Editor’s Note: This whisk(e)y was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Bardstown Bourbon Company holds a special place in my heart ever since I attended the World’s Top Whiskey Taster finals at the distillery. I was impressed with their facility and focus on churning out quality whiskey while there. Bardstown Bourbon Company also sets itself apart with its remarkable transparency. It is refreshing to see on a label precisely what is in the bottle.
Most notable is the collaborative side of Bardstown Bourbon Company. The distillery has collaborated with cooperages to rum distillers and has recently released its second collaboration with Château de Laubade. Where the first Château de Laubade finish was strictly a 12-year-old bourbon, the second bottling is a blend of Kentucky and Tennessee Bourbons.
The Kentucky bourbon is aged 12 years and comprises of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% malted barley. The Tennesee bourbon is aged 10 years and consists of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley. Once the whiskies are blended, they finish in Armagnac casks from Château de Laubade for 16 months.
Château de Laubade, built in 1870, has a sprawling 105 hectares of grape vines in southern France. Where Cognac is made from a single grape variety, the Ugni Blanc, Armagnac is made from four different grape varieties. Armagnac also uses column distillation rather than the pot still method Cognac uses. Armagnac is known to have notes of chocolate, dried fruit, and caramel, so I cannot wait to see how the finish influences the bourbon.
Tasting Notes: Bardstown 2022 Château de Laubade Armagnac Cask Finish
Vital Stats: 53.5% ABV, 107 proof. Blended straight bourbon whiskeys finished in Château de Laubade Armagnac casks. 750ml. $160.
Nose: From the beginning, the nose is instantly hit with Armagnac. After moments of waiting to let the Armagnac settle, pink peppercorn and freshly crushed cinnamon stick add a layer of spice. Lemon oil wafts throughout the dram for brightness. Overripe pear is pungent, but toward the end, it becomes more woody and musky like wet cedar.
Palate: There is a lot going on with this dram! It is spicy with pink peppercorns but also mulling spices like cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Cedar makes the dram feel dry, especially with all the spices. However, I do get a metal key taste near the end and it just zaps my mouth. Overall, the whiskey reminds me of rum raisin cake. Straw and cornstarch are brought out on the finish.
Whiskey Review: Bardstown 2022 Château de Laubade Armagnac Cask Finish
While the whiskey is great to sip, the Chateau Laubade Armagnac finish is a little overwhelming. It doesn’t taste like bourbon, it mostly tastes like Armagnac. If you are an Armagnac fan, the Bardstown Bourbon Company collaboration is for you, but if you prefer the finishing casks to mildly influence your whiskey, then you can skip it. It is worth trying, but I would buy a bottle of Armagnac outright.
User Review4.33 (3 votes)
Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...