What could be more special than a bottle of bourbon from a barrel hand-selected by a master distiller? How about five barrel picks selected by five of the industry's most revered figures?
Jimmy Russell and Eddie Russell of Wild Turkey, Chris Morris of Brown-Forman, Fred Noe of Jim Beam, Steve Nally of Bardstown Bourbon Company (and formerly of Maker's Mark) — all members of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame — will release bottles hand-selected together from barrels of Russell's Reserve, Old Forester, Maker's Mark 46, Knob Creek Rye and Willett Bourbon.
In April, the group went on a two-day road trip to make the barrel selections at five landmark distilleries. They selected unique barrels at each location, ranging from a 1920 Prohibition Style barrel of Old Forester to a Willett Family Reserve 6-year-old single barrel.
The barrel picks will be available only at the closing event of this year's Kentucky Bourbon Affair, the distilling industry's annual fantasy camp. The "Angel's Fare" is a charitable event that also will feature an auction of rare whiskies, a vintage spirit tasting and an all-star lineup of Kentucky chefs offering Bourbon-inspired culinary delights in collaboration with Kentucky Proud.
Tickets are $150 per person for the event from 6 to 10 p.m. on June 9 at the Omni Hotel in downtown Louisville. Tickets are on sale at kybourbonaffair.com. Bottles will be available for $100 to $200 each with autographed sets of all of the releases also available.
“This is an unbelievable, unprecedented, bucket-list experience that showcases the heart and soul of Kentucky bourbon, with five of our signature industry’s most beloved icons coming together to raise money for local causes,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.
Proceeds from the night will raise money for Kentucky charities, chosen by the participating distilleries: AMPED Louisville, The Lee Initiative, Anderson Humane Society, and Guthrie Opportunity Center.
“The Angel’s Fare release is truly a historic undertaking,” said Morris. “Never before have the master distillers of the Kentucky bourbon industry tasted and selected barrels from a competitive — yet collegial — distillery before."