bourbon flair to your meal.
9. Bourbon education. Special events like The Filson Bourbon Academy happen a few times a year. The Kentucky Derby Museum also hosts a Bourbon Legend Series, which recently featured Ed Foote of Stitzel-Weller fame and Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve. You can meet Master Distillers at bars, liquor stores, and restaurants. And my beloved Haymarket Whiskey Bar offers tasting classes by appointment Tuesdays-Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. for only $40 per person. In addition to that, Moonshine University offers in-depth bourbon making classes.
10. The Kentucky Bluegrass and Bourbon Festival is still in its infancy, but it draws some of the best bluegrass bands around. Combine that with an opportunity to sample some of the best bourbons around, and you have yourself a boot-stomping good time.
Photos Courtesy of Louisville Visitor's Center Facebook Page, Art Eatables Facebook Page, Moonshine University Website, Fred Minnick, and Maggie Kimberl