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First-time event in Louisville celebrates bourbon arts

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Louisville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
Bourbon Classic 2013, the new bourbon-themed event based in Louisville and announced last July, has unveiled details of what attendees will experience during the two-day “connoisseur’s weekend.”
The Bourbon Classic will take place at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
(501 West Main St., Louisville) March 22 and 23. The event is designed to attract experts and enthusiasts from across the country in a forum that addresses all aspects of bourbon, from distilling to culinary pairings.
A complete cross-section of professionals in the bourbon industry is expected to attend: bourbon distillers,  legends, writers, chefs, bartenders, expert connoisseurs and casual enthusiasts.
March 22 will focus on entertainment:
* The Bourbon Classic “Cocktail Challenge” featuring contemporary and classic cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prepared by matched teams of chefs and master bartenders.
* An opening after-party where attendees can mix and mingle with the experts.
March 23 will focus on education:
* Welcoming session with Master Distillers.
* The “Bourbon Classic University,” exploring focused learning sessions like “How the Barrel Influences the Bottle: Exploring Maturation and Bourbon Production;” “Crafting the Perfect Cocktails (and Serving them Right);” “Balance and Flavor in Bourbon and Food;” and “Culinary Tips for Bourbon on the Plate.”
* The Bourbon Marketplace offering exhibits and displays featuring bourbon tastings, food tastings, and culinary and bourbon-related products.
* A closing night party featuring music and more.
Some of the bourbon industry’s most well-known brands have signed up as founding sponsors. The Urban Bourbon Trail is the welcoming sponsor of this event, joining distillers, Sullivan’s hospitality center and others.
The Bourbon Classic was co-founded by Tony Butler of FSA Management Group, an established event planning company based in Louisville, and Justin Thompson and Seth Thompson of “The Bourbon Review.”
“We recognized that there was an opportunity to create a Louisville-based event that showcased the breadth and depth of Kentucky’s bourbon heritage,” said Tony Butler, co-founder of the Bourbon Classic. “Louisville is a bourbon and culinary hotspot, with some of the best restaurants in the country. It’s the metropolitan gateway to the ‘Napa Valley’ of bourbon, one of Kentucky’s finest products. This event brings the city and region together to support the industry at large.”
“This is a truly unique experience that brings together the ‘rock stars’ of the culinary, cocktail, and distilling arts, all under one roof” added co-founder Justin Thompson. “It’s a true connoisseur’s weekend.”
Ticket sales for the event are available at www.bourbonclassic.com and at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts (502) 584-7777.
A preliminary schedule of events, special hotel rates and additional details are available at www. bourbonclassic.com.