The Filson Bourbon Academy™ is a brand-neutral program unique to The Filson.  Since its founding in 1884, The Filson has preserved the region’s collective memory, not only in Kentucky but also the Ohio Valley and Upper South.  The Filson continues to collect and tell significant stories of the region through its extensive research collections and educational programs. The Filson’s Bourbon Academy™ mission is centered on education and adding to our already internationally recognized archives and special collections of a product that is synonymous with Kentucky – Bourbon.

The Filson’s Bourbon Academy™ Partners:

Among The Bourbon Academy™ partners are The Bourbon Review, the Kentucky Distiller’s Association (est. 1880), The Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Bourbon Country®, and The Urban Bourbon Trail.

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The Filson’s Bourbon Historian, Michael Veach, has taught brand-neutral Filson Bourbon Academies – a one-day educational history, review of our special collections archives, and tasting – since 2009. The Bourbon Academy™ offers bourbon enthusiasts, historians, distributors, restaurants, hotels and professionals an in-depth educational background of the history and making of Kentucky bourbon along with hands-on opportunities to taste and compare bourbons with experts.

Upcoming Bourbon Academy™ Dates:

  • July 26, 2014 – Lexington, KY - Filson Bourbon Academy II – Individuals That Shaped Bourbon – Belles Cocktail House, Lexington, KYBelles Cocktail House, 156 Market Street, Lexington, KY 40507, $110 person / $125 person after July 1st. 
  • August 14, 2014 – Louisville, KY - Filson’s Bourbon Salon at Oxmoor Farm Part 3 – Bourbon Families,  Oxmoor Farm, 720 Oxmoor Farm Road, Louisville, KY 40222, $50 person.
  • August 23, 2014 – Cincinnati, OH - Bourbon Academy II – Molly Wellman’s The Hearth Room, Cincinnati, OH, The Hearth Room, 127 W. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202, $125 person. 
  • August 30, 2014 – Portland, OR – Premium Bourbon Tasting Reception – Pope House Bourbon Lounge, 2075 NW Glisan St, Portland, OR 97209,  $50 per person.
  • August 31, 2014 – Portland, OR – Filson Bourbon Academy - Paddys Bar & Grill, 65 SW Yamhill Street, Portland, OR 97204, $125 person
  • September 6, 2014, 2014 – Washington, D.C. – Filson Bourbon Academy – Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th St. NW, Washington, D.C.,  $150 per person.
  • September 29, 2014 – Chicago, IL – Filson Bourbon Academy – Columbia Yacht Club, 111 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60601, $125 per person.
  • September 29, 2014 – Chicago, IL – Bourbon Tasting Reception – The Monkeys Paw in Lincoln Park, 2524 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60614,  $50 per person.
  • October 4, 2014 – Aiken, SC – Filson Bourbon Academy – Rose Hill Estate, 221 Greenville St. NW, Aiken, SC, 29801, $125 per person.
  • October 5, 2014 – Columbia, SC – Filson Bourbon Academy - September 5, 2014 at 701 Whaley, Olympia Room, 701 Whaley Street, Columbia, SC 29201, $125 person
  • October 6, 2014 - Columbia, SC – Private Staff Training.
  • October 11, 2014 – St. Louis, MO – The Filson Bourbon Academy – Glen Echo Country Club, 3401 Lucas-Hunt Road, Normandy, MO 63121,  $125 person
  • October 13, 2013 – Prospect, KY – Private Continuing Education & Bourbon Tasting, CMAA Ohio Valley Chapter.
  • October 18, 2014 – Louisville, KY – Filson Bourbon Academy – The Filson Historical Society, 1310 South Third Street, Louisville, KY 40208,  $125 person for non-members; $100 for members.
  • November 3, 2014 – New Orleans, LA, SC – Filson Bourbon Academy – Museum of the American Cocktail, 1504 O.C. Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70113, $125 per person.
  • November 8, 2014 – Chapel Hill, NC – The Filson Bourbon Academy – The Crunkleton, 3401 Lucas-Hunt Road, Normandy, MO 63121,  $125 person.
  • November 15, 2014 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Filson Bourbon Academy – The Ravens Club, 202 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103,  $125 person.

New Podcast – July 10, 2014 –

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“Filson’s Bourbon Salon at Oxmoor Farm: Part 2 – Craft Distilling and Experimental Products” by Michael Veach

This is the second in a series of The Filson’s Bourbon Salon Tastings to take place in the Library of historic Oxmoor Farm.

Moderated by Michael Veach, the focus of discussion is craft distilling and the innovations and experiments they are doing with their distilling to make unique products.

Guests include Stephen Beam from Limestone Branch distillery and Bren Goodin from Boundary Oak distillery.


