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7 Whiskey Festivals You Can't Miss

 
PUBLISHED IN whiskey, bourbon, festivals
Are you Whiskey geek enough to follow your favorite spirit like a hippie following The Dead? Whiskey fans are a breed all their own. They want to know everything there is to know about their favorite class of spirit, right down to the waterway the distillery pulls from and the terroir of the soil that grew the grains.

This is why you can always count on Whiskey Geeks to turn up at consumer education events, which are often modeled after sci-fi conventions. Bonus points if you dress Bourbon Chic. Here are the seven Whiskey festivals you won’t want to miss:

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Every September during Bourbon Heritage Month distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail gather in Bardstown, Kentucky to celebrate our native spirit at Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Distilleries build little cottages in a village that is reminiscent of Oktoberfest in Munich, and distillery workers participate in barrel rolling competitions for which they train all summer long.

There are barbecues, bonfires, and even a black tie gala, and Bill Murray has even been known to make an appearance!

Barrel Rolling Competition at Kentucky Bourbon Festival

The Bourbon Classic

The Bourbon Classic, four day event takes place in Louisville, Kentucky and showcases the culinary and mixology talents of chefs from Louisville and beyond.

The emphasis is on food and Bourbon, but there’s also plenty of opportunity to rub elbows with the Bourbon Elite. Friday night festivities include a cocktail and small plates competition, and Saturday’s festivities include a Bourbon Masters Panel as well as breakout education sessions on everything from Bourbon and country ham to women in the Bourbon industry.

Winners of Cocktail & Culinary Challenge at Bourbon Classic 2016

New Orleans Bourbon Festival

Nothing makes more sense than a Bourbon festival in The Big Easy. After all, many historians including Michael Veach believe New Orleans’ Bourbon Street had a hand in the naming of Kentucky’s Native Spirit.

New Orleans Bourbon Festival, two day event features classes ranging from entertaining with Bourbon to Bourbon and cigar pairings, a cocktail competition, and endless pours.

 

Setting up for pairing #2 at the #NOBOURBONFEST

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Whisky Live USA

No matter where you live in the United States there’s a Whisky Live a short flight or drive away. This is an opportunity to meet with representatives from all over the world and sample their Whiskies, including some exotic and rare ones.

Have you ever had Tasmanian Whiskey? Played pub games in a tiny Irish pub replica built on site? It’s a Whiskey geek’s Valhalla.

 

The doors are finally open! #whiskyliveboston

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The Kentucky Bourbon Affair

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair is fantasy camp for Bourbon geeks. Want to go skeet shooting with Jimmy and Eddie Russell at Wild Turkey? No problem. Want to Throw axes and bottle your own single barrel Bourbon at Jeptha Creed? Why not!

Only 50 Golden Tickets are issued for this event each year, and they sell out fast. Golden Ticket holders get the first pick of activities, but there are plenty of awesome activities left once the first 50 folks take their pick.

 

Ready for Lawrenceburg to shine with @fourrosesbourbon and @wildturkey collaboration event for #kybourbonaffair #kybourbontrail #Bourbon

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Whisky Fest

Bringing the Whiskey love to consumers from New York to San Francisco and more, Whisky Fest is celebrating 20 years in North America. Meet distillers and try spirits from all over the world with other folks who are just as geeked out as you!

 

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Craft Spirits Celebration

Craft Spirits Celebration is bringing together distillers and the people who love their spirits, for a day of sampling some mighty fine, quality-crafted hooch and pairing it with the perfect savory bite. It's certainly not the biggest Spirits event in the country but it's definitely favorite among Flaviar Community. It's the largest Flaviar Members gathering, taking place every September in New York City. Because - Tasting is believing!  

Craft Spirits Celebration 2015





READ MORE ABOUT: whiskey, bourbon, festivals

By Maggie Kimberl

Maggie Kimberl

Maggie Kimberl is an internationally published spirits journalist who focuses on Bourbon. She considers herself to be "geographically blessed" to live in Louisville, Kentucky, the epicenter of Bourbonism. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @LouGirl502.

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