The Bourbon Classic, an annual celebration of bourbon and food, returns to Louisville Feb. 28 through March 3.
This year, there are several unique opportunities, including a chance to buy some of the oldest bourbon ever bottled: a bourbon aged in the barrel for 45 years.
The Frazier Museum is offering Final Reserve, James Thompson & Brother Bourbon, for $1,800 a bottle and there are only about 200 or so available. Or you can get a sample at the Classic on March 1, where evening tickets for Savor: A Taste of History are $125 per person and available online at fraziermuseum.org.
The 45-year-old bourbon was donated to the museum by James “Buddy” Thompson, the last heir of the Glenmore distillery in Owensboro, which made Kentucky Tavern bourbon, according to Seth Thompson of The Bourbon Review, which co-produces the event. In the 1970s, Thompson decided to hold onto some bourbon, planning a release at the millennium. Instead, it sat until December, when it was finally bottled in Bardstown as James Thompson & Brother Bourbon, Thompson said. Proceeds of the sales will benefit the museum and the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.
The Bourbon Classic events, some of which are sold out already, include a cocktail and culinary challenge on March 2 and an evening of tastings and Bourbon University sessions at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts on March 3 for $155 per person. Go to KentuckyCenter.org for tickets.