2021 Bourbon Summit

SAVE THE DATE: Aug 23rd!

The American Distilling Institute is proud to announce its first ever Bourbon Summit – a one-day conference dedicated to Bourbon whiskey that will be held on Monday 23rd August 2021.

Open to all, the summit is bringing together a mix of speakers – from bartenders and journalists to distillers and technical professionals – to give a range of technical talks, discussion panels, and thought-provoking tastings.

Bottled-in-Bond (Industry Discussion)

It takes at least four years to make, is the product of one distiller in one distillery during a single season, and is bottled at 100 proof: Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon is one of the gems of industry and it is gaining momentum in the current market.

Our panel of distillers and commentators will discuss what makes Bottled-in-Bond so special, what impact do the rules have on the taste, and why it’s starting to get attention now.

The Finishing Touch – An Exploration of Barrel-finished Bourbons (Tasting)

Attendees will get to explore the world of barrel-finished bourbons in the best way possible – by tasting them. Our expert will guide tasters through a selection of different finishes and discuss how the barrels’ original contents impact upon the resultant whiskies.

Bourbon Beyond – The Future, Trends and Innovation of Bourbon (Industry Discussion)

We all hear about the exciting things going on in rye whisky and American Single Malt, but there is plenty going on in bourbon, too! Our panel of industry experts will discuss recent developments, emerging trends, and take a look at what might be on the horizon for bourbon.

Proof of Entry – The Impact of Barrel Entry Proof (Tasting)

There are a wide range of factors that have an impact on the flavours of a bottle of bourbon, including char levels, mash bill, and maturation conditions, but some people theorise that the most significant impact may be made by the strength of the spirit when it is put in the barrel.

The ADI’s own Eric Zandona – a world-renowned writer, spirits judge, and author of “The Bourbon Bible” – will discuss this theory and allow attendees to make up their own minds by guiding them through a tasting of a selection of bourbons to potentially illustrate the point.

Sourcing of Bourbon (Technical Talk)

The secondary market for bourbon is one of the key components that keeps the industry turning. You may want a product to test the market for your brand early-on, or you might want to source a base for another product such as a ready-to-drink offering or liqueur. Other distillers use sourced whisky to fill a hole in their portfolio or product line-up, whilst others still use it in projects where they want to focus on barrel-finishing.

Whatever the reason, there is a lot of choice out there and this talk will help guide you through some of the do’s and don’ts for sourcing bourbon.

Sour Mash – A technique that won’t leave a bitter taste in your mouth (Technical Talk)

A presentation on the ins and outs of sour mash: how is it done? What difference does it make? What are the challenges and opportunities of using this technique? It’s often referenced on the side of a label, but this session will take a more detailed look at sour mash.

Sustainability in Bourbon

The environmental impact of spirits production is increasingly in the spotlight across the world and there are many aspects – large and small – to be taken into consideration when a distillery, brand, or product wants to become more environmentally friendly.

From raw materials to energy, shipping to recycling – this talk will demonstrate how, with a bit of thought about sustainability, bourbon can be better for the planet and even better for the distillers bottom line, too.