All About Malt



Much of the flavor that is produced in Bourbon is sourced from the grains that it’s used for. Read on to learn about Malteurop and how they craft fine malts for use by distilleries.

Malteurop North America’s roots go back to the late nineteenth century with the 1875 construction of the Milwaukee, WI malthouse. Sourcing barley from North American farmer partners, Malteurop has been crafting fine malts for Kentucky distillers for decades. Today, Malteurop has four North American malthouses and partners with a grain elevator in Louisville housing distillers malt for local supply.


Crafting fine malts

Barley is a hearty and ancient grain. The malting process mirrors life in the field: cool spring showers (Steeping), long summer days for growth (Germination), and drying down for harvest (Kilning). Under the maltster’s careful watch barley is transformed into its even more noble form: Malt.

How distillers use malt

Barley malt is the biochemical powerhouse in Bourbon making. It is rich in enzymes that break down starch from corn, rye, and wheat into precious sugars that will be consumed by the yeast and turned into Ethanol. Barley malt also contains amino acids, which are vital for the growth of yeast during fermentation.

Malting plants

Malteurop has 4 North American malting plants in Milwaukee, WI, Great Falls, MT, Winona, MN and Winnipeg, Canada; some of which are strategically located in the heart of barley farm regions. Malts produced are Kilned Carmel Malts, Crystal Malts, Roasted Malts and other Specialty Malts.

Bourbon Capital® Mixed Drink Challenge™

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival held the 2018 Bourbon Capital® Mixed Drink Challenge™ on Tuesday, August 24, 2018. For this annual event, distilleries, bars, and restaurants enter carefully and cleverly crafted cocktails into the competition to see which one will be named the Official Cocktail of that year’s Festival. Spectators get the chance to watch these great mixologists create their cocktails and present them to the judges, and they get the privilege of tasting all the entries.


The theme for this year’s contest aligned with the overall Festival campaign of Scientific Proof. Every team brought their A-game and the crowd was entertained from start to finish.

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

This year’s winning entry was crafted by The Bardstown Bourbon Company and Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar. Their entry, The Modern Prometheus, can be found during the 2018 Kentucky Bourbon Festival, but if you can’t wait to try it, it’s available at the newly opened Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar.


Entries to the Mixed Drink Challenge are below, and make sure you check out the video to see some of the action.

The winning team pulled out all the stops when creating the Official Cocktail for the 2018 Kentucky Bourbon Festival….

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

Cocktail Name: The Modern Prometheus

Submitted by: The Bardstown Bourbon Company and Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar

Glassware Used: Single Rocks Glass


1.5oz Calumet 10 yr

.5 oz Pierre Ferrand cognac reserve

1/4 oz Meletti

1/4 oz apple infused amaro

3 dashes walnut infused cardamom bitters

Garnish: single ice cube containing apple slices


Pour ingredients into Yarai, stir on the rocks, strain into single rocks, and garnish.

The Time Machine–submitted by Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon & Bluegrass Hospitality Group.

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

Cocktail Name: The Time Machine

Submitted by: Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon & Bluegrass Hospitality Group

Glassware Used: Coupe


2oz Blanton’s

0.5oz Fall Simple Syrup

0.5oz Lemon Juice

Cabernet Sauvignon to Float

Top with handcrafted cocktail foam

Garnish with atomizer of fall simple syrup and dried apple slices.

Fall Simple Syrup: 2 cups sugar, 2 cups water, 6 cinnamon sticks cracked, 0.5oz all spice berries cracked, 2 red delicious apples (peels only)

Handcrafted Cocktail Foam: egg whites, fall simple syrup, lemon juice, water


Add Blanton’s, Fall Simple Syrup, and Lemon Juice into shaker with ice.

Shake and double strain into Coupe glass.

With bar spoon, float Cabernet Sauvignon.

Top with handcrafted cocktail foam from canister.

Spritz with fall syrup and garnish with a dried apple slice.

The Britt–crafted by Willett Distillery.

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

Cocktail Name: The Britt

Submitted By: Willett Distillery

Glassware Used: Coupe Glass


1.5 oz Willett Family Estate 4 yr Rye

1.5 oz house made marasca syrup

2 dashes barrel-aged orange bitters

Champagne float


Mix Willett Family Estate Rye, syrup and bitters together over ice.  Strain into a coupe glass and top with a champagne float.

Check out the next photo to see this entry change colors!

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

Cocktail Name: Bond’s Set (@ “38° 18’N/85° 45’W”)

Submitted By: Heaven Hill Brands

Glassware Used: Beaker


1.5 oz Evan Williams BIB Bourbon

.5 oz Pama

3/4 oz Lavender simple syrup

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz ky rockmelon puree

Butterfly pea flower


Butterfly pea flower ice cubes and water should be made day prior to serving, so that water has time to achieve desired color and temperature and ice has time to freeze.

Combine lemon juice, rockmelon puree, lavender simple syrup, PAMA, and Evan Williams BIB in a shaker tin. Fill 3/4 of way with ice. Shake and double strain into whichever tin of the shaker is empty. Discard shaken ice.

In glass, add regular ice 3/4 of way up. Pour about half of the cocktail over ice.

With a hand grinder, crush the butterfly pea flower ice cubes into pebbles. Scoop the pebbles and create a mound of ice atop the regular ice to create a dome. Fasten the edible flower to the side of the glass with a clip. Strain remaining cocktail along the edge of the glass so as to not melt the pebbled ice too quickly. Pack any additional blue ice needed to maintain shape.

