Bourbon Zeppelin
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Written for bourbon fans, by bourbon fans!
Steve Akley Presents...

This Month's Bourbon Zeppelin Feature Article:


United States Bartender’s Guild 2019 World Class Finals 


by Wes Hardin

A Showdown at Bulleit's New Distillery on 6/9/19
Have you ever been to a bartending event?  

Me either, but all of that changed on Monday night, deep in the heart of Bourbon Country. I was able to attend the United States Bartender’s Guild 2019 World Class Finals, sponsored by Diageo and held in the shadow of the brand new Visitor’s Experience Center at Bulleit Distillery Co in Shelbyville, Kentucky. I was excited the event was being held here as I had not previously seen the new distillery grounds, including where it was located. Upon arrival, I met up with ABVNetwork superstar Phil Kollin as he was covering the event for his blog. We quickly introduced ourselves to Mike Morra who was in charge of media for the event. After a quick intro, we hit the bourbon wagon. Yes, Bulleit had a bourbon wagon at the entrance of the event tent.  The offering of the day was a good Old Fashioned, made with Bulleit bourbon. As you would expect at a bartending competition, each Old Fashioned was carefully crafted and not assembly line produced.  

Inside the tent, we immediately notice the band as well as the various consumer stands around the periphery. There was a cocktail stand where you could choose between various designer cocktails. Diageo brands were at the forefront of each stand’s offerings. To help keep everyone upright for the evening, there was a finger food table that included snacks, sliders, cookies, and brownies. If you wanted to be very responsible, or did not feel the need to drink, they offered a water station as well.

After enjoying the complimentary refreshments, including a few Old Fashionends, and listening to the 80’s and 90’ live music from Tony and the Tan Lines, it was time for the introduction of the finalist for the competition. Two large bars were brought on stage as well as the bartender supplies.  ndrew Mentzer from USBG introduced the crown to the event and began explaining the path that the finalist completed to get to this point.  Bartenders from around the country have been competing locally and regionally over the past few months and weeks in an attempt to make the finals. There were thirteen finalist that competed over the weekend in Lexington and now they were down to the final four.
The group of finalists
One by one, Andrew introduced all thirteen finalist to the crowd, giving them a quick background of what part of the country they were from as well as what bar they owned / tended back home. The four finalist that were to complete live tonight were introduced and the rest cleared the stage. After a couple of quick interviews, the first two finalist started setting up to compete.The competition as follows; craft five luxury cocktails in less than 3 minutes. I will say, watching these bartenders gave me an entirely new appreciation for those people and what they do.True artisans.

The set up was one semi-final match, followed by another, and then the main event. My interest there was bourbon related and although a great event and fun time, the bourbon portion was not at the forefront. Speaking of bourbon, we did learn some interesting information while there. Monday June 17th is the media day event at the distillery. The distillery is set to open to the public on June 26th. Very exciting news!

As the evening and the event wound down, I got lucky enough to spot none other than Tom Bulleit. I had not had the opportunity to meet him and it was quite the treat. He is a very soft spoken, polite gentleman who definitely enjoys talking to people. Phil and I were able to introduce ourselves and have a moment with him which will be remembered always. We thanked him for his contributions to the bourbon industry.  

Before we left, Tom and Phil said it would be an honor to have their picture taken with me and as the humble gentleman I am, I agreed. LOL.  Phil and I asked to have our picture taken with Tom and he was more than happy to do so.


It was a very cool event, set in the shadows of a new distillery that will now be available for tours by the end of the month.  I expect big things from Bulleit and their new distillery going forward.

About Wes Hardin
Wes Hard is a Business Unit Manager for automotive supplier by day; bourbon freak by night. He grew up in southern Kentucky and moved to Louisville in the year 2000. It was during that time he started getting introduced into the world of whiskey and specifically bourbon. He got the bug pretty heavy four years ago and recently began writing reviews on store picks for the ABV Network's Whiskey Corner and writing stand-alone articles for different outlets on the ABV Network.  If you have a sample you would like me to review here, please shoot me a message on Instagram @bourbon_wes or email me at
As you will be able to tell by reading this issue, we're still having fun creating Bourbon Zeppelin. This one has a summer feel to it with much discussion about summer cocktails so grab your summer beverage of choice and get to reading.

As I always say, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did putting it together for you!


