The seventh editions of Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s Fusion and Discovery Series have hit the shelves. While the concept behind the two hasn’t changed, this latest pair of releases does appear to mark a new level of complexity and uniqueness, at least in their basic construction. The blending wizards at Bardstown Bourbon Co. have rarely combined more than three whiskeys for either bottling, but this latest run relies on five different component whiskeys including the first use of a house-distilled four-grain recipe in the Fusion bottling and the use of a 100% Canadian corn whisky in the Discovery release, making it the first ever blended whisky in the lineup and the first “international” release to date. Let’s check them out.
Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #7 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – The latest Fusion series continues the recent trend of relying on just 30% sourced Kentucky stocks (this time two different recipes) with the rest being a mix of house-distilled rye bourbons and a small percentage of a new four-grain mashbill. The aroma is bright and sweet with a nice wood-driven spice and notes of toffee pudding, pecan shells, and some orange zest. The palate is lush with a mild warmth. Arboreal honey and butterscotch candies give way to sharper, spicier oak and dried tobacco before coalescing into a soft, but generous, finish of baking spice and subtle fruit cocktail in light syrup. These Fusion releases are hitting their stride. While not quite as good on paper as their Discovery brethren, they’ve become almost more fun to explore. 98.1 proof. A- / $60
Bardstown Bourbon Discovery Series #7 Blended Whiskey – Like the previous Discovery series release, this one includes sourced stocks from all three major bourbon producing states but with the unique addition of Canadian corn whisky, which makes up a healthy 21% of this blend. The nose showcases another rich and soulful aroma for this series with notes of dark, chewy caramel and chocolate-covered citrus juxtaposed with some unique, grassy florals that add brightness and nuance. The palate is beautifully balanced with a silky, brown sugar sweetness and lots of orchard fruit notes: apples, tinned pears, and white peaches among them. A peppery spice arrives mid-palate and lingers into an extremely long finish of cigar wrapper, chocolate biscuits, and lychee. A standout release in an already impressive series. 114.5 proof. A / $130