Tickets To Kentucky Bourbon Affair’s Higher Proof Expo On Sale Now

April 12, 2018

For immediate release – April 12, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Tickets for this year’s Higher Proof Expo – a daylong, hands-on workshop packed with unique educational, culinary and tastings sessions – are now on sale, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association announced today.

This year’s innovative HPEX will be held Saturday, June 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the new Omni Hotel in downtown Louisville, the official host hotel for the annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ fantasy camp. Tickets are available at

The Expo features 19 exclusive learning sessions, lunch and pop-up experiences with the best of Louisville and Kentucky’s food, drink and retail for the Bourbon aficionado. A one-day pass is $150 with access to four sessions and lunch. Seating is limited as classes range in size from 40-65 attendees.

First introduced as part of last year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair™, the Higher Proof Expo ranked as one of the top experiences of the entire week, KBA Director Mary Gratzer said. “That’s a high compliment given the elite, behind-the-scenes access that the Kentucky Bourbon Affair offers,” she said.

HPEX educational programming is curated by Stave & Thief Society, the official Bourbon Certification Program of the KDA, which sifted through dozens of submitted presentations to select the most exclusive experiences for attendees.

“This year’s HPEX is a collection of some of the most exciting topics we’ve ever put together for an event,” said Colin Blake, Director of Spirits Education at Stave & Thief Society/Moonshine University. “Last year set the bar high, but we’ve exceeded opportunities for this year.

“Top-shelf presenters from all aspects of the industry are coming together to showcase everything from Bourbon culture to deep dives into various production methods, an exploration of the experimentation happening in the industry, food pairings and even music.”

This year’s sessions include:

  • Master Sommelier and Executive Bourbon Steward Scott Harper will explore the similar flavor profiles of wine and Bourbon and guide attendees on proper selection of Bourbon according to wine preference. Guests will learn how to train their palates to detect subtleties, connect profiles, and enjoy a whole new way to experience Bourbon paired with white and red wines.
  • Michter’s program will guide attendees as they sample various country hams from different producers, chocolates and confections, and selected Michter’s whiskies and cocktails. Participants will enjoy a food pairing with whiskey and learn how whiskey can complement, contrast, enhance and compound flavor.
  • MB Roland co-founders Paul and Merry Beth Tomaszewski will tell the story of hemp production and farming in Kentucky, hemp seed information, and how small grains impact flavor. In addition to tasting their hemped Bourbon, attendees will sample MB Roland’s standard and wheated Bourbons.
  • Bourbon author and music lover Fred Minnick will share his techniques of pairing various music genres with different Bourbons. “We should use all of our senses for Bourbon tasting, including hearing,” Minnick said of his workshop.
  • Many people think the Bourbon barrel is the same from distillery to distillery, but Master Taster Peggy Noe Stevens will debunk that myth. Her seminar will take a deep dive into the maturation of a whiskey and the flavor effects of wood, toast, char and proof when it comes to pairing food.

View the full lineup at

Tickets are still available to select events at this year’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair™ camp, which runs from June 5-10 in Louisville, the official Host City, sponsored by the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Events include behind-the-scenes access at the world’s most iconic distilleries, nightcap events featuring top chefs, Bourbon Barons and Master Distillers, rare tastings, souvenir bottles, and much more.


For more information, contact Mary Gratzer, (502) 875-9351, mobile (502) 727- 0008.

Founded in 1880, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is the historic voice for Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry. Its diverse and growing membership produces 90 percent of the world’s Bourbon, from legendary, global brands to emerging micro distilleries that are fostering the next generation of the Commonwealth’s timeless craft and treasured economic engine. Member benefits include media relations, international trade development, private sampling events, technical assistance, economic development support, networking, legal defense, marketing strategies, governmental and regulatory advocacy and innovative tourism experiences through the KDA’s world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures. The KDA maintains an open membership policy, champions a strong commitment to the responsible and moderate consumption of spirits, and fights to curb underage drinking and drunk driving. Learn more at and 

KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL®, KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL CRAFT TOUR®, KENTUCKY BOURBON AFFAIR™, KBT™, and BOURBON TRAIL™ are trademarks/service marks of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association. Please savor our Bourbon and distilled spirits like a true Kentuckian – Responsibly. 

Enjoy Like a True Kentuckian: Responsibly