Linda Ruffenach
Linda Ruffenach

It’s no secret bourbon is no longer a man’s drink. Women have been clued in to the Kentucky spirit’s distinct flavor for years — some just chose not to flaunt it by throwing back shots at the local bar and pounding their chests. We like to sip on our bourbon slowly — whether it be from snifter, rocks glass or flask — and have long talks about the caramel and vanilla notes, and the mellow finish that’s more relaxing than a foot rub.

Linda Ruffenach has respected the liquor for years, and she had a hunch she wasn’t alone. Last year, Ruffenach founded Whisky Chicks, a free club for women to bond over bourbon that hosts events, tastings and fundraisers for various charities. A few days ago, we told you about this weekend’s Bourbon Mixer, in which the Whisky Chicks join forces with the Bourbon Brotherhood to throw a party for bourbon aficionados and novices alike — all for the great cause of supporting the nonprofit Best Buddies of Kentucky.

There are still tickets available for the Bourbon Mixer on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Passalinos on West Market. Tickets are $100, but they include samples from eight distilleries, an open bar, food and a chance to rub elbows with industry movers and shakers.

Ruffenach told us earlier this year that the first Whisky Chicks meet-up had about 30 people. Now, the group has grown to more than 200 members, with 1,000+ social media followers.

“The biggest surprise and highlight has been the diversity of the members,” she told Insider. “At every event, we have women from all different backgrounds and ages. At one event, we had representation from three generations of one family and attendees that ranged in age from 21 to 90. It was amazing! Bourbon became the common denominator for the evening.”

We bothered Ruffenach this week as she was preparing for the Bourbon Mixer to answer some very important questions …

What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?

I would love to live and work abroad for a year or more.

Don't offer Billy Idol Tennessee whiskey.
Don’t offer Billy Idol Tennessee whiskey.

What poster was on your wall in junior high?

Billy Idol and Duran Duran.

If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?

Entrepreneur and angel investor Phoebe Wood. She is a role model for many women business leaders in the community and, as one of the few female angel investors in the region, has helped pave the way for others to follow.

What are your preferred pizza toppings?

White pizza with spinach and bacon.

If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?

Somewhere in my early 30s. I knew enough to be confident in myself and had fewer people depending on me, so I was able to be more impulsive.

What famous person do people say you resemble the most?

Joy Perrine knows her bourbon. | Photo by Kat Macaraeg
Joy Perrine knows her bourbon. | Photo by Kat Macaraeg

Don’t know; I do get called Karen a lot.

Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator? 

Joy Perrine, the author of “The Kentucky Bourbon Cocktail.” I have only had the opportunity to meet her once, but it is evident she has so much knowledge to share about mixing the right cocktail as well as an intriguing perspective on the bourbon industry. I am sure she has many fascinating tales to tell.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."