The Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s Cask Strength Innovation Dinner with Maker’s Mark will be at Levee Bourbon Lounge (3015 River Road) on Wednesday, April 28. Starting time is 5:30 p.m., meaning that diners will have prime “front row” seats for the Great Steamboat Race, which begins at 6:00 p.m.

Levee’s chef and owner John Varanese’s menu highlights Kentucky cuisine paired with a Maker’s Mark flight and special cocktails.

The event, which is limited to 100 attendees, benefits the non-profit Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Tickets are $135 per person, ages 21+ only, and can be purchased at Eventbrite.

Welcome cocktail and passed small bites:

  • House-cured charcuterie
  • Bleu cheese in puff pastry, apricot mostarda
  • Fried deviled eggs

Maker’s Mark Flight of Innovation

  • Maker’s Mark Cask Strength
  • Maker’s Mark 46 Cask Strength
  • Maker’s Mark 2021 Wood Finishing Series FAE-01
  • Maker’s Mark River House Private Select


  • Butter lettuce, brie, candied pecans, apple, cherries, bourbon-sorghum vinaigrette
  • * Dinner cocktail: “Build Your Own Old Fashioned”
  • Smoked Berkshire pork chop, Nueske’s bacon jam, potato pepper jack gratin, sauteed fiddlehead ferns, morels, charred spring onion

Dessert on Savor balcony overlooking the Ohio River

  • House-made dipped ice cream cones toffee, sea salt ice cream, chocolate ganache, dried banana crumble
  • * Specialty paired dessert bourbon cocktail
Chef John Varanese