Bardstown Bourbon Company has been hard at work not only with the huge task of contract distilling for several big name companies but with sourcing, blending, and distilling their own products as well. One of their flagship offerings is the Fusion series which has just launched it’s second batch. While some of their other releases, including Discovery and their various collaboration projects, use entirely sourced bourbons from various distilleries, the Fusion series is an opportunity to show off some of the home grown juice from this newer but fast growing distillery. As their own products are just now (in November 2019) reaching almost that 3 year age, Steve Nally and the staff at BBC have blended together two of their bourbon mashbills, one with rye and one wheated, along with a higher aged sourced Kentucky bourbon. In this it would seem they hope the balance the younger, brighter bourbon of their own creation with a more mature and rounded out product and thus create a balance.
To break it down…
- 40% sourced KY bourbon of 11yrs 7months and a mash of 74% corn/18% rye/8% malted barley
- 42% Bardstown Bourbon Company bourbon of 2yrs 3months and a mash of 68% corn/20% wheat/12% malted barley
- 18% Bardstown Bourbon Company bourbon of 2yrs 1month and a mash of 60% corn/36% rye/4% malted barley
- 98.9 proof/49.45% ABV
So you can see that 60% of this blend is ALL Bardstown with the other 40 rounded out by the sourced 11 year product.
Which brings us to Fusion #2 which is, simply, enough, the same exact blend but with about 9-10 months of more of aging on each of the blended bourbons. So can less than a year of aging make the product significantly different? Let’s find out!
Fusion #1 Quick Notes -
NOSE: Corn, vanilla, and light champagne pop out on the nose with some black pepper spices and a bit of ethanol.
PALATE: A light and spicy grain taste comes through but is immediately met with the rounded and more flush mouthfeel of the older juice. There’s a bit of a battle going on between the younger and the older bourbons with neither side really gaining an edge. Finish is shorter to medium with corn and dried apples on the roof of the mouth.
Fusion #2 Quick Notes -
NOSE: Immediately the alcohol burn is noticeably more tame here, a bit more of a rich, rounded classic bourbon bonanza of vanilla, caramel and baking spices.
PALATE: The corn is there but more subtle and met with a swath of caramel coating. A low key rye spice comes through but softly and almost a hint of those sour apple and caramel candy sticks you used to get as a kid! Imagine those flavors but change out the sour for a bit of bitter.
SIDE BY SIDE:
I noted in my initial notes on Fusion #1 that there seemed to be a battle still going on between the younger BBC distillate and the older sourced product. Some interesting flavors popped out but it felt as if it was still reaching for that harmony.
In Fusion #2 it seems that, like with siblings as they get older, the fighting seems to have lessened and they’re feeling better bout working with each other. The flavors seem to have joined and matured together better over the last year and it is noticeable.
Is the difference night and day? Not right now - but it’s absolutely apparent and I do hope they continue this with the same mash and everything because then we truly get to see the life cycle of a finely blended product. The yields may start to fall a bit due to the availability of that sourced bourbon but can you imagine this same exact blend even in just a year or two more? A 13 year blended with two 4 year bourbons? How about 15 and two 6 years? I can’t wait to see this baby grow up and spread it’s wings.