Bourbon Community Rallies to Help Kentucky Tornado Victims

"Bourbon lovers everywhere want to help rebuild Western Kentucky with our hands, hearts, and wallets."

The biggest names in Bourbon are teaming up to support recovery and rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the deadly tornados that devastated parts of Western Kentucky last week.

The Kentucky Distillers' Association (KDA), Bourbon curator Fred Minnick, and The Bourbon Crusaders have announced The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit, a fundraising event featuring "elite and immersive items from Kentucky's legendary distillers."

"Kentucky Bourbon is a community that spans throughout the Bluegrass State and from whiskey bars in Sidney to the collectors in Manitoba," Minnick said in a news release. "Bourbon lovers everywhere want to help rebuild Western Kentucky with our hands, hearts, and wallets. Private collectors, Kentucky distillers, out-of-state brands, and celebrities donated rare auction items that will surely break records. The Bourbon community believes in the Commonwealth's bond of Bourbon and knows it can bring us together to rebuild."

An online and live auction will include more than 20 exclusive private barrel experiences, rare and vintage spirits, and unique offerings from Kentucky's distilling and hospitality industries like overnight stays at charming bed and breakfast stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. There will also be a "buy it now" section where people can purchase bottles and other items without "breaking the bank."

The online auction will begin Thursday, December 16 at 5 p.m. EST and run until Tuesday, December 21 at 10 p.m. EST. A live-streamed auction will be held on Tuesday, December 21 starting at 7 p.m. EST at Westport Whiskey & Wine in Louisville.

"Kentuckians are hurting," KDA President Eric Gregory said in a statement. "They've lost their homes, loved ones and their livelihoods. It's our obligation as a signature industry—and duty as fellow Kentuckians—to help each other in times of crisis. There is a real urgency here. These are our friends and neighbors, and they need help now."

All proceeds will go directly to the state's official Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to assist those impacted by the tornados and severe storms.

"After all, Bourbon is America's spirit and Kentucky is its birthplace," Gregory added. "When Kentucky hurts, we hurt, and that's why we're doing this. Thank you to everyone who is helping in the recovery and rebuilding efforts, and please continue praying for our beloved Commonwealth and its people."

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