The 2018 Higher Proof Expo will take place on Saturday, June 9th
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Omni Louisville, 400 S 2nd St, Louisville, KY 40202
$150 (lunch included)
Introduced as part of the Kentucky Bourbon Affair in 2017, the Higher Proof Expo was one of the highest rated experiences of the week. Attendees were treated to Bourbon-centric educational and tasting sessions led by top industry professionals. Between sessions, they were invited to peruse pop-up shops to sample and experience what Louisville has to offer. A ticket to the Higher Proof Expo includes access to 4 sessions throughout the day and is the perfect way to segue into the evening’s activities.
See below for session descriptions from the 2017 HPEx
(Access to the Higher Proof Expo is included in the Golden Ticket)
ORPHAN BARREL: TALES AND TASTING
The Orphan Barrel Distilling Co. was started to share barrels of delicious and rare whiskey, hidden away and nearly forgotten in the back of rickhouses and distilleries. Diageo’s Master Whiskey Educator Doug Kragel takes you behind the scenes at this private Orphan Barrel tasting with the tales and secrets of these rare selections. Discover the unique flavors and personalities inside each of these expressions before they are gone forever.
TASTING THE GRAINS: THE MAGIC OF CORN
By law, Bourbon must be made of at least 51% corn. But why corn? Of the cereal varieties, corn is not necessarily the most outstanding. Yet, dig a little deeper, and the grain indigenous to Kentucky has a fascinating role to play in the world’s best Bourbon. Join Joyce Nethery of Jeptha Creed Distillery as she discusses the role corn plays in fermentation, distillation, and finished Bourbon, its flavor contributions, and the way heirloom varietals, such as Jeptha Creed’s own Bloody Butcher Corn, can impact the distillate.
BALANCE AND COUNTER-BALANCE: AN INTERACTIVE FOOD & BOURBON PAIRING FOR THE ADVANCED PALATE
Science can be delicious! Spend some quality time with Bourbon Master Taster and Founder of Bourbon Women Peggy Noe Stevens as she presents an advanced and proven method for identifying flavors and their intensity levels in Bourbon. Broaden your flavor dissection skills with selections of Kentucky Bourbon paired with culinary offerings from local chefs as Peggy leads you through unusual food and Bourbon combinations.
BOURBON FOR WINE LOVERS
Who says you can’t love both? Open up your palate and discover the complementary flavors in wine and Bourbon. Master Sommelier and Executive Bourbon Steward Scott Harper invites you to explore the similar flavor profiles of wine and Bourbon and guides you on proper selection of Bourbon according to wine preference. Train your palate to detect subtleties and connect profiles, and enjoy a whole new way to experience Bourbon as you pair it with white and red wines.
YOU COMPLETE ME: UNLEASHING FLAVOR THROUGH PAIRINGS
Rev up your taste buds and prepare to polish your palate with this delectable series of whiskey and food pairing exercises. Experience the bold flavors and discover the subtle notes of country ham through whiskey as Andrea Wilson of Michter’s Distillery and author Steve Coomes team up to take your flavor detectors to the next level. Learn the art of complementing and enhancing flavors through pairings in this delicious and fun seminar.
RUM AND WHISKEY: OF LOVE AND WAR
Once, whiskey distillers and rum importers were locked in legislative battle to decide which spirit became this country's drink of choice. It came down to the base--American grown grains or imported molasses. Whiskey won. Today, the same wars are playing out, but not in Congress. Rather, consumers are making their choices known--rum or whiskey. But why not both? The two spirits greatly complement one another. Experience Bourbon and rum in an entirely new context as author Fred Minnick takes guests on a tantalizing adventure through American spirits history.
MAKE AN OLD FASHIONED - LOUISVILLE'S OFFICIAL COCKTAIL
The Pendennis Club in downtown Louisville has long claimed the invention of the Old Fashioned cocktail in the 1880s. It was popularized by club member and Bourbon distiller Col. James E. Pepper, who would go on to introduce the cocktail to the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, which led to its widespread popularity. In 2015, Louisville's Mayor declared the Old Fashioned the city's Official Cocktail, making Louisville only the second city known to have proclaimed an official libation since the Louisiana House of Representatives named the Sazerac New Orleans’ drink of choice in 2008. Perfect your cocktail skills, and enjoy some local lore as you learn the secret to the perfect Old Fashioned.
VINTAGE SPIRITS: HISTORY IN A BOTTLE
Dive into the world of vintage spirits with the owner of the largest whiskey collection in the Western Hemisphere. Join Bill Thomas, Owner of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, and Jared Hyman with Bourbon Source for a robust discussion of the history, evaluation, and collection of vintage whiskeys. Taste some of Bill and Jared’s rare findings, and settle in for some personal time with two of the country’s greatest collectors.