National Bourbon Heritage Month in Louisville, KY

Find out our “barrel picks” for the month.

Five aluminum rings painted to look like wood represent a bourbon barrel.

“The Barrel” at the intersection of Fourth and Main Streets represents the heart of the bourbon district + is a stop on the Walking Whiskey Tour.

Photo by LOUtoday

We’re half-way through National Bourbon Heritage Month, which was established in 2007 by the U.S. Senate, and major bourbon-centric events are kicking off this weekend between the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown and Bourbon & Beyond, which actually starts today.

We want to keep spirits high, so here are a few LOUtoday barrel picks to keep celebrations of America’s only designated native spirit going.

🥃 Experience
Set sail on the Belle of Louisville during its Port of Lou Sunset Cruise on Fri., Sept. 16. Enjoy bourbon tastings + a speakeasy-style cocktail experience during this two-hour trip down the Ohio River. Tickets are $29.50 and the steamboat leaves the dock at 9 p.m.

🥃 Drink
Last year, we teamed up with LEXtoday City Editors Aaron and Molly to create a bourbon cocktail for an internal competition with our parent company 6AM City. While we didn’t take home the gold, we did land second place for our Kentucky Sweater Weather drink made with Old Forester and a frozen Ale-8 apple cider ball.

🥃 Shop
The Speed Art Museum’s Art of Bourbon, dubbed Kentucky’s premier bourbon auction, will take place online and in-person on Thurs., Sept. 22. Tickets to the in-person event are $300 and include dinner + cocktails. See last year’s auction catalog.

Speaking of auctions, Buffalo Trace Distillery is currently auctioning 50 hand-painted, 1.75-liter bottles of its bourbon — each one representing a different US state — by local artist Bri Bowers. Bidding for each bottle starts at $75 and ends on Thurs., Sept. 22. The Kentucky bottle, which features red boxing gloves, Churchill Downs’ spires + a golden rod (our state flower), is already up to $2,200.

Also, through the end of September, the Louisville Visitors Center is offering 25% off on bourbon-themed merchandise. While you’re there, sign up to take a free Whiskey Walking Tour.

🥃 Stay
If you’re looking to almost literally sleep inside a glass of bourbon, the NuLu Downtown Bourbon Loft is your ticket to boozy dreams. Voted one of the top 40 places to stay on the Bourbon Trail by Bourbon Review Magazine, this Airbnb features custom bourbon barrel furnishings from the bar to the nightstands.

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