 

The One-Day Bourbon Academy™:

The one-day Academy is an eight hour class. Participants learn about the heritage of Bourbon Whiskey and have the opportunity to taste several different styles of Bourbon and other American Whiskeys. A typical Academy schedule includes:

  • Session 1: The Origins of Bourbon Whiskey
  • Session 2: Tasting Bourbon
  • Session 3: 19th Century Bourbon
  • Session 4: Tasting Tennessee Whiskey and Rye
  • Lunch Break
  • Session 5: Early 20th Century Bourbon and Prohibition
  • Session 6: Tasting Single Barrel and Small Batch Bourbons
  • Session 7: Post Prohibition to Present
  • Session 8: Blind Tasting and Graduation

Participants completing the one-day course are awarded with a Certification and eligible with a STAR certification to become a “Official Bartender of the Bourbon Trail.” Participants are also presented a Glencairn whiskey tasting glass and a booklet of sources for future study and reference.

The Filson’s Bourbon Barons – Significant Individuals in the Bourbon Industry:

The one-day Academy and The Filson’s Bourbon Barons: “Significant Individuals” can be given together or separately in any order.  Both are six to eight hour classes, including bourbon tastings.  In the “Significant Individuals” class, participants  will look at people and Bourbons that helped shape the Bourbon industry of today.  It will be an in depth look at individual people and the Bourbons they created or are named for them.  A typical schedule includes (all interspersed with bourbon tastings):

  • Session 1: What is Bourbon and how to taste. A look at the definition of Bourbon and a brief look at the history. A look at the six sources of flavor and the tastes found in Bourbon.
  • Session 2: William LaRue Weller and family. A look at this early whiskey merchant and W.L. Weller Bourbon.
  • Session 3: E. H. Taylor, Jr. A look at this important leader in the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 and the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and his Old Taylor Bourbon.
  • Session 4: George Garvin Brown. A look at the creation of Old Forester Bourbon as the first Bourbon sold only by the bottle.
  • Lunch Break
  • Session 5: Isaac Wolfe Bernheim. The history of Bernheim as a whiskey merchant and his contributions to the State of Kentucky and elsewhere. Bernheim wheat whiskey will be tasted with this session.
  • Session 6: James E. Pepper. Distiller and race horse owner, Pepper led the way in many innovations in advertising. James E Pepper bourbon will be tasted.
  • Session 7: Julian P. Van Winkle. This whiskey merchant led the way with many 20th century innovations in the marketing of whiskey. His grandson and his Old Rip van Winkle continues this tradition today.
  • Session 8: Summary of the influence of these individuals and the shaping of the today’s Bourbon image.

Participants completing the each one-day course are awarded with a Certification and eligible with a STAR certification to become a “Official Bartender of the Bourbon Trail.” Participants are also presented a Glencairn whiskey tasting glass and a booklet of sources for future study and reference.

 Saturday July 26th at Belles Cocktail House in Lexington, KY!

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July 26, 2014 – Lexington, KY - Filson Bourbon Academy II – Individuals That Shaped Bourbon – Belles Cocktail House, Lexington, KYBelles Cocktail House, 156 Market Street, Lexington, KY 40507, $110 person / $125 person after July 1st.   This Academy will look at significant people who helped shape the Bourbon industry of today. It will be an in depth look at individual people and the Bourbons they created or are named for them.  The day will include: What is Bourbon and how to taste. A look at the definition of Bourbon and a brief look at the history. A look at William LaRue Weller and family, E. H. Taylor, Jr., George Garvin Brown, Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, James E. Pepper, and Julian P. Van Winkle.

This event will feature The Filson’s Bourbon Historian, Mike Veach, a member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame and author of “Kentucky Bourbon History: An American Heritage” – as well as a selection of some of the finest Kentucky Bourbons – and of course Belles’ famous culinary treats.

Reservations are required. Please call The Filson to make your reservation at (502) 635-5083 or visit us online at filsonhistorical.org/events

The Bourbon Academy™ Faculty:

Academy programs and events are led by Michael Veach, Filson Bourbon Historian. Since 1997, Michael has served on the staff of The Filson as a Special Collections Assistant, later moving to Associate Curator of Special Collections. In the past 20 years he has dedicated his time studying the distilling industry. In 2006 Michael was inducted into the Bourbon Hall of Fame. Michael is the author of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage (2013), which was praised by The Wall Street Journal, Courier-Journal, and other national media. He is currently completing a second book on bourbon tasting with former Courier-Journal columnist Susan Reigler.

The Filson Bourbon Academy™ offers:

  • A One-Day Bourbon Academy™
  • A Half-Day Bourbon Academy™
  • A Rare Bourbon Tasting and Discussion
  • Premium Bourbon Tasting and Discussion
  • Private Corporate Events
  • Private Staff Training for the Food and Beverage & Hospitality Industries
  • Customized Educational and Tasting Lectures for organizations and individuals involved directly or peripherally in the bourbon industry.

The Filson’s Bourbon Academy™ Geographic Scope:

National in scope, The Bourbon Academy™ is available throughout the United States and North America on a first come basis in terms of event scheduling. The Filson Historical Society expects to make the Academy available on an international basis in 2016-17. For more information about The Filson Bourbon Academy™, to schedule or host an event, please contact Michael Veach at (502) 635-5083 9:00am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, or email veach@filsonhistorical.org.

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