If any of you have been following me in the last year or so you know that I have had a lot of great things to say about Bardstown Bourbon Company. They were brought to my attention by Fred Minnick who introduced me to the crew there which included then CEO David Mandel, John Hargrove (current COO), Dan Callaway (Director of Bourbon Education, Vistors’ Experience, and Product Development) as well as Master Distiller Steve Nally. I got to walk the grounds and explore the rick houses and see what a truly innovative operation they have going on down in Bardstown, KY. I was also lucky enough recently to sit down with Nally and discuss some of his career as well as his favorite parts of being in the BBC family. One of those things is the transparency - a feature of Bardstown Bourbon Company that I also hold in high regard. This includes listing their mash bills and ages on the sides of their bottles and everything that goes into their blends including who they’re collaborating with.
Which brings us to today’s pour!
Whether its the blending of sourced whiskies or using their own or, in this case, collaborating on finishing with another distillery, Bardstown Bourbon Company always looks for ways to highlight not only themselves but those they work with. One of those collaborators is Copper & Kings Brandy out of Louisville, KY. These makers of American brandy have collaborated with BBC before on different finishing projects under their “Collaboration” label but now Bardstown Bourbon is putting their own label forward in the newest joint project between the two. This time they’re taking an 11 year sourced bourbon and finishing it in Apple Brandy barrels from C&K for 19 months which is much longer than many finished whiskies on the market today and makes nearly 13 years of combined time spent in wood. So enough of the chatter - what’s it taste like? Let’s find out!
BARDSTOWN BOURBON COMPANY - C&K Apple Brandy Finish Collaboration
- 11 year old MGP bourbon
- Finished 19 months in Copper&Kings Apple Brandy barrels
- 120.4 proof/60.2% ABV
NOSE: Rich cherries and cinnamon, green apples, light baking spices. I know it’s corny as hell and sounds like a marketing line but…it kind of smells like a spicy apple pie. I’m not kidding. Rich and robust and not a ton of burn despite the proof.
PALATE: Candied apples and caramel. Sweetness moves from front to back in dancing waves. A coating mouthfeel that you can really chew. The proof shows more prominently here with a burn that isn’t unpleasant but definitely there. Adding water does help bring out some lighter almost candy and bubblegum notes. Medium finish leaving behind dried dark cherry on the roof of your mouth.
OVERALL: An extremely rich and luxurious whiskey no doubt. We know that MGP bourbon in that 10+ year range is always good and then to take that and finish if for nearly over a year and a half in a brandy barrel from a renowned American brandy producer like C&K is a wonderful choice. Besides, I’ve always felt if you’re going to do a finish you may as well REALLY do it. Only those that have finished for more than a year have every really made me stop and truly notice the influence of the secondary barrel. Now this is a high end product and it commands that price point at $130 - however given the quality 11 year old bourbon and then the additional time and care in the finishing it's understandable. Also if you go by the $10/yr rule that some do, this product is nearly 13yrs of aging combined. So while it is expensive it’s not nearly the price that some limited releases are and you will absolutely not be disappointed in your purchase.