The Art + Science of Distilling

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Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2018

Bardstown, Kentucky is the Bourbon Capital of the World and the home of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which draws people from all over for a week of celebrating the storied history and art of distilling America’s native spirit. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival began in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting and dinner, and has grown tremendously over the past 27 years. Today, it is one of the Commonwealth’s leading community festivals, and is not only a celebration of Bourbon, but also the people and the community that have supported the industry for generations.

What is it? – A celebration of America’s fine native spirit. Anything and everything to do with Bourbon Whiskey.

Where is it? – Bardstown, Kentucky. Bourbon capital of the world.

When is it? – September 12 – 16, 2018

This year marks the 27th annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, Kentucky. Started in 1992, the festival brings tens of thousands of visitors to the small town to celebrate all things Bourbon. There is something for everyone, with various events, educational opportunities, arts & crafts, music, and of course… plenty of Bourbon.

Moonshine University’s Stave & Thief Society will be presenting several classes at the Bourbon Festival. Stave & Thief Society is the premier bourbon certification program, designed for enthusiasts and aficionados. These 90 minute classes will go in-depth on different topics regarding bourbon production and how each aspect affects the final flavor profile of America’s favorite whiskey. Come join us at our educational sessions, and enjoy some great tasting bourbons.


A Whiskey and its Grains

Thursday 09/13. 10am – 12 pm. Spalding Hall Chapel.

This class examines corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley, the four gains that make up over 99% of whiskies, and how each adds its own specific flavors and aromas. Learn the nuances of each grain and how it impacts the final product. We will also cover the fast-growing trend of using alternative grains and how those might change the whiskies that we know and love. Tasting includes a thorough analysis of each individual grain distillate.


The Flavors of Fermentation

Friday 09/14. 10am – 12 pm. Spalding Hall Chapel.

Fermentation is more than just where alcohol gets created – it’s where flavor gets created. During this session we will explore the how yeast became cultivated, how it works, and how distillers control its environment to make the flavor profile they desire. We will be discussing how without yeast we wouldn’t have beer, wine, spirits, or even things like vinegar. Tasting includes samples of distillates made with different yeast strains and samples of whiskeys made with different fermentation environments.


The Science of Maturation

Saturday 09/15. 10am – 12 pm. Spalding Hall Chapel.

Have you ever wondered what happens inside a barrel? During this session we will take a look at how whiskey matures within the barrel it calls home. Barrels have additive, subtractive, and interactive properties, and each impacts whisky in different ways. Come taste what each action does and how the barrel and where it is stored affects what is happening to the spirit inside of it. Tasting includes analysis of barrel pulls and how each individual barrel imparts its own unique flavor.

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