LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association yesterday honored Rep. Dennis Keene with its prestigious “100 Proof Award” for his successful six-year effort in passing legislation that requires ignition interlocks for drunken drivers.

“Rep. Keene’s patience and perseverance on this key responsibility issue has been phenomenal,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “This new law is a tough tool in the fight against drunk driving and will save lives across the Commonwealth.

“The KDA and its 28 members applaud Rep. Keene on his tireless efforts and personal dedication to this cause. We were proud to have been a strong supporter of this measure in the 2015 General Assembly and are honored to present him with this award.”

Senate Bill 133 requires individuals convicted of repeated drunk driving offenses to install an ignition interlock device to test operators’ breath before allowing the engine to start. It’s the first time such devices are mandatory in the Commonwealth.

Rep. Keene, who chairs the House Licensing and Occupations Committee, nearly lost his daughter Kelly Keene Jones in a drunken driving accident in 2002. She required three surgeries to overcome her injuries and is now an outspoken advocate for tougher DUI laws.

“I’d like to thank the Kentucky Distillers’ Association for this award and commend their leadership in this measure and their continued efforts to promote the responsible and moderate use of their products,” Rep. Keene said.

“As you know, my daughter was nearly killed by a drunk driver. This legislation will save lives and protect more Kentuckians from the dangers of drinking and driving. I deeply appreciate the KDA’s support and look forward to working with them more.”

KDA Board Directors and member executives presented Rep. Keene with a commemorative “100 Proof Award” barrel head in a ceremony yesterday at Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in downtown Louisville.

Rep. Keene, D-Wilder, is only the fourth person to ever receive the award, which the KDA created in 2009 to recognize elected officials who demonstrate tremendous care, diligence and initiative in promoting and protecting Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry.

Nominees must receive a unanimous vote of both the KDA’s Governmental Affairs Advisory Group and the KDA Board of Directors. It is the highest honor that the state’s iconic Bourbon industry gives to elected officials.

Rep. Susan Westrom, D-Lexington, received the first “100 Proof Award” for her tireless efforts in the 2010 legislative session to modernize Kentucky’s Bourbon sampling laws. Gov. Steve Beshear earned the award in 2012 for his leadership and global support of the industry.

Senate President Robert Stivers received the award last year for his bold leadership in the 2014 legislative session that led to the passage of several of the KDA’s top priorities, including the Bourbon Barrel Reinvestment Tax Credit.

Founded in 1880, the KDA is the state’s voice for Bourbon and spirits issues. Its diverse membership produces 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are building the next generation of the timeless craft and strengthening Kentucky’s rightful place as the one, true authentic home for Bourbon.

Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a thriving $3 billion economic engine that generates more than 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll topping $700 million and pours $166 million into state and local coffers each year.

“With great Bourbon comes great responsibility, and our members are united in their stance against drunken driving and underage drinking,” Gregory said. “We look forward to working with Kentucky leaders to further promote the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits.”

Wild Turkey Launches Ultra-Premium Master’s Keep Bourbon


They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and never was this more the case than in the legendary Bourbon-making Kentucky clan – the Russells. Marking his first release since being appointed to Master Distiller in January 2015 alongside his father, Eddie Russell and his Wild Turkey family announce the release of Wild Turkey® Master’s Keep. This limited edition, 17-year-old Bourbon heralds the next chapter of an extraordinary distilling family’s history. After 34 years perfecting his trade, Eddie joined his father, Jimmy Russell, at the helm of Wild Turkey, making them the only father and son master distilling duo in the industry with an amazing 95 years of whiskey making experience.

The story of Master’s Keep begins in 1997. Wild Turkey had a surplus of Bourbon and no warehouse space left, so Eddie needed a place to store and age the extra barrels. A friend at another distillery offered his empty stone warehouses, but Eddie knew these would age the Bourbon differently than the wooden warehouses at Wild Turkey. He decided to take a chance and experiment a little, and so the barrels spent several years in stone warehouses before eventually coming back to Wild Turkey’s wooden ones.  After 17 years and 200 miles, Eddie felt these traveling barrels had reached their peak flavor. It is fair to say that this Bourbon is a welcome innovation in long-aged whiskey. And, much to his surprise, when the barrels were dumped they were at a much lower proof than anticipated. Barreled at 107 proof, the whiskey was 89 proof when dumped and 86.8 proof (43.4% alc./vol.) when bottled – a result of the time these particular barrels spent aging in stone warehouses.

