I always keep my eyes open in those small, out-of-the-way liquor stores as you’ll never know what you find. This 7-year bourbon caught my eye as did the $29.99 price tag. Finding an age statement on sub-$30 bourbon is a rarity, and I’d not seen one on this bourbon before, whose brand is more commonly recognizable for its flavored whiskeys.
That Dog WILL Hunt
Bird Dog Bourbon Whiskey is produced by the Western Spirits Beverage Company in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In addition to Bird Dog Bourbon (and its flavored whiskeys), Western Spirits also produces two horse-inspired bourbons – Lexington and Calumet Farm. Until recently, Western Spirits was a producer/bottler, and not a distiller, meaning many of its bourbons were sourced from another operation and bottled by Western Spirits.
That all changed in early 2017 when the Bardstown Bourbon Company began operations and production of the Western Spirits brands as well as their own. We reviewed one of their recent releases – Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #3 and found it quite tasty. Let’s see if this dog will hunt.
As a 7-year bourbon, this bourbon was not produced by Western Springs, proper. The label does disclose that it was distilled, aged, and bottled in Kentucky at 88 proof. There is no indication as to the mash bill. According to the website, we’re told to expect caramel, oak, honey and golden raisins.
Color: Reddish-amber with thin legs on the sides of the glass
Nose: Vanilla, caramel and honey in gentle layers. This has been aged and its youth has been allowed to mature.
Palate: Smooth with a medium mouthfeel. There is vanilla, oak and spice present. Nothing too complicated. It isn’t over the top, yet I keep finding myself going back for another sip.
Finish: Medium in length and drying, with vanilla, oak, and spice.
Overall: For around $30, with a 7-year age statement – this is a pretty good bargain. It’s uncomplicated and a solid worker – much like the working dog it’s named after. My bourbon-daughter has reached for it on more than one occasion at our home – that’s a sound recommendation in itself. I’m looking forward to when the sourcing can be disclosed as Bardstown [Distilling]. With access to hundreds of recipes, it will be interesting to see how this bourbon evolves over the coming years.