Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown Looks to Outperform Last Year's Effort

Sep 15, 2014

The Jim Beam distillery is in Clermont, about 15 miles from Bardstown, where the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is taking place.
Credit Kevin Willis

One of commonwealth’s signature industries will be celebrated this week as the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival runs from Tuesday to Sunday in Bardstown.

The six day festival includes numerous events for both bourbon enthusiasts and teetotalers.

There are tastings, barrel-making demonstrations, cooking classes, and a 5-K run and walk.

The growth of premium small-batch bourbons and the spirit’s colorful history have contributed to its unprecedented growth in recent years.    

Festival executive director Linda Harrison says scores of people will line up for an autograph from Kentucky’s master distillers this week.

“Wonderful people, and they love to talk about bourbon and how much they love their craft,” Harrison said.

One of the more sought-after figures is Jimmy Russell, who’s been making Wild Turkey bourbon for 60 years at the distillery near Lawrenceburg.

Harrison believes this year's festival will attract an even larger crowd than the one that turned out a year ago.

"Last year we had 52,000, roughly, from 46 states and 15 different countries, and we anticipate that attendance will be even greater this year."