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How to Host a Bourbon Tasting Party


Definitely include a few small batch bourbons, like this one from Belle Meade, which is a family-owned distillery in Tennessee.
Definitely include a few small batch bourbons, like this one from Belle Meade, which is a family-owned distillery in Tennessee.
Photo courtesy Belle Meade Bourbon

Let's face it: Bourbon has a bit of a redneck reputation. Otherwise known as American whiskey, it's our only true native spirit -- and it carries with it a lot of stereotypes about the South. So, if you invite people to a bourbon tasting party, they might be excused for envisioning hillbilly moonshiners and ladies in big hats drinking mint juleps at the Kentucky Derby. It's all part of bourbon's charm, but it's pretty off the mark. There's an art to bourbon tasting, believe it or not.

Liquor lovers have been fans of bourbon for years, but the general public just now seems to be catching on. Bourbon has been going through a bit of a renaissance lately, with sales of small-batch and single barrel bourbons exploding. These high-end products have helped bourbon gain respect among the general public, and they're probably what you'll want to focus on for your tasting.

Your party guests might expect to slug their bourbon out of shot glasses or drown it in gallons of Coke, but that's not how your tasting is going to go down. Read on to find out how to host a proper bourbon tasting party.