A Bourbon Distillery on a Tear Rolls Out Three More Stunners – American Whiskey News

A Bourbon Distillery on a Tear Rolls Out Three More Stunners
“Bardstown is manufacturing hit after hit with every new release.”
— Andrew Whiteley, K&L NorCal Spirits Buyer

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For a few years now, we’ve enjoyed tremendous success with the line-up of highly unique, expertly crafted whiskeys from Bardstown Bourbon Company. Eponymously named for the town at the epicenter of the Kentucky bourbon tradition, this distiller maintains a healthy respect for its roots while also pushing the innovative envelope in its blending practices and collaborative ventures. The second releases of the Discovery and Fusion Series represent some of the most distinctive profiles in their respective classes. The Discovery #1 thrilled us and anyone we turned on to it, and the #2 has seemingly set a new bar for that already impressive collectible bottling. The Fusion Series #2 is just about the greatest sequel you could wish for to follow the Fusion Series #1, which was Whiskey Advocate’s #11 whiskey of 2019. If these two weren’t enough, Bardstown also carries out a truly inspired collaborative program, sourcing barrels from top-notch breweries, distilleries, wineries, and cideries across the U.S. This newest edition features barrels that once aged the world-famous Prisoner red wine, and the result is nothing short of pure hedonism. Those who’ve partaken of the previous Bardstown releases will know what’s on offer here, and those who haven’t should pay serious attention to these stupendous new editions. The quality curve is exponential here, and Bardstown Bourbon Company is a name to follow.

Bardstown Bourbon Company “Fusion Series #2” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)

The new release of Bardstown’s Fusion delivers the goods. While series #1 won big accolades as Whiskey Advocate’s #11 best whiskey of the year in 2019, we expect big things for Series #2. We here we have the same 60% Bardstown whiskey to 40% 12 year old sourced juice (74% corn, 18% rye, 8% malted barley). Bardstown delivers 18% of their wheated bourbon and 42% of their high rye recipe to the blend, but in this series, the BBC whiskies have grown a little older. The rye component is more assertive, yet so is the wheat. It’s a spicy and creamy combination that drinks easy. The edges of series #1 have been rounded off and the whisky feels more complete.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 05, 2020

The Bardstown collaborative approach extends well beyond their unique finished barrels. They involve the entire Bardstown team in the blending process, bringing together their distilling, culinary (they operate an exceptional restaurant) and beverage (and a top notch bar program) teams to make sure they have a blend that truly reflects what they’re trying to accomplish. They’ve succeeded in a big way. The first release of Fusion won major accolades, both from us here at K&L, and folks like the Whisky Advocate – who named it #11 on their top 20 whiskies for 2019. I daresay, that Fusion #2 is a better whiskey. It makes use of 40% 12 year old KY Bourbon and the 60% remainder is a combo of Bardstown’s wheat and high rye distillate. The whisky is very similar to series #1, but the hard edges have been sanded down. It’s more round and supple. The rye component stands out a little more in flavor, but it really maintains the supple creamy wheat texture. It is an impeccable blend of different ages and mashbills in one of the best new bourbons to hit the market in 2020.

Andrew Tobin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 10, 2020

Bardstown’s Fusion Series 1 was one of my favorite bottles of bourbon we carried while it lasted. I went through 2 or 3 of them easily and the rest of the staff in SF was equally fond. When the series 2 came in I eagerly bought a bottle as I wanted to see what their evolution as distillers and blenders was going to be like. A little tight when I first opened it. I let the bottle sit for a few days (yes, whiskey too can benefit from breathing). Upon second approach the bottle was much more aromatic with notes of baking spice, cherry and apricot, roasted almond and hazelnut. This has to be one of the softest palates of any bourbon at nearly 100 proof. The mouth explodes up front with fruit and spice and sits soft and round on the mid palate with the roasted nut, and toffee. The finish is full of burnt caramel, Baker’s chocolate, and tons of wood spice. Very different from the original offering, you can really see what an extra year of maturation does to their own distillate and makes me excited for what they have to come!

Bardstown Bourbon Company “Collaboration Series – The Prisoner” Red Wine Barrel Finished Bourbon (750ml) ($129.99)

The next in line from Bardstown’s epic collaborations is “The Prisoner.” This world-famous Napa Valley red blend meshes perfectly with the 9 year old Tennessee distillate over 18 months of finishing. Bottled at an even 100 proof, it’s everything you love about The Prisoner delivered into whiskey form. It’s rich and complex – a hedonistic combination of blackberries, cherries, honey, vanilla, oak, baking spice, and a touch of grape sweetness.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 05, 2020

Bardstown is manufacturing hit after hit with every new release. The Prisoner Collaboration is sure to be no different. The world famous Prisoner Red Blend is a wine that smacks of sweet red fruits and barrel spice. These things play perfectly with the 9 year old Tennessee mashbill. The whisky shows gobs of black cherries, honey glazed corn, peanut butter nuttiness, tons of vanilla and complex wood. It’s a big, sweet, luxurious bourbon.

Bardstown Bourbon Company “Discovery Series #2” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) ($129.99)

It’s hard to imagine an improvement over Discovery Series #1, but Bardstown has done it. Number two is a blend of whiskies all over 10 years old. The make up is 44% 10 year (75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley), 39% 12 year (74% corn, 18% rye, 8% barley) and 17% 14 year old whiskey (78% corn, 10% rye, 12% barley). The blend here shows more wood and intense rye spice than Series #1. It’s a big whiskey in a big bottle that delivers a big value for the most discerning bourbon drinkers.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 05, 2020

Discovery Series #1 was a huge hit with staff and customers alike. I think batch #2 will shake the bourbon industry. It’s exceptional. Everything in the blend is over 10 years old. The rye in the mashbills really stands out. It’s a large-and-in-charge whiskey that carries a ton of spice. Yet it doesn’t lack for sweetness. It’s full of caramel, maple syrup, and vanilla notes. The oak is very pretty and well integrated. A sweet cherry cola profile fills the middle of the palate. It’s balanced and very sippable at 122.2 proof. A supremely high quality whisky that is worth buying in multiples. You’ll definitely want one or two to drink now and a couple to stash in the collection for later.

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