Editor-in-Chief of Bourbon Zeppelin, Owner of the ABV Network, Podcast Writer, Producer & On-Air Personality, Filmmaker, Blogger, 30+ Years Bourbon Fan, Bourbon Staff Writer Food & Dining Magazine, Maker's Mark Ambassador (Ambassador #14,903/member since 2000), Four Roses Mellow Moments Club Member (2016), Author of the Best-Selling Cocktail Book Series Bourbon Mixology (Four Volumes, 2015-Present), Apprenticed at a Bourbon Distillery (2016), Completed the Bourbon Trail (2016), Executive Bourbon Steward (2017), Whiskey Warrior Award Winner (May '17), Founding Member Jefferson's Bourbon Ambassador Program (2017), Barrel Selection Committee Member for New Orleans Bourbon Festival (2018), New Orleans Bourbon Festival Legends of Bourbon Committee Member, Bourbons Bistro & Total Wine Barrel Selection Committee Member & Kentucky Colonel (2016).

Kickstarter Campaign Launched for Bourbon Sasquatch's New Movie

by Colonel Steve Akley
We are busy filming our second full-length documentary entitled Blending is Trending. This film takes a look at blended whiskey and how its success has been up-and-down the last 100-years. While our documentary will be completed with our without successful funding via our Kickstarter campaign, if we can manage to secure out modest $2,000 ask for our independent film, we will be able to complete some travel that will really take this to the next level. 

We sincerely appreciate all of the support with
Kindred Spirits, our first effort, and thank you for consideration in being part of this film via our Kickstarter campaign. Check out our campaign by clicking here.
A Trip to a Haunted Hotel & Bar
by Kim Moser
This past month, my co-host Jen Taylor and I covered the topic of Haunted Rocky Mountain Hotels. We covered the history and paranormal activities said to take place at two locations. One hotel I would like to highlight in particular is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta. Not only does Banff have some of the most majestic mountainous landscapes you will ever see, but this hotel in particular has some pretty great Bourbon cocktails that you may want to check out at their bar and restaurant, 1888 Chop House.  

This hotel was opened up to the public that same year, 1888. William Cornelius Van Horne, the General Manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, recognized the potential in tourism of the Canadian West and believed that traffic on the Canadian Pacific Railway needed to be increased. To accomplish this, he decided to build a number of luxury resort hotels along the rail line through the Rocky and Selkirk Mountains and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel happened to be one of them. 

Many famous people have visited this hotel, including Marilyn Munroe and Queen Elizabeth II but some visitors appear to have never left and continue to roam the hallways and some rooms in particular. Some of the famous ghost stories you may hear from this hotel in particular are that of the Phantom Bride who fell to her death after catching her wedding gown on fire from candles lining the main staircase, the Ghostly Bellman Sam and the children’s laughter or baby’s cries coming from room 873. 

If you want to avoid seeing any ghostly apparations, then you best bring your favorite bottle of bourbon to allow you to fall asleep easily and quickly, as long as you don’t mind being tucked in by a ghost!  Regardless of the paranormal activity that happens within these walls, the cocktail menu at Chop 1888 is extremely alluring in itself. Unwind after a day of sightseeing or relaxing in the natural hot springs nearby the hotel with any of these 3 suggested cocktails.

The Bourbon Hot Toddy - $14 Includes W.L Weller Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup, Orange Shrub, Orange Twist and a Cinnamon Stick

The Prohibition Old Fashioned - $23 Includes Jack Daniels Single Barrel, Simple Syrup, Angostura Bitters and Orange Peel

If you want to go all out, you can opt for the Pappy’s Sidecar - $335 Includes Pappy Van Winkle 20 year old, Grand Marnier Cuvee du Cent Cinquantenaire, Lemon Juice and a Sugar Rim.

To listen to the these ghost stories at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in more depth, head on over to  and search for episode #22. You can also find our show on your favorite podcast provider. 

About Kim Moser
Kim Moser is a resident of Nova Scotia, Canada. She has dedicated her career to being a travelling salesperson in the heavy equipment field. Her favorite pastime is spending long summer nights cruising the Atlantic Ocean with her bourbon enthusiast husband Ryan. If she’s not on the water you can find her on the golf course sipping her favorite bourbon. In the winter months she’ll be snuggled up by the fire with her two cats, reading ghost stories. Kim is also the co-host and producer of the Boos & Bourbon Podcast. You can find her on Instagram @boosandbourbon and on Facebook “Boos and Bourbon - The Podcast.” 

