2020 $1,000 Woodford Reserve Mint Julep Cup Honors First Female Kentucky Derby Rider

The delaying of this year’s Kentucky Derby to September due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was a certainly a bummer for many people. It was also a major fly in the ointment for bourbon brands like Woodford Reserve that spend a lot of time and capital to have a high level of presence at this marquee event. One thing Woodford typically has is its $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program, which it obviously had to reluctantly postpone.

Word is now out about what the brand is doing for the 2020 version of this, and it definitely is a little different this time around. A total of 146 julep cups — celebrating Derby 146 — went on sale on Monday, August 3 at woodfordreservemintjulep.com Cups numbered 1-25 are gold-plated (and sell for $2,500 each) while cups 26-146 are silver-plated (and sell for $1,000).

Woodford Reserve 2020 Mint Julep Cup

Woodford Reserve 2020 $1,000 Mint Julep Cup (image via Brown-Forman)

In years past, anyone who purchased a julep cup could only pick it up on Derby Day at Churchill Downs. Due to the global pandemic, the cups will be sent directly to consumers and Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris will conduct a virtual julep experience on Derby Day in September.

For a neat twist this time around, Woodford paid attention to the fact it’s been 50 years since Jockey Diane Crump became the first female to ride in The Kentucky Derby, and is using the Cup to honor her. To that end the cups “feature etchings of the jockey silks worn in 1970 by Crump, along with the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. They are nestled in a walnut case with a replica of turquoise and white silks that Crump wore that historic day.”

Read More Whiskey News
Whiskey Review: Flaviar Corn Trooper United Craft Bourbon

The cups were designed and handcrafted by From the Vault Jewelers in Louisville, Ky. and the silks for the walnut containers were made by Bourbon Cousins of Cincinnati. Proceeds from the sales will be donated in Crump’s honor to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Crump, by the way, lives in Virginia and remains involved in the horse industry.