Black Bourbon Society

Bourbon is part of the culture of America and as such is the country’s native spirit. With this in mind all Americans should be represented in its marketing, although sadly this is not the case. We look at the Black Bourbon Society and how it attempts to correct this disparity.

What Is The Black Bourbon Society?

The Black Bourbon Society is an organization for people who enjoy premium spirits and who are interested in gaining a new appreciation for them.

It is a tiered membership structure which bridges the gap between the spirits industry and African American bourbon fans.

The society is open to everyone and has a free private community on social media. There is also the opportunity to sign up for premium membership.

Not exclusive to Black participants the society welcomes anyone who actively and enthusiastically supports improving diversity and inclusion within the spirits industry.

History Of The BBS

The society was founded in 2016 by Bourbon enthusiast Samara B. Davis to help spread knowledge of this spirit among her circle of friends and bourbon fans.

With a background in experiential marketing and event planning she realized that there was an absence of direct consumer marketing aimed at the African American community in the spirits industry, particularly for the higher end products.

Instead she observed that the industry was saturated with bias and racial stereotypes and there was a distinct lack of diversity in the boardrooms where marketing decisions were made.

Now a certified Executive Bourbon Steward Samara B. Davis says the society was created to allow people to connect and form lasting friendships through their shared love of bourbon.

What Does The Black Bourbon Society Do?


The Black Bourbon Society challenges the traditional approach to direct consumer marketing by organizing events and experiences to engage the African American community.

They advocate for inclusion and diversity through consultation with the spirits industry and speaking engagements.

The significant historical contributions of the Black community to the bourbon industry were being ignored and erased. This left a void that needed to be filled which is where Samara B. Davis came in with the Black Bourbon Society.

The organization allowed bourbon enthusiasts from the Black community to come together to taste, appreciate, celebrate and learn about bourbon.

Samara B. Davis, founder and certified Executive Bourbon Steward also hosts a weekly podcast with her life partner called Bonded in Bourbon.

Together they created Diversity Distilled which is a non profit organization whose purpose is to address the inequities in the spirit industries.

Through this and other collaborations the Black Bourbon society hopes to tackle some of the systemic and historic issues of lack of diversity and inclusion and bring forth change.

Membership Of The Black Bourbon Society

The Black Bourbon Society currently has around 19,000 members as well as ambassadors in many major cities in the US. Premium membership offers many perks and privileges including exclusive access to society events, excursions and bourbon retreats.

Membership also gives 10% off BBS merchandise and advanced ticket sales notice for events. It also allows members to participate in local ambassador and partnered events as well as receiving gifts from brand partners.

Other perks for members include a BBS ‘Black Card’, lapel pin and a branded Glencairn nosing glass. Online access to private barrel picks and the society’s membership page is also included.

The cost of annual premium membership is $125.

There is also the possibility of purchasing a gift membership which offers all the same benefits of the premium membership but for just one year. This costs $135.

Events Organized By The Black Bourbon Society

The Black Bourbon Society’s annual conference is called the Bourbon Boule. It is the kind of event that people are willing to travel long distances to attend featuring bourbon brands, mixologists and bourbon enthusiasts.

The event happens over 3 days, usually Labor Day weekend with around 15 separate events taking place. Many major brands attend the Bourbon Boule including Maker’s Mark, Old Forester and Heaven Hill Distillery.

Tasting events are held regularly for different brands of bourbon. The society also organizes distillery tours for members as well as some fun activities such as blind tastings.

Members can also take part in hands-on drink mixers classes, whiskey brunches and whiskey and cheese pairings.

Ambassadors play an important role in the Black Bourbon Society. They help to engage members via social media, assist with events and host local pop-up events like tastings.

They are also tasked with recruiting new members, promoting BBS events as well as cross promoting local whiskey and liquor events.

In return ambassadors receive discounted registration for BBS excursions, free admission to society events and personal alignment with an industry-leading bourbon brand.

For Martin Luther King day Black Bourbon Society ambassadors hosted local community events in various cities across the US.

Cocktail Making Classes With The Black Bourbon Society

It is possible to book a cocktail making class or an in-home educational whiskey tasting experience with the Black Bourbon Society. This is available as a private, corporate or personal experience.

Every experience is specifically curated to meet the needs of the client. For tastings, 4-5 whiskies are included according to the palate preference of the client.

Each tasting includes an overview of the history of whiskey, the whiskey making process and how to nose and taste whiskey properly.

In the cocktail making classes the BBS create 3-4 different cocktails according to the preferences of the group or individual. For the cocktail making classes a history of cocktail making and its structure is included.

All the tasting experiences are led by Black Bourbon Society founder Samara B. Davis and last for around 90 minutes. Up to 50 guests can participate in these sessions and a custom tasting mat and thank you favor are included in the price.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed our guide to the Black Bourbon Society and that it has given you some insight into the world of bourbon.

Photos in this post were provided by Black Bourbon Society representative, Lindsey Walker.

Share this article:
Previous Post: Pennsylvania Distillers Guild

March 16, 2023 - In Guilds

Next Post: South Carolina Craft Distillers Guild

March 16, 2023 - In Guilds

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.