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Blanton’s Single Barrel wins Chairman’s Trophy at 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (March 27, 2012) – The winners from New York’s 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge have been announced. Buffalo Trace Distillery was honored for several of its new whiskeys, along with some classic favorites.

Judges awarded Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon the highest honor of “Chairman’s Trophy” winner among all other

Within the Canadian Whisky Category, Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky was awarded the “Chairman’s Trophy.” This $50 Canadian Whisky is the first Canadian Single Barrel whiskey of its kind and has been well received by both consumers and reviewers alike since its introduction in 2010.bourbon whiskeys. Blanton’s was the first Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey ever commercially sold back in 1984 and remains a favorite among connoisseurs.

Other highly recommended whiskeys from Buffalo Trace Distillery include:

  •  Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel Bourbon (NEW)
  •  William Larue Weller Bourbon
  •  Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon
  •  Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 Year Old Bourbon
  •  Benchmark Old No. 8 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  •  Eagle Rare Single Barrel Bourbon
  •  George T. Stagg Bourbon
  •  Kentucky Tavern Bourbon
  •  Buffalo Trace Bourbon
  •  Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey
  •  Royal Canadian Small Batch Canadian Whisky

“The Ultimate Spirits Challenge is a prestigious spirits tasting competition, judged by some of the industry’s best. To have only 31 Chairman’s Trophies presented total, and for us to win two of them, makes us immensely proud,” said Harlen Wheatley, Master Distiller.

Find a complete list of winners online at http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/the-results/2012-spirits-results/.

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Woodford Reserve Bourbon Releases 2012 Kentucky Derby Bottle

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Woodford Reserve, the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby® is honoring the country’s favorite horse race with the release of the 2012 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle. The limited-edition bottle features the artwork of one of America’s most recognized and beloved illustrators, Michael Schwab.

Schwab, who resides in Northern California, has a classic and timeless quality about his work. He creates iconic images that are strong and simple, yet always contemporary. Using black as the foundation for his forms, Schwab builds light and dimension into the picture plane by adding blocks or flat, bold colors. The result is an image that immediately recognized and one that codifies his work as thoughtful, lasting, and sustainable.

“The Kentucky Derby is one of the most anticipated events of the year and I wanted to communicate the excitement through this artwork and to honor ‘The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,'” says Schwab.

On this year’s Derby bottle, Schwab features a strong and simple image of a single thoroughbred with a jockey racing towards the finish line. You can feel the power in the image indicated by the thoroughbred digging in the track, kicking up dirt as he races. The jockey is wearing brightly colored argyle silks with his tack featuring the #1 saddle cloth. A matching argyle neck band seals the top of the commemorative bottle.

“The imagery on this year’s bottle captures the essence of the Derby,” says Laura Petry, Woodford Reserve brand manager. “As the ‘Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby’ we are excited to unveil Schwab’s great work and commemorate this historic partnership.”

The limited edition liter-size bottle will be available in early April in 45 US states at a suggested retail price of $42.99.

Woodford Reserve also sponsors a Grade I race, the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, which is run on Derby Day, May 5, 2012, and has become one of thoroughbred racing’s premier turf events.

About Michael Schwab:
Born in Oklahoma, Michel Schwab now lives and works in Northern California. From his studio in Marin County, he has established a reputation as one of America’s most recognized and best-loved graphic artists.

Having attended school in Texas, New York, and California, Michael has a broad array of visual, cultural, and geographic references to which he regularly turns for ideas. His work is easily recognized by his signature use of large, flat areas of color, dramatic perspectives, and bold, graphic portraits often communicating a message of ecological and historic preservation.

Additionally, his work is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress and the National Portrait Gallery.

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Angel’s Envy Bourbon Dinner

Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson invites bourbon enthusiasts to join him & Chef Jim Gerhardt of Limestone Restaurant (10001 Forest Green Boulevard) in Louisville on Friday, March 30th at 6:30pm for a 5-course Angel’s Envy bourbon dinner.

