“The outpouring of support, care and love for Western Kentuckians is truly unparalleled in the history of Bourbon. We are forever grateful for the generosity of distillers, donors and bidders.”
— Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association


Just the facts, ma’am. File under: Hope for Christmas.

Kentucky Bourbon Benefit Raises Over $3 Million for Tornado Relief, at FredMinnick.com

The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit auction of rare bottles, private barrel selections and more raised over $3 million to help ease suffering and restore hope for residents of Western Kentucky whose communities were ravaged by a tornado outbreak earlier this month.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association partnered with the Bourbon Crusaders charitable organization and Bourbon curator Fred Minnick on the six-day auction. The fundraiser culminated with a live-streamed finale Tuesday night which alone raised $1.77 million.

The total – which is expected to climb – was $3,384,203 as of mid-day Wednesday.

Notes and highlights:

  • Kentucky Bourbon Benefit remains open for cash donations.
  • Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, the state-operated fund, is the recipient of the benefit’s proceeds, and does not assess donor fees.
  • “A total of 5,158 bidders vied for the benefit auction’s 429 lots. Bidders came from at least all 50 states, Washington D.C. and as far away as Puerto Rico and Guam. Kentucky, by far, led the way with nearly 1,000 registered bidders.”
  • “A 19-year-old barrel of Willett sold for $401,001 – which Minnick said was the highest ever paid for a full barrel of bourbon. The Bardstown distillery then donated another barrel which was matched by the second-place bidder for a total of $802,002 raised.”
  • The live auction can be watched at Fred Minnick’s YouTube Channel.

The Bar Belle’s coverage, earlier this week:

The Bar Belle: “How Bourbon Distilleries Unite to Help in Times of Need”