This may be the best bourbon bar and restaurant… ever!

Off the Trail - June 15, 2019
by Jeremy Schell
When you’re Off the Trail and looking for a great meal and an ever-better bourbon selection, there are very few that stack up against Louisville, Kentucky’s original bourbon bar, even after thirteen years.

Read more.

About Jeremy Schell
Jeremy is a Virginia native transplanted to Louisville, Kentucky in 1990. An entrepreneur and survivor of the dotcom era, he is a 25-yr. veteran of the Internet industry. Over the years, working with notable clients such as Brown-Forman, Hershey, Maker's Mark and others, he developed an affinity for drinking, collecting and talking bourbon…. and chocolate, mostly just eating it. Connect with him on Instagram @jeremyschell or visit his web site
ABV Network Store Getting Overhauled
The ABV Network Shop is in the process of getting a major overhaul. The first step of the project, adding a checkout system is complete. Now, the team behind the scenes is looking at adding more items into inventory. ABV Network owner Steve Akley notes, "This was a long time in the coming, but when we did this, I wanted to make sure we did it right and that's exactly what's happening. We're looking at it more as the launch of a bourbon lifestyle brand as opposed to an extension of the ABV Network. In the coming months we will be adding new items and lines frequently so keep checking back. One of my personal favorites is our "One Shot" t-shirt line. There will be items we carry on an ongoing basis in the store, but the One Shot line is going to be a low order (like 50) and when we sell through a particular design, it's gone for good."

Check out the shop and pick up a few items by clicking on the button below to take you to the store over at
A New Fashioned Old Fashioned
Hey, let’s talk cocktails. Let me blow your mind for a minute. Have you had an Old Fashioned? Answers aside, I’m assuming yes. Well, let me hip you to what Seoul Food Meat Co. in Charlotte is doing. I introduce you to the Seoul Fashioned.  

It caught me off guard; it body slammed my taste buds; son, it headbutted my soul!! When I asked the bartender if he could make an Old Fashioned, my five-foot associate had never had one, he stopped me mid question and explained, “we
make one a little different, a little sweeter, it's called a Seoul Fashioned.” Game. On. Two drinks ordered…  two sips …


It was ethereal. Too soon? I don’t think so. Wanting to document this drink to the fullest, I called them the next day, just in hopes that I could get the ingredients. I wasn’t holding out hope. Knowing certain drinks are a closely guarded secrets and considering the menu which was a fusion of southern barbeque and korean flavors, my expectations were low, but the maitre d' was accommodating and put me in touch with the bar staff and what we have here are the ingredients to what is about to become a trial and error situation to attempt duplicating this drink! 
Unlike a traditional Old Fashioned, the bartenders here begin with Citron tea, an asian tea with orange peel and honey, next is bitters, this is confusing, they only told me bitters, so I wonder if they err on the side of traditional here. Lastly, they said they use house bourbon….right, what bourbon specifically? A little further prodding and the bartender indicated it's one of three: Makers Mark, Redemption or her personal favorite, Aristocrat.  Armed with this information, I set out to duplicate the Seoul Fashioned. 
Once we arrived back at home, I set out to find the proper bitters. Traditional recipes call for Angostura aromatic bitters, but I reached out to my local friends at the packy (package store) for those not in the New England know!  Anyway, back to bitters; they also recommended Woodford Reserve Spiced Cherry bitters. Right. A little more cherry flavor in ya’ face (RIP Craig Mack). I hope that reference isn’t lost on you. We made two recipes--before I forget, instead of sugar cubes we opted to follow a few steps from the recipe in The Joy of Cooking, you make a sugar syrup, unlike simple syrup where the ratio is 1:1, the ratio here is 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Extremely sweet. I’m adding two recipes below that we adjusted to get us to what we preferred for our tastes.
Old Fashioned*
Sugar - 1 package
Bitters - 2 or 3 dashes
Club soda - splash
Stemless cherry and orange slice for garnish
Muddle (crush using muddler tool) the ingredients to release the oils and juice of the fruit. Then add 2 ounces (60ml) blended whiskey or bourbon and a splash of club soda. Serve on the rocks. Garnish with orange slice and cherry.
*Recipe sourced from Culinary Fundamentals, Johnson and Wales College of the Culinary Arts, 2003
Old Fashioned*
Put into an old-fashioned glass and stir:
½ teaspoon Sugar Syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 teaspoon water

Add and stir:
Ice cubes
1 ½ ounces bourbon or rye

Garnish with:
A lemon twist
A thin orange slice
A maraschino cherry
*recipe sourced from The Joy of Cooking, 1997, 2006 by Simon and Schuster
Both recipes posted for information only and not for monetary gain.
As noted, the sugar syrup recipe is in the last paragraph before the recipes.  Enjoy! Cheers!

