Inspired by whiskey festivals happening in other cities across the United States, Travis Tucker, owner of bleu Events, wanted to bring a whiskey experience home to Mid-Missouri. The Mid Mo Whiskey Fest offers die-hards and novices the opportunity to expand their palate.

Both national and local distillery owners and master distillers will provide unlimited samples of over 100 types of whiskey, bourbon, and rye. Whiskey Fest takes place Friday, November 15, 2019 at the Atrium. Before attending, take our crash course into the wonderful world of whiskey!

What’s the difference?


Whiskey is made from distilled fermented grain mash. The flavor profiles of whiskey vary based on which grain was used — barley, corn, wheat, or rye – as well as what type of wood cask aged the whiskey.


Bourbon is a truly American spirit and can only be named so if it has been distilled in the United States. It consists of at least 51% corn mash and is aged with no more than 62.5% alcohol in wooden casks.


A rye whiskey must contain at least 51% rye, and it follows the same distilling process as bourbon.

Scotch Whisky

Generally, the “e” in whiskey is dropped when considering another country’s take on the spirit. As its name suggests, scotch is made in Scotland, usually from malted barley.

Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey does still keep the “e” in the spelling and is made from unmalted barley. Irish whiskey is known for its smoothness due to the process of triple distillation.

While purists may argue that whiskey is best enjoyed either neat or on the rocks, whiskey’s ability to leave both spicy or sweet impressions makes it an excellent candidate for a number of cocktails.

The old fashioned is a blend of sweet, citrus notes usually made from bourbon or rye. Bitters and a sugar cube accentuate the whiskey’s spicy yet sweet flavors.

“The Old Fashioned is most commonly made by muddling sugar cubes with bitters, a cherry and an orange wedge or peel. Usually a splash of water or soda water is added along with ice, bourbon (or rye) and a garnish.”

Whiskey sours have been a popular cocktail for hundreds of years due to the even balance between the sour lemon, sweet simple syrup, and strong whiskey.

Fresh made Cocktail (Whiskey Sour) on dark wooden background

The martini’s slightly sweet cousin the manhattan is usually made with rye whiskey, vermouth, and bitters.

Manhattan cocktail garnished with brandied cherry.

Winter weather calls for cozier drinks, two of our favorites being a hot toddy and an irish coffee. Hot toddys can be made with virtually any whiskey, brewed with a combination of teas, honey, sugar, lemon, and cinnamon. If you prefer coffee to tea, an irish coffee is more your speed. It’s made with heavy cream, coffee, irish whiskey, and simple syrup.

Warm Hot Toddy with Lemon Bourbon and Spices

If you’re ready to explore this spirit in depth, get your tickets to Whiskey Fest, this Friday, November 15th.