Bardstown Bourbon Co. embraced the trendy “bottle it yourself” concept back in 2021 with the launch of their Distillery Collection, a series of releases available exclusively at the distillery in Bardstown. Visitors can purchase these bottles in the gift shop or, if they really want a made-for-social-media memory, they can hand-bottle their own from a tourist-friendly barrel (essentially a bottle filler connected to a mounted barrel). We covered the very first Distillery Collection release, Triple Blended Stave Finish, over the summer. The latest offering dropped earlier this year, and it was done in collaboration with Fercullen Irish whiskey, although apparently it’s not also part of the distillery’s Collaboration Series. Or maybe it is. I honestly can’t keep up.
Billed as the first of its kind, Fercullen is a blended whiskey comprised of a majority of well-aged Kentucky and Tennessee-sourced bourbons, staple components in several BBCo. products. The changeup here is a healthy top dressing (20%) of Fercullen single malt from Powerscourt Distillery in Ireland. And we’re not talking young Irish whiskey, which is what you typically see sourced from the Emerald Isle. BBCo. used 21-year-old single malt finished in Marsala wine casks. How does Irish whiskey mix with its bolder American cousins? Is it worth a trip to Kentucky? Let’s find out.
The aroma is gentle for the proof with notes of peanut brittle, toffee, coffee beans, and seasoned oak. An undercurrent of fruit – black cherry and torched orange peel – and a layer of honeyed malt suggest the Irish whiskey at work. It’s an impressive nose with quite a lot of depth to it. The palate sees a bit more of the single malt’s influence with a distinct creaminess that I haven’t encountered in other BBCo. releases. A nice peppery spice on the front of the palate adds warmth to a host of diverse flavors: berry cobbler, peanut butter cookies, milk chocolate, and caramel apple. The finish is lengthy with a hugging heat, vinous notes of mulled wine, and fading chocolate-covered caramels. I have no idea how much of this is left at the distillery, but if you’re within a state or two, I might suggest planning a road trip.
A / $200 / bardstownbourbon.com