Bourbon Heritage Month: Festival, proclamation highlight impact of native spirit on state’s economy

As the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival kicks off in Bardstown, Gov. Matt Bevin praised Kentucky’s $8.5 billion Bourbon industry for its growing impact on the state’s economy and notable boost to tourism, declaring September “Bourbon Heritage Month” in the Commonwealth. “Kentucky’s historic Bourbon industry is currently enjoying tremendous growth. The love of Bourbon is quickly becoming...

Enjoy fine art, and fine bourbon, through Oct. 7 at Maker’s Mark distillery’s ‘Chihuly at Maker’s’ exhibit

Dale Chihuly’s “Crimson and Chestnut Fiori Boat” was created specifically for the landscape at Maker’s Mark Distillery (Photo from Lebanon Tourist & Convention Commission) See the art of bourbon making and the world-renowned glass art of Dale Chihuly at a limited-run special exhibition at Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto, KY. Showcasing seven dramatic large-scale...

For a deeper dive into Kentucky’s Bourbon culture, try the one-day ‘Higher Proof Expo’ experience

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp has unveiled a new day-long workshop packed with unique educational and tasting sessions led by top industry professionals, capped with a vintage spirits appraisal from one of the country’s top collectors.   The Higher Proof Expo will be held on Saturday, June 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Louisville Marriott East, the official host hotel for the...

Kentucky Bourbon boom adds $1 billion to state economy along with 2,000 jobs over two-year period

Kentucky’s skyrocketing Bourbon industry shows no signs of slowing down, as the signature spirit increased its economic output by $1 billion in the last two years alone and added another 2,000 distillery-related jobs to its workforce, according to a new study released Tuesday. Kentucky Bourbon now pours $8.5 billion each year into the state’s economy, generates as many as 17,500 good-paying jobs...

Kentucky by Heart: ‘Talk Bourbon to Me’ takes something old and gives it a fresh spin

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Lexington author Beth Underwood has shown that she’s capable of turning up her writing intensity to a high level; she can turn it down and soften the tone, too, especially after she takes a little time to cool down. Where her previous book was hard-hitting and full of the pathos of war, her newest, Talk Bourbon to Me: A Whiskey Lover’s Guide to Kentucky’s...

Rural Blog: Big bourbon making town puts brakes on new whiskey warehouses close to residential areas

A Kentucky town whose name has been almost synonymous with whiskey making has had about enough of the bourbon boom, or at least a piece of it. “The Bardstown City Council has voted down the Planning Commission’s recommendation to allow distilled spirits warehouses on agricultural tracts of 20-100 acres as a conditional use,” Randy Patrick reports for The Kentucky Standard. “Recently,...

Old Time Kentucky: Once he’s been bought, is a corrupt voter obliged to stay that way?

By Berry Craig KyForward columnist A century or so ago, vote buying was said to be as common as grocery buying in the Bluegrass State. “One 1909 estimate indicated that up to one-fourth of all votes in the average Kentucky county could be bought,” according to A New History of Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison and James C. Klotter. “Two years later a gubernatorial candidate suggested that seventy...

Bourbon, bayou and benefit: No, not the beginning of a joke; event to support CASA

  Kentuckians will have the opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras without going further than Lexington – and benefit a nonprofit at the same time.   Bourbon and the Bayou will include all of the necessary components for a true Mardi Gras celebration, but will blend the New Orleans event with Kentucky tradition. The event will be held Friday, Feb. 6 at The Red Mile Round Barn. All proceeds...

Clay Center’s ‘peace’ bourbon on way to D.C. to sweeten the deal for a ‘Bourbon Summit’

  By Judy Clabes Editor and publisher   A proper Bourbon Summit requires a collaborative meeting of two powerful Washington political leaders – and a unique collaborative bourbon as well.   At least that’s the way some influential Kentuckians see it.   And what better place to start than at the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship – named for Kentucky’s famed Great...

Tourism in Kentucky had a $12.5 billion impact in 2013; industry continues to grow

The economic impact of tourism in Kentucky amounted to more than $12.5 billion in 2013, state officials announced today. That’s a 2.6 percent increase from 2012.   “Our tourism industry continues to grow because Kentucky has stunning natural beauty, interesting and exciting attractions, and world class hospitality that make our visitors want to come back over and over again,” said Gov....

With move downtown, Lexington Visitors Center welcomes record number of visitors

The Lexington Visitors Center, located in downtown Lexington inside Victorian Square, welcomed a record 25,000 visitors in 2013. Officials said the proximity of the location to downtown hotels and the Lexington Convention Center, as well as a street level location in a high foot-traffic area contributed to the increase. This record visitation represents a 100 percent increase over the prior year and...

Mack McCormick: What makes bourbon bourbon? Get answers in new travel guide

Kentucky may be horse-racing and basketball country, but when it comes to your taste buds, the Bluegrass State is a bourbon-lover’s paradise. From mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby to a classic old-fashioned at Louisville’s famed Pendennis Club, no spirit is more associated with a state than bourbon with the Commonwealth. Since the founding of the Bourbon Trail in 1999, bourbon has become more...

Chef John Foster: How hard can it be to find new way to mix classic mint julep? Hmmm …

  The time has come once again to roll out the simple syrup, mint leaves, crushed ice and bourbon. Hail to the Mint Julep as a bastion of the halcyon days of Thoroughbreds and the “greatest two minutes in sports.”   I remember my parents’ giddy anticipation of attending their first and only Derby back in the mists of time. There was a medical conference in Louisville and one...

United Way’s Back on Track Program gives $4,000 grants to business owners, students

Changes to United Way’s Back on Track program now make it easier for business owners and students to access $4,000 for expanding their business or paying for the cost of getting a post-secondary education. In just six months, participants of this program can access $4,000 along with the money they save – it’s simple and risk free, but you have to be able to save money you earn and attend financial...

Extension agents host free Pastures Please! event aimed at horse owners, farm managers

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and UK Ag Equine Programs will host Pastures Please! 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Fayette County extension office, 1140 Red Mile Place in Lexington. The public is invited to the free annual event; particularly horse owners and farm managers interested in the latest information about horse pasture management.   “We are pleased to offer our 6th...