It’s no secret that New Orleanians are talented drinkers, so when there’s mention of a weekend-long event dedicated to the art, we’re all ears. The New Orleans Bourbon Festival is your go-to event for nearly 90 different bourbons and spirits, as well as numerous local restaurants. Taking place March 24 through 26, 2017, the New Orleans Bourbon Festival will be held at the Marriott New Orleans Convention Center and the Sugar Mill. The Sugar Mill, located in New Orleans’s famous Warehouse District, will stand as the main event venue and will feature two grand tastings from New Orleans’s finest distilleries in an outdoor marketplace with a surplus of bourbon products, New Orleans dishes, and live, classical, and jazz music in a 1920s-style speakeasy setting.
This ultimate bourbon-tasting festival includes a weekend jam-packed with activities including over 22 bourbon seminars, a bourbon cocktail contest, the New Orleans Bourbon awards with an awards brunch on Sunday, and a “Legends in Bourbon” seminar with Fred Booker Noe III of Jim Beam and Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey. Enjoy classic New Orleans cuisine from restaurants such as Drago’s, Morton’s Steakhouse, Salon by Sucré, and Dick & Jenny’s that pairs phenomenally with all your favorite bourbon brands like Jim Beam, Russell’s Reserve, Breckenridge, Woodford Reserve, Sazerac, 1792, Maker’s Mark, Yellowstone, and many more.
The festival kicks off on Friday, March 24 with the bourbon judging at 2 p.m., and the two grand tastings at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The festival headquarters, located at the Marriott Convention Center, will play host to the ever-educational series of bourbon seminars, beginning promptly at 9 a.m. on Friday. This will be guests’ opportunity to relax, network with fellow festers, and learn about bourbon with a range of seminar topics including bourbon history, master distillers, women in bourbon, and food pairings, just to name a few. Finally, the weekend will end on a sweet note with the Bourbon Awards Brunch from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday, March 26.
More than just your ordinary liquor and food sampling, the first annual New Orleans Bourbon Festival’s mission is to provide New Orleans the chance to savor the flavors of exceptional bourbon and fine cuisine while being immersed in the culture and charm that is the Big Easy. To make this festival even better, the New Orleans Bourbon Festival will give back to the community by partnering with St. Michael’s Special School, which has heartfelt meaning to the owners of the festival. It is New Orleans Bourbon Festival’s goal to donate a minimum of 25 percent of the proceeds to the general funding of the school.
Whether you’re from out of town and just visiting for the festival or a New Orleans native wanting to have a fun weekend in the city, the Bourbon Festival has you covered. Book a room at the Marriott or the Renaissance Arts Hotel at special rates just for that weekend. Tickets for the first annual New Orleans Bourbon Festival begin at $40 and range up to $490 depending on which events you want to attend. For additional information and a full list of ticket prices and inclusions, visit neworleansbourbonfestival.com.