About Raymond Culbert
Raymond is a current resident of New England and is here purely because someone loves the four seasons that living here brings. He loves beer, bourbon, food and golf, not necessarily in that order, but it works alphabetically. You can usually find him drinking beer, sipping bourbon or eating good food in the company of my 5’ roadie, the four-season-lover! He is an Air Force veteran, but isn't biased and shares love with his military peeps, both veteran and active alike. Time away from the day job is in search of the next great craft made IPA! You can contact him on Twitter and Instagram via @My_Government_Name_Is 

All hate mail can be sent to: madlef2000 [ at ] 
The ABV Network is the fastest growing podcast network on the web. Here's the latest news with this exciting group of shows, many of which are helmed by Bourbon Zeppelin contributors.

Dick Stoll
Last Master Distiller for Michter's Pennsylvania
Founder/Owner/Distiller, Stoll & Wolfe
Featured on The Bourbon Show - Today!

We have some great programming coming up on the ABV Network. Here's a sneak peek at some of the upcoming shows:
The Bourbon Show
June 15 - Dick Stoll, Micther's/Pennsylvania & Stoll & Wolfe
July 1 - Andy Mansinne, Midwest Grain Products

The Bourbon Daily
June 15 - Bourbon Survivor
June 19 -
Kentucky Peerless Bourbon (recorded at KY Peerless)
June 24 - Crazy Bourbon Rumors

Bourbon Bettys
June 24 - Heaven's Door Distillery
July 1 - Jeptha Creed Distillery

ABV Network shows can be found on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Libsyn and more. Just search for the name of the show!

Bourbon Nuggets
The ABV Network Crew Club is up-and-running and membership deals are rolling in. It officially launches on July 1. In the meantime, check out all of the deals from vendor partners at:
StilL 630 Experimental Series Reviews

X-24 Review
Type of Experiment: Whiskey
Barrel Char: 3
Age: 6 months
Proof: 100 (50% ABV)
Expression: Peated Barley

Colonel Steve's Review
Nosing Notes: Peat bomb.

Tasting Notes: It's sweet on the tip of the tongue but that quickly yields to peat. We're talking peat over your entire tasting palate.

Finishing Notes: Peat and Repeat are walking across a bridge. Peat falls off... whose left? Peat and Repeat are walking across a bridge...

Colonel Steve's Notes: It's as simple as can be here... if you love peat, this one's for you.

Colonel Steve's Rating: Umm, I do not love peat. This one isn't for me so it wouldn't be one I would buy, but I am guessing many who read this love peat or Scotch whisky, this could end up being your favorite offering from StilL 630 so my official rating here is Try Before You Buy.

Justine's Review 
Nosing Notes: Earthy with freshly oiled leather/tobacco notes. The scent of this one definitely grows on you.

Tasting Notes: Coffee. Light oak. Big on the earthy/peated taste.

Finishing Notes: Very mild on the heat. Doesn't just hit one spot... full mouth on the heat, just not much there. Definitely no hug.

Justine's Notes:  This one would definitely lend itself to the smoked cocktails that are so popular these days.

Justine's Rating: This one is very unique and believe it's a perfect try before you buy

Colonel Steve and Justine's Rating System
  • Pass - This is going to need some work to enter into StilL 630's product lineup.
  • Try Before You Buy - The ones that are unique enough may be best suited for individual tastes.
  • Buy It Now - As stated... get your hands on that one immediately.

Railbird Festival Announces Culinary & Bourbon Offerings
now available at  

Full lineup of Sip & Savor experiences and The Rickhouse barrel selections
Patrons of Railbird Festival can expect an exciting lineup of culinary and Bourbon offerings at the inaugural event, which will take place August 10-11 at The Grounds at Keeneland. Sip & Savor experiences will cater to the festival’s foodies, while The Rickhouse will give festival-goers a taste of Kentucky’s finest Bourbons. 

