Kentucky Proud Connection

LOUISVILLE — Kentucky Proud, which markets farm-fresh fare and ingredients from across the Bluegrass, will showcase the state’s top agricultural offerings and talented local chefs at the Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ fantasy camp June 14-19.

“We’re honored to feature Kentucky Proud products for the second straight year, from savory culinary pairings with the world’s best Bourbon to fresh cocktail ingredients and more,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, which operates the elite event.

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ is an intimate six-day exploration into the state’s signature spirit, featuring behind-the-scenes tours, private barrel selections and specialty events at the world’s most iconic distilleries and famous Louisville hotspots. It’s the only whiskey event that’s actually created and executed by the distilleries themselves.


Kentucky Proud is the official state marketing program for farm products raised, grown or processed by Kentuckians. It is administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and involves more than 5,000 farmers, retailers, restaurants, schools, markets and parks.


“The Kentucky Bourbon Affair gives Bourbon aficionados the opportunity to immerse themselves in Kentucky’s signature drink and pair it with fresh, delicious Kentucky Proud foods while supporting our grain farmers," Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “We are pleased to partner with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association for this world-class event.”


Commissioner Quarles will be a celebrity judge at Tuesday’s opening event, The Kings of Copper, and its unique cocktail contest called “ROCKED!” Area bartenders will compete for the best cocktail using surprise ingredients in a “Chopped” style competition.


Tony Cruise, the popular host for 84WHAS radio, and Molly Wellmann, one of the nation’s most knowledgeable and respected mixologists, will help choose the award-winning cocktail made with Kentucky Proud ingredients.


Kentucky Proud food and ingredients also will be featured at Maker’s University at Maker’s Mark Distillery, at Woodford Reserve events, and at the closing Bourbon brunch on Sunday (Father’s Day) at the Kentucky Derby Museum.


“Having these products in the hands of renowned Kentucky chefs like Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn and Newman Miller of the Harrison Smith House has become one of the real culinary draws of the Kentucky Bourbon Affair,” Gregory said.


The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau is once again the top sponsor as Host City for the third straight year. Learn more about one of the world’s top “foodie” cities at


In addition, Art Eatables will serve once again as the Official Chocolatier of the Kentucky Bourbon Affair. Art Eatables produces the Kentucky Proud certified Bourbon truffle and is a sponsor of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experience.


Tickets to individual Kentucky Bourbon Affair® events are still available. Many include souvenir bottles, Bourbon-infused lunches and commemorative gifts. Transportation is included in most ticket prices.


Nine distilleries are featured this year: Bulleit, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s, Old Forester, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve. Kentucky’s burgeoning craft distilleries also will be highlighted at Tuesday’s opening night party.


This year’s Affair also will feature Whisky Live, an international celebration of the world’s finest whiskies, for the first time in the Commonwealth. It will be held Saturday night, June 18, at the Louisville Marriott East, the state’s only Bourbon-themed hotel.


This is the first time Whisky Live has been held in Kentucky and south of Washington, D.C. Previous host cities include Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, London, Paris, Tokyo, Moscow, Tel Aviv, Dublin and Sandton, South Africa.


Distillers' Association President Gregory thanked Commissioner Quarles and the Kentucky Proud program for its tremendous work. “The Kentucky Bourbon Affair celebrates the homegrown allure and authenticity of Kentucky Bourbon, and you can’t get more genuine than Kentucky Proud.”


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