Week-long Bourbon fantasy camp culminates with International Whiskey celebration
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 14, 2016) — Mayor Greg Fischer welcomed thousands of guests to the River City this week as part of the Kentucky Bourbon Affair showcase, which features the prestigious WHISKY LIVE International tasting event for the first time ever in the Commonwealth.
“Today is National Bourbon Day, and there’s no better place to celebrate our signature spirit this week than Louisville,” Fischer said. “We look forward to sharing our unique Bourbon culture and booming culinary scene with a glass of Kentucky’s finest amber nectar.”
More than 2,000 people will descend on Louisville this week for the third annual event, an intimate six-day adventure featuring behind-the-scenes tours, private barrel selections and specialty events at the world’s most iconic distilleries and famous Louisville hotspots.
There are 37 events and most have been sold out for months, but tickets to select events are still available at www.kybourbonaffair.com.
“This is one of the best weeks to be here in Kentucky,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) that operates the elite event. “The Kentucky Bourbon Affair is an unforgettable experience, so relax and savor our products responsibly and in moderation.”
On June 18, the city will go international with WHISKY LIVE, inviting guests to sample an incredible array of Bourbons, Scotches and whiskies from around the globe while mingling with industry icons from abroad.
WHISKY LIVE includes a sampling of over 150 different expressions of whisky from across the globe, a Bourbon-infused dinner buffet, live entertainment and educational classes. The event runs from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Louisville Marriott East, the state’s only Bourbon-themed hotel.
A 2013 study by the University of Louisville found that Louisville is one of the biggest winners in the Bourbon renaissance, with distillers providing 4,200 jobs, $263 million in payroll and $32 million in tax revenue each year.
That number is growing with nearly $130 million in capital investments as distilleries flock to the city and its historic Whiskey Row, including Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Brown-Forman’s Old Forester Bourbon Experience, Angel’s Envy, Kentucky Peerless, the Bulleit Experience at Stitzel-Weller Distillery, the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse, Michter’s, Copper & Kings and many more.
Kentucky Bourbon is one of the commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $3 billion economic engine that generates more than 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll topping $700 million and pours $166 million into state and local coffers each year.
The KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour adventures also set an attendance record last year with nearly 900,000 guests touring an all-time high of 19 participating distilleries.
In addition, KDA member distilleries are in the middle of a $1.3 billion building boom, Gregory said, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky’s signature spirit.
As further proof of the Bourbon renaissance, the KDA recently announced that state distilleries filled nearly 1.9 million barrels of Bourbon last year, the largest amount in nearly a half-century, and paid a record $17.8 million in barrel taxes that fund education and public safety.
With a 315 percent increase in production since 1999, the commonwealth now has a total inventory of 6,657,063 barrels of Bourbon, the most since 1974. There are now 1.5 barrels for every person living in Kentucky.