Skip to content
Previous Next

Churchill Downs Makes it 'Official' (2005)

March 31, 2005, Louisville, KY — Brown-Forman brands have returned to the starting gates for Kentucky Derby 131. Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Early Times Mint Julep, Finlandia Vodka, Korbel California Champagne, and Fetzer Wines are the “Official” products of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs’ Derby-related events this year.

A title bestowed on only a handful of brands, being an “Official” beverage or drink of the Kentucky Derby is an honor. From black tie dinners to parties at home, these fine brands make Derby celebrations even more special.

Bourbon and the Kentucky Derby go hand in hand and, for the seventh year in a row, Woodford Reserve Bourbon is the “Official Bourbon of the Kentucky Derby.” Continuing its tradition of commemorating the honor with a limited edition bottle, a painting by Louisville artist Shayne Hull graces the 2005 Woodford Reserve Bourbon Derby bottle.

No Derby is complete without an Early Times Mint Julep. For 18 years, Early Times Mint Julep has served as the “Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby™.” It’s always a favorite at the track on Oaks and Derby days and continues to play a significant role in the traditions of Churchill Downs. Well-known equine artist Celeste Susany has painted a scene capturing the Derby horses coming out of the starting gate on their “Gateway to Glory” for the 2005 commemorative bottle.

Finlandia Vodka is making its fifth appearance as the “Official Vodka of the Kentucky Derby” and the “Official Vodka of the Kentucky Derby Festival.” To kick off the Derby festivities, Finlandia Vodka will once again host the “Best Bloody Mary in Louisville” contest as part of the “Taste of the Kentucky Derby Festival.”

The contest will feature Louisville’s finest bartenders and restaurants mixing their best Finlandia Vodka Bloody Mary. It’s becoming a tradition in Louisville, and is quite competitive! -over- For the fourth year, Fetzer Wines has been designated the “Official Wine for the Kentucky Derby.” Whether you’re entertaining at home or at the track, Fetzer Wines pair perfectly with traditional Kentucky fare.

Korbel California Champagne is returning as the “Official Champagne of the Kentucky Derby.” It’s the perfect way to toast a successful bet at the track or an evening of fun at a black-tie event.

Brown-Forman Corporation is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products, including Woodford Reserve, Early Times, Finlandia Vodka, Jack Daniel’s, Canadian Mist, Southern Comfort, Fetzer and Bolla Wines, Korbel California Champagnes, Lenox, Dansk, and Gorham tableware and giftware, and Hartmann Luggage. For more information about Brown-Forman, visit

For more information, contact, Rick Bubenhofer, Brown-Forman, at 502-774-7316.