Review of Bardstown Origin Series Bottled in Bond Bourbon
The Bardstown Origin Series marks the company’s first release of 100% in-house distilled whiskey. For this inaugural release, the company created one rye and two bourbons. Each bourbon has a unique mashbill, with each carrying a 6-year age statement. The brand brought one to market as a bottled in bond bourbon, while the other was proofed down to 96 proof.
The sip opens with soft and gentle baking scents. Light fresh bread combines with gentle wheat and hints of soft cream to kick things off. Inhaling deeper pulls out swirls of light honey and coffee cake. While they mingle well together, the bourbon’s scents are definitely on the lighter side with a large amount of concentration necessary to pull them out. I do wish for a little more presence from the components of the nose, however, it’s an acceptable way to kick things off.
The palate brings about some of those same baking elements found in the nose, but also adds in complimentary flavors to give it more depth. Instantly noticeable are flavors of fresh peach bread, muted cinnamon powder, and light sweet syrup. Touches of vanilla cream and pops of white peppercorn spice along with a subtle light charred oak add further intrigue. The gentleness of the wheated mashbill creates a softer and creamier palate that is simpler yet also still very tasty at the same time.
Much like the rest of the sip, the finish isn’t overly complex, instead being more functional in nature. Fresh wheat bread, lightly charred oak, and a subtle green peppercorn spice pop instantly kicking off the finish. A flash of sweet cream is present and adds balance. As flavors fade, dry bread and subtle simmering spice notes present themselves and grip your taste buds, refusing to let go. They linger for a surprisingly long time, and while not overly potent, provide a nice way to cap off the sip.
The switch from using sourced whiskey to using a 100% in-house product is a monumental achievement for a distillery, but also can be a tricky path to navigate. Often when brands source, they stick with one or two mashbills. When they try to either blend in their own product or make the switch to 100% in-house distilled whiskey, consumers are greeted with a whiskey that doesn’t taste the same as what they’ve come to expect from the brand. Bardstown Bourbon Company was smart in that sense, as no two past releases followed the same mashbill, instead, each one stood alone as a unique offering. That means no consumer expectations have existed for what a Bardstown Bourbon Company whiskey should definitively taste like.
The fact that Bardstown Bourbon Company chose to release two distinct bourbons in their inaugural Origin Series release is intriguing. Their 96 proof bourbon has a high rye mashbill (60% Corn, 36% Rye, 4% Malted Barley) while their bottled in bond bourbon offers a traditional wheated bourbon mashbill. Other well-known brands release ongoing wheated bottled in bond bourbons, such as Bluegrass Distillers and Heaven Hill’s Old Fitzgerald, however, wheated bottled in bond bourbons are still the exception to the norm.
Bardstown Origin Series Bottled in Bond Bourbon delivers a distinctive sip compared to its rye-focused brethren in the Origin Series. It does a nice job of leaning into its wheat component and pulls out sweeter and creamier notes along the way. Its overall sip doesn’t particularly wow in any one area, instead delivering an incredibly easy-to-drink whiskey that’s hard to dislike. That’s okay though, because in the end, Bardstown Origin Series Bottled in Bond does just enough to stand out from the pack.
Bardstown Bourbon Company has never been known to be a value brand. The company has done a good job of creating a more luxury feel both in perception and price of their products. This is the result of the bottle choice they use to package their whiskey, with a simple yet elegant later and gold embossed cork top, to the actual in-person experience they offer when you visit onsite. When it comes to price, they certainly haven’t held back with their Fusion Series being the lowest cost of their offerings starting at $65, which mixes a blend of sourced and in-house distilled whiskey, to their entirely sourced Discovery Series, often costing around $140 dollars. Their finished bourbons cost even more, coming in north of $150. All this to say, buying their whiskeys has never been a low cost endeavor
Classification: Bottled in Bond Bourbon
Company: Bardstown Bourbon Company
Distillery: Bardstown Bourbon Company
Release Date: January 2023
Age: 6 Years
Mashbill: 68% Corn, 20% Wheat, 12% Malted Barley
Color: Light Copper
MSRP: $50 (2023)