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Bardstown Bourbon Company: Fusion Series #1 Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Lee StangLeave a Comment


“We are a new blend of bourbon makers pushing the boundaries through innovation, while honoring the traditional art of making whiskey. Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #1 is a celebration of our distillery, beverage and culinary teams working together to create spectacular bourbon.”

-Bardstown Bourbon Company President and CEO, David Mandell
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  • DISTILLER: Bardstown Bourbon Company
  • MASH BILL: A blend of 60% of Bardstown Bourbon Company’s two-year-old wheated and high-rye Kentucky bourbons along with 40% of 11 year 7 month bourbon from Kentucky
  • AGE: NAS - No Age Statement
  • YEAR: 2019
  • PROOF: 98.9 Proof (49.45% ABV)
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • Buy Online:

NOSE: Vanilla Wafers  |  Malt  |  Red Fruit  |  Pepper

TASTE: Pepper  |  Vanilla  |  Cherries

FINISH: A short hint of vanilla is overwhelmed by the spice of the pepper creating a burn on the back of the tongue. Not only does the pepper linger but increases with each sip.

SHARE WITH: I would share this with anyone who wants to try a new craft bourbon.

WORTH THE PRICE: I would not buy a bottle of this if I were to see it on the shelf.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I suggest you try this at a bar or the tasting room prior to spending the money on the bottle. Presently this bourbon is only available in Kentucky but is coming soon to Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Northern California, and Southern Florida.

OVERALL: The Bardstown Bourbon Company bills themselves as the first Napa Valley style destination on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #1 represents the distillery’s first Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and is a collaboration of their distillery, beverage and culinary teams. This is a blend of 3 different bourbons. Two of the bourbons, making up 60% of the blend are, from Bardstown Bourbon Company and are just over two years old. The remaining 40% of the blend is a sourced bourbon from Kentucky that is over 11 years old.

A sleek concept, new distillery, collaborative distilling program, and on-site full-service restaurant; Bardstown Bourbon calls themselves “the new blend of bourbon makers.”  So, what about the Fusion #1?

When I first tasted this right out of the bottle with about 10 minutes to breathe, I didn’t get much of a taste at all except the pepper. After letting the sample bottle sit for a few days, the bourbon did open up some revealing notes of vanilla and cherries on the palate ….. and pepper. A lot of pepper.

With each sip the pepper becomes more pronounced. So much so, that by the time I finished my pour my mouth had a hot lingering heat. Really almost to the point of a burn. Almost like eating a slice of pizza with red pepper flakes on it. All the pepper really muted any other taste in the bourbon. I like high rye bourbons and Four Roses Single Barrel comes to mind and I do like rye whiskies.

I’ve tasted cask strength 95% rye whiskies with less pepper than this. Somewhat surprising to me. The 11 year bourbon definitely tones down the youthfulness that makes up 60% of the blend.  This bourbon at $60 a bottle is just not for me.

Learn more about Lee’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Disclaimer: The Bardstown Bourbon Company provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

About the Author
Lee Stang

Lee Stang


Lee’s bourbon journey started with one mistaken gulp of bourbon and coke as an eight-year-old. While bourbon was always part of his life, Lee followed a beer, wine path for the most part until a bartender poured him a taste of Buffalo Trace about ten years ago. It was at that point Lee’s love of bourbon really took off. Not only does Lee enjoy a good pour of bourbon but he is more than willing and excited to talk about it. Lee believes that bourbon, and for that matter all spirits, is enhanced by the experience of good company, good conversation and good bars. The combination leads to great stories. Say hi to him when you see him. Lee lives in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, best friend, and drinking partner, Patti. You might find her having a bourbon as well. Both Lee and Patti like to read mystery thrillers and travel. Most likely the travel leads to visits to new bars.

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