We’re back today with even more Bardstown Bourbon Co.: Two different releases, in fact, from their Collaborative Series. For those who have trouble keeping up with all of the BBCo. releases, the Collaborative Series showcases the distillery’s various finished whiskeys produced in partnership with breweries, wineries, Cognac houses – pretty much anyone who puts a wine, beer, or spirit in a barrel. Let’s dig in!
Bardstown Bourbon Co. Plantation Rum Finish – The first rum finished whiskey from BBCo., this one is a 10-year-old Tennessee bourbon finished for 22 months in rum barrels from Plantation. The aroma is bright and delicate with gentle notes of toffee, roasted nuts, and a sweet citrus element that evokes orange marmalade and a bit of candied pineapple. The palate is similarly light on its feet but with a bit more rum-inspired flavor. A lush crème caramel note at the outset builds with more dark sugar intensity into the mid-palate, accented with banana chips and dried pineapple. As the finish arrives, notes of cinnamon spice and oak shift gears to a drier profile, almost grassy, with fading notes of tropical fruit and black pepper. Rum finishing typically makes for a sweeter, more syrupy whiskey, big on the molasses and brown sugar character, but BBCo. has flipped that script with an offering that’s more remarkable for its restraint and comparative elegance. 104 proof. A / $160
Bardstown Bourbon Co. Château de Laubade II – The sequel to the impressive 2020 Château de Laubade release is a bit more complex in its construction. While the original was a 12-year Indiana bourbon finished for 18 months in the French brandy-maker’s Armagnac casks, this latest offering is a blend of two different bourbons, one sourced from Kentucky and the other from Tennessee. Finishing times were also varied, as half the barrels were aged 24 months on a lower floor and the other half 16 months on the top floor. The aroma is not nearly as bold as the original, and the cocoa, coffee, and plum notes have been supplanted by more baking spice, which takes on a nice pie filling quality with notes of cooked stone fruit. Some pepper, chewy caramel, and peach preserves round out the rest of the bouquet. The palate showcases a gentle heat and rich sweetness with silky notes of peach pie, vanilla custard, and cinnamon sugar. The generous finish turns almost candy sweet with notes of golden raisin, candy apple, and barrel char. Not quite as balanced as the original, but a decadent and enjoyable sipper nevertheless. 107 proof. A- / $160