In a world of “heavy char” bourbon releases, the Lux Row/MGP-owned Daviess County recently hit the ground with the opposite approach, a whiskey finished not just in the now de rigueur toasted barrel but specifically “lightly toasted” ones. It’s the first in a series of toasted barrel releases that will be coming out annually.
Daviess County Lightly Toasted features its namesake brand family’s signature combination of ryed and wheated bourbon mashbills, which is aged four-plus years in charred-oak barrels and comes in at 96 proof (48% abv). The lightly toasted barrel finish is what gives this limited-edition release its own unique flavor profile, while giving consumers additional options within the Daviess County family.
“I’m proud to honor the rich history and tradition started in 1874 by the Daviess County Distilling Co. with this latest expression of our Daviess County Kentucky Straight Bourbon,” said Lux Row Distillers master distiller John Rempe. “Finishing our traditional Daviess County bourbon in lightly toasted American oak barrels imparts aromas of caramel, vanilla and hints of oak on the nose, while delivering flavors of sweet caramel with notes of vanilla and coconut on the palate. This unique flavor profile is certain to become a fast favorite among fans of the brand”
In sampling, a huge peanut shell note hits the nose right out of the gate, offering more PB-on-white-bread nuttiness than I can recall sensing in any other bourbon in recent memory. While some mild corn and lumberyard elements are evident with time in glass, that peanut shell character completely dominates the aroma. There’s even more peanut-driven fun of that to come on the palate, but here it’s complemented by a hefty layer of sweetness — brown sugar, golden syrup, and apple butter, all really heightening the sugary punch and amplifying the peanut elements. Any sense of the barrel is quickly ushered out the door, ultimately leaving the drinker with a full-on mouthful of Skippy to take home.
The whiskey is never unpleasant, but I have to say it’s one of the most one-note experiences I’ve encountered in recent memory (and yet another notch against the goofy “toasted barrel” craze).
B- / $50 / luxrowdistillers.com