Sip & Savor
Railbird Festival is excited to host Sip & Savor, a space where renowned chefs will come together and create up close and personal experiences. Guests will enjoy brief cooking demonstrations, along with small bites and cocktail samples each afternoon. This lineup of events will take place at a culinary-focused stage located inside the Keeneland Entertainment Center. All Sip & Savor experiences will be free for ticket holders, with a limited number of seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The schedule of events is as follows:

Saturday, August 10
1:30-2:30 p.m. – Chef Toa Green (Crank and Boom) and Marc Therrien (Keeneland)
3:30-4:30 p.m. – Chef Mark Richardson (Dudley’s)
5:30-6:30 p.m. – James Beard Nominee Chef Ouita Michel (Holly Hill Inn & More) 

Sunday, August 11
1:30-2:30 p.m. – Master Chef Alumnus Chef Dan Wu (Atomic Ramen)
3:30-4:30 p.m. – Top Chef Season 16 Runner Up Chef Sara Bradley (Freight House)
5:30-6:30 p.m. – Chef Cole Arimes (Coles 735 Main, Eppings)

The Rickhouse 
Inside The Rickhouse, Bourbon fans will enjoy hand-selected barrels from Four Roses, Blanton's, Buffalo Trace, Old Forester, Pinhook and Weller. Barrels from these distilleries were chosen exclusively for Railbird, in collaboration with Academy Award Nominee and Lexington-based filmmaker AJ Hochhalter, well-known for producing the 2018 documentary NEAT: The Story of Bourbon. The bottles will be available for purchase on-site at The Rickhouse beginning at the Friday Night Bourbon Tasting for VIP and Superfecta ticket holders (by voucher with bottles to be picked at Justins’ House of Bourbon in Lexington). 

The Rickhouse will also feature pours, flights and craft cocktails using mixers from Jack Rudy Cocktail Company. The Rickhouse Gift Shop will feature exclusive Railbird Rickhouse merchandise and items from the participating distilleries.

For the latest updates on Railbird Festival, visit, follow the festival on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and sign up for the Railbird newsletter.
Koe Wetzel and Balcones Texas Pot Still Bourbon
We're already in the middle of June. June means summer activities and by summer activities I mean parties. The artist I chose to cover this month definitely knows a thing or two about parties. Koe Wetzel hails from East Texas and is known for playing to college crowds and the already traditionally rowdy East Texas music crowd. Lyrics from one of his best known songs are “Whose sober enough to take me to Taco Bell?” So, I would say yes, the guy knows how to party and that’s why I’m playing his upbeat Noise Complaint album all summer long. It’s not all a good time though there’s a few songs like Honey Pain and Love (feat. Parker McCollum) that dig a little deeper and showcase struggling relationships. The whole album is relatable. Although Koe leans more towards a rock sound and dare I say a little bit of the dreaded bro country instead of the typical Red Dirt country sound the region is known for he’s one of the biggest up and coming artists in Texas.
Because of this, I chose to pair his music with another up and coming Texas product; Balcones Pot Still Bourbon. Balcones also calls East Texas home with their distillery located in Waco. I personally feel like this is one of the smoother, better blended.

About McNew
Stephanie McNew is a regular co-host on The Bourbon Daily, an ABV Network podcast. In addition to her work on TBD, she can be heard hosting her own show, The Nightcap, which highlights some of the between-show conversations and show outtakes. McNew lives in Indiana with a veritable zoo of dogs and cats. When she isn't podcasting, running the ABV Network Patreon page or writing, she can be found drinking Larceny bourbon from Heaven Hill... her all-time favorite bourbon. Follow McNew's journey on Instagram: @miss_mcnew.

Interview with Chattanooga Whiskey Founder Tim Piersant

While reaching out to Chattanooga Whiskey to fact-check last month’s article, I was surprised to be connected to the founder himself, Tim Piersant, and enjoyed interviewing him. What follows is a highlight reel of our conversation, supplemented by pictures from @chattwhiskey on Instagram as well as my own images. For more of the Experimental Distillery Tour I enjoyed last summer, go here.

