Tasting the 2024 Bardstown Collection

May 29, 2024

Set to debut at the first ever National Bourbon Week, June 11-16 2024, the 2024 Bardstown Collection features bourbon selections from seven different distilleries, including the oldest bourbon ever released by James B. Beam Distilling. Distiller was able to tour each of the seven distilleries featured in this year’s Collection, each located in and around Bardstown, the Bourbon Capital of the World. Below you’ll find a preview of each in the collection along with brief tasting notes.

Bardstown Collection

First released in 2022, the Bardstown Collection features distilleries in and around Bardstown. Heaven Hill, James B. Beam, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Log Still, and Preservation distilleries were the first five to collaborate on the one-of-a-kind collection. Then in 2023, Lux Row Distillers joined the group. This year, Limestone Branch Distillery is the latest to participate.

Each distillery is asked to select a bourbon for the collection and the group decides together on the bottle shape and the label for each year’s release. With less than 500 bottles available from each distillery, the Bardstown Collection is a rare, limited edition release. Folks that are interested in getting to taste the collection can purchase tickets for The Bardstown Collection Release Party, taking place at My Old Kentucky Home on June 11 or visit each of the participating distilleries during the release dates for an opportunity to purchase a bottle. Please note that each bottle is sold separately for $250 a piece.

Bardstown Collection 20242024 Bardstown Collection 2024 /Photo Credit: Zach Sinclair from Grizzly Media

And for those that would like to tour each of the seven distilleries in the collection, there is a VIP multi-day tour offered by Mint Julep Experiences. Exclusive opportunities to purchase each bottle in the collection is available for those that choose to purchase this experience.

Preservation Distillery + Farm

This year’s release features 3 barrels of the distillery’s own pot-distilled wheated bourbon aged for 6.5 years plus one 9+ year barrel of bourbon from Preservation’s vintage barrel collection, meaning it wasn’t newly sourced. The aroma showed a mix of spice and herbs with a mild vanilla note. The taste was dry, but not too dry with some fruit and winter spices towards the finish.

Heaven Hill Distillery

Heaven Hill showed off its two previous Bardstown Bourbon Collection selections before tasting us on the 2024 pick. Selected from three different rickhouses in Bardstown, Heaven Hill chose two seven year-old barrels and one 16 year-old barrel. It was an expressive pour at 105 proof, showing a bit of cherry fruit on the nose and a rich sweetness (not too sweet) with maple and toasted oak flavors. One of my favorites of the lot.

Lux Row Distillers

While last year’s release featured the distillery’s low-rye bourbon recipe, this 2024 bottling consists of 3 single barrels of 6 year-old wheated bourbon (68% corn, 20% wheat, 12% malted barley). They received a further finish with toasted caramel honey staves. Bottled at 110 proof, the bourbon was pretty easy to drink neat. The nose displayed light honey and gentle smoke and the taste was soft with a light oak flavor. The spice factor was on the low end and the finish was a little tannic and lightly bittersweet.

Limestone Branch Distillery

Making its debut in the Bardstown Collection this year, Limestone Branch chose four bourbon barrels distilled on January 30, 2018 made with a pre Prohibition wheated bourbon recipe. Produced using 100% pot-distilled distillate, it matured for 6 years. The aroma was lightly fruity with a hearty wheat bread note. Lightly toasted oak with a bit of a chewy profile, the bourbon comes in at 100 proof.

Log Still Distillery

Clocking in at over 123 proof, Log Still Distillery’s selection features a 9 year-old high-rye bourbon sourced from Bardstown, Kentucky. It’s a fruit-forward bourbon with apple and cherry fruits dominating the profile. It’s a bit tight at bottle strength, but adding a splash of water brings out the best in the dram.

Bardstown Bourbon Company

Bardstown Bourbon Co. decided to blend fruit-forward old sourced bourbon with nutty bourbon to round it out. Then they re-casked the blended bourbon into toasted oak barrels. This resulted in a cinnamon toast profile with a roasted peanut flavor. It’s coming in at 122 proof and while it was fine to drink neat, I would say that a bit of water brought forth some gentle fruit to the bourbon.

James B. Beam Distilling

For 2024, James B. Beam is reaching deep into its warehouses and releasing the oldest straight bourbon whiskey ever to be released by the distillery. Bottled at 109 proof, the bourbon displays its age with notes of leather, hearty oak, and deep caramel along with a gentle char smoke, peanuts, and carnival popcorn. It’s chewy with a deep herbal and spiced tone throughout. Adding water brings out a bit of an apple pastry flavor, but it’s fine to drink straight.

This is sure to be a collectible. Make sure to book your tickets asap to get your hands on one!

Ready to do your own 2024 Bardstown Collection tasting?

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