Venus Spirits Releases Wayward Whiskey Rye


Venus Spirits will launch a second style of Wayward Whiskey, a rye that has been aged for seven months in ten-gallon casks. Rye whiskey was once America’s favorite spirit, but nearly disappeared after prohibition. Wayward Whiskey revels in its resurrection, creating a rye that is defiant in both flavor and spirit.

The 60% rye mash bill is rounded out with organic corn, organic malted barley and organic malted wheat. The spicy character is balanced with sweetness from the corn and grain notes from the malted barley and wheat. Like the single malt that was released in January, Wayward Rye is crafted from start to finish at Venus Spirits distillery, located just off the coast in Santa Cruz, CA. It is double distilled in a hand pounded copper Alembic still and put into charred New American Oak barrels. This first batch of rye was allowed to rest in ten-gallon casks for seven months, the aggressive aging process enhanced by the exposure to coastal conditions.

Wayward Whiskey Rye will be available in limited quantities in the Bay Area as early as next week. It has been bottled at 92 proof, with a suggested retail price of $52 per 750ml bottle. Please visit our website for a list of our retailers and more information on the entire Venus Spirits portfolio, including recent awards and recognition.

About Venus Spirits, LLC

Founded in 2013 by Sean Venus, Venus Spirits is located in Santa Cruz, California. Venus Spirits currently produces certified organic, small-batch Wayward Whiskey, Venus Spirits Gin and Aquavit, and El Ladrón Blue Agave Spirit. Distributed throughout Northern California by Southern Wine & Spirits, these three brands are available at fine locations in Santa Cruz, Monterey and the Bay Area.

About Sean Venus, Founder & Distiller

Sean attended the University of Oregon during the initial renaissance of craft beer, and began working as an assistant brewer at the age of twenty. He held various positions with breweries in Eugene and spent six years with Gordon Biersch Brewing in San Jose, CA. For the next eight years he worked for several organic food companies, cultivating his knowledge of retail sales and distribution.

Inspired by his love for whiskey, Sean made the decision in 2012 to start a craft distillery in Santa Cruz, where he lives with his wife and two children. Distilling began in May of 2014 and Venus Spirits Gin Blend No. 01 launched the following July. Wayward Whiskey Rye will be the sixth spirit to join the Venus Spirits portfolio in less than a year.

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.”

Catoctin Creek Distillery Awarded 2015 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence


Recognized as a Top Performing Attraction as Reviewed by Travelers on the World’s Largest Travel Site

Purcellville, Virginia – May 20, 2015 – Catoctin Creek Distillery today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. Certificate of Excellence winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for the entire team at Catoctin Creek, and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Hannah Blymier, Tasting Room Manager at Catoctin Creek. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s own customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses that have received consistent praise and recognition by travelers on the site,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive increasing hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

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

About TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

Forecastle Announces Full Bourbon Lodge Lineup


The Forecastle Festival, Louisville’s three-day music, art and environmental activism festival, is bringing back its Kentucky Bourbon Trail® outpost, The Bourbon Lodge, with a unique lineup of bourbon offerings, education, bourbon-inspired cuisine, and the return of the charitable partnership, Bourbon Cares. Wall Street Journal best-selling author Fred Minnick hailed Forecastle Festival as “bourbon’s most important festival for new consumers,” in 2013, praising its creation of “future connoisseurs.”

Set to take place July 17-19, 2015, Forecastle will feature a diverse collection of Kentucky bourbon brands uniting to offer dozens of bourbon selections within the Bourbon Lodge, including those from Bulleit, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s, Old Forester, Town Branch, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve, alongside special craft brandy selections from Cooper and Kings. The full list of more than 30 unique selections can be found at

Forecastle will once again feature the Bourbon Cares program, presented by Liquor Barn. This charity fundraiser joins together bourbon brands with Forecastle bands to feature special single-barrel selections, available only in the Forecastle Bourbon Lodge. Pairing members of My Morning Jacket with Old Forester, Houndmouth with Woodford Reserve, Shovels & Rope with Four Roses and Twin Limb with Wild Turkey, master distillers will hand-select a barrel to be sold exclusively in the Lodge. The program benefits 501(c)(3) organization The Forecastle Foundation, the festival’s environmental activism arm. One dollar from each Bourbon Cares selection purchased in the Bourbon Lodge and 50 percent of profits from Bourbon Cares bottle sales (available exclusively at Liquor Barn’s Springhurst location) will benefit the organization.

