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September 19, 2012

Bar Belle: Heaven isn’t too far away

I’m just warning you that I’m talking about bourbon again this week. September is National Bourbon Heritage Month, so I have free reign to do so. Obama said. This past weekend, I was invited by Four Roses to tag along to the Kentucky Bourbon Festival Gala, a hoity-toity black-tie event where bourbon enthusiasts like myself get to experience heaven. Yeah, I had to dress all fancy and strap on my Spanx (necessary for muffin-top removal). And in my heaven, there will be no such thing as Spanx or cellulite or calories or hangovers or Mitt Romney.

But I did it for the troops, and because I wanted to feel like I fit in with this Bedazzled bunch of bourbon lovers. Seriously, though, this event is like the best Halloween ever. They give you one of those reusable grocery bags when you walk in the door, and for about two hours, you go around to each distillery station and sample their bourbon in a rocks glass you get to keep. Each glass is different, and most stations offer a mixed drink option as well. Maker’s Mark was the highlight this year — they’re on an election kick, so their tall rocks glasses were dipped in red, white and blue wax.

The goal was to get around to each station once, and then go back for seconds (or thirds) when we found our favorites. At one point I was triple fisting while clutching a chocolate bourbon ball while getting a temporary Four Roses tattoo rubbed on my arm. (Ladies, I am available to reenact this upon request.) As time was ticking away, we had to make the decision to dump out that which we could not swallow. I still have trouble sleeping at night due to those harried choices, but it was either drink or be drunk.

The second best glassware went to Four Roses, who had a jagged-edge cut around the bottom their glass. And third place went to 1792, which was the heaviest and thickest by far. I’m not sure if anyone else at the gala was as excited by the glassware as I was (it’s not a trait I’m proud of), so these are just my opinions — there was no official vote, but I can assure you I wasn’t the only one visiting the stations two or three times. The worst glass went to Woodford Reserve, who decided to go the plastic route for the second year in a row (in an effort to go “green,” I heard). Don’t get me wrong, I love their bourbon. But without a cool glass, I had to skip it altogether. (And again, this is only my opinion. I’m a glassoholic … no one else seemed to mind as they bellied up to the bar for samples.)

Unfortunately, when I made it home that night and unpacked my 50-pound bag of glasses, I realized that, much like my liver, there is limited room in my cupboards. I suppose that means I have my Christmas shopping done for the year. Anyone need a cool glass?

Thanks for voting!
So I just found out I won Best Column in this year’s LEO Readers’ Choice awards, as well as third Best Reason to Read a LEO. What-what! I am truly honored, and I promise my mom didn’t stuff the ballots (it was only one ballot per person). I really didn’t do much campaigning except for the occasional promise of free beer. I didn’t have to shake hands with a teetotaler or kiss a single baby. I didn’t have to offer up promises of a bright future filled with economic stability and late-night teabagging. I didn’t have to drag anybody into the Back Door bathroom for a midnight rendezvous this time.

Thank you so much for voting and reading! I’m just another barfly on the sticky tape of life, and it’s an honor to share my stories with anyone who isn’t my therapist. I guess I owe you all drinks now … or at least a quick rendezvous. If you can peel me off the sticky tape, I’m game for whatever — as long as we have a safe word.

Drunk Texts of the Week
• Ive got karaoke in my pants … just put your lips on it and sing
• Im sweating like an amish in best buy!
• Im kind of a whore when I drink a lot
• Germantown is for hipsters, Nulu is for yupsters (yuppie hipsters)

Send your drunk texts to shavens@leoweekly.com. My blog is at barbelle.leoweekly.com. Word.