Tim himself grew up in Chattanooga but left for college and to work in Dalton, Georgia, for awhile, before returning to his hometown. It turns out that not only is their Experimental Distillery the first to distill whiskey in Chattanooga in 100 years; the founders actually fought for the legislation that made it possible, starting in 2011. That year, Tim and his business partner Joe began campaigning on Facebook to legalize distilling whiskey in Chattanooga, which had been illegal since 1909–long before nationwide Prohibition. Long before “targeted ads” were a thing, Tim and Joe had the ingenuity to use social media to galvanize support on the ground to repeal the law. Thankfully, due to their efforts, the local government voted to allow distilling whiskey in Chattanooga in May 2013, after some ups and downs along the way. Chattanooga Whiskey production began in March 2015 for the first time in 100 years, but the distillery purchased barrels in Indiana in 2012 and began distributing them the same year, so they’ve been around for longer than four years.


Today, while a myriad of fun experimental whiskeys are distilled and aged in their downtown location, most barrels of their main whiskey are barreled and aged in their larger riverfront distillery, less than a mile away. The 1816 Series is their headliner for now, but Tim expressed great excitement about a new flagship debuting soon. In the meantime, that 1816 series features a series of beer-barrel-finished varieties, thanks to the connections and passion of their head distiller, Grant McCracken, as well as my favorite, the cask strength, and a couple of others. 

According to Tim, Grant is the mind behind the many adventurous whiskeys being crafted now. With prior experience in craft brewing, he joined the team in late 2014 and is the inventor of many of their unique approaches.

Among their Experimental Series, Tim is particularly proud of the Tennessee Double Malt, made  with floor malted corn, which means it has both greater than 51% corn and greater than 51% malt—a neat feat. He’s also a fan of Chattanooga Whiskey 91, a recipe in their Experimental distillery that comes from their 91st barrel, as well as their malted rye, which he says is deeper, darker and more complex than a typical rye. He also praised an Islay scotch and bourbon combination that is a peated bourbon made in the Scottish tradition. Upcoming, however, he’s excited about their new flagship, a three- to four-grain high-malted bourbon coming out in August of this year.

Head distiller Grant McCracken, left, and founder Tim Piersant, right. Photo from Instagram.

While Tim gives Grant much of the credit for these different styles, he clearly has a passion for the product they are creating, too. The duo have a YouTube channel on which they conduct whimsical “Between the Barrels” interviews of each other about the distilling process, as well as recent releases. Their enthusiasm also comes through Tim’s perspective on why their Experimental location is so unique. 

He says that it’s “given us a channel to explore the depth of bourbon beyond anyother distillery,” and while the options are dizzying and the age of the whiskey occasionally young, I am inclined to agree. The incredible variety of picks is most available at their downtown location, but their 1816 line is available throughout much of the southeast. I definitely plan to stop by the Experimental Distillery to grab some of their new flagship product on my drive from Atlanta to Nashville this summer, that’s for sure!

Abby H. aka @flaskandpen
Abby H., curiously handled @flaskandpen on Instagram, is an English teacher with a flair for the dramatic (who’da thunk?!). After teaching in Vegas for years, she has bounced around, and is now in Kuwait after time in Beijing, China and the more mundane-when-there’s-no-hurricane Jacksonville, FL, where the craft cocktail scene led to a new love for whiskey. Bourbon, in particular, with its smokey charred barrels, thrills her the most. 
Supplies Over Seas will host the 3rd Annual Bourbon & Band Aids on Thursday, June 20 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. 6th Street. The fundraiser, presented by Brown-Forman, will bring together bourbon and food enthusiasts for a great cause of health and hope. This year's event will provide guests with a swanky, upscale ambiance for a tribute to the 1960's inspired by the Mad Men /Frank Sinatra era. Attendees are encouraged to dress like their favorite sophisticated Mad Men character or psychedelic 60's icon. Tickets are $75 per person and available for purchase at

The 6th floor of the Muhammad Ali Center will be transformed into an "exclusive" Jack Daniel’s® Sinatra Select Lounge No. 7 (formerly only found behind secret doors in NY and LA). Throughout the evening, attendees will be treated to 12 bourbon tastings from the region's most popular bourbon brands, including 
Woodford ReserveOld Forester BourbonCooper’s CraftFour Roses, Blanton’s  Wilderness Trail Maker’s Mark, Jefferson’s Reserve and Lux Row Distillers. Each tasting will be paired with chef-inspired appetizers for the ultimate culinary experience. Drink tickets are included in the ticket price and a cash bar is also available.

In addition to the bourbon and food pairings, guests will also be treated to delicious food stations by Masterson’s Catering, a very special Jack Daniels Sinatra Select cocktail, Tito's, Korbel, chances to win cool swag, raffles, door prizes and much more. Music from the Frank Sinatra era to present day will be played by DJ Ryan Coxx and the evening’s emcee will be Scott Reynolds. Parking is available in the Muhammad Ali Center garage for a small fee.

