The Kentucky Bourbon Affair, the Kentucky Distillers' Association's four-day fantasy camp for bourbon lovers, is in its second year. This year's events, June 3-7, also will benefit three groups — Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, the Forest Health Research and Education Center at the University of Kentucky, and a support fund for Jay Rogers and the late Kyle Rogers, who were injured in a fire at Silver Trail Distillery in Marshall County.
Tickets are available at KyBourbonAffair.com for many events, including special days at various distilleries, as well as opening and closing parties.
The opening Bourbon Under the Rocks party at Louisville Mega Caverns ($150); the Craft to Cocktail 2.0 program at Distilled Spirits Epicenter ($100); the closing Casabourblanca gala at Bowman Field ($125); and Polo on the Waterfront send-off ($15) all will feature chefs using Kentucky Proud products and fresh fruits and vegetables, including a farmers' market at the polo match.
The American Liquors appraisal of rare bourbon items is from 1 to 4 p.m. on June 6 at The Filson Historical Society's headquarters, 1310 South Third Street in Louisville. The event is free, but a $10 donation is encouraged to support The Filson's programs. Email Adam@kybourbon.com to register. You can also submit photos and descriptions of items beforehand.
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Mike Veach, bourbon historian, will have information on brands and items; Bill Thomas, owner of the Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Washington D.C., will appraise whiskey bottles.
■ Blaze Pizza, 341 South Limestone, will open in late July. The pizza chain lets customers choose their toppings and sauces to go on pizzas fired in a super-hot oven. Prices range from $5 to $8; the chain traditionally gives away pizza on opening day.
■ Bluegrass Farmers' Market, at Liquor Barn at Hamburg, 1837 Plaudit Place, and Azur Restaurant & Patio, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, will have lettuce, kale, strawberries, spinach, asparagus, meats, cheese, eggs, baked goods and other items from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
■ Lexington Farmers Market, at the Cheapside Pavilion on Main Street on Saturday and on Southland Drive on Sunday, will have asparagus, strawberries, peaches, flowers, garden plants, meats, eggs, baked goods, cheeses, honey and more.
■ This year, the Bourbon Lodge at the Forecastle Festival, July 17-19 in Louisville, will feature more than 30 selections, plus special single-barrel offerings picked out by musicians and distillers: Members of My Morning Jacket with Old Forester, Houndmouth with Woodford Reserve, Shovels & Rope with Four Roses and Twin Limb with Wild Turkey. One dollar from each Bourbon Cares selection purchased in the Bourbon Lodge and 50 percent of profits from Bourbon Cares bottle sales (available exclusively at Liquor Barn's Springhurst location) will benefit the Forecast Foundation, an environmental charity.
Ryan Rogers of Feast BBQ will have a menu of bourbon-inspired cuisine. Buy tickets by June 1 to get a chance to attend a brunch at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience catered by world-renowned chef Edward Lee. Info at ForecastleFest.com.
■ This month Buffalo Trace in Frankfort is releasing two new experimental bourbons aged in slightly different French oak barrels, following the popular French oak experimental released in 2006. The 100 percent French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon and French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon, both 90 proof, will retail for about $46 each; limited availability.