Kentucky Derby & Bourbon

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced on Monday that Churchill Downs Racetrack has renewed its relationship Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon.

The agreement ensures that Woodford Reserve will be the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby through 2027.

Woodford Reserve has been the Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby since 1999 and the presenting sponsor for the past four years.

“We are thrilled to welcome back Woodford Reserve as the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby for the next five years,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “Brown-Forman’s brand offerings are the ideal complement to the heritage of this time-honored tradition.”

“We are proud to renew this partnership, as it unites together two of Kentucky’s greatest attractions, bourbon and Thoroughbreds,” said Lawson Whiting, CEO of Brown-Forman Corporation, owner of Woodford Reserve.

Woodford Reserve commemorated the sponsorship extension by laying down oak in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle at Churchill Downs to be used in a barrel for a very rare bourbon that will celebrate the milestone 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2024.

The oak will be seasoned in open air for approximately two months, allowing the wood to mature in preparation for the whiskey.

“We are honored to continue our partnership with Churchill Downs by creating this very special bottle for Derby 150,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller, Chris Morris. “On the first Saturday in May, no matter where in the world we are, we are all Kentuckians with a glass of Woodford Reserve in hand.”

Woodford Reserve will continue to leverage existing partnerships associated with the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs and the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The extended partnership includes two additional brands: Old Forester Bourbon, and Finlandia Vodka.

Old Forester returns as the Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby and a sponsor of Thurby, a beloved day of live racing held on the Thursday of Derby week.

Premium Finlandia celebrates the Kentucky Oaks as a key ingredient for the signature Oaks Lily cocktail.

We at the Daily Racing Blog suspect that there will be bourbon in hand (short glass, ice) on Derby Day (perhaps for the Oaks as well) but not necessarily Woodford Reserve.

What’s your bourbon of choice when you opt for that spirit?

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