Round these parts, people know their bourbon, but they usually know it only in the form of a cocktail, not a food complement.

And, so says Ouita Michel, the chef-in-residence at Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles, (yeah, the same cool lady who co-owns and runs Holly Hill Inn and three other restaurants) not having food with bourbon means you’re missing out on an additional flavor experience that would heighten your enjoyment of both.
So here’s your chance to learn to do that.
On Saturday, Aug. 10 at the Dryer House, which is on the property of the distillery, Michel will lead a group through a Flavors of Woodford Reserve tasting from 1-4 p.m. The tasting centers on the bourbon “flavor wheel,” which notes its flavor notes.
To that Michel is adding a culinary experience that includes tasting of some 30 different food flavors also reflected in bourbon.
It’ll go like this: Participants will take a sip of the bourbon and then a taste a food or ingredient in hoping of recognizing the flavor parallels. The result is the creation of “flavor memories” that can open up peoples’ palates to more combinations of food and bourbon.
Michel will lead participants in an interactive discussion about what they’re tasting, which makes for a lot of fun when you hear what flavors others notice.
Here’s what participants will taste—with their Woodford, of course.
Plated for each person on a flavor wheel plate:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • orange- segment separate from the rind
  • toasted hazelnut
  • dark chocolate
  • dried cherry
  • spoon of sorghum

For the larger tasting, attendees will go to stations:

  • maple syrup
  • pomegranate molasses
  • lemon syrup made with lemon confit
  • orange juice reduction to syrup
  • honey
  • soy caramel (think Kentuckyaki sauce)


  • cornbread
  • rye cracker
  • Nat’s Beer Bread


  • toasted pecans
  • toasted walnuts
  • roasted peanuts

Fruits Display:

  • fresh cut apples
  • blackberries
  • fresh fig
  • fresh pineapple
  • fresh cantaloupe or honey dew
  • fresh cherries


  • White cheddar Woodford Spread
  • fresh goat cheese
  • aged goat cheese
  • Kenny’s Blue Gouda

Meat and Savories:

  • Benton’s Bacon
  • thin sliced county ham
  • olives
  • sun dried tomato pesto
  • basil pesto


  • white chocolate
  • hazelnut chocolate
  • dark chocolate
  • milk chocolate
  • cocoa nibs

Price for the afternoon is $50 (plus tax) and seating is limited to just 50 people, so act now to get your place. Call 859-879-1953 or email catering@ to hold your spot.
If you’ve never been to Woodford Reserve Distillery, the address is 7855 McCracken Pike, Versailles, KY 40383. Depending on where in Louisville you live, it’s about an hour’s drive.