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Coming out of the turn...Derby-themed bourbon

Woodford Reserve Distillery found an innovative way to leverage its sponsorship of the Kentucky Derby through packaging. The uniquely decorated bottles support the distillery’s Woodford Reserve bourbon whiskey as a super-premium brand that, like the Derby, stands apart from competitors.

Versailles, KY-based Woodford Reserve Distillery packages its Woodford Reserve bourbon in specially shaped, Kentucky Derby-themed glass bottles with clear labels that bear Derby-centric images created by Cincinnati-based artist Pam Folsom. The painted images capture the excitement of one of the nation’s premier horse races.

“We’re proud to have created this special bottle that celebrates everything Derby,” says Nick Nelson, Woodford Reserve brand manager, of the commemorative glass bottles, which were trotted out in April just ahead of the 2007 race.

Folsom’s eye-catching images capture the pageantry of the Derby. The label’s centerpiece image features two chestnut Thoroughbred horses, jockeys mounted, ready for the big race. Looking on is a couple, outfitted in Derby hats and festive attire.

Elsewhere on the label, a silhouette of Churchill Downs’ historic Twin Spires and Grandstand at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY, reflects through the glass to provide the finishing touch.

The pressure-sensitive label, from Chattanooga Labeling Systems (, is silk screen-printed.

The glass bottle, from O-I (, is shaped like a flask, with curved shoulders, square sides, and a broad, flat face. The generous surface and wraparound label provide ample room for the jockeys to “race” around the bottle. The bottle decoration includes a brown textured-looking neckband and attached tag bearing information about the product and artist.

The bottle’s proprietary shape and graphic appeal signal the craftsmanship of the product, says David Scheurich, the distillery’s plant manager.

The 750-mL Kentucky Derby-themed bottles carry a suggested retail price of $42 to $45.

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