Fireside Chats, presented by Liquor Barn, also return to the Bourbon Lodge stage in 2015, showcasing a special Bourbon Cares presentation from Forecastle Festival and Foundation Founder JK McKnight along with an intimate fan meet-and-greet opportunity with members of My Morning Jacket, Houndmouth, and Twin Limb.

Other Fireside Chats, featuring a wide variety of bourbon experts, will cover the Bourbon Purchasing Process, Bourbon Trivia, the Barrel-Aging Process, Ryes & Shine, and many more. Full details and descriptions can be found at

Named an Eater Young Guns Semifinalist in 2015, Ryan Rogers brings his acclaimed Feast BBQ creations plus a menu of bourbon-inspired cuisine to the Forecastle Bourbon Lodge. Since its inception in 2012, Feast has garnered its share of local and national press including Travel & Leisure Magazine, The Guardian and the Chicago Tribune, cementing its rightful claim as one of the best BBQ joints around.

Bourbon Lodge members will have exclusive access to RSVP for an opportunity to attend an intimate brunch at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience catered by world-renowned chef Edward Lee. Details will be sent to all Bourbon Lodge members and VIP attendees that purchase memberships or VIP tickets by Monday, June 1, available now at Forecastle Festival .

The festival will also welcome back the beloved Gonzo Bar, dedicated to internationally-acclaimed author and Kentucky bourbon aficionado, Hunter S. Thompson, whose posthumous 78th birthday would have fallen on the second day of Forecastle. The Hunter-themed bourbon bar presented by White Clay Consulting will offer a variety of bourbons and specialty cocktails inspired by the iconic writer.

Full Bourbon Lodge details including pricing, membership and more, can be found at Forecastle Festival.

Buffalo Trace Distillery Releases French Oak Bourbons


When Buffalo Trace Distillery started its whiskey experiments more than three decades ago, one of the first releases was bourbon aged in French oak barrels.  That bourbon was aged ten years and released in 2006, quickly becoming a favorite of both the master distiller and bourbon connoisseurs.

Ten years ago, Buffalo Trace embarked on another French oak experiment, but this time endeavoring one step further – creating two different barrel types, one made entirely of French oak, and another using French oak heads, but American white oak staves.

The barrels were both constructed with Buffalo Trace’s exact specifications as far as size, stave drying, and charring.  The barrel staves were air-dried for six months and the barrels were charred for 55 seconds. Both of these experimental barrels were filled with the same bourbon recipe, known as Buffalo Trace Rye Bourbon Mash #1.

After 10 years of aging, these two bourbons have been bottled as part of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Experimental Collection, and referred to as 100% French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon and French Oak Barrel Head Aged Bourbon.

“These bourbons, when tasted side by side, are complementary but yet have subtle differences,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley.  “Both are nice, well-rounded bourbons, but the 100% French oak bourbon has more soft, fruity notes to it, while the bourbon made with the French oak heads and American oak staves offers more of a smoky oak and tannin flavor profile.

It’s interesting to compare these two bourbons to each other and also to our standard bourbon offerings,” continued Wheatley. “These French oak experiments offer a unique flavor profile from our standard bourbon barrels.  That’s one of the things that make our experiments so fun; we never stop learning how subtle changes can alter the taste profile.”

These barrels are part of more than 3,000 experimental barrels of whiskey aging in the warehouses of Buffalo Trace Distillery. Each of them has unique characteristics that differentiate them in distinct ways. Some examples of experiments include unique mash bills, types of wood, and different barrel toasts. In order to further increase the scope, flexibility and range of the experimental program, an entire micro distillery, named The Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. “OFC” Micro Distillery, complete with cookers, fermenting tanks, and a state-of-the-art micro still has been constructed within Buffalo Trace Distillery. Buffalo Trace has increased its commitment to experimentation with the recent addition of its Warehouse X. Although small in size, Warehouse X is designed to explore the extent of environmental influences on the flavor profiles of whiskey.

