Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kentucky Loves Its Horses Too.

For as long as Kentuckians have been making and drinking whiskey they have been breeding and racing horses too. Both industries have fostered unique cultures that often overlap.

One stage on which they have appeared together for more than a century is the historic Seelbach Hilton Hotel, one of Louisville’s two grand hotels.

The Seelbach announced today that it will once again host the annual “Old Friends Along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail” event, a bourbon-tasting and progressive dinner to benefit Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement facility.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 19. Tickets are $100 per person. Event guests who wish to sleep at the Seelbach (recommended) receive a special reduced room rate of $95 per night. The historic Seelbach Hilton (built 1905) is located at 500 South Fourth Street in downtown Louisville.

Old Friends, which has locations in Georgetown, KY and Greenfield Center, NY, provides a dignified retirement to horses whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. The farm is home to such retired champions as Eclipse winner The Wicked North, Breeders’ Cup victor Gulch, and Travers stars Will’s Way and Thunder Rumble.

“This is the perfect Kentucky experience,” said Old Friends president and founder Michael Blowen, “It brings together our signature industries, horses and bourbon, at a world-class venue. We are very grateful to both the Seelbach and the Kentucky Distillers Association for their support.”

The bourbon tasting will be held in the Seelbach’s famous Rathskeller, the only intact Rookwood Pottery room left in the world. Bourbon-inspired appetizers will be served and Kentucky’s celebrated master distillers will pour samples of the finest whiskeys from Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Heaven Hill, Bulleit, Jim Beam, Woodford Reserve, and Wild Turkey.

Dinner will be served in the hotel’s Five Diamond, Triple AAA-Awarded Oakroom, a two-course dinner created by Seelbach Chef de Cuisine Bobby Benjamin.

The first course will feature Greg’s Grateful Greens, Colonel Newsom’s Aged Country Ham, Capriole Farm Pipers Pyramid Goat Cheese, sweet potato, fig vincotto, and bourbon mustard.

The second course is a Wagyu short rib with horseradish potato puree, pickled radish, bourbon glazed farm carrots, and bourbon pecan gastrique.

After dinner, guests will return to the Rathskeller for dessert. Finally, the Old Seelbach Bar will host an after-party featuring the music of Dick Sisto. Sunday brunch will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($29 per person).

For reservations call Melissa Getz at the Seelbach at (502) 585-9292.

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