It’s time for the annual celebration of America’s Native Spirit, Bourbon, the entire month of September. Now before we get into the good stuff, literally, about September in Northern Kentucky, I want to take a minute to explain the history behind the history and how we in NKY own our little slice of Bourbon Heritage Month.
So let’s head back to 2007 and spend a little time with an epic Northern Kentuckian, Senator Jim Bunning. The man was a baseball player, Kentucky Legislator, and elected to the US Senate. It was Senator Bunning that pushed in 2007 for a US Senate Resolution that designated September 2007 as National Bourbon Heritage Month and for the first time used the phrase America’s Native Spirit. Of course, as an industry it was off to the races. I would be remiss if I didn’t note that all resolutions are only as good as the time for which they are specified so technically only September 2007 was declared National Bourbon Heritage Month. But that hasn’t stopped all soul and sundry from claiming it every year since.
What is true is that every year Kentucky’s governor declares EVERY September, Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Month and however you feel about what is right and what is wrong, the fact remains that we celebrate Bourbon and its impact on our great Commonwealth every September, or every day that ends in a “y” if you’re a truly dedicated Bourbon fan.
So, get ready for an epic celebration of Kentucky Bourbon Heritage Month or National if you are so inclined. Northern Kentucky’s B-Line is well prepared to celebrate the spirit this month with a full array of events. I would highly recommend staying close to The B-Line calendar as new events are constantly being added.
In the spirit of getting excited there are a few that I want to highlight to make sure they get on your calendar, too.
Bourbon Heritage Tasting at Coppin’s Restaurant in Hotel Covington
Kicking off the month is a special rare Bourbon tasting at Coppin’s at the Hotel Covington. For one night on Wednesday September 7th, Mitch and Phil will open special bottles of Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20- and 15-year, George T Stagg 2019 and the latest WL Weller CYPB. Now this is a small affair, and they will have two tasting flights but only the first 25 to register for the $150 tasting will get in. I hear rumors that there will also be a cash bar with some gems and small bites so sounds like a perfect way to start your Bourbon celebration.
Dusty Bottle Wednesdays at OKBB
Next, I would make plans to visit Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar’s Dusty Bottle Wednesday during September. Looking for rare and delicious bourbons? Over the past decade, Colonel Aaron at the Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar has accumulated an impressive collection of rare and “dusty bottles” that they store in the OKBB bourbon vault. Many of these bourbons can only be found at OKBB, some of them have never been opened, and all of them are rare. This year for National Bourbon Heritage Month, they decided to unlock the vault, dust off the bottles, and let you enjoy them. These rare offerings will be available exclusively at OKBB and only on Wednesdays during National Bourbon Heritage Month. Once these bourbons are gone, they are gone for good. So, if you want bourbons that you have never tasted before and may never enjoy again, check out OKBB. “They are poppin’ bottles at the top of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail!
Neeley Family Distillery/Hidden Barn Dinner at Rich’s Proper Food & Drink
I also want to make sure you get a chance to attend the special Hidden Barn/Neeley Family Distillery Dinner at Rich’s Proper on Thursday September 8th. Royce and Rebekah Neeley will join you for a special three course dinner with pairings from the distillery and the new collaboration blending with Jackie Zykan, aka Hidden Barn. We hear that anyone attending the dinner will have the first opportunity to purchase Rich’s Proper’s Hidden Barn Private Barrel. Again, tickets are limited and will go fast.
Tousey House Tavern’s 200th Birthday Celebration
As you plan, I’d also mark September 22nd on your calendar as Tousey House collaborates with Boone County Distilling for a special night to commemorate their 200th Birthday. The open house will celebrate their history with a chef’s culinary showcase. We hear that there is also a special Boone County Distilling bottle that is part of the fun. Tickets are $100 and will go fast.
Norse Spirit Society at NKU
And finally, but by no means last, a new Bourbon Society will be launching in Northern Kentucky on September 28th. The Norse Spirit Society is a partnership of Northern Kentucky University, meetNKY and New Riff, educating and celebrating all things Bourbon. The society will have its kickoff on September 28th at 5:30 p.m. at the university where exciting classes will be announced, New Riff will preview small sips of some coming attractions, and Molly Wellmann will whip up some tasty New Riff cocktails. This is going to be another high demand event so make sure to get your tickets early.
Now this is just a short round up of events but there are literally hundreds of bourbon celebrations and specials happening in Northern Kentucky during the month of September. Stay close to the B-Line’s event calendar as well as all your favorite stops in the region.
We will also be celebrating the opening of Turfway Park and their epic new bourbon bar and hope to see you out celebrating during this special Bourbon Season maybe at the epic Kentucky Bourbon Festival, a Cincinnati Bengals game or just lifting one toasting America’s Native Spirit. Cheers, y’all!
About Julie Kirkpatrick
Julie is the President & CEO for meetNKY. She enjoys exploring Bourbon Country (or the great Commonwealth of Kentucky as it is known), the local distilleries and finding new ways to work Bourbon into every conversation. Julie’s passion is for promoting tourism development in Northern Kentucky.