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Kentucky Bourbon fans from around the world got a taste of the state’s top agricultural offerings from local chefs at last week’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair, thanks to a partnership with Kentucky Proud, which markets farm-fresh fare and ingredients from across the Bluegrass.

“Kentucky’s signature Bourbon industry relies heavily on Kentucky farm ingredients for our products and events during this magical week full of out-of-state guests,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that operates the elite event. “We’re honored to feature Kentucky Proud products again this year and showcase our farm families.”

Kentucky Proud is the official state marketing program administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for products raised, grown, manufactured or processed in Kentucky. There are 8,300 members operating under the Kentucky Proud brand.

“Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon and 100 percent of the bourbon worth drinking,” said Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. “The Kentucky Bourbon Affair gives bourbon lovers the opportunity to immerse themselves in Kentucky’s signature beverage and pair it with fresh, delicious Kentucky Proud foods. We are grateful to partner once again with the Kentucky Distillers’ Association for this world-class event.”

Gregory said Kentucky Proud products were highlighted during the KBA’s opening event, hosted by the Bourbon Women Association at Ashbourne Farms in Oldham County.



Executive chef Patrick Roney worked with visiting chefs Ouita Michal and Bruce Ucán to orchestrate a four-star array of courses paired with cocktails from Woodford Reserve, Rabbit Hole, and Kentucky Peerless with Kentucky Proud ingredients from Salad Days, Ashbourne Farms, JD’s Country Milk cream, and Stella’s Lucky Eggs of Ashbourne Farms.

Kentucky Proud was also be front and center at the BAR ‘19 closing event at the Kentucky Derby Museum, which boasted a silent auction of rare whiskies, a vintage spirit tasting and an all-star lineup of Kentucky chefs who offered Bourbon-inspired culinary delights.

BAR ‘19 also included the sale of private single barrel releases hand-picked by four Master Distillers, with proceeds going to local charities handpicked by the distilleries themselves.

The Kentucky Bourbon Affair provided an intimate six-day exploration into the state’s signature spirit with more than 40 events featuring behind-the-scenes tours, private barrel selections and specialty programs at the world’s most iconic distilleries and famous Louisville hotspots. Dates are June 4-9, 2019.

It’s the only whiskey event that’s actually created and executed by the distilleries themselves.

The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau was once again the top sponsor as Host City for the sixth straight year.

There were 19 distilleries featured this year: Angel’s Envy, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Bulleit, Four Roses, Hartfield & Co., Heaven Hill, Jeptha Creed, Jim Beam, Kentucky Artisan Distillery, Kentucky Peerless Distilling, Maker’s Mark, Michter’s, New Riff, Old Forester, Rabbit Hole, Town Branch, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, Wilderness Trail.

Gregory said, “The Kentucky Bourbon Affair is a classic Bourbon lover’s dream. The partnership with Kentucky Proud just adds a new level to an already unforgettable experience.”

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is the historic voice for Kentucky’s signature Bourbon and distilled spirits industry.

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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. 

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