The event is supported by 
Brown-FormanJack DanielsStock Yards Bank & TrustTOPS Louisville, and Henderson Jessee & Company, PLLC.
All proceeds benefit the mission of Supplies Over Seas, a Louisville-based nonprofit that works to preserve our local environment, and provide health and hope in our country and across the globe by collecting life-saving medical supplies and redistributing to under-served communities. SOS’s newest Mother & Child Program and the Animal Welfare Program are just two initiatives that will benefit directly from this event. For more information, visit
Bourbon Nuggets
On May 31, Steve Akley and Royce Neeley got the opportunity to sit down with Jerry Dalton, the former master distiller for Jim Beam. During their meeting, the trio discussed distilling like it used to be in order to help Royce recreate the techniques of yesteryear at his distillery.
Bourbon Summer Challenge

I challenge you!

Summer is finally here. I hate the cold, I mean I despise it. My love for bourbon is about the only reason I would stand outside in the cold for hours in it. I tend to be more motivated in the summer warmth than I do in the arctic chill. The one thing that I do struggle with during the summer months is drinking bourbon neat. I have gone up and down on proof levels, but dripping sweat in the scorching sun has left me searching for answers of what to drink during these hot months. 

Twin Spires at Churchill Downs, Louisville KY

I am far from a purist when it comes to bourbon, which has made me look at mixed cocktails. I have challenged myself to try new cocktails during the summer months. I can enjoy and help transition people into bourbon drinkers. Usually, my transition to the cocktail experiment takes place during the week of the Kentucky Derby, which is like a holiday in Louisville. If I am at the track I will occasionally get a mint julep for my first drink in the morning to get my day moving, but honestly, I am not a fan of them and unless I am in this setting. I usually do not attend Derby, but I will attend Oaks, which is the day before the Kentucky Derby. The Oaks is the day mostly locals go to Churchill Downs to enjoy horse racing. The official drink of the Oaks is a drink called the Lily (the horse that wins the Kentucky Oaks wins a garland of lilies, whereas in the Kentucky Derby the winner wins a garland of roses). The Lily consists of 1 ¼ oz Finlandia vodka (Brown Forman product), 1 oz sweet and sour mix, ¼ oz triple sec, and 3 oz cranberry juice. This drink is great and many of the locals really enjoy them, but I wanted something with bourbon in it. 

Woodford Reserve Spire

What I found is a drink called the Woodford Reserve Spire. Named after the legendary twin spires that help form the structure of Churchill Downs race track. The Spire is made up of 1 ½ oz Woodford Reserve bourbon, 2 oz lemonade, 1 oz cranberry juice, and a lemon twist for garnish. This drink is close enough related to the Lily that I can get people to convert over to it while still using a Brown-Forman product (Brown-Forman is a sponsor of the Kentucky Derby). I love bourbon and lemonade as one of my summer drinks by the pool, so this was an easy drink for me to get behind and promote. 

District 8 at Garage Bar, Louisville, KY

My next cocktail speed bump happened during brunch. My wife loves brunch. We go to brunch often, or we will host brunch at our place. While at brunch, my wife will often order a mimosa. I am stuck with the choice of drinking bourbon neat and possibly looking like an alcoholic, not getting anything, or looking at cocktails. At one of my local watering holes, Garage Bar in Louisville, Kentucky, they have a drink called District 8. District 8 is a mix of bourbon, orange juice, house tonic, lemon and Angostura bitters. I now make this cocktail at home and put my own little spin on it. I call my version a bourbon mimosa. Now I need a restaurant to buy in and get me bottomless bourbon mimosas. 

Bourbon Peach Punch at Agave & Rye, Covington, KY

One of my favorite foods to eat is tacos. With my love for tacos I want to pair it with another love, bourbon. I have had a particularly hard time with finding the right balance, until I found a restaurant in Covington, Kentucky names Agave & Rye. Agave & Rye is a cool funky place with all kinds of different tacos. Their Bourbon Peach Punch is the perfect pairing of some of their far out taco creations. It is a hop skip away from New Riff and it is the perfect place to grab lunch while in that area. 

