Whiskey Review: Daviess County Lightly Toasted Bourbon

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Luxco. 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.

Since whiskey drinkers are an inquisitive group, producers continue to look for new ways to catch their attention or show them something they haven’t tasted before. Alongside the proliferation of new brands in recent years are a number of dormant or defunct labels that have been plucked from archives and patent lawyers’ offices and revived.

Perhaps it’s the preoccupation with time that’s natural to a product with a long and intricate aging process, or the cultural weight of distilling traditions, but it seems to me a good bet that today’s drinkers are just as curious about what whiskey tasted like in 1880 as how it tastes today, or it will taste in 2080. Sure, it’s impossible to travel back in time and experience food and drink precisely as it was in the past, but a distiller with a scholar’s curiosity and the right label can stimulate the imagination.

Distinguished by its proprietary blend of a rye and wheated mash bills, the Daviess County label combines these qualities of having a storied history and being quite new to liquor store shelves. The brand is named for the Daviess County Distilling Company, one of the pre-Prohibition distilleries (founded 1874) that helped put Kentucky distilling literally on the map and was resuscitated by Luxco in 2020.

This year, Luxco has launched a new series of bottles within the Daviess County brand. The annual releases will be variations on the core Daviess County product with a variety of toasted barrel finishes. The first in the series features a lightly toasted oak barrel which, according to Luxco Master Distiller John Rempe “is certain to become a fast favorite among fans of the brand.”

Daviess County LIghtly Toasted review

Daviess County Lightly Toasted (image via Jacob Wirt/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Daviess County Lightly Toasted Bourbon

Vital Stats: Aged over 4 years. 94 Proof. Priced at $55.

Appearance: A very nice golden color. 

Nose: The nose shows classic notes of green apple, caramel, spice, and oak 

Palate: The wheat and oak add up nicely on the palate to produce a sort of Honey Nut Cheerios effect (capitalized because I do mean the brand-name stuff). The rye spice is muted, but discernible around the edges of a finish that more prominently features the flavors of toasted coconut macaroons.

Whiskey Review: Daviess County Lightly Toasted Bourbon


Very easy drinking. This is everything you want from a mid-shelf bourbon. There’s plenty here to enjoy and think about, but if your mind starts to wander while you sip you won’t kick yourself for downing an expensive glass inattentively. It’s sweet, but not overly so. The wheated mash bill gives this bottle a dimension that others in the same price range do not necessarily share.

A serviceable sipper, I could also see this bottle as well-positioned to both perform well in classic cocktails, or even to deftly handle the sweetness of berries or oranges. 

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Jacob Wirt

Jacob Wirt’s past lives as a cook and cultural studies researcher continue to inform his appreciation of fermented grain beverages- not (only) because these professions might drive one to drink, but because they offer a reminder of the knowledge, work, and history that makes every glass possible. His first love...