A Taste of the Bourbon Classic

Bourbon Classic Taste:  Pappy Van Winkle Tasting with Chef Edward Lee
Tuesday February 17, 2015

This year a new event was added to the Bourbon Classic line up. The Tuesday before the big weekend a small cocktail party was held at Copper and Kings distillery in downtown Louisville. Being a small venue, there weren’t many tickets available and a large portion of the attendees were media and industry people. This gave the event a different feel from the main weekend events. Most of the attendees were “working” (I put that in quotes because it seems wrong to call sipping high end bourbon and eating gourmet food work), so the dress and atmosphere reflected more of a professional attitude than a festive party. Also noticeable was a distinct lack of delicate lady’s clutches and an abundance of bulky camera cases.

The hottest new fashion accessory: bulky camera bags in all styles

Though somewhat mixed, the general look of the evening was “smart casual”. Of course its important to keep in mind that Kentucky is currently under a foot of snow (very unusual for around here) and I suspect many of the women in attendance would have sported skirts and heels had the weather been better. As it was, we saw the majority of women in tights or leggings and boots. We had several casual dresses (sweater dresses in particular were popular). For the most part we didn’t see many casual blue jeans (though there were a few people in very neat, tailored jean slacks) or t-shirts.

Two of my favorite women’s looks of the evening summed up the general fashion of party very well. On the left we have a practical wool skirt, black tights and tall boots — perfect for the weather- paired with a silk blouse and jacket. The colors and textures are spot on for this time of year. She looks warm and sensible but still feminine and stylish. On the right we have a more colorful approach with daring orange slacks and a sleeveless patterned top with a bit of sparkle. I particularly love the snakeskin heels paired with the bright pants. This look says “I don’t care if its snowing- I’m ready for spring.” Both looks were smart and professional.

Two great looks for this event

Most of the men were in jackets of some sort, though there was a mix of suits and sport coats. One of my favorite men’s looks of the evening was worn by an exceptionally well groomed gentleman in sport coat and vest with very dark, tailored jeans. A light pink tie peeping out the top of the vest added the briefest flash of color. His look was perfect for the season- warm and practical for the ongoing snowmageddon but with a cheerful hint of pastel color to celebrate the coming spring. Anyone know who this nicely styled gentleman is?

The definition of Smart Casual.

A number of men were sporting a more professional look in black suits. Truly, you can never go wrong in a suit and tie. When an event doesn’t suggest a specific style of dress I think that the safest choice for any man is a well fitted suit. Perhaps with a fun tie for color. Louisville’s own Mayor Greg Fischer was looking classy in a black suit with a bit of whimsy added by way of a fun orange tie. I’m not sure if this was on purpose, but I couldn’t help but noticing how well the orange of his tie looked with the warm golden browns of the bourbon in his glass.

Mayor Fischer and the BOTB guys looking classy in black suits.

Some gentlemen went for a more contemporary casual look showing that with an event like this the only real requirement is that you have a taste for fine bourbons and good food!

Mathew Landon can pull off anything.

My favorite fashion tip of the evening came from Chef Edward Lee who revealed to me the secret to getting into any top notch party or restaurant — just wear a chef’s coat!

Chef Lee enjoys his job
Chef Lee

A few of my favorite looks


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***I asked most people for permission before taking photos, but if I snapped a photo of you and you don’t want it posted online please just email us at chris@bottomfothebarrelbourbon.com and we’ll take it down! On the other hand, if you see your photo posted and want us to add your name, just let us know!***


About the Writer

Laura Lough

Laura is the number one groupie and technology adviser to Bottom of the Barrel. In other words, she taught the guys how to put hashtags on everything. #yourewelcome When she isn’t drinking bourbon she runs a small business (www.theuniquesheep.com), tends a small flock of sheep and goats and puts out the occasional book. Most of her time at the keyboard is spent editing or copy writing so she loves the opportunity that Bottom of the Barrel gives her to do something a bit more creative. She also happens to be married to Chris. You can contact Laura at Laura@theuniquesheep.com

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