Review: Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #5 and Discovery Series #5
The fall release of Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s Fusion and Discovery Series bourbons has hit the shelves, people. Even though the company provides its own perfectly adequate tasting notes right there on its website, I’ve got my own thoughts on these two. Read on for my unbiased ramblings.
Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #5 – For the fifth Fusion Series release, BBCo. has continued to increase the portion of the blend made in-house under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Steve Nally. It’s a mix of 56% BBCo. bourbon aged 4 years with a mashbill of 70% corn, 18% rye, and 12% malted barley; 14% BBCo. four-grain bourbon aged 3 years with a mashbill of 60% corn, 26% rye, 10% wheat, and 4% malted barley; and 30% sourced Kentucky bourbon aged 11 years with a mashbill of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. As the color suggests, there’s considerable youth here. The aroma is at first cereal-forward, but as things open up, those grains become a little more caramelized and bready, providing a better foundation for lighter, candied notes of lemon zest, cinnamon sugar, and banana Runts. The palate is light with a significant heat, sharp oak tannins, and an odd savory quality akin to cooking broth. Balance is hard to find here, even with the addition of some sweeter notes: banana pudding, cinnamon, and a bit of orange peel. The finish is short and undercooked with soft vanilla notes and some candy corn. Still a work in progress. 95 proof. B / $60 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]
Bardstown Bourbon Discovery Series #5 – The latest Discovery blend features some of the oldest stock to date, but it’s also constructed with some comparatively younger bourbons, like some of the earliest releases. Specifically, it’s a mix of 75% Kentucky bourbon (aged 6, 7, and 13 years) and 25% Tennessee bourbon aged a very healthy 17 years. The nose is brooding with dark spices, aged wood, and a nutty, almost sherried, sweetness. This one needs a little air to come into its own, but once it does, the palate showcases a well-balanced blend of roasted marshmallow, brandied cherry, and baking chocolate, all warmed with cracked red pepper (which tends to dominate in a fresher pour). The mid-palate adds some new leather and toasted sugar to the mix before the generous, gently warming finish arrives with its fading notes of muddled orange and seasoned oak. 104 proof. A- / $130 [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]