View Full Version : Bourbon Festivals

Theron Volkman
01-14-2002, 14:30
I am trying to plan my vacation time for this year and would like to attend the bourbon festival in Bardstown. Would someone be so kind as to let me know where I can find out information as to when it is being held?


01-14-2002, 15:38
That would be the third week in September Theron, or the 19th, 20th, & 21st. Do your best to stay in the Bardstown Best Western - The General Nelson Inn. It is within easy walking distance of the lawn at Spaulding Hall where all the good stuff happens.

Please be aware that there may not be a Bourbon Heritage Panel next year nor a Bourbon Auction. Local politics being what they are there are some things that remain to ironed out. The last I heard from 'one-in-the-know' is that these events are up for grabs. Since this person is a forum member I'll let him speak for himself if he's a mind to.{Translation for you Yanks & Europeans - If he wants to talk about it he will}.

What is the URL -<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.kybourbonfestival.com>http://www.kybourbonfestival.com</A>?

That ought to do ya Theron!

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

01-15-2002, 18:25

I've reserved a room at the General Nelson during this year's Bourbon Festival. As far as sightseeing, what would your recommendations be for a first time visitor?

Will you have Straightbourbon tasting at Buffalo Trace agin this year? If so, I'd like to attend.

Also, where is the best place to shop for bourbon to take home (selection, price)?

Bob Kaufman

01-16-2002, 05:35
Bob I'm happy to hear you'll be in attendance this year! Alot depends on how much time you're going to have. I strongly suggest you tour Wild Turkey, but they don't do tours on week-ends. Labrot & Graham is a showplace and the tour is good. They're open Saturdays. Maker's Mark is also a nice distillery to visit, and they are open on week-ends. I didn't think much of the tour guide we had.

Buffalo Trace is definitely worth a visit. I'm pretty sure that last year's tasting event was a one time deal. It's hard to tell what Omar may be able to arrange for us this year.

I went to the Liquor Outlet/'Party Source' in Louisville last year. The prices and selection were pretty good. If you spend over $250 you get an additional 5% discount.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

01-16-2002, 13:24
Save time for walking around Bardstown, visiting the Oscar Getz Museum, and many other local attractions. To get information try


click "bourbon" -- then scroll down for the "The Bourbon Connoisseur's Guide" - a 3 -day itinerary!

-- Greg

01-16-2002, 16:06
Greg as we all know the best part of the Bourbon Festival is the open bar at the Bourbonian Embassy at the General Nelson Inn gazebo. We had as much or more fun there as anyplace else. Remember we need bluesmen and women - so bring your axe!

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

01-16-2002, 19:45
Bob, Linn and all...

Yep, I'm working on another tasting event for StraightBourbon.com members. Can't give out specifics just yet but it will knock your socks (and pants) off. Check under Distillery Trips in a few short weeks for details.

Glad to hear we may be holding another Gazebo extravaganza at the Best Western. It was a great way to end the evenings. And I hope our fearless leader Jim Butler might join us this time.

Best regards,

01-17-2002, 10:30
In Bardstown, I like to do my bottle shopping at Toddy's. Their selection and prices are as good as anyone else in town and the store is a local landmark. The longtime proprietor was Toddy Beam, a member of the illustrious Beam family. I also like to hit Keane's for a pound or two of Kentucky Country Ham.

What to see in the Bardstown area depends on what you like. There's a lot of history (Abe Lincoln's birthplace is nearby) and nature (a walk through Bernheim Forest can be delightful) in addition to the distilling sites.

Personally, I am going to hold off making reservations. They haven't been that hard to get and I think there are some real question marks about the 2002 festival. If you do make reservations, make sure they are cancelable with reasonable notice.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

01-17-2002, 15:22

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

01-18-2002, 07:52
I certainly intend to be present. The only thing that prevented me from being there September 12th of last year was the fact that it immediately followed September 11th.

Hopefully, we will experience no such distractions this year.


Jim Butler

03-09-2002, 05:49
Does anyone have an update on the Bourbon Heritage Panel or Bourbon Auction during this years Bourbon Festival? I'm looking forward to attending both events.

03-09-2002, 06:30
That's a good question Bob. Unfortunately I don't have a good answer. On top of that there is some question as whether or not there will even be a Bourbon Festival next year. That would be best answered by Bettye Jo Beam Boone. I also believe Bobby Cox knows someone on the festival committee. It's kind of early yet to know for sure.

Mike Veach always volunteered his time and took care of all the Heritage Panel arrangements. He also coordinated the Master Distiller's auction. He hasn't posted here in quite awhile. You might take a chance and send him a private message. His forum name is bourbonv.

