To know Kentucky bourbon is to love Kentucky bourbon. Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month by learning a bit more about bourbon’s history within the Bluegrass State, where it’s an $8.6 billion bourbon industry and produces 95% of the world’s bourbon.

Here is a list of bourbon events taking place in September during Bourbon Heritage Month. Know one we missed? Send a note to

The Barbaro statue outside of Gate 1 at Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum is actually a gravesite for the beloved horse.

WHAT: Sip, savor and seek thrills with the museum’s unique selection of bourbon experiences. Learn about the rich history of Thoroughbred racing while indulging in Kentucky’s finest spirits.

  • Bourbon Club: If you want the scoop on what’s hot in the bourbon world, this is the club for you! A must-have for the bourbon lovers to the bourbon beginners.
  • Bourbon & Bridles Experience: Start with a tour of Churchill Downs to learn why horse racing and bourbon are a perfect pair and end with a tasting of bourbons. The lineup of distilleries and bourbon brands that will be launching this fall are: Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. (Sept. 27); Hidden Barn Whiskey (Oct. 26) and MB Roland Distillery, Four Branches Bourbon, and Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey (Nov. 15).
  • Hermitage Farm and Derby Museum Tour: This is an all-day experience that takes participants from the museum to the farm and will leave you with a new-found love and appreciation for all things horse racing and bourbon.
  • Mint Julep University: Learn about and how to make a perfect mint julep the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.
  • Derby Cafe and Bourbon Bar on the Urban Bourbon Trail: The Urban Bourbon Trail includes more than 40 bars and restaurants around Derby City. One of these stops is the Derby Cafe Express at the Museum. Stop by for a cocktail or a classic mint julep.

WHERE: Kentucky Derby Museum, 704 Central Ave.

WHEN: Various times

MORE INFORMATION: 502-637-1111;

A collection of bourbon on display at the Frazier History Museum.
Aug. 23, 2018

WHAT: The museum offers a variety of Kentucky bourbon tastings, tours, exhibitions and products when exploring the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. It offers bourbon adventures seven days a week, including Flight Club; Ready, Set, Go! Bourbon Experience; Craft Your Own Cocktail Experience; The Unfiltered Truth: Black American in Bourbon and private tastings and tours.

  • Flight Club: Participants will be given a blind flight of three different bourbons that will challenge their senses and teach them a thing or two about bourbon.
  • Ready, Set, Go! Bourbon Experience: Intended for Kentucky Bourbon Trail visitors and bourbon buffs. With this experience, participants get a multi-brand bourbon tasting, first and second-day admission to the museum and a spot in one of their guided, multi-brand bourbon tastings in the Order of the Writ room.
  • Craft Your Own Cocktail Experience: Learn how to make the official cocktail of Louisville, the Old Fashioned. Put your own unique twist on it and learn about its history. Presented by Old Forester.
  • The Unfiltered Truth: Black Americans in Bourbon: Learn about the stories of Black Americans in the bourbon industry throughout history.
  • Private tasting and tours: Offering several customizable guided tours and bourbon tastings led by one of Frazier’s certified Bourbon stewards.

WHERE: Frazier History Museum, 829 W. Main St.

WHEN: Seven days a week at designated times that you can opt to book online or enjoy as a walk-in

MORE INFORMATION: The Museum Store sells more than 90 different brands of Bburbon and a wide variety of Bourbon-related merchandise.

Black Bourbon Society Bourbon Boule

WHAT: Bourbonites from all over the country come to Louisville for three days of educational programming, networking, and fun. Signature Boule events: welcome luncheon, Bourbon Tasting Sip Suites, Main Street Distillery Crawl, BOSS (Black Owned Spirits Symposium) Brunch, and the Black Masquerade Affair.

WHERE: Louisville Marriott Downtown, 280 W. Jefferson St.

WHEN: Sept. 1-3

COST: $395, $595 VIP

MORE INFORMATION: Customize your own experience with add-on excursions to bourbon distilleries, curated branded dinners, and select your Boule education sessions. VIP ticket holders can expect exclusive perks including the VIP Libations Lounge, first dibs on all add-on experiences and access to purchase this year’s Boule Barrel Pick.;

The Louisville Visitor Center at Fourth and Market Streets on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

WHAT: The event celebrates Bourbon Heritage Month through a variety of bourbon-related partners and activations. Partners include Buzzard’s Roost, Danny Wimmer Presents (Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life), the Frazier Kentucky History Museum, and live music by Tyler Martin & Corey James. Plus, take 25% off bourbon-themed merchandise at the Louisville Visitors Center during September.

WHERE: Louisville Visitor Center, 301 S. Fourth St.

WHEN: Sept. 6, noon to 5 p.m.

COST: Free


Jamar Mack, founder of Kentucky’s Original Black Bourbon Enthusiasts.

WHAT: Start Bourbon Heritage Month with KOBBE, Kentucky’s Original Black Bourbon Enthusiasts and the University of Kentucky 1978 National Champions, Kyle Macy, Rick Robey and Jack “Goose” Gibbons. Featuring 1970s-themed food and drink celebrating bourbon and the community, complimentary tasting of the 5-year and 50-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey honoring the Kentucky 1978 NCAA National Championship Team – 78 Legends. This rare bourbon whiskey produced only 1,978 bottles and costs, $1,798 sold at Kroger’s across Kentucky.

WHERE: Black Rabbit, 120 Sears Ave.

WHEN: Sept. 6, 5:30-8 p.m.

COST: No cover

MORE INFORMATION: Proceeds will benefit KOBBE.

Inside Bourbons Bistro, 2255 Frankfort Ave.

