If there is anything more Southern than cruising down the river on a steamboat while wearing a big hat and sipping a bourbon, I don’t know what it is. That was the scene yesterday during the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race, won by the Belle of Louisville with Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge aboard for luck.
Rutledge presided over tastings of the Four Roses that was bottled from a barrel selected by a Derby Festival committee (the barrel was there, too). On a day that topped out in the low 90s, bourbon on the rocks went down mighty smooth.
That’s our competition, above: the American Queen, the largest steamboat ever constructed (it had to lower its stacks to pass under the bridges) and the Belle of Cincinnati. Below, the Belle of Louisville’s paddlewheel churns the water.
With the race well in hand, The Belle and the Bourbon Babe set their sights on the Louisville skyline.
Thanks again to Four Roses for the chance to enjoy this most genteel sporting event!