The Bardstown Bourbon Company is slowly making a name for itself with a range of rare whiskey expressions and unusual collaborations, and its latest release fits right in with that legacy: Bourbon finished in wine barrels from The Prisoner Wine Company’s eponymous red blend. Per the company, it’s a “100-proof, nine-year-old Tennessee bourbon [i.e., sourced stock. -Ed.] that’s aged for 18 months in the same French Oak red wine barrels used to age the Wine Company’s flagship product, The Prisoner.”
Well, let’s try the sucker.
The nose doesn’t immediately connote wine, offering a fairly standard profile of peanut brittle, fresh bread, caramel corn, and a beefy note. Some spice and raspberry is muddled down in the glass, but it’s elusive, hidden well beneath the more traditional grain- and corn-driven notes.
The palate is more evocative. Immediately racy with notes of baking spice, dried berries, and a spray of dusky, almost Eastern spices, there’s a certain sultriness to the whiskey, which fades from exuberant fruit to chocolate sauce over a long, slow burn. The finish is cinnamon-infused Mexican chocolate, with a raisiny, Port-like character underneath.
The whiskey evolves beautifully in the glass, and while the nose never quite develops the way I’d hoped, the palate is quite lovely and worthwhile.