A Unique Bourbon Experience

Bourbon and the Kentucky Derby are synonymous with the city of Louisville, two industries that have contributed to the history of the city and are part of its enduring culture. Whether you are from our great city or just visiting, your experience isn't complete without taking some knowledge back home. Now guests have an opportunity to learn some bourbon basics or to become a real tasting pro with help from the Museum's Bourbon Authority, Fred Minnick.

In a partnership, exclusive to the Kentucky Derby Museum, Minnick brings his range of knowledge about America's Native Spirit directly to your palate. From novice level tastings to the deeper quest of a bourbon aficionado, we have created events tailored to your individual tastes and a menu of offerings for memorable group events. Public classes will be available throughout the year as special events at the Museum. Each of the experiences below are available as additional entertainment during your private rental event at the Museum. Content for each class is authored and copyrighted to Fred Minnick.

Call Zoie Wilson at (502) 992-5915 to book a bourbon experience for your group.


Fred Minnick has served as a judge, bourbon writer and critic on numerous distinguished spirits panels and contests. Now, he is available to help your guests navigate the intricacies of the bourbon experience by hosting a bar during your cocktail hour. Leading one on one tastings or just chatting about bourbon with those not yet initiated to the brown nectar of Kentucky, Minnick will entertain your guests and send them home with tidbits of information they won't forget. Minnick serves as a great icebreaker for attendees who may not have met and creative conversation starter to get the groups loosened up for the party ahead.

Ask our sales team about adding bourbon ambience to your party with new bourbon-inspired décor found in our bourbon bars, bar stools, barrel tables and more. All now available for your event!

Bourbon Basics:

In this casual class, the crowd will interact with Minnick to break down the rules of bourbon while sampling and learning. What makes bourbon, bourbon? Tasting techniques: how to sample, when to add water/ice? Guests will explore separate categories of based on cost, the only true consumer measurement. Distillers do not always define mashbill, barrels and other identifying information on the label so understanding how to read the bottle along with the proof and what traits each person enjoys individually in their bourbon experience leads to a better shopping experience. We’ll send you home with a list of other bourbons you’ll enjoy at your own liquor store when it comes time to purchase a bottle out of your normal repertoire.

  • Flight #1:
    • Maker's Mark: Wheated Bourbon
    • Four Roses: High Rye Bourbon
    • Woodford Reserve Double-Oaked: New-aged bourbons/bourbons finished in second barrels
  • Flight #2:
    • Buffalo Trace: White Dog (Straight off the still/unaged: Mashbill #1)
    • Buffalo Trace: (Mashbill #1 after aging and mingled)
    • Eagle Rare: 10-year single barrel (Mashbill #1 after it's aged 10 years and bottled as a single barrel)
    • Maker's Mark: Wheated Bourbon
    • Four Roses: High Rye Bourbon

Bourbon Basics