This event is open to the public, but space is limited. Please RSVP to Skyler Jones at Limestone Restaurant — 502.426.7477. Cost is $75 per person. The event menu is available upon request.

See below for more information about Angel’s Envy or visit www.angelsenvy.com

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2012 Commemorative Marker’s Mark Bottle Features UK Football Great Tim Couch

LEXINGTON, KY (March 20, 2012)–As Keeneland and Maker’s Mark embark on the 16th edition of its signature charitable bottle series to raise money for charity, the two are once again teaming up to honor and support their friends at UK HealthCare. This year’s bottle will celebrate UK football great Tim Couch, whose likeness will be featured on the bottle this spring. Proceeds from the bottle sales will benefit the Gill Heart Institute at UK HealthCare.

“The most important thing about this bottle is that the proceeds from it will go to help my fellow Kentuckians fight and win the battle of heart disease ¬especially in Eastern Kentucky,” Couch said. “Winning this is very near and dear to my heart and more important than any football game. My father passed away from heart disease, and everyone has a family member that this terrible disease has affected.”

Maker’s Mark will donate proceeds from the sales – estimated to be about $200,000 from 20,000 bottles sold statewide – to the Gill Heart Institute, which will utilize these funds to grow and develop high-quality clinical heart care services in rural Eastern Kentucky. The 65 health-care providers at the Gill Heart Institute saw an estimated 15,500 outpatients in 2011, including those seen in 51 monthly outreach clinics covering much of Eastern Kentucky. The Gill staff reads 25,000 images annually.

“Reaching patients in Eastern Kentucky is a critical component of the mission of UK’s Gill Heart Institute,” said UK Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Dr. Michael Karpf. “Outreach clinics help us touch patients who may not have access to the high level of care we provide. By continuing these services, we are helping to improve the lives of these individuals. We are thankful to Keeneland and Maker’s Mark for providing us with this opportunity.”
“Keeneland is a company that is a kindred spirit of Maker’s Mark – original, true to its roots and a model corporate citizen that exemplifies what Kentucky can do and is a force to be reckoned with on the world stage,” said Rob Samuels, Maker’s Mark COO. “UK Healthcare is much the same – a world-class medical facility in the heart of Kentucky, bringing leading cutting edge research in the field of medicine and bringing advanced medical treatment to all of us.”

Born in Hyden, Ky., Couch played football for the University of Kentucky where he was selected as an All-American and number one pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. During his time at UK − from 1995 to 1998 – Couch set several school records was a Heisman Trophy finalist. His career totals at Kentucky included completing 795 of 1,184 passes for 8,435 yards and 74 touchdowns. He still holds the NCAA record for completion percentage in one game and for completions per game.

Maker’s Mark will produce 20,000 numbered, limited edition bottles honoring Couch, and they should be available statewide Friday, April 6, opening day of Keeneland’s Spring 2012 meet. The bottle should retail for about $49 if retailers take their normal markup.
“We are very proud that Maker’s Mark, UK HealthCare and Keeneland have come together once again for this very worthy project,” said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson. “We congratulate Tim Couch as this year’s honoree. This initiative will be very important to people back home and many years from now, they will remember Tim Couch as not only an outstanding athlete but as a good person who works hard to make a difference in his community.”

A bottle signing, scheduled the day of the $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1) (formerly known as the Maker’s Mark Mile), will be held Friday, April 13, trackside at Keeneland, with Couch, Samuels and Nicholson. For more details about the signing, visit Keeneland.com

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Buffalo Trace Distillery Produces Trophy Winners in 2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (April 21, 2011) – The winners from the 2011 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, held in New York in March, have been announced and the whiskeys from Buffalo Trace Distillery continue to win significant awards.  Named “Chairman’s Trophy” winners were Sazerac 18 Rye and George T. Stagg. The “Chairman’s Trophy” awards are given to the category’s highest scorer. Results are as follows:

Chairman’s Trophy Winner – Rye

    • Sazerac 18 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – With a “95” score and “Extraordinary Recommendation,” this whiskey was described as “Wonderfully balanced with fruit and spice being offered in perfect harmony and with incredible length.”

