Review: Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #4 and Discovery Series #4
Bardstown Bourbon Co. continues to hum along with bi-annual releases of its Fusion and Discovery Series lines. If you’re keeping score at home, these appear to be hitting shelves twice a year, in spring/summer and late fall. As always, the Fusion line blends in-house stocks with older, sourced bourbons while the Discovery series is made up of exclusively sourced, older whiskeys. Let’s see how the latest arrivals measure up, shall we?
Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #4 – For the fourth Fusion Series release, the bourbon is naturally getting older, and the blend itself has increased to four different whiskeys. The breakdown is 40% sourced Kentucky Straight Bourbon aged 13 years with a mash bill of 74% corn, 18% wheat, and 8% malted barley; 11% BBCo.’s own very high rye bourbon aged 3 years with a mash bill of 60% corn and 40% rye; 34% BBCo. bourbon aged 4 years with a “medium” rye mash bill of 70% corn, 18% rye, and 12% malted barley, and finally, 15% BBCo. lower-rye bourbon aged 3 years with a recipe of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley. There’s definitely some push-pull on the nose between the older and younger spirit with buttery caramel and seasoned oak notes bumping up against straw, creamed corn, and grassy rye spice. And it almost comes together, but not quite. On the palate, things are fairly classic but somewhat muted. Perhaps a higher proof could have carried this one over the line better. It’s light-bodied with a soft heat and notes of caramel sauce, malt balls, cherry juice, and angel food cake. The finish offers a glimmer of what might have been with a flash of barrel spice and a lingering bit of butterscotch. 94.9 proof. B / $60
Bardstown Bourbon Discovery Series #4 – The latest Discovery release is the oldest to date and is comprised of bourbons sourced exclusively from the Bluegrass State. There’s only a small amount of 10 year old (8%) in this blend, while over half (55%) comes from 13 year old stock, and a healthy 37% is a generous 15 years old. On the nose, that age shows with lots of sweet lumberyard, woodshop, and licorice-tinged, damp basement notes. The wood is a bit overbearing, and even with some airtime it crowds out the subtler baking spice, caramel candy, and chocolate notes. On the palate, things show more balance with a big, initial note of creamy, milk chocolate followed by a healthy red pepper heat and a rollercoaster of cinnamon candies, cherry cordial, brown sugar, and stewed apples. The finish is long with a slow burning blend of peppery spice and cocoa powder. 115 proof. A- / $130 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]