Updated: Apr 15
Despite being much loved in the U.S., Bourbon is not always appreciated beyond. My overarching goal is to spread awareness, interest, and knowledge about bourbon and other American spirits among buyers, influencers, and general whiskey lovers with an event that would combine my hospitality experience with everything I learned on my trips to Kentucky.
So, two years ago, I founded and launched the London Bourbon Experience. The experience began as part of Cocktails in the City in September, continuing with a calendar of events finishing on 5th December (Repeal Day). The American whiskey category was featured in seven free masterclasses, tastings, and parties throughout, bringing together some of the best whiskey shops and bars London offers.
A pocketable passport-style booklet was produced with all the information on the experience available to carry wherever you go. The passport included a map showing the location of every participating bar and bottle shop. The most recent London Bourbon Experience was run in honour of Yellowstone Select Bourbon's 150th anniversary. Every time you ordered a Yellowstone Select Bourbon cocktail at a participating venue, you would receive a stamp inside your passport, giving 20% off in the bottle shops or a free welcome drink at the next bar on the map. Collect six stamps to win a prize!
The first to complete their passport won a Yellowstone Select Bourbon barrel top from Limestone Branch Distillery. Those who completed passports to follow could choose a prize from a Yellowstone Select Bourbon T-shirt, jumper, or baseball cap.
If that were not enough, we also ran a prize draw for one lucky winner to get a year-long membership to the exclusive Soho Whisky Club. This exclusive prize was thanks to George Michie, one of the hospitality industry's most knowledgeable and generous people I've ever met.
The next London Bourbon Experience will be bigger and better, so watch this space for updates!
London Bourbon Experience passport containing the calendar of events, signature cocktail menus for each bar, and how to redeem free drinks, discounts, and prizes.
The Event Calendar
To celebrate Yellowstone Select Bourbon's 150th anniversary, I asked every bar on the London Bourbon Experience map to create a Yellowstone Select Bourbon cocktail menu of three drinks. One of the venues, Block Soho was attended by Stephen Beam, the 7th generation master distiller from Kentucky. Block Soho hosted London Cocktail Week's official launch party with an exclusive event that included a masterclass led by Stephen Beam, a three-course meal, cigar pairing, and live bluegrass music by The Hackney Hill Pickers definitely a night to remember!
It would have been impossible to acknowledge 150 years in one event, so we held even more throughout the London Bourbon Experience, adding featured whiskeys that were not yet available in the UK. We created a journey into everything there is to know about Bourbon, so we extended our masterclasses and tastings to include the whole Luxco premium portfolio, including whiskeys finished in Cognac, Port, and Cream sherry casks.
Three months of the London Bourbon Experience. Eight unique events. Four sample whiskeys at every event.
8th September at Cocktails In The City - Official launch of the London Bourbon Experience
5th October - Bourbon Mash bills whiskey tastings
14th October with London Cocktail Week at Block Soho - masterclass with Stephen Beam
25th October at Chotto Matte - barrel-aging and special finish whiskeys
26th October at Lost Society - small batch and cask-strength whiskeys
1st December at Black Rock - blend your own whiskey!
2nd of December at Block Soho - National Bartender's Day! 18
The London Bourbon Experience is definitely one of the most rewarding collaborations I have ever done and it would not have been possible without the colleagues and friends I have made in this industry over the years. I'm honored to work with seven of the most incredible cocktail bars and three of the most iconic whiskey shops in London.
Thank you all!
A vibrant, stylish environment with a combination of Japanese and Peruvian culinary traditions, Chotto Matte offers an innovative and sustainable menu that reflects the fusion of tradition and futuristic design.
The perfect place for delicious whiskey, cocktails, and juicy steaks. The largest collection of American whiskey in the UK, with rare bourbons and limited-edition rye whiskeys available by the dram.
A gem of an Italian restaurant serving seasonal ingredients, sourced locally and responsibly, reinterpreted with a modern twist. The bar serves classic cocktails, Italian & international wines, and aperitifs in a warm & lively atmosphere; honestly my favorite Italian restaurant in London.
Dark, intimate, and vibrant, this place is ideal for whiskey enthusiasts as well as cocktail lovers. For four consecutive years in a row, Black Rock London was awarded the title of Best Specialist Bar in the UK by CLASS Magazine.
Despite being dark and sumptuous, Seymour's feels like a notorious ancestor's private residence. When the lights go down, all senses are awakened, and the scents of bespoke cocktails and the sounds of jazz capture all in the parlour of this majestic hold.
As the go-to place for on-trend seasonal cocktails, craft beers, small plates, weekend brunches, and award-winning Sunday roasts, Lost Society Putney takes the cake. Leading design and pitch-perfect service in all areas.
A live music venue supporting local bands and artists every week, and you can also catch international acts. Besides whiskey, there are classic cocktails and craft beers available, as well as carefully selected liquors from all around the world.
One of London's oldest whisky shops established in the 1940s, they stock over 1,300 whiskies, including countless rare and hard-to-find bottlings. They are also famous for having one of the largest ranges of Habanos cigars in central London, as well as cigars from many other fine tobacco-producing countries. Above this timeless shop, you will find the iconic Soho Whisky Club.
Founded in 1985, it has been a mecca for spirit lovers since then. Famous for being something of an Aladdin's Cave of rare, weird, and wonderful examples of the distiller's art in the center of London's famous Soho. Allen and Vince have been sharing their knowledge and passion for all things booze in this shop for nearly 40 years.
Over the past 10 years, it has become one of the main attractions at the Royal Exchange. Visit to meet Jass Patel and Shane Cody to share their passion for luxury spirits. Through this interest, they have connected with distilleries around the world to provide clients with some of the finest expressions to enjoy and collect.
Last but certainly not least, I couldn't be more honored to work with Stephen Beam, master distiller and blender of Limestone Branch Distillery, and one of my biggest mentors and friends: a true living legend.
Would you like more events like this?
The London Bourbon Experience and The Masters of Rye Circle are just a taste of what's to come. Subscribe to hear about free events and tastings or check our events page.