bardstown bourbon discovery 4 review

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #4

Bardstown bourbon company discovery series 4 compressed 2

Distillery: Bardstown Bourbon Company

Type & Region: Bourbon, Kentucky, USA

Alcohol: 57.5%

Composition: 75.7% corn, 15.8% rye, 8.5% barley

Aged: 10 years in virgin American white oak

Color: 1.4/2.0 on the color scale (tawny)

Price: $130

From the Bardstown Bourbon Company website:


“The unifying concept in Discovery Series #4 is three aged bourbons blended to create a smooth and unique expression. Waves of caramel and baking spice meet depths of oak and smoke. Dried figs and dates round out this complex, aged Kentucky bourbon. on the palate, lively bursts of fruit and spice evolve into an enduring, balanced finish.”

Company Website

bardstown bourbon discovery 4 overview

Here we have it – Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series 4. It seems like only yesterday that Discovery 3 (great bourbon by the way), was released. As each Discovery release is a different blend of bourbons, Discovery 4 goes in yet another direction from the prior 3 releases. While Discovery Series 3 changed it up by including 13 year old MGP Indiana bourbon, Discovery 4 returns to all Kentucky bourbon and cranks up the ratio of 13+ year old Bourbon. 17% of Discovery 2 was over 13 years old (14 year old Heaven Hill), 77% of Discovery 3 was 13 years old (32% Barton, 45% MGP), and Discovery 4 takes it to another level with 92% of the blend being at least 13 years old, adding 15 year old Kentucky bourbon from an unconfirmed source (although likely from Jim Beam based on what I’ve seen out in the internet).


On that note, here’s a breakdown of the blend:

 – 55% 13 year old Kentucky bourbon, 74% corn, 18% rye, 8% barley (Barton)

 – 37% 15 year Kentucky bourbon 78.5% corn, 13% rye, 8.5% barley, (probably Jim Beam)

 – 8% 10 year Kentucky bourbon 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malted barley, (my best guess is Wild Turkey)


Let’s kick off this Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series 4 review.

bardstown bourbon discovery 4 smell

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series 4 washes my nose in dark caramel, berries, cherry, plum, candied dried fruits from trail mix (pineapple, raisins, papaya, and apricot), funky roasted vanilla buttercream, cotton candy, licorice, roasted oak, cinnamon, clove, and cocoa. There’s so much varied candied fruitiness blended together with fragrant, dark, gently roasted, tobacco-y, and lightly smoky oak that’s not so heavily burnt, and the 57.5% ABV stays out of the way. This already smells excellent and captivating, and keeps evolving between honey, fruits, and oak with every sniff.

Swirling livens-up the heat a little, but remains controlled at all times. The oak wakes up as well, more equally mixing with the rich honey, apple, cherry, candied berries,  pineapple, and apricot, preserved cherries, roasted vanilla, and cotton candy mixed with roasted oak, clove, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and a light smoke. After letting the bourbon sit in the glass even longer, I smell quite intense butterscotch – just wonderful. I can’t say enough how amazing this nose is – deep, complex, and mature. There’s so much rich candied fruit and refined oak influenced here, and it happens to line up with my preferred profile.

bardstown bourbon discovery 4 taste & aftertaste

Discovery Series 4 drops a bomb of caramel, honey, vanilla, apple, dark berries, citrus, cherry, and licorice. A few seconds in, oak tannins, cinnamon, clove, coffee beans, and dark chocolate appear and meld with all that sweetness. This bourbon starts sugary and fruity, and then is supplemented with lightly bitter, dark, and savory wood notes, also making the flavors more oaky than the nose. The 57.5% ABV is also quite calm, which allows everything else to shine. “Chewing” brings another explosion of honey, cherry, apple, orange, licorice, vanilla buttercream, and candied dried berries and pineapple, followed by more roasted oak, clove, cinnamon, roasted coffee, and cocoa powder. It takes a few sips, but the roasted oak, cinnamon, clove, and coffee from all that 13+ year old bourbon starts to have a greater influence over time and meshes well with the fruits, although as a whole this isn’t intensely oaky or spicy.


Roasted oak, caramel, charred marshmallows, dried apples and citrus peel, licorice, and coffee grounds appear in the finish, leaving a sweetness that lingers on the sides of my tongue. It fades into a long lasting sweetened coffee that’s oh so good. “Chewing” brings an amazing combination of roasted oak tannins, smoke, crystallized honey, candied pineapple, orange peel, apple, cinnamon, roasted vanilla, and licorice. The finish is so sweet, savory, and oaky – refined, mature, and pleasurable.


Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series 4 is an exceedingly well-crafted bourbon that expertly integrates the fruitiness, oak, spice, and heat. It’s so fun to experience all the body, richness, and depth within it – just fantastic.

Place on the Whiskey Shelf

Top Shelf +

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series 4 is special and superbly crafted. There’s so much candied fruit, dried berry, and tropical-ness that pop and captivate my nose and taste buds; and overall has so much richness and depth that keep evolving – a telltale sign of exceptional whiskey. It gets better every time I pour a glass and try it again. Even with 92% of the blend being at least 13 years old, the roasted oak and spice from bourbon that old are well controlled and refined, enough to provide a dark and fragrant foundation that adds even more complexity, but far from licking a burnt tree. This all reinforces just how balanced and masterfully-blended Discovery 4 is.


Now time to be unreasonably and unnecessarily nitpicky (because I can). Discovery Series 4 doesn’t quite eclipse the utterly sublime Chateau de Laubade finish (few things ever will), but Discovery 4 isn’t so far off. Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series 4 is definitely my favorite Discovery Series release to date, a deeper and richer version of Discovery Series #3, and very different from Discovery #2 (comparison to come). $130 is certainly steep for any bourbon, but it’s worth it if you can afford it and/or want to splurge, as it’s a worthy once-a-year splurge. The last thing I’ll say is that after having this, I bought a second bottle soon after. 

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