Sorry I couldn't have been more help.

Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

03-10-2002, 18:44
I have an inquiry in about this years festival but haven't heard any thing yet. However if you use thier URL <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.kybourbonfestival.com?>http://www.kybourbonfestival.com?</A>

the year 2002 events are there along with the auction and bourbon heritage panel. I for one hope everything goes as planned I am looking forward to meeting members of this forum, and crashing a certian exclusive party held at a gazebo or some such!

Bobby Cox<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by bobbyc on Sun Mar 10 17:50:05 2002 (server time).</FONT></P>

03-11-2002, 08:15
I can tell you all that, as of now, Mike Veach will not be participating in any Bourbon Festival events. He has had a parting of the ways with the festival committee, which he feels has usurped the museum. What all this will mean remains to be seen, but the fact is that Mike is out.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

03-12-2002, 11:13
Theron, Kauf and all,

The auction will be held Saturday afternoon, 9/21. The Heritage Panel is set for Sunday. You can see entire festival schedule at www.kybourbonfestival.com. Click on events. You can also check for hotels, restaurants and area attractions by visiting www.bardstowntourism.com.

What's not in the schedule is our very own 2nd Annual Private Taste and Tour Event, which will likely take place Thursday, Sept. 19 starting around 11 am or noon. Watch for details in near future under 'Distillery Trips' section of the forum. You won't want to miss it. Prepare to be impressed.

Best regards,

03-12-2002, 18:32
A few personal words about the Bourbon Festival.

If I had gone last year, purely as a visitor, with only the "official" events in which to participate, I would have considered it a bust. My gripe about the "official" festival is as follows. Most of the events are typical of any community festival. Bardstown is throwing a party for itself. There is very little "bourbon" about it, except for the fact that bourbon is available for sale, which isn't true at most community festivals, and which is a good thing. However, it probably is not something I would travel 350 miles to attend. If I just want to go to a street fair, we have plenty of those here in the Chicago area.

During the festival, the distilleries have events that are mostly targeted to their wholesale customers and to the press. I get something out of them in my capacity as a writer and publisher, but they really aren't for the festival goer who is primarily there as a whiskey fan. They seem only coincidentally associated with the festival.

The Getz Museum is great and the heritage panel and auction there are worthwhile events. Unfortunately, according to Mike Veach, they are in jeopardy. The heritage panel has been moved to Sunday, which is kind of fringe, as many attendees don't stay that long. The "bourbon academy," which Mike created and which was presented for the first time last year, seems unlikely to be repeated. I was personally associated with last year's heritage panel and with the academy, so not withstanding any prejudices I might have, both events were, at least, actually about the understanding and appreciation of bourbon. Most of the rest of the festival is not.

As I said at the beginning, the "official" festival is not that compelling. What made attending last year a blast for me was meeting and hanging out with the whole Straight Bourbon crowd. The best event of the festival was the infamous "party at the gazebo." I wasn't able to attend the special Straight Bourbon event at Buffalo Trace, but it sounded great and it looks like Omar is organizing something equally super for this year.

It's that kind of stuff--and the very real charm of the Bardstown area--that makes the festival worth attending. Unfortunately, there is reason to fear that the already weak "official" festival could get worse. I hope we are able to offset that with the fun "unofficial" events which have grown out of the community that has been established here on Straight Bourbon. If we can keep that going, the festival will be fun and worth the trip, even if the "official" festival continues to deteriorate.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

Ken Weber
03-19-2002, 12:24
I have Sept. 19 penciled in on my calendar. I will arrange to get the van and will pick folks up from the parking lot of My Old Kentucky Dinner Train. They will be transported to Stony Point, Col. Blanton's mansion at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Everyone is invited to bring a special bottle they want to share and I will dig up something special. There will also be finger foods provided. Afterwards, I will drive them back to Bardstown and drop them off at the train or deliver them to their hotels (or in Linn's case, his cave!). Hope to see you folks!


03-23-2002, 08:45
Chuck your observations are accurate; your logic - lucid, and your comments ring true. If there are enough StraightBourbon forum members that want to enjoy a special retreat in Kentucky then we are a Bourbon Festival in our own right. We don't need Bardstown to throw itself a party. We can show up in force at any time and get down with our bad selves! http://www.straightbourbon.com/images/icons/cool.gif

Some forum members have children in school or teach and just can't make it in Sept. We could have our own festival at any time, and not have to worry about making reservations a year in advance.

Unless you are going to 'The Gala' why not make our own fun???????????????

Pants Away!

[b]Linn Spencer

Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

04-20-2002, 19:34
Count me in .

Bobby Cox

04-20-2002, 22:49
damned if my po' little ass aint gonna try!