First New Orleans Bourbon Festival to Hit in March

A weekend of festivities is planned for the popular spirit and those who love it

Find your new favorite brown spirit.

New Orleans is a city known for its love of boozy beverages and spirits, though you’ll definitely receive a wide range of opinions when it comes to which is best. However, a new festival is heading to the city that will celebrate one in particular: bourbon. The inaugural New Orleans Bourbon Festival will bring tastings, dinner pairings, live panels, and bourbon-centric shopping to the city from Mar. 24 to 26.

A pre-celebration will kick things off on Thursday, Mar. 23, when five local restaurants join forces with the best master distillers in the country to host exclusive four-course bourbon pairing dinners. The match-ups include Fred Booker Noe III of Jim Beam at The Foundation Room at The House of Blues, Jimmy Russel of Wild Turkey & Russell’s Reserve at The Bourbon House, Trey Zoeller of Jefferson’s Bourbon at Salon by Sucre, a representative of Diageo Brands at Morton’s Steakhouse, and a distiller from Heaven Hill at Kenton’s Food & Bourbon.

The dinners are offered as part of the Legends of Bourbon Series and are each $130 per person, all inclusive.

Grand Tastings will be held on Friday, Mar. 24 and Saturday, Mar. 25 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at The Sugar Mill. Sip on more than 50 of the finest bourbons in the world and indulge in bites by top local restaurants during the two-day affair. You’ll also be able to listen to Matt Lemmler, a well-known local jazz pianist, while eating, sipping, and shopping in the outdoor marketplace.

Live panels will begin on Mar. 25 at 9 a.m. at the Marriott Convention Center with the event’s featured panel being “Women in Bourbon.” Some of the industry’s most respected females will be in attendance, including Carla Carlton, The Bourbon Babe; Susan Reigler, author, professor, and executive bourbon steward; and Peggy Noe Stevens, master taster, author, and brand strategist. Other notable speakers include Trey Zoeller, founder of Jefferson’s Bourbon; Fred Booker Noe III of Jim Beam; and Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey Distillery. For a full list of seminars, please visit the website.

The bourbon-filled weekend will conclude with an awards brunch at the Marriott Convention Center on Sunday, Mar. 26 at 11 a.m. Winners of the bourbon tasting will be announced at this time.


Go online for more information on the New Orleans Bourbon Festival or to purchase tickets.