National Bourbon Day
National Bourbon Day occurs, nay, is celebrated, on June 14th of every year.
| Read Time: 5 minutes
It is truly one of the best drinking holidays in America, especially if you’re visiting Bardstown, Kentucky.
Speaking of Kentucky, hopefully you’ve recovered from your Kentucky Derby drinking (you had a month), because it’s time to rock and roll with the Official Spirit of America, bourbon.
51 percent corn, 100 percent excellent. Not cognac. Not tequila. Not scotch whiskies. Bourbon.
Also, if you're wondering, we prefer to drink our bourbon neat.
Future National Bourbon Days
- Wednesday, June 14th, 2023
- Friday, June 14th, 2024
- Saturday, June 14th, 2025
- Sunday, June 14th, 2026
- Monday, June 14th, 2027
Brands of Bourbon to Drink on June 14th
You can drink any bourbon you like. Here are three decent bourbons with a good price-to-quality ratio.
- Basil Hayden’s
- Elijah Craig
- Maker’s Mark
Bourbon Drinks to Enjoy
To start, you should visit The Slate Restaurant in California for $4 Weller Bourbon all day long on National Bourbon Day. We also recommend visiting the bar nearest you with the best Old Fashioneds.
And, if you’re interested in fun drinks, a Kentucky Mule, a Boulevardier, and a Bourbon Sidecar rock. Maple Bourbon Smash and Goldrush are also good choices.
But isn’t a Manhattan typically made with Rye Whiskey? Sure. But we’re in the camp of enjoying a Bourbon Manhattan for it’s distinctive flavor. Ok, we just like things with a touch more sweetness.
Movies to Watch on National Bourbon Day
- The Angel’s Share (2012)
- Whiskey Galore! (1949)
- Casablanca (1943)
- Straight Up: Kentucky Bourbon (2018)
- Neat: The Story of Bourbon (2018)
Songs to Listen to on National Bourbon Day
- One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (George Thorogood & The Destroyers)
- Whiskey River (Willie Nelson)
- Bourbon Whiskey (William Beckmann)
- Whiskey Man (The Who)
- Lace and Whiskey (Alice Cooper)
- Whiskey’n Mama (ZZ Top)
- Whiskey in the Jar (Thin Lizzy)
- Take Your Whiskey Home (Van Halen)
- Whiskey Sprinkler (The Idle Kind)
- I Drink Alone (George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Places to Visit on National Bourbon Day
Bardstown considers itself the Bourbon Capital of the World. Thus, it makes perfect sense to conduct your National Bourbon Day celebration there. Coincidentally, one of our favorite distillers is in Bardstown, Elijah Craig.
The town puts together a 4 day event schedule - aka throws a 4 day bender - every year to honor the day with the best Kentucky bourbon whiskey being poured from the area’s 11 distilleries. This means live music, dancing, and special, small-batch cups of America’s Native Spirit at your fingertips.
The talk of the town is the Bourbon Capital BBQ Challenge & Distillery Invitational that’s held on Saturday. BBQ Pitmasters elegantly smoking meats to pair with the best new bourbon that local distillers have to offer is our idea of the greatest day ever.
Go get yourself some Bardstown bourbon!
- Bardstown Bourbon Company
- Barton 1792 Distillery
- Elijah Craig
- Heaven Hill Distillery
- Preservation Distillery
- Tom Moore Distillery
- Willett Distillery
The Jack Daniel’s Distillery
The biggest reason to visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee is to find a way to question the master distillers as to why they don’t consider their whiskey to be bourbon.
According to New Riff Distilling, ”For a whiskey to be considered Bourbon, its mash – the mixture of grains from which the product is distilled – must contain at least 51% corn. The rest of the mash is usually filled out with rye or wheat, and malted barley. However, this mash must also be distilled at no higher than 160 proof and put into a barrel at no higher than 125 proof. No additives must be added to the mash as well.
Additionally, the distilled Bourbon must be aged in new charred oak barrels. Though the law doesn’t specify the species of oak, most distilleries use white oak because it is most suited to building a secure, watertight barrel..
It gets even more complicated than this. To be considered “straight Bourbon,” it must be aged for a minimum of two years in new charred oak containers. If it is aged for less than four years, it must have an age statement somewhere on the bottle that tells buyers how long it was aged.”
For real, Jack Daniel’s qualifies as a bourbon. So why do they label themselves only as Tennessee Whiskey? We don’t know. That’s why we are suggesting that you visit the distillery on National Bourbon Day. If you find out, tell us.
Visit a distillery, take a private tour, hop on the bourbon trail, just enjoy yourself. Bourbon County is a short drive from Louisville if you need to fly into town and can’t make the drive. On second thought, don’t drive anywhere after a tumbler or two of single barrel.
Because it’s always a party there. Just check your email for notifications from your favorite airline, maybe they’re running a deal.
Does National Bourbon Day ever fall on Father’s Day?
No, it never falls on Father’s Day. However, if you attend the four days of events in Bardstown, Kentucky, it’s possible you will still be there when Father’s Day occurs on June 16th or 17th.
And what better way to celebrate father’s day than with some smoked meats and the Official Spirit of America? Cask strength, please and thank you.
Kentucky bourbon, Tennessee bourbon, whatever bourbon you prefer, June 14th is your day.
Be Excellent. Join Us.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for craft beer and drink tips.