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Kentucky Derby 148 is only 40 days away (Saturday, May 7), and so the time has come to begin planning your Kentucky Derby Festival appearance schedule.

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s James B. Beam Distiller Dinner with Freddie Noe will take place at Levee Bourbon Lounge (3015 River Road) on Wednesday, May 4. Noe is an 8th generation distiller. Starting time for the dinner is 5:30 p.m., meaning that diners will have prime “front row” seats for the Liberty Financial Great Steamboat Race, which begins at 6:00 p.m.

Noe will guide guests through a tasting experience of whiskies made under his watch and share never-before-heard stories of growing up as part of the “First Family of Bourbon.”

Tickets are $125 per adult, limited, non-refundable and for those 21 years or older. Tickets  go on sale March 30 at Eventbrite.

Chef John Varanese, chef and owner of the Levee Bourbon Lounge, has drafted this menu for the dinner.


The menu is served with a tasting flight of Basil Hayden Toast, Legent and Knob Creek Single Barrel Select, plus three specialty cocktails- a welcome cocktail, dinner cocktail and dessert cocktail. The dessert cocktail is made with Jim Beam Bourbon Cream.

Welcome Cocktail and Passed Appetizers

  • Bourbon Cured Salmon Crepe with dried blueberry compote
  • Roasted Peach Bruschetta topped with black walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and fresh basil on a rye crostini
  • Bourbon cherry sorghum glazed pork belly


  • Granny Smith apple salad with dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds and a caramelized onion bourbon vinaigrette
  • Bourbon Barrel Smoked Beef Brisket served atop candied sweet potatoes, braised red cabbage, and finished with rich pan sauce


  • White Chocolate and Bourbon Bread Pudding topped with toasted marshmallow and toffee

Previously at Food & Dining Magazine:

Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s Cask Strength Innovation Dinner is April 28 at Levee Bourbon Lounge

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