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Bourbon Community Rallies For Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Benefit

The bourbon community is rallying once again to support the recovery and rebuilding efforts from the deadly flooding in Eastern Kentucky.

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Bourbon Crusaders charitable organization and Bourbon curator Fred Minnick joined forces for the Kentucky Bourbon Benefit, are featuring an online auction of exclusive private barrel selection experiences, rare and vintage spirits, and unique tasting and tourism offerings.

“Kentucky’s Bourbon industry was there for our Western Kentucky families following the tornadoes, making the single largest donation to that relief fund,” said Gov. Andy Beshear in a prepared statement. “And now I am proud to see this industry stepping up once again to support for our Eastern Kentucky families affected by the devastating flooding.”

The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit
The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit (image via Kentucky Distillers’ Association)

A similar auction last December raised nearly $3.4 million to help those affected by tornadoes in  Western Kentucky.

“We prayed that we’d never have to get this group together again in the face of disaster, but our friends, families and neighbors in Eastern Kentucky are braving through unspeakable tragedy and devastation,” said Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association. “It’s our duty as a signature industry to help.”

He said they were impressed and humbled by the outpouring of support for Western Kentucky, and the hope is that bourbon aficionados and bidders show the same generosity for the thousands of Eastern Kentucky residents who need assistance now.

The online auction began yesterday and runs until Sunday, Aug. 21, at 11 p.m. EST.

Click on to view the auction items and to bid. Westport Whiskey & Wine in Louisville is coordinating collection and distribution of donated items.

All proceeds will go directly to the state’s official Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to assist those affected by the flooding.

In this auction, several KDA members are offering private barrel experiences where bourbon enthusiasts can personally taste and select their own one-of-a-kind barrel. Each barrel usually yields 150-200 bottles depending on age and proof.

Whiskey aficionados with the Bourbon Crusaders are going into their personal collections and donating dozens of limited edition and single barrel expressions of bourbon, rye and Scotch. Distillers are also donating rare bottles that disappeared from retailer’s shelves long ago.

Kentucky distillers are sending tanker trucks and totes of fresh water to Eastern Kentucky, along with contributing thousands of dollars to organizations and relief funds involved in the cleanup and recovery.

“We deeply appreciate the support of all our member distilleries and friends with the Bourbon Crusaders, Fred Minnick and the team at Westport Whiskey & Wine for their partnership in helping our fellow Kentuckians,” Gregory said.

For more information or to make a donation, check out

Gary Carter

Gary Carter has been at the helm of metro newspapers, magazines, and television news programs as well as a radio host and marketing manager. He is a writer/editor/photographer/designer by trade, with more than 30 years experience in the publishing and marketing field. Gary enjoys working to build something great, whether that be a novel project, a start-up, an organization, a fresh-face to the journalistic world, or even something as simple as a short story. A native Texan and a Pacific Northwest convert, he is a whiskey enthusiast who cut his teeth on it ... literally!

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