Letter from Our Founder
A letter from our founder, Peggy Noe Stevens
From one Bourbon woman to another,
It was more of a pent-up feeling. Knowing for my entire life that I watched women enjoying bourbon, yet the industry did not recognize this market. As a Master Bourbon Taster it felt awkward to me, conducting tasting programs around the world where women sat in the back of the room and only asked questions afterwards. Working both inside and outside of the industry, a quest began to design the perfect platform to start the conversation with women, not a commercial sales pitch and advance their interest in spirits. And that is exactly what we did. We first reached out to YOU to start the conversation. And, we thank you.
No successful woman does it all on her own, so a tremendous, generous & accomplished pool of Kentucky women gathered together to brainstorm on the question: what do women want when it comes to whiskey education and time with their friends? Over many manhattans and a sincere desire to raise women’s awareness and celebrate their love for our amber elixir, Bourbon Women was born. We wanted to debunk some myths about women and whiskey and relay to the industry that brands did not need to “pinkify” the product for females. We love our brands just the way you are and actually, we now know through Bourbon Women’s research that women go for the stronger, spicier, higher proof and more robust flavors.
Proudly, Bourbon Women was the first female consumer group in the industry and since 2011, serves not only as a networking of women across the nation, but showcases the lifestyle and culture for which we choose. We are not a club; we are a movement. We work hard to help the industry and create a unique environment that is savored by the moments we share together. Mothers, aunts, sisters, nieces and daughters all gather together as individuals, but form a community of like-minded women, something I never saw in my 30 years of whiskey-soaked experiences. Seeing it now, and seeing Bourbon Women spread across the nation, and the globe, has been a great joy to me.
We are more than a demographic. Bourbon Women are confident and sophisticated with a love for adventure. The word “experience” says it all with Bourbon Women because once you truly experience this organization, you know you are part of something special in our industry.
To hear the stories of women in the industry and the brands that support our mission is fun but also so inspiring for those that may not have realized the historic past women have held as leaders and workers in the bourbon industry. It is with admiration and pure enjoyment that I meet our bourbon women across the nation because there is just something beautiful about a woman and her whiskey. By the response of support from the industry today, they think so too! I’m just one woman’s story among this fabulous organization. Let us hear your Bourbon story, I know a few women who will listen!
Peggy Noe Stevens
Founder and Chair Emeritus