Bourbon is America’s native spirit. September is Bourbon Heritage Month. Attending the Kentucky Bourbon Festival is high up on my bucket list. Every year, I say next year will be the year I make it happen. I’ve been saying that for several years now. One day, it will happen.
A few years ago, realizing that my trip was still out of reach, I wanted to do something to help celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month. I came up with a 30 Days of Bourbon challenge.
I know what you’re thinking: If you drink Bourbon regularly, how tough could a 30 Days of Bourbon challenge be? The answer is it is harder than you think. It requires planning and a strategy.
The rules are relatively simple. In September, enjoy a pour of 30 different Bourbons. There are no repeats, and they have to be distinctively different. For instance, if a Bourbon is available in both an 80 and 86 proof, that’s not two different Bourbons. However, if there’s a different mash bill under the same label (such as the ten different Four Roses Single Barrel recipes), those would be considered different Bourbons. As enjoyable as Rye, Scotch, Irish and other whiskeys can be, Bourbon is distinctively its own category. As such, anything that isn’t Bourbon doesn’t count.
Planning and strategy are involved because life happens. For example, my wedding anniversary at the end of September, and I know I’ll want to enjoy something special that day. I have to set aside that Bourbon, so I don’t drink it prematurely. I also have a couple of local Bourbon Heritage Month events I’m involved with on the calendar. One of those events will include three Bourbons the same day; another event will include five. That takes at least six Bourbons I’ll enjoy out of the running.
If you don’t have 30 different Bourbons on your shelf, it means you have to plan a few trips to a good bar or maybe even your neighborhood liquor store. A night on the town could present additional hurdles.
Each day of the challenge, I posted a picture of my Bourbon (and possibly a review) on social media, with Instagram being the primary vehicle. I included the hashtags #30DaysofBourbon and #BourbonHeritageMonth. At the end of the month, I had a lot of great memories.
Last year, my fellow Bourbon & Banter contributors joined my challenge. We tagged each other in our photos, and it was great seeing how everyone was celebrating Bourbon Heritage Month. I believe we enjoyed it because we agreed to do it all over again this September.
I’d like to extend an invitation for you to take part and help us spread the Bourbon Gospel this September. Simply use the hashtags #BourbonHeritageMonth, #30DaysofBourbon and tag @BourbonBanter in your posts. Feel free to tag us as well. Will you join us in the challenge?
#30DaysofBourbon Drinking Calendar
To assist you with your #30DaysofBourbon challenge we’ve created a handy tracking calendar that you can download and print out. Simply write down the bourbon each day and then share a photo of your progress on Twitter/Instagram using #30DaysofBourbon and @BourbonBanter. You never know, we might just select a few folks at random for a nice surprise. Download the #30DaysofBourbon Calendar
Known throughout Wisconsin (and now the world) as Whiskeyfellow, Jeff was a late-bloomer to the Wonderful World of Whiskey. At the suggestion of his wife, he started with Scotch and was hooked. He was under the impression that he was happy. A friend asked him several times to try Bourbon, and he eventually gave in, only to fall completely in love with it. Those first steps started him on his #DrinkCurious adventure that led him to #RespectTheBottomShelf. Jeff now relishes many types of whiskeys, ranging from the super-affordable to the super-premium and everything in between. Aside from simply sipping and writing about it, Jeff now enjoys spreading the whiskey gospel by hosting educational tasting events.
Read Jeff's full profile.