WHO/WHAT: Food, spirit and culture will converge once again for the Second Annual New Orleans Bourbon Festival. Beginning with a Bartenders Bourbon Battle on Wednesday, the festivities include Bourbon Pairing Dinners on Thursday followed by a Bourbon & Burlesque VIP Party, informative seminars with expert panelists and a two-night Grand Tasting on Friday and Saturday. Unique to this year’s festival is an exclusive Executive Bourbon Steward Course with Stave & Thief Society on Monday, March 12th.The spirited theme for the sophomore congregation is “Bourbon Generations” and will feature families from long lines of Master Distillers. A portion of the festival proceeds will benefit Kids Can NOLA – a non-profit organization dedicated to children’s causes throughout New Orleans.
WHEN/WHERE: Bartender’s Battle: Eight bartenders will square off with Jim Beam products in a head-to-head competition hosted by Bobby “G” Gleason on Wednesday, March 7th from 6PM – 10PM at The District located at 711 Tchoupitoulas Street.
Bourbon Pairing Dinners: On Thursday, March 8th diners can enjoy one of the four-course pairing dinners being offered at hot, local restaurants and hosted by the best Master Distillers in the country as part of the Legends of Bourbon Series. Dinners range from $100-$150 per person, all inclusive, and feature bourbon pairings with each course. Following dinner, VIP ticket holders can enjoy the private VIP After Party, Bourbon & Burlesque, at Le Meridien Hotel at 333 Poydras Street.
Bourbon Pairing Dinners follow:
Bulleit & Desi Vega’s Steakhouse
Located at: 628 St Charles Ave.
Bulleit & M Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton
Presented by Linda Ruffenach and The Whisky Chicks
Located at: 921 Canal St
Four Roses & Kenton’s Food & Bourbon
Presented by Brent Elliot
Located at: 5757 Magazine St., Ste A
Heaven Hill & Cavan
Presented by Denny Potter & Bernie Lubbers
Located at: 3607 Magazine St.
Jim Beam & Cochon
Presented by Fred Booker Noe III & Freddie Noe
Located at: Contemporary Arts Center (CAC – 900 Camp St.)
Maker's Mark & Palace Café
Presented by Rob Samuels
Located at: 605 Canal St.
Sazerac & Toups South
Presented by Kris Comstock
Located at: 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Wild Turkey & Calcasieu Ball Room
Presented by Eddie & Bruce Russell
Located at: 930 Tchoupitoulas St.
Grand Tastings: Ticketholders can revel in the expansive Grand Tasting at Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) at 900 Camp Street offered both Friday and Saturday from 7:30PM – 10:30PM including a veritable Bourbon bazaar featuring a plethora of Bourbon-centric goods and souvenirs; tastings from the world’s finest distilleries; a cigar lounge; and tasty bites by New Orleans best local restaurants while enjoying live entertainment by local jazz pianist Matt Lemmler. VIP ticketholders can enjoy early access beginning at 6:30PM, enjoy generous VIP pours with top-shelf distillers, and an exclusive speakeasy lounge.
Live Seminars: On Friday, March 9th and Saturday, March 10th at Le Meridien Hotel over 30 live panel seminars will be offered beginning at 10AM each day. Highlights include Bourbon Basics with the Whisky Chicks; Generations of Jim Beam with Fred Booker Noe III and Freddie Booker Noe; and Generations of Wild Turkey with Eddie and Bruce Russell. In addition, a special Executive Steward Course by Stave & Thief Society will be offered on Monday, March 12th for aficionados that would like to earn a bottling proof certification of their expertise. For the most up to date information and full schedule of seminars, please visit: www.neworleansbourbon2018.sched.com.
TICKETING: Tickets range from $59 – $490 (Ultimate VIP) and can be purchased at Bourbon Festival Tickets. Stay up to date on information and schedule at www.neworleansbourbonfestival.com or download the event app at Bourbon Fest IOS App or Bourbon Fest Android App.
Gita Shonek/Marel Hinners