Old Forester Statesman will be released in August. | Photo by Sara Havens

It seemed fitting to announce a new bourbon and the news of Louisville being featured in a major motion picture on the Monday of Derby week, at least according to Mayor Greg Fischer, who held a press conference this morning with representatives from Brown-Forman regarding the upcoming release of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”

The news was twofold.

First is the fact that part of the plot of the new “Kingsman” film, which will be released Sept. 22, involves Louisville and its highly sought-after bourbon. In the British spy film, some of the elite members of the Kingsman, an international intelligence agency, meet up with their counterparts in the U.S., called the Statesman, to help fight bad guys. Turns out these undercover Statesman members work as tailors and master distillers — producing some of the best bourbon in the world.

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” features Louisville in its plot.

And that’s where Brown-Forman comes in: The second part of the big announcement is that the Louisville-based spirits company is releasing a new expression of Old Forester to tie in with the film, appropriately called Old Forester Statesman.

“This film will share a bit of that bourbon love with the rest of the world on a major motion picture stage,” said Fischer.

The 95-proof bourbon will be released in August as part of Old Forester’s Whiskey Row line for $55. “Kingman: The Golden Circle” is directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges and Channing Tatum, among many others.

“This film is intended to be Matthew (Vaughn)’s love letter to Kentucky through the lens and artistic license of a talented British filmmaker,” said Old Forester president Campbell Brown, who worked closely with the filmmakers on the project. “Louisville is mentioned on screen prominently.”

The filmmakers did not shoot any of the film in Louisville but did come to town a few times to take photographs of rick houses, cooperages and such.

Old Forester master bourbon specialist Jackie Zykan with the new brand. | Photo by Sara Havens

After the press conference, Old Forester’s master bourbon specialist Jackie Zykan offered tastings of the new bourbon, which she said is a blend of barrels aged 4 to 6 years old that come from high-heat areas in the rick house.

“The whole premise behind this brand was that the Statesman and Kingsman — their true character shows when they get into a little heat. So that was the idea behind the bourbon and why it was pulled from the high-heat areas,” said Zykan. “It turned out awesome. I’m happy with the result.”

The bourbon, at 95 proof, is smooth, spicy and sippable. We detected many floral notes and a flavor that fills your palate and doesn’t burn. Zykan said that if you’re going to Churchill Downs, a few select bottles of Old Forester Statesman will be available to taste.

Look for more news to come out regarding the film, including a marketing sweepstakes launched by the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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."