“Master’s Keep is the result of a lot of experimentation, patience and faith,” said Eddie Russell. “The sweet spot for Bourbon aging is usually between 8-12 years because older Bourbons tend to become too woody or spicy from sitting too long in the barrel. What I was able to do with Master’s Keep was retain the Bourbon’s rich caramel and vanilla flavors by aging the barrels in both stone and wood warehouses, sampling from them every few months to decide their next move.”

Jimmy Russell added, “I tend to not like Bourbons aged longer than 12 or 13 years because they lose the caramel and vanilla flavors, but Eddie and I both agree thanks to the unique way this whiskey was aged we have something special here that we truly hope our Wild Turkey fans and Bourbon connoisseurs enjoy.”

Master’s Keep is delicate yet distinctly Wild Turkey. With a smooth and silky introduction that transforms into caramel and vanilla sweetness, and finishes with a satisfying burst of spiciness and oak, it is one of the finest sipping whiskies to ever come from the distillery.  It is a golden hue, perhaps lighter than one might expect from a 17 year old whiskey.  The color is attributed to the whiskey’s time in the stone warehouses, where the liquid would have less interaction with the barrel’s charred wood thanks to the cooler temperatures within.

Delivered in a distinguished bottle that reflects the craftsmanship and passion that went into the Bourbon itself, Master’s Keep is made of the highest quality crystalline glass. The bottle’s unparalleled clarity showcases the rich color of the liquid, while the intricately embossed work of art brings the iconic image of the wild turkey to life in a way that you can see and feel in exquisite detail.  This latest limited-edition from the iconic Bourbon brand will be available nationally in small quantities starting in August 2015 for a suggested retail price of $150.

RockCastle Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey- Release Info


At long last the official release of our RockCastle Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is right around the corner. We will be hosting an official release celebration this Friday, July 24 at our distillery located at 1200 Manchester Street in Lexington, Kentucky. Come down and sample our limited release small batch bourbon and pick up a bottle to take home with you (Maximum purchase 2 bottles per customer)!

The bourbon goes on sale at 6pm but the celebration will run from 4-11pm. There will be food trucks, live music, and other vendors located on site.

While in the area, be sure to check out some of the neighboring businesses. Grab a craft beer brewed by our neighbors Ethereal Brewing, or swing by the Break Room bar for a cold beverage on their one of a kind patio overlooking the Town Branch creek. Middle Fork Kitchen bar will be serving classic Kentucky dishes while Crank and Boom craft ice cream will be serving many of their unique ice cream treats. It will be a great time for all!

Our RockCastle bourbon will also be available throughout Kentucky at your nearest Liquor Barn retailer. Those in Lexington unable to attend the event will also be able to purchase the bourbon at Unlimited Spirits on Southland Drive and other select locations throughout the city.

Our special first batch release consists of only 500 bottles so be sure to grab one before they sell out!

We look forward to seeing you!!

Pete, Jeff, Robert, Chad & Clayton

Barrel House Distilling Company | 1200 Manchester Street, Lexington, KY 40504

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Bourbon Authors Featured at Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ Fantasy Camp

For Immediate Release – May 21, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eight of the country’s most prestigious Bourbon authors will be featured at “Bourbon Under the Rocks,” the opening ceremony for this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair, where they will talk about their books, sign autographs and discuss America’s only native spirit.
“Bourbon isn’t just a drink anymore: it’s also a cookbook, travel guide, entertainment manual, history lesson, cocktail compendium and more,” said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.
“This is a great opportunity to meet these famous Bourbon experts in one setting and get autographed copies of their best-selling books,” Gregory said. “Plus, you get to sample some daring Kentucky Bourbon cocktails in a 100-acre limestone cave. How cool is that?”
The event is Wednesday, June 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Louisville Mega Cavern

Tickets are available at

Books will be available on-site for purchase.
Featured authors will include:
Tim Laird, author of “That’s Entertaining!” and “That’s Entertaining! Cocktails and Appetizers.” Laird, Chief Entertaining Officer for Brown-Forman Corp., is a connoisseur of fine wines, spirits and champagnes, a gourmet chef, and a master at entertaining and execution with more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He is a veteran of television and radio having appeared on The Tonight Show, CNN, FOX News Network, The Today Show and many others. Laird also hosts Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs, Secrets of Louisville Chefs Live and Secrets of Resort Chefs weekly TV shows in Kentucky.

