Evan Williams Kentucky Derby Festival bottles

Evan Williams limited edition Kentucky Derby Festival bottle now available!

Evan Williams Kentucky Derby Festival bottles

The bottles are here! | Photo by Sara Havens

Forget the damn groundhog. The first sign of spring in Louisville typically comes courtesy of the Kentucky Derby Festival, and this most recent announcement makes us yearn for warmer weather, flowering dogwoods and all things Derby and bourbon, of course!

The limited-edition Evan Williams Kentucky Derby Festival Single Barrel bottles are launching today — right now, in fact — and you can even swing by the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience from noon-4 p.m. and dip your own bottle and affix the gold Pegasus Pin.

New this year is the color of the wax — a hunter green that replaces the gold wax from years before. This darker color both complements the bourbon and the label and also makes the gold pin pop!

dipping bottles at Evan Williams

Derby Festival Chair Judy Hess and President Matt Gibson watch as Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filiatreau dips a bottle. | Photo by Sara Havens

I swung by the downtown distillery to watch them dip the first few bottles, and it truly is an experience.

There are only 600 of these bottles available to the public, and each one comes with a gold pin that is part of the bottle, and also a Kentucky Derby Festival Pegasus Pin for you to wear.

The bottles retail for $74.99 and are a stout 113 proof — commemorating both the 65th Kentucky Derby Festival and the 48th year of the Pegasus Pin (64+48=113). Look, Ma, I did math!

The bourbon was distilled in 2012, making it 8 years old.

Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filiatreau started the press conference off with a toast (gotta love bourbon press conferences), saying, “Let’s raise a toast to Kentucky’s heritage and usher in the 2020 Kentucky Derby.” He said Evan Williams always is happy to partner with the Kentucky Derby Festival, and he’s looking forward to sharing the bourbon with the public.

Again, today, Wednesday, Feb. 19, you can dip your own bottle from noon-4 p.m. at no cost other than the price of the bottle. And remember, only 600 bottles are available.

More photos on the high-tech dipping experience — and cookies — below.

Today’s Reason To Drink

Did you know Louisville is now home to Paula Deen’s Butter Bridge?

I’m not sure which makes my liver kick worse — St. Patrick’s Parade Day or Derby. But glad both of them only come around once a year.

I see that you’ve survived another fast two minutes in sports, so congrats on that.

I don’t care what R. Kelly says, Derby 2019 proved there definitely is something wrong with a little bump and grind.

Anyway, I promised you news in my next post! I did pass the test to become a Bourbon City Cruisers captain, so watch out! The streets of downtown may never be the same, but that’s what my mom said when I first moved here.

Now, I’m not certain when operations will be up and running, so hang tight. I think sometime around May 20 we’re supposed to take the mayor for a ride, so that should be interesting. I’d guess starting next week they’ll be taking reservations, and you can pick one of three: Sightseeing, Distilleries or Cocktails.


Today’s Reason To Drink

This was 2018.

According to my Fitbit, last year I walked 3,559,472 steps, which translates to 1,504 miles and 520,472 calories burned.

I wonder how many calories from beer I consumed.

And that’s a hell of a lot of steps. What did I do?

Well, I went to Destin and Denver. I drank and bought a lot of bourbon. I spent many hours with friends, and many hours with Netflix. I walked my dog. I bought groceries and improved my landscaping. I painted and helped a friend paint. I explored new neighborhoods. I met new people. I survived the St. Patrick’s Parade and Derby. I sat on a swing and surprised people as they were coming off an elevator on my birthday. I ate ice cream and cheese potatoes. I slept. I fell. I said goodbye to my mother. I cried. I laughed. I learned.

So yeah, that’s what I did. And this year, I hope to do more.

Today’s Reason To Drink


Well, we survived another Derby with our organs semi-intact.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited to have a week with nothing on my agenda. I can actually cut the grass and catch up on Handmaiden’s Tale, although if someone wants to come cut my grass for me, I’ll give them some bourbon.

I’m starting a low-carb situation this week, so I’m guessing I’m going to be grumpy and full of cheese. Although cheese usually makes my happy, the no chocolate thing does not. No fries. No blueberries. No Dundee Dip.

I stepped on the scale this morning and immediately became faint. I’ve never seen that number so high, and I’ve got to fit into a bathing suit later this month. I wish I could wire my jaw shut like that one chick did in one of the early Real Worlds.

I can’t remember if that worked for her or not. Hey, bourbon can be sipped through a straw, right? But cheese cannot, unless it’s that squirt cheese. Yum.

Today’s Reason To Drink

Proof of the escape.

Anyone else in a post-Derby daze?

Where did the last two weeks go? Why am I carrying around an extra 5 pounds of bourbon and beer weight? Why is Facebook making me so fucking depressed?

Derby is an escape, and when it’s over and you have to crawl back into your lame, regimented life, it’s soul-sucking and sad.

It’s back to swiping left on Tinder, back to arguing with lesbian Republicans from Georgia who message you on OKCupid (true story), back to the gym, back to bedtimes, back to mowing the lawn, back to the grind.

I’m hibernating until the beach.