Chairman’s Trophy Winner Bourbon

    • George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – With a “96” score and “Extraordinary Recommendation,” this bourbon was called a “mind blowing bourbon” by one of the judges who also said “…Bottled at cask strength which suggests that a water addition is prudent but we are amazed by how soft, supple, and perfectly integrated this spirit is at full strength.”

Chairman’s Trophy Finalists

    • Caribou Crossing Single Barrel Canadian Whisky – Received a “92” and “Excellent, Highly Recommended” rating.
    • Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Received a “95” and “Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation” as well as a “Great Value” notation.
    • Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Received a “95” and “Extraordinary Recommendation.”
    • Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – Received a “92” and “Highly Recommended” notation.
  • Other notable scores of Buffalo Trace’s whiskeys include:
    • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “93” rating
    • Charter 101 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “93” rating and “Great Value”
    • William LaRue Weller 12 Years Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “92” rating
    • Eagle Rare 17 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “91” rating
    • Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “91” rating
    • Blanton’s Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “90” rating
    • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey – “89” rating
    • Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey – “89” rating

 

“What an honor to receive not one, but two Chairman’s Trophy Winners this year, for those represent the ‘best of the best,’” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “And then to have so many of our other whiskies do so well, too, is just amazing. We’re very excited.”

For a complete list of USC winners, go to www.ultimate-beverage.com/wine_reviews/spirits-results/.

 

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit www.buffalotrace.com.

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Splurge on Woodford Reserve’s $1,000 Mint Julep

Woodford Reserve bourbon is taking the traditional Kentucky Derby® cocktail, the mint julep, to a new level by unveiling the world’s most exclusive mint julep cup. The Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience will feature the most exotic ingredients in the world and a collection of 103 sterling silver mint julep cups designed by Tiffany & Co. exclusively for Woodford Reserve. Proceeds from the cup sales will benefit The Heart of a Horse Foundation.

“Woodford Reserve is proud to partner with Tiffany & Co. to bring horse racing fans the most well-crafted mint julep cup ever to be sold,” said Laura Petry, Woodford Reserve brand manager.  “Woodford Reserve has been associated with the thoroughbred community since the brand’s beginning and through the sale of these cups, we look forward to assisting The Heart of a Horse Foundation in their horse rescue mission.”

In addition to the 103 traditional cups, there will also be three (3) “Prestige” cups available for auction. These sterling silver cups feature a design around the base in 24 karat gold vermeil originally used by Tiffany & Co. on a horse racing cup created in 1876. Bidding on these extremely rare cups will start at $2,000 each.

“Tiffany & Co. represents the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship in silversmithing today and we are thrilled to continue that heritage with the creation of these sterling silver mint julep cups,” said Susanne Halmi, group director of Tiffany & Co.  “It is an honor to partner with Woodford Reserve for a second year while also supporting the Heart of a Horse Foundation.”

Owners of the Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup will enjoy a mint julep featuring a unique set of ingredients from around the globe: ice made of rainwater captured on the pristine island of Tasmania, Australia; rare Chocolate mint grown in San Diego, California; bourbon smoked sugar from Louisville, KY which combined raw Demerara sugar smoked in used Woodford Reserve barrels; and a small batch of the Master Distiller’s personal selection of Woodford Reserve super-premium bourbon. The 103 traditional cups and three Prestige cups will be presented on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs® in The Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup Experience located near the clubhouse escalator inside Gate 10.

“We are honored to have The Heart of a Horse Foundation chosen as the beneficiary of this year’s Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup sales,” said April Horowitz, Heart of a Horse Foundation President. “This program is an opportunity to promote our rescue mission and to raise awareness about horse welfare to millions of people both in America and abroad.”

Fans are encouraged to follow Woodford Reserve online from exciting Derby events and activities via Twitter at @woodfordreserve. Visit www.twitter.com/woodfordreserve for all the details.

