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Kentucky Bourbon Festival 2017: 1792 Flights of Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I am reviewing something that I didn't pay for, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. I received media passes to this event for both myself and my wife

It was a misty, wet evening at the Bardstown airport. The rain had been threatening all day and as we drove onto the runway, it decided to let finally let go. Not that we were in any danger of being too wet. This was more like the spot-free rinse in the car wash than a full-on rainstorm. It was, however, enough to cause the closure of the doors to the hanger we were heading to. Luckily, just after we got in.

This was my first time at the 1792 Flights of Bourbon event. It was new last year and to be honest, I didn't even know about it until it had passed. Normally the first ticketed event is the Sampler on Wednesday. This being on Tuesday was a bit of a surprise. But this year I was offered media passes and thought it sounded like fun. 

"Flights" of Bourbon. It's an event of Puns. Airplanes, hangers, and a lineup of 1792 bourbons. 

Speaking of multiple bottles, they saved a few limited releases to share with the guests. By my count, there were five in addition to the regular Small Batch: High Rye, Sweet Wheat, Full Proof, Single Barrel and the 225 Anniversary release to celebrate Kentucky's 225th Birthday.

Pretty display and pretty tasty as well. Doesn't sound like it was very expensive either. I had a friend tell me they got one that cost about $35.

Continuing with the "Flight" theme was a very nice molded ice sculpture on the food table.

Every one of the employees I talked to were entertaining and happy to be there. Fun people!

There were door prizes for the guests to win. 

A portion of the proceeds from the event benefited the Green Beret Foundation, a group that helps the transition of Green Berets back into society. I thought this was very cool.

My initial impression was that this was a very small event. I had heard rumors of a ticketing malfunction so I wasn't sure whether it was the rain, the tech problems or the fact that no one was in town yet that kept the people away. After asking the PR person about it, I was told the following: 

"[Barton 1792] really did go into it wanting to produce a more intimate, personally engaging event, as well as one that would be attended by the right people (meaning influential individuals in the industry, Barton brand enthusiasts, and other business stakeholders, etc.), instead of the most people (meaning general tourists/festival attendees)."

So in other words, they succeeded. This was a very small and intimate event. In fact, the main draw to this event was the conversations. Don't get me wrong, the bourbon, the food and the crooners on the sound system were good too, but I spent most of the night wandering from group to group and joining conversations. I found old friends and met new ones. All in all, it was a fun time. I don't know that I would want to pay $75 for the event personally, but enough people did that I'll assume I am on the outside on that one.


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