Bourbon Classic to return to Louisville in 2014

The Bourbon Classic, a weekend of tastings and discussions of bourbon-themed topics, will return to Louisville in 2014 after a successful debut this spring.

About 750 bourbon enthusiasts came to this year's inaugural two-day Bourbon Classic, said founders Tony Butler of FSA Management Group, an event planning company in Louisville, and Justin Thompson and Seth Thompson of The Bourbon Review.

Jared Shubert of Monkey Wrench bar and restaurant in Louisville won the cocktail competition with a drink called the Dust Bowl smash.

The 2014 edition of the Bourbon Classic will be Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts in Louisville. Highlights will include a cocktail competition focused on bourbon cocktails paired with bourbon-themed food; a master distillers panel; and chances to sample bourbons and bourbon-inspired products.

"Louisville is a bourbon and culinary hot spot, the Napa Valley of Kentucky bourbon," Butler said in the announcement. "This event brings bourbon lovers together from all over the nation, sharing the heritage that makes our area so unique."


Bourbon Classic

When: Jan. 31-Feb. 1

Where: Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, 501 W. Main St., Louisville

Tickets: $125-$145 daily general admission; $175-$195 daily for VIP tickets, which include extra bourbon tasting opportunities. Available at

Learn more:


Dust Bowl smash

2 ounces Four Roses single-barrel bourbon

half-ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and hot water)

1 dash Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub bitters

2 dashes Peychaud's Bitters

6 large mint leaves

Lemon peel

In a metal shaker tin, combine all ingredients except for 1 mint sprig and lemon peel. Shake vigorously, and pour into a double old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with the remaining mint sprig, and express the lemon over the top and discard.