Kentucky Distillers’ Association to Offer Prestigious Bourbon Tasting at Bluegrass Inaugural Ball

January 8, 2013



FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today that it will feature an exclusive sampling of the world’s greatest Bourbon brands at the iconic Bluegrass Ball, hosted by the Kentucky Society in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 19.

The non-partisan Bluegrass Ball — named an “Editor’s Pick” by the Washington Post in 2013, 2009 and 2005 — is the first of the black-tie celebrations for the Presidential Inauguration and historically sets the standard for the ball season.

“With more than 200 years of unrivaled craftsmanship and tradition, Bourbon is America’s only native spirit and a unique part of Kentucky’s history and culture,” said KDA President Eric Gregory.

“We are deeply honored to be featured as part of this exciting event to showcase our signature industry that plays such an important and growing role in the Commonwealth and the global economy.”

Seven of Kentucky’s distillers will be on-hand to share their premium single barrel and small batch Bourbons: Bulleit, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey and Woodford Reserve.

In addition, legendary Master Distillers and Bourbon VIPs are scheduled to attend, including Master Distillers Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey, Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve and Craig Beam of Heaven Hill, and Maker’s Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels.

The Bluegrass Ball will start at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Tickets are available at
Kentucky is the birthplace of Bourbon, producing 95 percent of the world’s supply using secret recipes and a time-honored process passed down from generation to generation. The Bluegrass also is the only place in the world where visitors can enjoy the true Bourbon experience.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail® adventure, featuring seven landmark distilleries, has become one of the state’s most popular tourism attractions with more than 2 million visits in the last five years from all 50 states and more than 50 countries.

Last year, the KDA launched the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft TourTM to highlight the state’s emerging micro-distillery industry. For more information about the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® experiences, go to

The Ball’s Kentucky inspired menu will be designed and created by Chef Edward Lee, proprietor of the acclaimed 610 Magnolia restaurant in Louisville and an alumnus of the popular “Iron Chef America” and “Top Chef” television programs.

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the black-tie event, which will be emceed by Phyllis George, former Miss America and First Lady of Kentucky, and her daughter Pamela Brown, a Kentucky native and popular local TV reporter for ABC News Channel 8.

Attending dignitaries will include Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, legislative leaders and other celebrity guests, according to the Kentucky Society. Kentucky’s Congressional delegation has been invited and is expected to attend.

Guests will receive gift bags of Kentucky Proud souvenirs and products, including a special KDA Kentucky Bourbon rocks glass to commemorate the event, Bourbon balls and keepsake items from participating distilleries.

The Kentucky Society of Washington, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1912 with a purpose to promote goodwill, fellowship and amicable relations among Kentuckians in the nation’s Capital region. It’s one of the oldest state societies in the nation’s capital.

“What started as an elegant evening in 1949 to honor then-Vice President Alben W. Barkley has become one of the nation’s go-to inaugural event,” said Anne-Marie Kelley, chairman of the Bluegrass Ball.

“What better way to celebrate Kentucky than a top-notch meal from one of the nation’s premier chefs, lots of dancing and plenty of Kentucky Bourbon,” she said. “It’s guaranteed to be a five- star event.”

For more information, contact KDA President Eric Gregory at (502) 875-9351.

The KDA, a non-profit trade association founded in 1880, is the state’s leading voice on spirits issues. Its members produce 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon and have invested more than $230 million in new facilities, equipment and tourism centers in the last year alone.

Heritage members include Beam, Inc. (Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark); Brown-Forman Corp.; Diageo North America; Four Roses Distillery; Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc.; and Wild Turkey Distillery. Craft distillery members include Alltech; Barrel House Distilling Co.; Corsair Artisan Distillery; Limestone Branch Distillery; MB Roland Distillery; The Old Pogue Distillery; Silver Trail Distillery; and Willett Distillery. The Distilled Spirits Epicenter in Louisville is an educational distillery member.

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KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL® and BOURBON TRAILTM are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. The KDA and its members ask that you enjoy Kentucky Bourbon responsibly and in moderation, and never mix drinking and driving.

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly