One magical week celebrating America’s only native spirit — Kentucky Bourbon Affair, a.k.a. Bourbon Fantasy Camp — took place last week at several Kentucky distilleries. For six days, Bourbon enthusiasts from around the world ate, drank, and celebrated Bourbon with several unique experiences. Heaven Hill hosted a handful of exclusive events including the first-ever Larceny Barrel Proof Barrel Selection, ‘Bondaroo’, and an evening with the Shapira Family.
Bourbon fanatics signed up months in advance to be ‘golden ticket holders’ and have the first opportunity at purchasing tickets to various events hosted by participating Kentucky distilleries. The audience featured local Bourbon fans, people from across the U.S., and global travelers. Heaven Hill even welcomed guests from Scotland and Australia.
Heaven Hill kicked the week off with a special Larceny Barrel Proof Barrel Selection in Bardstown, with a small group of 25 ticket holders. The event offered the first-ever Larceny Barrel Proof tasting straight from three different barrels, each from different floors of Rickhouse I, which usually isn’t available for public access. At each floor visitors were greeted by Master Distiller Denny Potter, Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filiatreau, or Brand Ambassador Bernie Lubbers to learn about Heaven Hill’s history and production processes.
‘Bondaroo’ was hosted at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience (EWBE), on Wednesday and Friday, and celebrated 120 Years of Bottled-in-Bonds with nearly 40 guests attending each event. Guests began the day by getting a glimpse of Louisville life before whiskey was regulated by the government, with a live demonstration of how rectified whiskey was made in the late 1800s. The presentation included a period-themed set, props, and actual ingredients that were documented as being used to rectify whiskey. From there they toured the Artisanal Distillery, crafted their very own Old-Fashioned based on the original recipe, and sampled various Bottled-in-Bonds along the way.
On Wednesday, President Max Shapira and his wife Ellen graciously welcomed an intimate group of ticket holders into their home for dinner and cocktails. Guests received a cocktail demonstration from Heaven Hill’s 2017 Bartender of the Year, Nathan O’Neill, and a cooking demonstration from Chef Loreal Gavin of Food Network Star. Guests were also treated to samples of rare whiskeys throughout the evening. Other Shapira family members in attendance were Max and Ellen’s daughter Kate Latts (VP Marketing), her husband Allan Latts (COO), and Judy Shapira — the late Harry Shapira’s wife.
As part of the exclusive experience, guests at Heaven Hill events were among the first to learn of the reveal of Parker’s Heritage Collection 12th Edition and the next edition of Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond, and were treated to rare samples of both existing and upcoming product releases.
The week resulted in successful sold-out events and the distillery has more in store for next year. Make sure to keep an eye out for Heaven Hill events at next year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair to get a chance at attending these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.