Barrel House Distilling in Lexington is releasing its first bourbon, RockCastle Bourbon, in August. Made from wheat and corn ground by Weisenberger Mills and from water from the King Springs Water Co. in Climax in Rockcastle County, this small batch bourbon will be a available in Kentucky, Atlanta and Chicago.
Distiller Jeff Wiseman said RockCastle is a wheated bourbon, which has vanilla and cinnamon notes, and is a blend of two barrels of bourbon, one 7 years old and one about 2 years ago. With a suggested price of $74.99, it will be bottled barrel proof, between 110 and 120 proof.
Later this year, Barrel House expects a one-time release of an experimental 7-year-old high-rye bourbon, Wiseman said. Barrel House on the campus of the old James Pepper Distillery on Manchester Street, started in 2008 as a craft distillery and makes Pure Blue Vodka, Devil John Moonshine, Devil John Dark 'Shine and Oak Rum.
■ Dupree Catering is offering a Cajun menu for this year's Picnic with the Pops, at Keeneland on Aug. 14-15. Dinners for eight can be delivered to your table from 6 to 8 p.m. or you can pick up your order at their Delaware Avenue location the day of the event. Entrees are packaged individually and the appetizer, side items, bread, and dessert are served family style.
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Choice of entrees includes bourbon-smoked paprika grilled flank steak with spiced tomato ragout for $34; blackened salmon with grilled scallion remoulade for $33; pecan crusted chicken breast with Creole mustard sauce for $32; or herb roasted wild mushroom and goat cheese tartlet for $30. To order, call (859) 231-0464. Have your section, row and table number.
■ Soul music and food are on the menu July 31 at the Holly Hill Inn, 426 N. Winter St. in Midway. Chef Ouita Michel and her staff will create a down-home soul food buffet to accompany music on the lawn by one of their own staff, Emtre Hollis, with Misc. Jones.
The buffet will include slow-roasted Stone Cross Farm pork roast, blackened wild-caught catfish, Hoppin' John salad, greased pig (heirloom tomatoes layered with bacon, blue cheese and mustard vinaigrette), truffled macaroni and cheese, maque choux, Cedar Ring collard greens, Midway Bakery pie supper and more. Cost is $40. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., buffet served at 7 p.m. Full bar, wine and craft beers available. Reservations by calling (859) 846-4732. After 8 p.m., concert only is $10, bring lawn chairs and blankets.
■ Country Boy Brewing, 436 Chair Ave., will release Papaw's Red, an imperial red ale aged in bourbon barrels (does the name Papaw give you a hint as to the kind of bourbon?) at noon on Saturday. The release is limited to two 750 ml. bottles per person for $14.99 plus tax each. On Friday, Country Boy is having a ticketed pre-release party featuring hors d'ouevres by County Club. Tickets are $50; call (859) 554-6200 to see if tickets are still available.
■ The Peach Truck will be back at Wilson's Nursery, 3690 East-West Connector in Frankfort, on Friday with Freestone Georgia peaches, $39 for a 25-pound box.
And at noon on Aug. 15, Wilson's will have their 13th annual Tomato & Pepper Taste-off. Enter your best tomato or pepper recipe and your best salsa in the culinary categories. Or bring in home-grown veggies to be weighed and judged. Entries for culinary contests must be received by noon; entries for veggie contests can be received beginning now. All entries receive gifts and there are prizes for winners. Call (502) 223-1488 for more information.
■ Azur Restaurant & Patio, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, is having a Bluegrass Farmers Market Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 11. Chefs Jeremy Ashby and Joseph Harrison will highlight the produce from the farmers market along with local beef, lamb, pork and chicken. The summer bounty of side dishes will be served family style, while the chefs will be carving locally raised and wood-fire roasted meats table side. Cost is $45 per person plus tax and tip. Call (859) 296-1007 for reservations.
■ Stephania Sharkey and Johnny Shipley of County Club will be the guest chefs at Best Friend Bar, 500 E. Euclid, on Aug. 16.
■ Alltech Brewing's Kentucky Rye Barrel IPA won a gold medal in the barrel aged pale beer division of the 2015 U.S. Beer Open Championships in Oxford, Ohio.