The Experimental Collection is packaged in 375ml bottles and 12 bottles to a case, with six bottles from each barrel in a case. Each label includes all the pertinent information unique to that barrel of whiskey. These whiskeys retail for approximately $46.35 each and will be available in May, 2015. They are both 45% alcohol by volume (90 proof). Experimental Collection releases are generally quite small and have limited availability. For more information on the Experimental Collection or the other products of Buffalo Trace Distillery, please contact Elizabeth Hurst at

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 17 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named “Brand Innovator of the Year” by Whisky Magazine at its Icons of Whisky America Awards 2015.  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 300 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery  To download images from Buffalo Trace Distillery

Ranger Creek .36 White Whiskey Review


Name: .36 White Whiskey

ABV: 50%

Proof: 100

Nose: Raisins, Oats, Sweet Corn, Walnuts, Light Fruit, Wood

Palate: Dried fruit, Raisins, Pepper, Corn, Citrus

Finish: Long, smooth, with a bit of heat and a subtle fruit flavor

Overall: This will be the 4th product from Ranger Creek that I have reviewed and it is another solid product from the brand. It begins with a unique aroma with light notes of fruit up front and a bit of a hidden lumberyard scent. At first sip there is a unique flavor of raisins and oats, almost like a raisin bran flavor without the sugar flavor. There is a nice pepper flavor in there but it is light not as up front as the other flavors. There are also some sweet corn flavors and a bit of citrus fruits. The finish is long and smooth and has some heat on the back end with a bit more of the fruit flavors throughout. This whiskey is very unique and one that I have not experienced these flavors with before. Ranger Creek .36 White Whiskey has a great mouthfeel to it and the flavors taste authentic. I enjoyed this whiskey best neat, but it can be used to make a number of great cocktails. At around $30-$35 a bottle you can’t go wrong with picking this one up for your shelf. It is a whiskey that truly stands out like most of the Ranger Creek Products. Keep your eye on this brand as they continuously win awards and craft some solid products.

History: Ranger Creek’s Small Caliber Series is a line of creative, limited edition whiskeys aged in small barrels. They put these whiskeys in small bottles to represent the small barrels in which they have been matured. The small barrels accelerate the maturation process by increasing the wood to liquid ratio in the barrel. This imparts unique, interesting flavors and allows us to experiment with new products. In the spirit of being truly craft, they still use local ingredients and innovative ideas to release a new Small Caliber Series product each year. Each bottle is hand labeled with the batch number, bottle number, season, and maturation time.

Note: I had a bottle of Ranger Creek Rimfire Mesquite Smoked Texas Single Malt Whiskey on hand and so I crafted a version of an Old Fashioned using 1 part Texas Single Malt Whiskey and 1 part .36 White Whiskey, some Dashfire orange bitters, and the usual ingredients for an Old Fashioned. The resulting cocktail was light and smoky with a delicious citrus flavor. If you happen to have both spirits on hand, give it a go and give us your thoughts on the cocktail.




Bourbon Empire: The Past and Future of America’s Whiskey


Book: Bourbon Empire traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Whiskey has profoundly influenced America’s political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself. Whiskey is also the hottest spirit right now. This book takes you behind the scenes into this spirit that has touched and shaped the US more than any other. Bourbon Empire explores this spirit in depth and gives and is a must have for bourbon lovers.

The Mahalo Spirits Group & The Bardstown Bourbon Company Announce Partnership to Produce Innovative & Authentic Craft Whiskey Brands via Modern Farm-to-Table Distillery

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The Mahalo Spirits Group – the branding, sales and marketing powerhouse behind the success of Angel’s Envy Bourbon and Papa’s Pilar Rum – and The Bardstown Bourbon Company announced today they have joined forces to develop and launch innovative whiskey brands using a new, state-of-the-art distillery. The partnership promises to further the already explosive growth of the craft distilling industry by developing innovative and authentic brands and collaborating with passionate, small distillers to create custom whiskey brands and/or scale their production and distribution.

