Sunday, August 11, 2019
Bardstown Bourbon Co Fusion Series #1 Review & Tasting Notes
There's a new sheriff in town... well maybe not so new, but it is one of the newer distilleries: Bardstown Bourbon Co. of Bardstown, Kentucky. Bardstown Bourbon Co., or BBC, claims to be "the first Napa Valley-style destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to combine distilling, culinary, and beverage expertise to create a modern, authentic Bourbon experience." BBC offers both their own distillate as well as a Collaborative Distilling Program. According to their website, they produce around 40 different mashbills, and some of their clients include Jefferson's, High West, Belle Meade, Calumet, James E. Pepper, and Cyrus Noble.
One of the house whiskeys they offer is Fusion Series #1. Because BBC has only been around a few years, they had to reach out for help and source a portion of the whiskeys. The blend is comprised of 42% BBC's 2-year, 1-month 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley, 18% was BBC's 2-year, 3-month 68% corn, 20% wheat and 12% malted barley. Both of those are married to an 11-year, 7-month mash of 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery making up the final 40%. That marriage resulted in a 98.9° Bourbon that will set you back about $59.95 and is currently available only available in Kentucky, but the planned distribution includes Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Northern California, and Southern Florida.
I'd like to thank Bardstown Bourbon Co. for sending me a sample of Fusion Series #1 in exchange for a no-holds-barred, honest review. And now, let's get to it.
In my Glencairn glass, Fusion Series #1 appeared as a coppery (almost like a new penny) liquid. It left a thin rim on the wall that produced fat, wavy legs to drop back to the pool of Liquid Sunshine.
Aromas of berry fruits, cinnamon and nuts filled the air. I really didn't need to hold the glass to my face to pick those up, it was that aromatic. The only other note I picked up was oak. When I inhaled through my mouth, flavors of berry and vanilla raced over my tongue.
The mouthfeel was thin and light. At the front of the palate, leather was predominant but there was also a suggestion of cherry. Moving to mid-palate, it was a combination of creamy caramel and nuts. On the back were aggressive rye spice and dry oak.
The finish was very long-lasting and spice-heavy. It just kept building and building with pepper and was fairly complex with how it increased and rolled in my mouth and throat. The 98.9° had my hard palate buzzing pretty well, and that's something usually how a barrel-proof whiskey reacts on me.
Bottle, Bar or Bust: I found the nose enticing and I definitely relished the finish. I'm a big fan of high-rye Bourbons. I know several folks who aren't and prefer the gentle caress of a wheater. This isn't that despite the wheated component. The palate was fairly subtle beyond the dominating leather and rye and I struggled to pick up the other flavors. I've had a few pours of Fusion Series #1 to see how oxidization affected it and the notes never really changed. Fusion Series #1 is good, but it isn't great, and in my opinion, it will appeal to a segment of folks who crave those high-rye mashbills. As such, this is rated a Bar and I suggest you try it before committing to the bottle.