From the very beginning, Bardstown Bourbon Company has gone off script compared to the typical modern start-up distillery. Following the vision of their late founder Peter Loftin and his team, Bardstown Bourbon Co. is a lot more than just another company that makes bourbon. Many start-up distilleries take one of two paths as they scale up their operations. Both are short-term solutions during those critical first few years when their whiskey isn’t old enough to sell yet. Some distilleries produce unaged spirits like gin or vodka while others source aged whiskey that they can sell immediately while their own distillate slowly ages. Eventually, their own stocks are old enough to sell and they transition over to their own distillate.
In the case of Bardstown Bourbon Co., they took a diversified approach to their business model with the goal of being much more than a run-of-the-mill distillery. In addition to producing their own distillate, the distillery is also sourcing whiskey from around the US and Canada and contract distilling for dozens of other producers. They also complemented their beautiful distilling facility with a full-service restaurant along with one of the most impressive vintage spirits libraries in the country. In just a few short years, Bardstown Bourbon Company became one of the largest producers of bourbon in the United States and their distillery is a true must-visit location in Kentucky.
Starting in 2019, the BBC Fusion Series was a way for the company to start showcasing their own distillate by blending their own product with well-aged KY sourced bourbon. Over the years, the age of the in-house whiskey in the Fusion Series increased from two to four years old. All the while, they experimented with a variety of mashbills, collaborative products, and a fully sourced Discovery series.
They’ve been busy to say the least.
Bardstown Bourbon Company’s new Origin Series features the first officially bottled whiskies made with 100% in-house BBC distillate. The series features a six year old high-rye bourbon, a six year old Bottled-in-Bond wheated bourbon, and a six year 95/5 rye. As always, the labels provide complete transparency about the source, mashbill and age of each whiskey. How does Bardstown Bourbon Company’s whiskey stand on its own?
Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series Bourbon
A 6 Year old Kentucky straight bourbon from a mashbill of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley.
|Nose||Vanilla wafers, lots of apple notes, clove, hint of mint, caramel, cherry, some orange citrus. Water brings out Necco wafers and a bit of tartness.|
|Taste||Cinnamon, white pepper, burnt sugar, baking spice, more apples, light oak, mixed berry jam. Water brings out more sharp pepper and cinnamon and a deeper brown sugar sweetness.|
|Finish||Herbal, more mint and pepper, honey, cinnamon, grapefruit, dried cherries, apple butter. With water, a bit of earthiness enters the mix and the fruit comes through a bit more.|
|Overall Thoughts||This has a really interesting high-rye bourbon profile. The whiskey has plenty of pep and spice thanks to that 36% rye content but still has notes of fresh cherry, caramel sweetness, orchard fruit, and oak. The big pepper and cinnamon notes remind me of the Fusion series which makes sense since their own distillate was part of that range. I really like the apple notes that are prevalent throughout this pour. It’s a straightforward bourbon that drinks just a bit muted at 96 proof. This is still a solid offering for the price.|
Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series Bottled-In-Bond
A 6 Year old Bottled-in-Bond bourbon from a mashbill of 68% corn, 20% rye, and 12% malted barley.
|Nose||Vanilla, lemon meringue filling, honey, ripe peaches, hint of chocolate, cherry, hint of pencil eraser. With water, a bit of graham cracker and more chocolate/mocha.|
|Taste||Demerara sugar, chocolate orange, there’s almost a wine sweetness here that’s really interesting, a nice bit of oak, hints of allspice and nutmeg, apple, some dried tropical fruits. With water, dried apricot and sultanas.|
|Finish||Cherry pie filling, caramel, more vanilla, hint of lemon-lime citrus. Water brings out a bit of cinnamon spice along with a toffee sweetness.|
|Overall Thoughts||Not to sound like a broken record, but this bottle has me wondering for the 8000th time why there aren’t more wheated bourbons out on the market. The creamy backbone of this whiskey is accentuated by a variety of other tasting notes that come together to form an easily drinkable bourbon at 100 proof. I came back to a half sip left in my glass an hour after finishing this pour and it opened up even more. The longer you sit with this bourbon, the more you’ll get out of it.|
Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series Rye Whiskey
A 6 year old rye whiskey from a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley.
|Nose||Big cherry notes up front, dill, wood char, toffee, greek yogurt, wet forest floor. With water, toffee and a bit floral.|
|Taste||More apples up front, oily, rye spice, pepper, stewed fruits, menthol, a bit of cinnamon, earthy, cherry syrup. This whiskey has a “dirty” taste profile in the best way possible. Water adds croissant and more citrus and syrup notes.|
|Finish||Rye spice leads the charge along with more cherries, juicy fruit gum, vanilla icing, orange, and hints of smoke. With water, a bit of dill returns and pepper spice comes forward more. Water seems to lengthen this finish a lot.|
|Overall Thoughts||This rye whiskey really stood out for me. It had the spice and herbs you’d expect from a 95/5 rye but the type of fruitiness prevalent in this isn't typical of a rye whiskey at all. There's a lot of fresh fruit influence and a "juicy" presence in this whiskey, especially on the palate. The finish is long and lingering and this pour opens up beautifully with water. A fun and unique rye to say the least.|