To bourbon whiskey fans Bardstown, Kentucky is known as the undisputed ‘Bourbon Capital of the World’. To others driving through this idyllic “Norman Rockwell-esque,” downtown they may know it as “The Most Beautiful Small Town in America”. A moniker assigned by the editors of USA Today and Rand McNally in 2012. But come on, we write about whiskey here, so to us, this is all about the bourbon!
The Bardstown, Nelson County area is home to some 11+ distilleries. Most are well known national brands while others are small startups that are punching above their weight class. Five of these distilleries got together and created a unified release celebrating the Bourbon Capital of the World to create ‘The Bardstown Collection’.
The Bardstown Collection
Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
The five participating distillers are all destinations on the world-renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Each distillery chose two unique single barrels to contribute to this cause. Their bourbon was bottled in custom packaging under the cohesive brand name “Bardstown Collection” and their own distillery’s secondary label signifying the five different editions of the collection. Every bottle was housed in a blue and gold box that celebrates the community and the history of Bardstown.
The shared bottle design features iconic images from Bardstown, such as the My Old Kentucky Home Museum. Gold-embossed blue boxes feature an ornate compass and a detailed display of the region’s topography. The box also includes a premium booklet that describes the product and process of each participating distillery.
Bottles were sold exclusively at the distillery on January 13th and 14th. Each distillery had a set time to start selling their bottles so patrons had an opportunity to purchase all five bottles. Lines started forming as early as 2am for the first 10am opening. Within about two hours of each opening every bottle sold out. Bottles sold for $200 each with all proceeds being donated back to the community of Bardstown to support local improvements and organizations.
“You can truly feel the magic of our bourbon culture and heritage come alive when working on this special release,” says Samantha Brady, Executive Director of Bardstown Tourism. “We are trademarked as the ‘Bourbon Capital of the World,’ but when distilleries unite to authenticate your claim you don’t get much better than that. There is a reason why we say, ‘Bourbon Comes from Bardstown’ and we invite you to experience this for yourself.”
The Bardstown Collection Participating Distilleries and Their Barrel Picks
Bardstown Bourbon Company – For our inaugural Bardstown Collection release, we selected our most rare, exquisite bourbon, a second barreling of the award-winning Discovery Series #1. The aged bourbons were blended then placed into two, 53-gallon new-charred oak barrels to age an additional 26 months in our rickhouses, yielding a powerful profile of rich oak, ripe cherry, and balanced spice.
Heaven Hill Distillery – We hand selected two nine-year-old barrels from the sixth floor of rickhouse M in Bardstown to be mingled together and bottled at a robust 120 proof. Although side-by-side in the rickhouse, these barrels had contrasting taste profiles: one offered sweet notes of vanilla and butterscotch while the other provided spice and oak. When combined, they created a balanced, full-bodied yet impressively smooth Bourbon perfectly suited to be our first expression in the Bardstown Collection.
James B Beam Distilling Co. – Our Bardstown Collection liquid is a blend of two special barrels put away in 2004 and 2005. One from our legendary 9 story Warehouse D and the second from Warehouse L that rivals the complexity of the first barrel. Together they deliver a depth of flavor and complexity. The aroma has notes of caramelized oak with subtle hints of dark fruit and floral undertones. The liquid delivers a viscous profile that coats your palate with toasted brown sugar, dried cherries and vanilla. The medium finish has lingering spice. Hints of caramel and hazelnut round out this balanced and full-bodied straight bourbon whiskey.
Log Still Distillery – The Log Still offering for this release is a 7-year-old high rye bourbon that bourbon lovers and novices are certain to enjoy. Presented at single barrel cask strength, this Kentucky spirit delivers scents of toasted sweet oak and a bit of honey, with the flavors of clove and cinnamon spices evident upfront. A bit of nutmeg, hints of sweet vanilla and coconut are noted, with hints of warm spiced apple. Enjoy!
Preservation Distillery – Our 2022 presentation is a carefully curated amalgamation of rare vintage casks from 5-15 yrs old, each hand selected for its ability to enhance this expression’s depth and profile.
“My family has been in the area for generations, and we’ve always considered Bardstown our home,” shared Freddie Noe IV, Eighth Generation Distiller for James B. Beam Distilling Co. “Not just because most of us have lived here, but because we’re part of the community. So, when this idea was brought to us, it was a ‘no brainer.’ We’re honored to join our fellow bourbon distillers in coming together for a good cause — and great bourbon.”
“For me, giving back to the community and continuing the family tradition are both priorities. This collection does both,” added Lynne Dant, Chief Operating Officer and Distiller at Log Still Distillery. “Having this many distilleries coming together for the greater good is really special, so I’m honored to be a part of the project.”
The Palatella Family, owners of Preservation Distillery added, “Our family has many decades in the bourbon industry. This magical place, and our love of all things bourbon means a lot to us. Bardstown’s tightly knit bourbon community coming together for something so special allows us all to share what we love with those who share our passion for bourbon.”
“A collaboration like this has never been done within the bourbon industry,” shared Dan Callaway, Vice President of Hospitality and Product Development for Bardstown Bourbon Company. “It is remarkable to be part of the camaraderie and collaboration between so many Bardstown brands.”
BARDSTOWN – The Definitive Coffee Table Book on ‘The Most Beautiful Small Town in America’
The Rebirth of Bourbon: Building a Tourism Economy in Small-Town, USA
Distillers Collaborate on ‘The Bardstown Collection’ – A Unique Whiskey Series Celebrating The Bourbon Capital of the World
The two day Bardstown Collection release was wrapped up with a celebration at Scout & Scholar Brewery and Restaurant where all the distilleries showed up with samples from this years barrels.
The distilleries creating the “Bardstown Collection” plan for an annual release, with hopes of more distilleries joining the collaboration in 2023.