February 12, 2012

Old Bardstown Review

Old Bardstown is a product of the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd.  This fact is somewhat misleading, though.  Kentucky Bourbon Distillers does not actually distill whiskey.  Rather, they bottle bourbon (as a non-distilling producer) made in other distilleries.  KBD isn't necessarily forthcoming about the true origin of the whiskies they bottle, but at least a good portion of what they bottle comes from Heaven Hill.  So, to be honest, I don't know who actually distills Old Bardstown.  I do know who bottles it, however.  Chuck Cowdery, an Amerian whiskey expert, touches on this in his blog, here.

Old Bardstown is sold in a generic-looking square whiskey bottle with red and white lettering and a gold horse front-and-center on the label.  It is 90 proof and has a rusty brown color.  Its nose is sweet corn, syrupy cinnamon, and nougat, with tiny flecks of pepper.  It's thick and sweet smelling.  Mouthfeel is watery, not luscious as the the nose suggested.  Old Bardstown tastes sooty, again departing from the syrupy nose.  Along with the soot is a dry nutty essence, like raw walnuts.  It finishes with a fair amount of astringency, and a grainy wood note.

Old Bardstown is a relatively cheap bourbon buy.  It's interesting how the nose is so inconsistent to the taste, but the interest ends there.  Old Bardstown is a suitable bourbon for quick and dirty mixing, but will not be considered for a sipping whiskey.  And, to be fair, there are better bourbons out there to fill the mixing position in your liquor cabinet rotation.


  1. I would agree there is nothing that stands out about OB but in the same respect there is nothing off putting. It is a solid bourbon that is fine on the rocks with the fellas on poker night but I would choose many before this.

    1. In the same price range and I think a notch above Buffalo trace. A bit smoother IMO.

    2. But it costs about half of what Buffalo Trace costs. And it's not bad.

  2. I was recently gifted a bottle of 100 proof of OB. The back label says "distilled and bottled by The Willett Distilling Company, Inc." Is there any value to this bottled?

  3. I happen to like everything from the Buffalo Trace distillery.. but this OB isn't half bad.