2011 marks the sixth year of the $1,000 Mint Julep Experience program with over $300,000 raised for worthy equine and humanitarian causes over the past five years.

How to Purchase a Cup

Starting April 11, 2011 at noon, (EDT) consumers age 21 years and older can log on to www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com to purchase one of the 103 traditional cups or to bid on one of the three Prestige cups. Presented on one day, at one place only, all cups purchased must be picked up by the buyer or the buyer’s proxy on May 7, 2011, Kentucky Derby Day at historic Churchill Downs.

Traditional Cups

103 Traditional Cups will be sold online for $1,000 on a first come, first buy basis. (There have been 103 Kentucky Derby winners born in the state of Kentucky.) The cups are individually numbered and feature the Woodford Reserve logo along with a unique horse racing design. The handmade sterling silver cups have been designed by Tiffany & Co. and come with a sterling silver sipping straw. Each cup will be presented in a unique Tiffany & Co. Blue Box and will be set in a Woodford Reserve casing made from the same wood as Woodford Reserve barrels. The cups will be on sale from April 11-May 5 at www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com for $1,000. Any unsold cups will be available for purchase at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.

Prestige Cups

In addition to the 103 traditional cups, there will also be three (3) “Prestige” cups available for auction. These sterling silver cups feature a design around the base in 24 karat gold vermeil originally used by Tiffany & Co. on a horse racing cup created in 1876. The cups will be up for auction from April 11-May 5 at www.woodfordreservemintjulep.com with bidding on these extremely rare cups starting at $2,000 each.

The Mint Julep Cup’s Exotic Ingredients

The $1,000 Mint Julep will be made with the most exotic ingredients in the world

  • Ice made of rainwater captured on the pristine island of Tasmania, Australia, where the air is scientifically proven to be the purest in the world. The air travels over Antarctica and 10,000 miles of ocean reaching the western part of Tasmania called “The Edge of the World” where it is collected without ever touching the ground.
  • Rare Chocolate mint grown in San Diego, California. This unique mint adds a tantalizing touch of spring freshness to the classic Mint Julep.
  • Bourbon Smoked Sugar from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, KY represents the union of flavors that result when Woodford Reserve barrels are combined with raw Demerara sugar. The bourbon-soaked barrel staves are utilized during the smoking process to impart a sweet, caramel flavor and the essence of smoked oak.
  • A small batch of the Master Distiller’s personal selection of Woodford Reserve super-premium bourbon, selected specifically for the $1,000 Mint Julep.

 

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Woodford Reserve Releases 2011 KY Derby Bottle

March 31, 2011, Louisville, KY – Woodford Reserve, the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby® is honoring the country’s favorite horse race with the release of the 2011 Kentucky Derby commemorative bottle. The limited-edition bottle features the artwork of award-winning artist and Virginia native Brett Amory.

Amory showcases two horses racing in those final moments towards the finish line with the only splash of color on the bottle. One can feel the intensity of the race shown by the two horses digging into the ground while dirt is tossed up in the air. The two colored horses along with their jockeys are the main feature on the bottle, standing out against a silhouette of muted browns and grays of the historic spires and fans in the background. The bottle also features Amory’s signature prominently at the bottom of the label as well as a neck-tag bearing information about him.

“The build up to the Derby is unlike any other sporting event,” says Amory.  “Louisville is absolutely transformed, and people from all over the world come to join the excitement.  I wanted to capture on canvas that one key moment they all came to see.”

The limited edition liter-size bottle will be available in early April in 42 US states at a suggested retail price of $42.99.

“The horses–what the Derby is all about–grab you on the bottle,” says Laura Petry, Woodford Reserve brand manager.  “So it is very fitting as a proud supporter of horseracing and the ‘official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby’ for the past 13 years, that Woodford Reserve is honored to be a part of the greatest two minutes in sports that takes our breath away every year.”

