Derby Like a Local | The Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby

It’s Derby season, y’all!

Woodford Reserve said it best, when they said:

“In Kentucky, horses are everything and bourbon is everything else.”

About a week or so ago, I was at Liquor Barn picking up a bottle or two of bourbon. Liquor Barn is the mecca of alcohol. At over 55,000 square feet, it’s the largest retailer in Kentucky for wine, beer, and spirits. It’s seriously a sight to behold. If you ever visit Lexington, be sure to check out the Hamburg location. Liquor Barn alone has over 200 different bourbons, and that’s not including whiskey or scotch, which are completely different things. All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. Confused? I explain that in detail in the post, Bourbon 101: Starting With the Basics.

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Maker’s Mark Releases UK Basketball Commemorative Bottle Honoring the 1996 Championship Team

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It’s officially springtime in the Bluegrass State. Not only was this past weekend the opening of Keeneland for the spring meet, but on Friday, April 7, Maker’s Mark released a commemorative bottle that featured the University of Kentucky’s 1996 championship team, affectionately known as the “Untouchables.” Of course, when I heard about it, I had to go stand in line!

“Our ’96 championship team was one of the best not only in the history of our program, but in the history of college basketball. This iconic bottle is a fitting tribute to them and all they accomplished during that historic season.” -UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart

The weather is pretty unpredictable in Kentucky. Just a few days prior, it was in the 70s, and on this particular morning, it was 37 degrees with a “feels like” temperature of 30 degrees (as I am writing this, it’s back in the mid 70s). I severely underestimated how cold it actually was, so I was ridiculously unprepared. I didn’t have any gloves, a scarf, a chair, or even a blanket with me. However, when I got there, the guy next to me went to his car and got me a blanket, so I could keep warm. When someone got in line behind me, he also went to his car to get a blanket for me to sit on. Waiting in line may sound crazy to some, but it isn’t just about getting a collector’s bottle or a rare bourbon, but it’s about the experience. You meet some of the nicest people! Of course they are nice, because they are Kentuckians (it’s that Southern hospitality) and they are bourbon people! I’m telling you some of the best people you’ll ever meet are bourbon people!

There were only 13,000 bottles released, and they sold out in less than an hour! I stood in line about 3.5 hours before the store that I went to opened. By the time I got there, there were approximately thirty people in front of me, maybe forty, if I had to guess. Some people had gotten there on Thursday to wait in line. Several of the local news stations were there, and I even saw myself on the news in the background.

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Scoring the Elusive Pappy Van Winkle

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It’s that time of year again… when the exclusive Pappy Van Winkle is released.

For those that are unfamiliar with Pappy…
“Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve is often regarded as one of the finest bourbons in the world, and is rare to find on the market due to its very low production and high demand. Bourbon aficionados have shown up in droves to get a small chance in a lottery to purchase some. It has been called ‘the bourbon everyone wants but no one can get.'”
This past Saturday, November 12, Liquor Barn locations in Louisville (Hurstbourne, Springhurst, and Middletown), Lexington (Hamburg and Beaumont), Danville, and Bowling Green were participating in a lottery for the chance to purchase a bottle of Pappy.
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Antiquing Kentucky Style: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection

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If you know anything about bourbon, then you would know how coveted the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is, because everyone wants to get their hands on one of the bottles. The Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is also hard to come by, due to it being available in very limited quantities. You can’t just walk in the door and get a bottle of this!

If you live in Kentucky, especially in Lexington or Louisville, and you aren’t on Liquor Barn’s email list, you need to be. This is how you will know about the upcoming special releases. If you aren’t, by the time you find out (and if you find out), it will be far too late to do anything about it.

On Friday, October 14, I received an email about the lottery for the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. The bottles included in the lottery were: George T. Stagg, Eagle Rare 17 year, William Larue Weller, Thomas H. Handy Rye, and Sazerac Rye 18 year. Inside the email were the details about the lottery.

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White Dog Day 2016 | Buffalo Trace Distillery

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I just love going out and attending events, especially when it involves bourbon and/or food. Back in early September, I remember seeing a post on facebook about winning tickets to White Dog Day at Buffalo Trace. I couldn’t find much information about the event, but I knew that I just had to go! I would’ve been willing to pay, because it was something that I really wanted to attend.

Around the end of September, I received an invitation in the mail for White Dog Day. I was so ecstatic, because it was something that had been on my mind, and I would’ve been bummed if I wasn’t able to attend. At the event, you would be able to go on a “behind the scenes” tour, do a toast with White Dog, sign a bourbon barrel, and have dinner and drinks.

Some people may be wondering, what is White Dog and why is this event so important? The event, White Dog Day at Buffalo Trace, is to celebrate their 243rd distilling season. They have continuously been operating since 1775. They didn’t even shut down during Prohibition, because they were one of the few distilleries that were licensed by the federal government to distill bourbon for ‘medicinal purposes.’ Buffalo Trace sits on approximately 378 acres of land (actually more now, since they purchased more land not too long ago!). Buffalo Trace has also won more awards than any other distillery in the world in the past decade.

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