Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Stout Barrels
Company: Bardstown Bourbon Company
Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed distillery(ies) in Kentucky
Release Date: September 2023
Age: A blend of 6, 7, and 9 year old bourbon
Mashbill: Blend of three mashbills:
-56% 7 Year Kentucky Bourbon: 53% Corn, 26% Rye, 21% Malted Barley
-26% 6 Year Kentucky Bourbon: 53% Corn, 26% Rye, 21% Malted Barley
-18% 9 Year Kentucky Bourbon: 78% Corn, 13% Rye, 9% Malted Barley
Color: Dark Bronze
MSRP: $160 / 750mL (2023)
Chocolate malted barley | Chocolate cream | Charred oak | Chocolate malt balls candy | Light vanilla | Dab of honey | Chocolate heavy
Chocolate mousse | Rye grain | Leather | Charred oak | Vanilla bean | Malted barley | Chocolate stout
Quick bursty of rye spice | Malted barley | Dry oak | Chocolate malt balls | Stout finish shines through and lingers
Combining Kentucky bourbon and a fan favorite Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout barrels results in a whiskey that stout cask finished bourbon lovers will want to seek out.
Bardstown Bourbon Company is no stranger to collaborating with other players in the spirits, wine, and beer categories to come up with creative releases for their Collaborative Series. Collaborating with popular brands such as Foursquare for their rum finish release or Founders Brewing for their KBS Stout Finish release, the company showcases a willingness to bring exciting finishes to the market. For their latest Collaborative Series release, the company partnered with Goose Island Beer Company out of Chicago, Illinois.
According to the company’s press release, “This limited release features a bespoke blend of 6 and 7-year Kentucky bourbon aged an additional 12 months in freshly emptied Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout barrels. These barrels were not rinsed so the stout soaked staves could immediately mingle with the Kentucky bourbon once filled. The finished blend was then married with a beautiful 9-year Kentucky bourbon...” Representing a truly collaborative spirit, the company goes on to state that “The stout barrels were emptied in Chicago in the morning and filled in Bardstown the same afternoon.” The collaboration produced roughly 42,000 bottles.
It should come as no surprise that when you dump bourbon finished stout in the morning, and later that day fill the same barrels with bourbon, the stout will have a heavy influence on the end product. In this case, Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout’s chocolate notes shine bright throughout the sip. Opening with notes of various chocolate concoctions, the bourbon does a nice job of highlighting its barrel finish influence without being too over the top. The aroma transitions nicely into a similar palate that is full of chocolate mousse notes but also adds in more traditional rye grain, leather, and charred oak. The bourbon has a full meta moment, finishing on lingering notes of barrel-aged stout beer that make you think about all the various liquid components these finishing barrels held in order to produce the end result. It should be noted that the higher malted barley content is quite evident throughout the sip and works nicely in conjunction with the stout finish. Overall, this is a nicely produced stout finished bourbon that is easy to sip and that fans of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout or just stout cask finished bourbons in general will want to pick up.