Bardstown Bourbon Is Taking Kentucky's Beloved Spirit To The Next Level
By Sarah McCosham|Published June 28, 2022
I write like it's my job - because it is! I have a Master's in English and love words: crossword puzzles, Scrabble games, Wordle, and, of course, good, old-fashioned books.
I'm a writer and editor at OnlyInYourState, and a contributing writer at Cincinnati Magazine. I love the Great Outdoors and am endlessly awestruck by this beautiful country of ours. Coffee keeps me going, yoga keeps me sane, my kids keep me grounded, and my writing keeps me inspired.
Bourbon is a quintessential part of the Bluegrass; it isn’t just a Kentucky icon; it’s an inextricable, fundamental, celebrated part of the state’s culture and identity. Kentucky is world-famous for its bourbon, producing nearly 95% of the world’s supply of this spicy, sultry spirit.
The reasons for this are numerous. Kentucky boasts some of the richest, most fertile soil in the country, ideal for growing the most essential ingredient in bourbon: corn. The water in Kentucky has a high pH and a high proportion of minerals, another key component of bourbon distilling. Geography, too, plays a role: Kentucky sits atop vast deposits of blue limestone, which filters out hard iron and imparts sweet-tasting calcium and magnesium, two elements crucial to the bourbon-making process. In terms of temperatures, Kentucky’s four seasons and their dramatic temperature swings cause the charred oak barrels to expand and contract, which in turn gives the spirit its copper color and distinctive taste.
But the final and most important part of the Bluegrass bourbon equation is Kentuckians themselves. Kentucky was first settled by immigrants from Ireland and Scotland, who brought the whiskey-distilling methods of the Old Country. This spirited tradition was handed down from generation to generation, laying the groundwork for the bourbon bounty that would later bloom in the Bluegrass. And within this spirited culture, Bardstown Bourbon stands apart. Established in 2016, Bardstown Bourbon is leading the way into the future of bourbon production in Kentucky, cultivating a culture of inclusion, sustainability, and accessibility — all while distilling some of the best and most balanced bourbons in the Bluegrass State.
Interested to learn about other unique American small businesses? Our 2022 Small Business Spotlight series highlights the often-overlooked work of small business owners across the country, from Massachusetts to Southern California.
Many thanks to Sam Montgomery and Bardstown Bourbon for sharing the story of this forward-thinking Kentucky distillery. Learn more about Bardstown Bourbon at its website, Facebook, and Instagram pages.
Of course, Bardstown Bourbon is just one of the many top-rated distilleries in Kentucky; please nominate your favorite attractions and businesses for a chance to be featured in an upcoming Only In Kentucky article. And be sure to follow Only In Kentucky on Facebook and Instagram to learn about this region of the Bluegrass State’s most incredible places, attractions, and events.
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