Review: Bardstown Bourbon Origin Series Bourbon, Bottled-in-Bond, and Rye
The wait is finally over.
Fans of Bardstown Bourbon Co. can now partake in whiskey distilled and aged entirely at their state-of-the-art distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. This wasn’t exactly a surprise. BBCo. has been sharing small amounts of its estate-distilled bourbon since 2019 via the recently retired Fusion Series, which saw sourced whiskey married with increasingly larger amounts of BBCo. stock across nine different bottlings. At the end of 2022, Fusion Series said sayonara, and the Origin Series arrived, adding not one, not two, but three new expressions to the BBCo. portfolio. Without further ado, let’s check them out.
Bardstown Bourbon Origin Bourbon – Aged six years and distilled from a mash of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley. That’s a mashbill we haven’t encountered since the earliest Fusion releases (#1 and #4, to be precise). The aroma is soft with buttery notes of peach cobbler and sticky vanilla bean. There’s surprisingly minimal spice given all that rye in the recipe, just a hint of white pepper and some menthol. The palate is light but still expressive with toffee and chewy caramels, cinnamon RedHots, and a bit of tangerine. The finish is serviceable but falls a little flat with those flavors becoming slightly diluted alongside some drying barrel char and oak. 96 proof.
Bardstown Bourbon Origin Bottled-in-Bond – Aged six years and distilled from a mash of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley, a recipe not showcased in Fusion since its infancy (#1 and #2). The corn and wheat are reportedly locally sourced in Kentucky. The nose has an impressive depth to it with notes of leather, dark honey, warm cornbread, and buttery caramels. The palate is considerably bigger than the standard bourbon with rich notes of caramelized sugar, macaroons, and dark cocktail cherry. A bit of barrel char and seasoned oak keep things from skewing too sugary. The finish is well-spiced, simmering at length with fresh cracked pepper and cinnamon. 100 proof.
Bardstown Bourbon Origin Rye – The only whiskey in the lineup we have yet to taste in any form, this rye is an entirely new offering and one of very few rye whiskeys in the BBCo. stable. Aged six years and made from the same 95/5 recipe popularized by MGP, this whiskey has also spent up to 6 months finishing in hybrid American oak and cherry wood barrels, the same barrels used in the recent collaboration with West Virginia Great Barrel Company. The aroma is cool and fresh with notes of wintergreen and cut grass. A unique, slightly smoky oak element, the cherrywood presumably, develops as things open in the glass. The palate is similarly cool and bright with notes of butterscotch pudding, lemon peel, and marshmallow fluff. A warming spice arrives in time and dissolves on the finish with notes of seasoned oak and green butter mints. 96 proof.