Bernie Lubbers, author of “Bourbon Whiskey – Our Native Spirit.” Known more informally as “The Whiskey Professor,” Lubbers is the International Brand Ambassador for Heaven Hill Brands, Inc. Before Bourbon, he spent 20 years traveling the country as a stand-up comedian. As a result, his whiskey tastings are not only informative, but a lot of fun. Lubbers hosts the popular website and is a contributing writer for DrinkWire/ Lubbers lives in Louisville, Ky.

Fred Minnick, author of “Whiskey Women: The Untold Truth About How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey” and the upcoming “Bourbon Curious: A Simple Tasting Guide for the Savvy Drinker.” Ascot-wearing Minnick has been writing for newspapers and magazines since he was 15 and currently contributes to Parade Magazine, USA Today, Scientific American, Whisky Magazine and Whisky Advocate, among others. He has published three books, including the Wall Street Journal bestseller “Camera Boy: An Army Journalist’s War in Iraq” and “Whiskey Women.” He lives in Louisville and can be found at

Susan Reigler, author of “Kentucky Bourbon Country: The Essential Travel Guide” and co-author of “The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail Book.” From 1992 to 2007, Reigler was a restaurant critic, beverage columnist and travel writer for the Louisville Courier-Journal. She has been a regional judge for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards since 1997 and is the current President of the Bourbon Women Association. She has conducted many bourbon tastings to benefit non-profit organizations, written about Bourbon for Malt Advocate and Wine Enthusiast and boasts three other books on Kentucky travel and cuisine. She is co-author of the forthcoming Bourbon Tasting Notebook with Mike Veach.

Noah Rothbaum is the author of the new book, “The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation’s Most Storied Spirit, through 100 Iconic Labels.” He is the former editor-in-chief of and the author of The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink. He has spoken at Tales of the Cocktail, the Rochester Cocktail Revival and the National Restaurant Association Show.

Albert Schmid, author of “The Kentucky Bourbon Cookbook,” has worked as an executive chef and currently is a Professor and the Director of the Hotel-Restaurant Management and Hospitality Management Departments at Sullivan University’s National Center for Hospitality Management Schmid lives in Louisville and also is the author of “The Hospitality Manager’s Guide to Wines, Beers and Spirits” and “The Old Fashioned: An Essential Guide to the Original Whiskey Cocktail!”

Mike Veach, author of “Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage,” is a 2006 member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame and currently works as the acclaimed Bourbon historian at The Filson Historical Society in Louisville. Veach can often be found conducting tasting and history events for a variety of charitable organizations and educating hospitality groups through The Filson’s Bourbon Academy. A native of Louisville, he is co-author of the forthcoming Bourbon Tasting Notebook with Susan Reigler.

Molly Wellmann, author of “Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist’s Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon & Night.” Wellmann is a self-taught mixologist in Cincinnati who has immersed herself in the history and proper preparation of classic cocktails. She is co-owner of Japp’s, Neons Unplugged and Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar. The Cincinnati native uses classic cocktails as a base for creating new and innovative drinks containing simple syrups, bitters, liquors and fresh juices she makes herself – and has been voted Best Mixologist/Bartender for CityBeat magazine the last five years.

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair is a five-day Bourbon fantasy camp that will be held June 3-7, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes tours and events at the most famous Bourbon distilleries in the world. It’s the only whiskey event created and executed by the distilleries themselves.
The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official Host City sponsor, showcasing the city’s unique urban Bourbon experiences and burgeoning culinary scene.
Kentucky Proud is sponsoring farm-fresh ingredients from savory Bourbon-inspired food pairings to cocktail components and even an on-site farmer’s market.
And, the Kentucky Bourbon Affair will benefit three groups involving retired racehorses, forestry research and a support fund for employees of a recent distillery accident.
“The Kentucky Bourbon Affair is a classic, unforgettable Bourbon lover’s dream. It’s a great escape to experience the art and science of crafting the world’s finest whiskey, our genteel Southern hospitality and Louisville’s passionate spirit. Get your tickets today.”

