Kentucky Barbecue Festival: Contributor Panels

Bourbon+ magazine is excited to serve as the exclusive media partner to the Kentucky Barbecue Festival on September 6-8, 2019.

Our editors and writers will also be speaking and leading panels at the festival. Buy your tickets today at


Saturday, September 7  

Bourbon & BBQ11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Repeated on Sunday)

Presenter Steve Coomes, Bourbon+ magazine contributor

In a recent Bourbon+ Magazine, noted food and drinks writer Steve Coomes wrote a 10-page feature about how to best pair Bourbon with barbecue. What he learned surprised him. In this demo, Steve will pair Wilderness Trail Bourbon and rye to various barbecue cuts, while explaining why Bourbon and barbecue are a match made in heaven (in case you needed more proof!) You won’t want to miss this savory adventure.


Bourbon 101 — 2-3 p.m. 

Presenter Susan Reigler, Bourbon+ magazine contributor and Bourbon author

Learn how Bourbon is made, how to taste and a touch of history in this educational seminar. You won’t walk away an expert, but you will be able to hold your own in a Bourbon conversation.


Drinking Straight from the Barrel — 5:30-6:30 p.m. 

Moderated by Kevin Gibson, writer for Bourbon+ magazine, with Wilderness Trail tasting team

When you walk into a liquor store, you’re no doubt seeing the terms, “barrel proof” or “cask strength.” In this informative discussion and tasting, Bourbon+ writers and Wilderness Trail team members elaborate on the virtues of getting bourbon straight from the barrel. After all, you can always add water. But can you get your proof back when it’s bottled at 80 proof?


Sunday, September 8

Bourbon History11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Presenter Carla Carlton, managing editor of Bourbon+ magazine

Did you know presidents have impacted Bourbon? Congress frequently debated it? And that distillers once shipped barrels via flat boat? The history of Bourbon is a fascinating adventure into America.


Let’s Have Rye — 12:45-1:30 p.m.

Presenter Steve Coomes, Bourbon+ magazine contributor and author

You know about Bourbon. Now, learn about rye, a beautiful whiskey that’s growing in popularity across the globe.


A Legend Returns: Jim Rutledge with Fred Minnick — 12:45-1:30 p.m.

After retiring from Four Roses, the iconic master distiller Jim Rutledge, had the itch to get back into Bourbon. In this Q&A, Jim talks about his new plans, his new brand (Cream of Kentucky) and we’ll taste a little of his new whiskey.

Michael Eman
Official Contributor
Kevin Gibson is a free-lance writer who writes for numerous publications, including Bourbon+ magazine, Thrillist, and Alcohol Professor.