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Bourbon & Beyond: 3 tips for pairing your bourbon to the music

Bourbon expert Chris Blandford is sharing his recs for pairing your bourbon to the music at the Bourbon & Beyond festival.

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Bourbon and live bands go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Photo via Pexels

Heading to Bourbon & Beyond Sept. 14-17? Good choice. Before bourbon sampling (and in between seeing Bruno Mars, The Killers, and 60+ other artists), take tabs on these music-pairing tips from bourbon expert Chris Blandford, who curated an extensive lineup of bourbons for the festival’s Kroger Big Bourbon Bar.

🎸 Match intensity + mood


  • Rock or blues — bold and oaky bourbon
  • Progressive rock (or other intricate, layered genres) — rich, complex bourbon
  • Jazz — smooth and sweet bourbon
  • Acoustic or folk music — simple, no-fuss bourbon

🥃 Consider flavors

Think about the flavor profile and how it complements the music’s emotions. A bourbon with lots of caramel and vanilla notes might pair nicely with mellow tunes, while a spicier bourbon could resonate with energetic tracks.

🎵 Experiment

Try different bourbons with various music genres to find combinations you enjoy. The goal is to create a harmonious balance that enhances both the bourbon-drinking experience and the enjoyment of the music.

See Chris at the Kroger Big Bourbon Bar

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