WHAT: Bourbons Bistro will kick off Bourbon Heritage Month with a Blue Run Bourbon Dinner. Enjoy crafted whiskeys paired with a three-course meal in its upstairs private dining space. Dinner will include fresh salmon cakes, seasonal salad, and Chef Jereme McFarland’s signature pork chop. Each course will be expertly paired with one of Blue Run’s award-winning spirits. Chrissy Martin, Blue Runbrand ambassador, will walk you through the pairings for the evening.

WHERE: 2255 Frankfort Ave.

WHEN: Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m.

COST: $99 per person, tax and gratuity included.

MORE INFORMATION: Limited seating is available. Reserve your spot via the Experiences section of the Bourbons Bistro OpenTable page.

Louisville Food Tour Phantoms Of The Prohibition Tour Cocktail Pouring At Pin And Proof

WHAT: Explore the hidden stories of Louisville’s haunted past, as you eat and drink your way down Whiskey Row. Meet the resident ghosts of Louisville’s historic downtown, trace the footsteps of bourbon magnates and mobsters, discover hidden speakeasies in the belly of Whiskey Row, and learn the shocking history of Prohibition that they don’t teach in school. The tour includes four stops for cocktails, bourbon and beer, as well as an assortment of small bites.

WHERE: Hell or High Water Bar, 112 W. Washington St. (meet outside the entrance of the bar)

WHEN: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 6 and and 6:30 p.m.; Fridays, 5 and 5:30 p.m. through Dec. 29.

COST: $149, $119 for non drinkers

MORE INFORMATION: For ages 21 and older. Tickets must be booked online in advance. One to one and a half miles of walking; stairs (elevators are sometimes out of order). Wear comfy shoes.

The Kentucky Castle, a bed and breakfast-style hotel and event venue in Versailles, Ky., is listed for sale on LoopNet by Silvestri Real Estate.

WHAT: Celebrate the rich heritage and craftsmanship of Kentucky’s finest bourbon at The Kentucky Castle’s Bourbon Market. Features exclusive bourbon tastings from renowned Kentucky distilleries, local artisan vendors, live music and food trucks. There will be three Farm Enrichment Workshops on both days at The Teaching Garden. This is open to all guests. Each workshop covers a different topic.

WHERE: The Kentucky Castle, 230 Pisgah Pike, Versailles

WHEN: Sept. 9-10, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

COST: Tickets start at $30, $20 for ages 3-20 and includes 10 bourbon-tasting tickets, tours of Castle and admission to three workshop.


WHAT: The world’s largest bourbon and music festival features more than 60 bands, bourbon workshops, tastings and culinary programming with celebrity chefs. Performers include Bruno Mars, Brandi Carlile, Billy Strings, Train, The Killers, Duran Duran, Hozier, The Black Keys, The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Blondie, Jon Batiste, Ryan Bingham, and more.

WHERE: Kentucky Exposition Center, Highlands Festival Grounds, 937 Phillips Lane

WHEN: Sept. 14-17

COST: Tickets start at $99.99


An information sign outside the Bardstown courthouse for the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Sept. 14, 2016

WHAT: The festival celebrates and promotes Kentucky bourbon and the Bourbon Capital of the World. Tickets include sampling from more than 50 participating distilleries throughout the weekend; the ability to purchase bottles from the distillery; interactive educational sessions, musical entertainment, food trucks, exhibits and unlimited re-entry to the festival grounds throughout the duration of your pass.

WHERE: Bardstown, Kentucky

WHEN: Sept. 15-17

COST: Tickets start at $95


Thumper lives at Neeley Family Distillery in Sparta.

WHAT: Celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month, by getting back to where it all started with the Neeley Family Distillery and moonshine. Sip on its authentic Kentucky moonshine and hear the stories of the now “legal” family business, which has operated in Sparta, Kentucky, since 2015.

Five tastings:

  • Authentic Kentucky Moonshine (Neeley Family Recipe)
  • Apple Pie Moonshine
  • Kentucky Single Barrel Straight Bourbon (Four Grain)
  • Hidden Barn Bourbon
  • Southern Dew Bourbon Ball Moonshine

WHERE: Frazier History Museum, 829 W. Main St.

WHEN: Sept. 19, 6:30-8 p.m.

COST: $30, $26 for contributor-level members and above


The Belle of Louisville is docked just before departing for the Great Steamboat Race against the Belle of Cincinnati on the Ohio River.
May 1, 2019

WHAT: This bourbon-centric excursion features bourbon tastings, Kentucky-inspired foods and live music. Learn about the importance of the Ohio River and riverboats in establishing bourbon as a spirit that is now enjoyed around the world and explore the historic vessel, including her engine room. Guests will also be treated to a variety of complimentary tasting stations, including a popcorn and drink station.

WHERE: Belle of Louisville, 401 W. River Road

WHEN: Sept. 22, 7-9 p.m. Board at 6:30 p.m.

COST: $39.99, $37.99 for ages 65 and older

MORE INFORMATION: For ages 21 and older.

WHAT: Amateur and professional mixologists will present their best bourbon cocktail during the Not Your Pink Drink contest. You get to be the judge for the People’s Choice Award. Sample all 10 of the finalists’ cocktails while the judges from Bourbon Women and Beam Suntory sip and sample their way through the selections to crown the amateur and professional division winner.

WHERE: Paristown Arts & Entertainment District, 731 Brent St.

WHEN: Sept. 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

COST: Tickets start at $60, $45 for Bourbon Women members (use your Bourbon Women e-mail address as the promo code before selecting your tickets); $110 bundle ticket includes one event ticket and a one-year Bourbon Women membership. New members only

MORE INFORMATION: For ages 21 and older.

Reach features news clerk Gege Reed at