Boozy milkshake at Whiskey Dry, Louisville, KY

Boozy milkshakes may be my new favorite dessert or a whole meal depending on how much a lot of these restaurants give you. The milkshake pictured above is from Whiskey Dry located on 4th Street Live in Louisville, Kentucky. Fourth Street has more than fifty unique and captivating retail outlets, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues. Fourth Street Live is close to Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery, Old Forester Distillery, Angel’s Envy Distillery, and Peerless Distillery. If you are from out of town or just have a sweet tooth, Art Eatables is also located at Fourth Street Live. Art Eatables has tons of bourbon balls on other non-alcohol infused treats. The best bourbon milkshake that I have had came from Bottle and Bond Kitchen and Bar in Bardstown, Kentucky. I can not say enough good things about his place. From the bourbon selection, cocktails, and some of the best food I have ever had. The entire place is doing some revolutionary things in the bourbon industry. It is one of my must-see stops while in Bardstown, Kentucky.

One of the best cocktails I have ever had came from Repeal in Indianapolis, Indiana. The bartender D.L. Silvery (on Instagram @Chefd87) recommended a drink called the Gold Rush. The Gold Rush is used with a higher proof bourbon that makes it stand up in the cocktail and it had my attention. A typical Gold Rush is made with 2 oz bourbon, ¾ oz freshly squeezed juice from a lemon, and ¾ oz honey syrup. At Repeal, the bartender went the extra level by coating the glass with scotch. The bartender went even further by making it a smoked Gold Rush with using a machine that smoked wood chips. The care and experience only enhanced the experience with the cocktail. It is something that I would never make at home but sparked my love for smoked cocktails. 

Old Fashioned with Old Forester Simple Syrup

One of my favorite cocktails to make the home is the classic Old Fashioned. The Old Fashioned dates back to 1881 when it was developed at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky. The drink is simple, 1 ½ oz bourbon or rye whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, 1 sugar cube, and a few dashes of water. In recent years there have been many twists and take on the old fashion. Each is unique and worth a try. I really enjoy Old Forester’s Old Fashioned Syrup. You simply add the syrup to your favorite bourbon or rye and you have an Old Fashioned. 

There are so many good cocktails out there, but it is hard to beat drinking your favorite whiskey neat for a nightcap. Bourbon has a special place in my heart and I try to continually challenge my thinking of it. This includes trying new cocktails and new bourbons. I challenge you to do the same to get the full bourbon experience. 

If you have an awesome bourbon cocktail that you would like to share or challenge me to drink, please share it with me on Instagram @BarrelofKnowledge. 

About Shane Leonard
Shane Leonard is an editorial writer for the Bourbon Zeppelin. Shane is a 30-year-old Kentucky spirit with bold flavor. His articles have a easy to read feel with a long lasting finish of spice. The proof of his journey can be followed on Instagram @BarrelofKnowledge. #openbottles
Listen to This Issue of BZ
It's true, you can actually listen to this issue via Bourbon Zeppelin, the Podcast. The show is hosted by BZ's own Wes Hardin. He picks some of the top stories and reads/comments on them. He also adds in some bonus material.

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Further Reading...
by Colonel Steve Akley
I have launched a blog on under the "Cool Muses" section called, "Our Bourbon Journey. It's a combination of my personal bourbon journey, the journey of my team at the ABV Network, what's happening at the ABV Network and bourbon reviews.

If you love Bourbon Zeppelin, you are going to also love this blog. Check it out today!
by Jordan Grigsby and Team
The newest offering to is a blog run by Jordan Grigsby and a team of bloggers. It's called Whiskey Corner and it covers whiskey reviews, the whiskey lifestyle, events, product sampling and much more. You can check out this ABV Network exclusive offering by clicking here.
Items from Steve and the Bourbon Zeppelin team
Bourbon Mixology is author Steve Akley's best selling book of all-time. The premise is simple: have 50 iconic bars share their signature bourbon cocktail. The bars selected do not fail to impress with their unique takes on some classic drinks and well as some very original creations.

The book literally becomes a travel companion piece as you will want to see out these bars on your next business trip or vacation. Get your copy right now!
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Bourbon Mixology Volume 4 is author Steve Akley's newest bourbon cocktail book. In this edition, 50 craft distilleries share signature bourbon cocktails made with their bourbon. 

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Mules and More takes a look at beer cocktails which have increased in popularity with the resurgence of the Moscow Mule. In this book, 40 craft breweries share their signature beer cocktail. 

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