Kentucky Straight Ice provided the nearly invisible ice at Bourbon Classic’s Taste event. | Photo by Sara Havens

As the Ohio River waters receded from downtown Louisville this weekend, there was another flood of sorts that rushed in and kept Main and Market streets abuzz. The sixth annual Bourbon Classic, held Feb. 28-March 3, attracted more people and distilleries than ever, and it was all to celebrate Kentucky’s pride and joy — bourbon.

Insider attended as many events as our schedule (and liver) would allow, and we are better for it. No matter how many times we go on a distillery tour or converse with master distillers or sample bourbon, we learn something new every time.

We noticed an uptick in attendance this year during each event — especially Friday’s Cocktail & Culinary Competition and Saturday’s Bourbon Classic University and Taste sessions — and spoke with people who came from near (New Albany) and far (Hawaii) just to attend.

Below is a photo gallery of our experiences, which included highlights such as enjoying Weller 12 as a consolation prize during Top Shelf, sampling our way through Michter’s mouth-watering portfolio, tasting 1792 at 12 years old in the dark, sitting mere feet from Fred Noe’s bad-ass boots, learning that bourbon pairs quite well with cheese, and ogling over ice that appears invisible.


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Pappy products were featured at Bourbon Classic's first event, Top Shelf. We didn't get tastes of Pappy, but we were happy to settle for Weller 12 and Elmer T. Lee. | Photo by Sara Havens

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog ( daily. 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."


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