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience at the Kentucky Bourbon Affair


Tom Bulleit invites you to an interactive experience at one American whiskey’s true cathedrals, the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery.  Walk the hallowed grounds with Tom Bulleit and go behind the scenes and into the laboratory of Stitzel-Weller’s new distillery – working with Bulleit’s Master Blender to learn the art of mingling and create a custom blend.  Each guest will sample our whiskeys and receive an engraved, signed bottle of Bulleit Bourbon.

$135 Thursday
$135 Friday
$135 Saturday

To purchase tickets to this event, click here.

The Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience
at Stitzel-Weller Distillery
June 4, 5, & 6 (10am – 2pm)
3860 Fitzgerald Rd, Louisville, Ky

Transportation provided from the Marriott Louisville East – click here for info and special rates.


Catoctin Creek Has Expanded Its International Distribution Into Europe Through Haromex Development GMBH

Arriving in Spring 2015 in Germany, the United Kingdom, and surrounding EU countries.

April 6, 2015, Purcellville, VA – Catoctin Creek has expanded its international distribution into Europe through Haromex Development GmbH.  The products available in the EU will be:

  • Roundstone Rye, 80 proof (40% ABV), 700 mL
  • Roundstone Rye, 92 proof (46% ABV), 700 mL
  • Roundstone Rye, CASK PROOF (58% ABV), 700 mL
  • Watershed Gin, 92 proof (46% ABV), 700 mL
  • Roundstone Rye “Haromex” private label (58% ABV), 700 mL

Catoctin Creek’s products will initially launch in the countries of Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. Distribution into other EU countries is available through Haromex’s exclusive network of preferred partners.

“Welcome to Europe! We are happy to have our spirits reach the great people of Europe!” remarked Scott Harris, founder of the distillery. “Catoctin Creek has been visiting Europe for a few years now, both in Germany and in the UK, and we’ve always had such great reception to our products. We are very happy, therefore, to finally reach this deal and begin importing into the continent.”

Owned by the van Soest family, Haromex Development GmbH is one of the leading alcohol niche suppliers in Germany, but also to numerous other EU countries through subsidiaries and a loyal network of partners. Located in the small German town of Brüggen, near the Dutch border, Haromex employs two generations of van Soests. The Company’s founder and CEO is John van Soest. John has almost 50 years of experience as a spirits supplier and still enjoys life at the company helm. Harald van Soest is in charge of all commercial activities and his brother Roger is responsible for company finances & administration.  Each year Haromex sells a staggering amount of some of the world’s highest quality spirits to European shops and restaurants. Haromex provides drinks manufacturers worldwide with a specialized distribution channel for high-quality products.

About Haromex: Haromex Development GmbH (Weihersfeld 45, D-41379 Brüggen, Germany; Phone: +49 2163-95 73 0, Fax: +49 2163-95 73 25, E-mail: is one of the largest specialty importers of spirits products into Europe. The company’s cooperation partners include top quality outlets and specialists in the target areas. For this reason, the portfolio contains over 5,000 of the finest spirits. For more information, please visit

About Catoctin Creek Distilling Company:  Catoctin Creek Distilling Company (120 West Main Street, Purcellville, VA 20132; Phone: 540-751-8404; Twitter: @CatoctinCreek) is the first distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia since before prohibition. Certified organic and kosher, and family owned and operated, Catoctin Creek produces premium Virginia spirits: rye whisky and gin from organic sources, and seasonal brandy from Virginia wines. For media-related inquiries, please contact Kyle Schmitz at or for more information on Catoctin Creek Distilling Company please visit

Featured Bar: Char No. 4, Brooklyn, New York


Featured Bar: Char No. 4 is a Brooklyn based whiskey bar that was founded on a passion for bourbon. They offer of 150 whiskies, good food options, and have an absolute passion for smoked meats. They have great food items on their brunch, lunch, and dinner menus and some unique items. In addition to the great food they offer, they have an excellent drink offering including bourbon cocktails, barrel aged cocktails (Sazerac, Manhattan, Mint Julep), and they whiskey and beer combos. This is a great bar and we are pleased to have selected them as a featured bar. If you’re in the area, stop in and check them out.