In addition to purchasing a true collector’s item, consumers can enter Woodford Reserve’s Kentucky Derby Sweepstakes with a chance to win a VIP trip to the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Consumers can enter by either registering their bottle’s unique number printed on the neck label, or by entering any random five digit code at www.WellCraftedDerby.com. Consumers may also enter by mail.  Upon registering they will be given a randomly-generated post position, from 1-20, for the 2011 Kentucky Derby. If the horse that starts from their assigned post position wins, he/she will be entered in the grand prize trip drawing. Official Rules are available at www.WellCraftedDerby.com.*

* NO PURCHASE NECESSARY – a purchase will not improve your chances of winning. Must be 21 or older to participate. Limit 12 entries per person and email address. Void in CA, VA and where prohibited. Other restrictions may apply.  See Official Rules for details.

Woodford Reserve also sponsors a Grade I race, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, which is run on Derby Day, May 7, 2011, and has become one of thoroughbred racing’s premier turf events.

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Maker’s Mark 2011 Keeneland Bottle Unveiled

click to enlarge image

Maker’s Mark Distillery officials announced today that the 2011 Maker’s Mark Mile commemorative bottle will honor a Kentucky icon – Keeneland Race Course in commemoration of its 75th anniversary.

In addition, sales of the specialty bottle – which go on sale April 8 – will benefit a newly named endowment for the arts honoring retiring University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd, Jr. and his wife, Patsy.

The Lee T. and Patsy Todd, Jr. Development Fund will make it possible for the UK Symphony Orchestra and students from the UK School of Music to take symphony music into public schools and communities throughout the state. This year is the third time that bottle proceeds have helped fund this program.

“Every year, we strive to make this commemorative bottle and its charitable proceeds about the people and entities that have a positive impact on Kentucky,” said Maker’s Mark President and CEO Bill Samuels, Jr. “Lee and Patsy Todd, as well as Keeneland, have made significant contributions to Kentucky and have been such wonderful partners to Maker’s Mark through the years, that it seemed only fitting to honor them in this way.”

The design of the 2011 collectable bottle features Keeneland’s specially designed anniversary logo and notes the 15th anniversary of the distillery’s sponsorship of the Maker’s Mark Mile.  Keeneland Race Course opened on October 15, 1936.

Samuels expects about $200,000 from the sale of more than 18,000 bottles statewide, creating funding for this unique program in excess of $1.2 million.

“We are so honored that Maker’s Mark is paying tribute to our anniversary in this way,” said Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson. “This sponsorship and all of the money it has raised through the years was the brainchild of Bill Samuels and he deserves a tremendous amount of credit for his ability to take a corporate partnership like ours to new heights. He is an innovator and, himself, a Kentucky icon.”

“Art and music are passions for Patsy and me. We are humbled that Maker’s Mark, Bill Samuels and Keeneland would honor us in this way by making us part of this special program and by helping take the transformative power of music to children across our state,” Todd said. “Our School of Music, and this outreach program, are emblematic of what becoming a Top 20 public research institution can mean for Kentucky – conducting research and providing service that changes lives and makes our Commonwealth a better place to live.”

Signing this year’s bottle will be Samuels, Todd and Nicholson along with Rob Samuels, the incoming President of Maker’s Mark and Bill Greely, retired Keeneland President. The signing will take place on Friday, April 15 at 6:30 a.m. trackside at Keeneland.

Stay tuned for more info. In the meantime, check out Maker’s Mark’s Facebook page for more pictures.

Updated Details on the signing:

Friday, April 15, 2011Bottle signing starts at 6:30 a.m.
Bottles go on sale on Friday, April 8, at retail liquor stores across the state. Please contact your local retailer for more specific information; bottles are not sold at Keeneland.
Line may begin at Keeneland at 8:00 p.m. on Thurs., April 14, 2011; location will be designated by Security personnel
Limit 2 bottles per person and only the 2011 commemorative bottle will be signed
There is no line position holding by people who are in line early; anyone cutting in line may be ejected from the property.
No alcohol can be brought in to Keeneland for consumption
No coolers inside the gates
Violation of policies may result in ejection from the property
Must be 21 years or older to participate

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