Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Bardstown Bourbon Company Origin Series Kentucky Straight Rye

- $60
- 96 Proof
- 6 years
- Batch 1 - Distilled Spring 2017
- Kentucky

When Bardstown first released its initial Origin Series bottlings, a high rye bourbon and a wheated bourbon, I jumped at getting them. I opened the high rye bourbon and really enjoyed it! Though I haven't opened the wheated bourbon yet, I've heard good things about that one as well. So, I was certainly eager to try the rye when that was subsequently announced as the next offering in their Origin Series. 

This rye is finished in toasted cherry wood and oak barrels. I didn't know that going in, and I was intrigued upon reading it on the label. What I found more intriguing, though, was the mashbill (which, by the way, I love Bardstown for including on every product of theirs).  This is a 95/5 mashbill, meaning its made of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, much like MGP, whose rye whiskey I've grown to love. So I was really excited to try this to see how it stacks against that other 95/5 rye. 

On the nose I immediately got many of those same notes I'm accustomed to getting from MGP. I got notes of mint as well as a light dill note. Luckily, that dill note did not dominate as I've gotten in some bottles. This did not lean "green" in any way. It also had a very healthy amount of vanilla, giving it a bit of a bourbon quality. It smelled like a rye, certainly, but one that leaned sweeter. I did not get a whole lot of spice on the nose. 

As to flavor, right up front I got that same mint and vanilla. The mint was bright and sweet, and in many ways reminded me of mint ice cream, or perhaps a Shamrock Shake.  I happen to love Shamrock Shakes and look forward to that wonderful time of year when I can actually get them, so while it may sound like a weird whiskey tasting note, I was nonetheless a big fan!

The vanilla was accompanied by some spice as well, kind of like pepper and ginger, perhaps a bit of cinnamon. It all seemed to combine to create a cream soda flavor which, on later pours, seemed to lean more towards a root beer note. This was about the only time that the flavor combinations got a touch weird, but it was still good.

On the finish a cinnamon spice, which had been oddly missing up to this point, finally made a very welcome appearance. The mint notes subsided, but the vanilla notes lingered, providing for a sweet and spicy finish that left a very nice taste in my mouth.

All in all, for their first rye under this line and for the fairly accessible price, this was a very good rye that I would certainly recommend any rye-lovers give a go!

Grade: B+

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