The Element of 1920, submitted by The Rickhouse Restaurant and Lounge.

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

Cocktail Name: The Element of 1920

Submitted By: The Rickhouse

Glassware Used: Beaker


2 oz Old Forester 1920

.5 oz Cointreau

.5 oz Apricot Preserves

2 dashes Bitterman’s Tiki Bitters

3 oz Orgeat

2 oz sweet and sour mix

Dehydrated apricots for garnish


Add bourbon, Cointreau, preserves and bitters to clean shaker. Add one scoop of ice, shake until frosted. Pour shaker contents into beaker (including ice). Add orgeat and sweet & sour. Garnish with skewered apricots.

"Escape the Elements" with this creation from The Old Talbott Tavern.

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

Cocktail Name: Escape the Elements

Submitted By: Old Talbott Tavern

Glassware Used: Martini Glass


1.5 oz Barton’s 1792

1.5 oz Honey simple syrup

3/4 oz daily’s mango miz

3/4 oz cranberry juice

3/4 oz orange juice


Combine all ingredients in mixer over ice, shake, strain into sugar rimmed martini glass, garnish with orange peel

Noe's Backyard Fashioned–Applewood smoked in a Booker's smoking box.

Posted by Kentucky Bourbon Festival on Friday, August 3, 2018

Cocktail Name: Noe’s Backyard Fashioned

Submitted By: Jim Beam Distillery

Glassware Used:  Rocks Glass


2oz Knob Creek Small Batch

.5 oz simple syrup

4 blackberries

1 dash fee bros. whiskey barrel bitters

Applewood smoke

Garnish: flamed rosemary


Muddle blackberries into simple syrup then add in Knob Creek SB. Stir with ice. Double strain into cocktail glass over ice. Dash bitters. Flame rosemary and garnish. Place cocktails into (Bookers) smoking box and fill with Applewood Smoke.


All Photo and Video is courtesy of Larissa Heck.

Top 10 Things to Do in Bardstown, Kentucky

  1. Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Visit Bardstown during the second week of September to experience the Festival that draws people to our quaint little town in celebration of Bourbon. There’s truly something for everyone at the Festival, and it’s an experience you simply don’t want to miss.


  1. Distillery Tours

Experience the Bourbon Capital of the World® for the very thing it’s known for, Bourbon, and book some distillery tours. Distilleries that are available to tour in Bardstown or surrounding counties include: Barton, Heaven Hill, Willett, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Four Roses Warehouse & Bottling Facility, Limestone Branch, and Lux Row.


  1. Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History

Step into Historic Spalding Hall to peruse the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History. The museum has been newly renovated, and it doesn’t disappoint. A wide range of Bourbon bottles from past and present can be found, and the current exhibit follows the story of Prohibition and houses items donated by the Frazier museum in Louisville.


  1. Main Street/Downtown

You’ll definitely want to check out Bardstown Mainstreet for all your shopping needs. There’s shopping for the whole family. The Bourbon connoisseur of the family will definitely want to shop at the Kentucky Bourbon Marketplace, and of course, the rest of the downtown shops are more than worth checking out, plus they are all locally owned and operated.


  1. My Old Kentucky Home

There’s more to Bardstown than bourbon. My Old Kentucky Home, named for the state song written by Stephen Foster, is a 19th Century, Federal style mansion originally owned by the Rowan family. While there you’ll be able to tour the house and the grounds, and your tour guide performs the song for which the house is named.


  1. Talbott Tavern

The Talbott Tavern is one of the oldest buildings in Bardstown, dating back to 1779. The Tavern has served many purposes over the years, a stagecoach stop used to offer travelers a hospitable place to stay. Today, the Tavern serves as a Bed & Breakfast, restaurant, and Bourbon Bar.


  1. Jailer’s Inn

Located next to the Talbott Tavern, the Jailer’s Inn served as the Old Nelson County Jail from 1797 until 1987. It was the oldest operating jail complex in the state of Kentucky, but today it serves as a Bed & Breakfast. Tours of the jail are offered daily, and there’s a stock and pillory out front that make for a great photo op.


  1. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

The Dinner Train seating fills up quickly because who wouldn’t want to eat a delicious four-course meal while taking in the beautiful scenery of the Central Kentucky countryside. In addition to the normal experience, they are offering a special excursion on select dates that includes a Bourbon tasting hosted by a master distiller and a souvenir rocks glass.  


  1. Around the Town Carriage

Looking for a change of pace? These horse-drawn carriage rides and guided tours offer a unique way to see Historic Bardstown. Around the Town Carriage offers many different carriage styles, and are accommodating to most group sizes.


  1. Museum Row

If you’re interested in the Civil War, Museum Row is the place to go. Here you’ll find the Civil War Museum, Historic Bardstown Village, Museum of MidAmerica, and Women of the Civil War Museum. Together, these Museums are the largest and most complete museums in America that are devoted to the Western Theater of the American Civil War.


Welcome to the Official Kentucky Bourbon Festival® Blog!

Welcome, and thank you for visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Festival blog. Here you’ll find all things bourbon and Festival related. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival began in 1992 as a Bourbon tasting and dinner and has grown into the week-long festival that it is today thanks to the support of our distilleries, sponsors, and many volunteers. There’s something truly irresistible about the community of Bardstown, making it the perfect place for us to host the Festival and for you to spend your week. We are very excited for the Festival this September, and we hope to see you there! Be sure to check back for posts about product launches, Festival updates, news, history, science, and maybe even some messages from Master Distillers.