“Perhaps more so than any other category, authentic, distinctive and unique branding is critical to success in the spirits category”

The new partnership will be led by a team of experienced industry professionals and artisans, including Bourbon Hall of Fame Master Distiller and Bardstown native, Steve Nally, a 40-year veteran of the spirits industry and formerly the Master Distiller of Maker’s Mark, and Alex Bogusky, an expert in brand strategy and consumer insights that was named the creative mind of the decade by Adweek Magazine, along with a national sales and marketing group specifically trained to sell premium craft spirits.

“We believe this partnership with The Bardstown Bourbon Company raises the bar for innovation and creativity in the craft whiskey sector,” said Stephen Groth, President & CEO, The Mahalo Spirits Group. “Together, we have all of the resources necessary to take brands from creation to consumption.”

“We are changing the model for how innovative whiskey and bourbon products will be produced and brought to market,“ echoed David Mandell, President & CEO, The Bardstown Bourbon Company. “And, we’re building an experience in Bardstown unlike anything whiskey enthusiasts have ever experienced.”

Set on 100 acres of active farmland and adjacent to the Bluegrass Parkway, The Bardstown Bourbon Company and its 37,000 square foot distillery forms the gateway to Bardstown, Kentucky, the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” Under construction since October 2014, this first-of-its-kind Napa Valley style campus will feature a custom built Vendome still and include a unique and transparent educational experience, high-end tours and tastings, integrated visitors center, event space, and eventually a restaurant and boutique hotel.

“During my career, I’ve worked with and learned from the best in the business,” said Steve Nally, Master Distiller, The Bardstown Bourbon Company. “I look forward to creating exciting new brands and making great bourbon. Building this distillery is a dream come true for the bourbon enthusiast. The local area provides us with excellent resources and we are paying attention to every aspect of production from farm to table.”

“Perhaps more so than any other category, authentic, distinctive and unique branding is critical to success in the spirits category,” said Alex Bogusky. “I’m wildly enthusiastic to pair that branding up with world class spirits.”

The partners look forward to announcing details of their first brand later this year.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today that its upcoming Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ showcase will benefit three groups involving retired racehorses, forestry research and a support fund for employees of a recent distillery accident.

“Our legendary distilleries have a long history and strong track record of giving back to their communities,” KDA President Eric Gregory said. “We’re proud to help these worthwhile causes that, like Bourbon, are uniquely Kentucky.”

The organizations are:

  • Old Friends, a non-profit thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, Ky. Founded in 2003 by former Boston Globe film critic Michael Blowen, Old Friends cares for more than 150 horses, many of them stallions whose racing and breeding careers have ended, and attracts nearly 20,000 visitors annually.

“Old Friends has had a long and wonderful relationship with the KDA and we’re grateful and proud to be affiliated with this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair, which is just a fantastic event.” Blowen said. “This is such a terrific union of Kentucky’s signature industries: Bourbon and horses.”

  • The Forest Health Research and Education Center at the University of Kentucky. Its White Oak Initiative is designed to increase knowledge of fatal insects and diseases that could ultimately affect cooperages and barrel-making.  The FHREC partnership is designed to advance conservation and improvement of forest ecosystems through research and education.

​​“Our forests have historically been a rich source of white oak used in barrel production,” said Jeff Stringer, Professor of Hardwood Silviculture and Forest Operations at UK. “But our forests are faced with significant threats, including our oaks.

“The Forest Health Research and Education Center is focused on providing solutions to improve the resilience of our native forests so we can continue to enjoy their resources. We thank the KDA for recognizing the importance of our forests and selecting the Center as a beneficiary.”

  • Lifting Spirits support fund for Jay and Kyle Rogers, who were injured in an April 24 fire at the Silver Trail Distillery in Marshall County. Kyle Rogers passed away Monday. Jay Rogers remains in critical but stable condition at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville with severe burns. The Kentucky Bourbon Affair also will make a donation to the Kyle D. Rogers Scholarship Fund.

Tickets are still available for this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair, 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.

Nightcap events throughout Louisville will highlight the city’s burgeoning culinary scene. It’s the only whiskey event created and executed by the distilleries themselves. For tickets or more information, go to

“The Kentucky Bourbon Affair is full of intimate experiences that take insider’s access to a whole new level,” Gregory said. “With today’s announcement, your ticket helps benefit three great causes that strengthen our rich heritage. We promise it will be an unforgettable adventure.”