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Review: Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #3 and Discovery Series #3

Bardstown Bourbon Co. impressed us back in 2019 with the inaugural releases of its Fusion and Discovery Series whiskeys. As a reminder, the Fusion Series showcases blends of BBCo’s house-made whiskey and an older sourced spirit, while the Discovery Series is merely a blend of entirely sourced whiskeys. We somehow missed the sequel to both lines, but we recently received samples of the latest releases by way of a cool tasting kit that BBCo is pairing with an impressive virtual tour of the distillery. Thoughts follow.

Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #3 – For the third Fusion Series release, the blend and mashbills have remained the same, but the bourbon is, unsurprisingly, creeping up in age. The breakdown is 40% Kentucky Straight Bourbon aged 12 years with a mash bill of 74% corn, 18% wheat, and 8% malted barley; 18% BBCo’s own wheated Kentucky Straight Bourbon aged 3 years with a mash bill of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley, and 42% BBCo high-rye recipe Kentucky Straight Bourbon also aged 3 years with a mash bill of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley. The nose is enjoyable but not as inspiring as its younger sibling with the barrel dominating some of the fruit and baking spice we enjoyed in Series #1. The bit of barrel ash has become more toasted oak now, with an almost cocoa quality to it. On the palate, the wood is starting to show itself a little more, as well, with warm chocolate and barrel char notes finding equal measure to the brown sugar and toffee. The caramel apple note we originally detected has dried out a bit, more baked apples well-spiced with cinnamon. The cherry note still rides well into the generous finish but things are still less fruit-forward, and thus a little less complex, than they began in the first release. 98.9 proof. A- / $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

Bardstown Bourbon Discovery Series #3  – The third edition in the Discovery Series line is somewhat less ambitious than the inaugural release with just three bourbons in the blend (42% 10 year old Kentucky, 32% 13 year old Kentucky, and 45% 13 year old Indiana). All use rye in the mashbill, although the exact proportion ranges from 12% to 21%. The nose on this bourbon is sultry with bold wood notes: incense and old carpets, hazelnuts and dark chocolate. A bit of orange zest adds some welcome brightness to contrast the intensity of the other aromas. On the palate, there’s a nice balance of brighter, sweet citrus, vanilla bean, and savory baking spice. The citrus, juicy and clove-studded character keeps things oily and rich and carries through into the long finish which sees classic toffee and caramel notes kissed with a baked orange note. Even better than the inaugural release. 110 proof. A / $130 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

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Bardstown Bourbon Discovery Series #3

$130
9.5

Rating

9.5/10
Drew Beard

Drew Beard is Assistant Editor and Social Media Manager for Drinkhacker. He has studied and written about beer, whisk(e)y, and other spirits since he first started drinking them, earning several booze-related merit badges along the way, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. In addition to his work with Drinkhacker, Drew is also Spirits Editor for Santé Magazine. A recovering Federal government employee, he is happy to have finally found a career where it is acceptable to drink on the job.

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