Review: Daviess County Bourbon Medium Toasted Barrel Finish

Review: Daviess County Bourbon Medium Toasted Barrel Finish

In 2023, Lux Row’s Daviess County brand launched a new series of whiskeys built around toasted barrel finishing. The first, with a Lightly Toasted Barrel Finish, didn’t make a huge impact on us. But the series trudges forward all the same with, of course, a Medium Toasted Barrel Finish expression.

Like its Lightly Toasted predecessor, Daviess County Medium Toasted features Daviess County Bourbon’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 medium toasted barrel finish gives this limited-edition release its own unique flavor profile, while giving consumers additional options within the Daviess County family.

“We continue 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 medium toasted American oak barrels imparts aromas of roasted nuts, cocoa and hints of oak on the nose, while delivering flavors of caramel with notes of honey, roasted coffee and strong coconut on the palate. This unique flavor profile gives fans of the Daviess County Bourbon brand family more options to choose from and enjoy.”

How does the shift from Light to Medium pan out? Let’s dig in.

Much as I noted in 2023, this whiskey is bold with notes of fresh peanuts, showcasing a chunky peanut butter character that’s impossible to shake. Vanilla and some cinnamon add a tempering effect, but it’s mild, with those peanuts nearly overwhelming things. Time in glass does help to let some racier spice elements percolate up — touches of cayenne — but as with the cinnamon and vanilla notes, it’s restrained.

Admittedly, things are more interesting this time around as the palate takes hold. Peanut-focused, to be sure, with overtones of baked apples, more cinnamon, and a touch of butterscotch. It all remains sweet and peanuty, candylike at times, even a little doughy. This expression finds a bit better balance among all these flavors (and clearly more of an even keel than its predecessor) — there are even some interesting banana notes perking up on the finish — but on the whole it’s still hard to shake that powerful peanut explosion.

Guess we’ll see what happens when the Heavily Toasted Barrel Finish comes around in 2025, eh?

96 proof.

B / $50 / 

Daviess County Bourbon Medium Toasted Barrel Finish




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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