Last week, on October 14, Yellowstone Select Bourbon from Limestone Branch Distillery kicked off London Cocktail Week in style, with their Bourbon, Steak & Bluegrass Music party. But in addition to being a great party for guests to enjoy, well, bourbon, steak, and bluegrass music, it was also the launch of the London Bourbon Trail: a two month celebration of bourbon running across select London venues. Lasting from October 14 until December 5, the taste of Kentucky allows Londoners to enjoy free drinks, discounts, and masterclasses, and win prizes. And since it’s all been organized by one of the Founding Fathers of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, you know there’s a hefty lick of authenticity and know-how attached to the affair. So what are you waiting for? Grab your passport and go!
Grab my passport?
Oh, I don’t mean your actual passport. As part of the London Bourbon Trail, a London Bourbon Trail passport is available for drinkers to collect stamps from participating venues. Just imagine those sticker books you used to fill (and perhaps still do!) – except you collect the stamps by *checks notes* drinking for free. That’s right, each participating bar will have a free welcome cocktail making use of the Yellowstone Select Bourbon. So you just head in, grab a free drink, and get the passport stamped. Alternatively (or additionally) head to a participating spirits store – where you’ll get a stamp and a 20% discount on a bottle of Yellowstone Select Bourbon. Collect six stamps, from any of the 11 participating venues, and you’ll win a prize.
London Bourbon Trail Participating Venues
Okay, so where are these fabled venues? I hear your cries, avid stamp-collectors and bourbon enthusiasts. The London Bourbon Trail counts seven bars and four fine spirits stores, in their participating locations. Of course, the UK’s first ever whiskey hotel, Blackrock in Hoxton, is one of the bars offering up stamps and a free cocktail. The Lost Society will also be joining in the fun, across their two locations in Battersea and Putney. If you find yourself in Camden, be sure to head to Degusto to grab their stamp and free cocktail, or if you’re in Marylebone drop by The Zetter Townhouse. And in Soho, Block and Chotto Matte are also eagerly awaiting you with stamps at the ready and a free drink.
More the type for drinking at home, or just fancy a bottle for your bar? Collect a stamp, and a 20% discount on bottles of Yellowstone Select Bourbon, at Soho’s fabled spirit purveyors Gerry’s Wines & Spirits and The Vintage House. The Royal Exchange’s Tomoka Fine & Rare, and Islington’s Slim Jim’s Liquor Store, will also be offering up stamps and bottles for those on the trail.
More than just free drinks
There will also be free events at many of the bars taking part, to tempt you along for a second or third visit (or fifth). Chotto Mate, for example, will be hosting an event on October 25 all about barrel aging, with tastings of limited edition and special finish whiskeys. The very next day, on October 26, Lost Society will be hosting a tasting of premium small batch and cask strength whiskeys. Michele Reina, the London Bourbon Trail founder and an ambassador for Yellowstone, will be hosting the event, sharing his expertise with attendees. With these making up just a portion of the events on offer, be sure to keep an eye on the socials of participating bars to find out what else is coming up.
And the prizes?
The first person to complete the London Bourbon Trail and collect six stamps will receive a Yellowstone Whiskey barrel head. Toss that up on the wall and you can tell all your friends about that time you were the fastest bourbon-related-stamp-collector in London. Not the first? You’ll still get prizes! Everyone who collects six stamps wins a Yellowstone t-shirt, baseball cap or hoodie. Additionally, the names of all winners will go into a draw, where one lucky winner will receive a year’s membership to the exclusive Soho Whisky Club. So, drink free cocktails, and potentially get way more whisky down the line. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Head on down to one of the venues on the London Bourbon Trail to collect your map and passport, and get to collecting!