Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond Bourbon Whiskey Review

Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond Bourbon Whiskey Review

(photos by Outsider)

Pound for pound, Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond (OBB) has a reputation as one of the best bargain bourbons on the market. Of course, it features “Willett Distillery” on the label, so that’s a boon for purple-top enthusiasts on a budget. The only problem with OBB’s $22 price tag? I’ve only seen it for sale in Kentucky. Fortunately, Nashville is only 50 miles from the Kentucky state line, so OBB is easy picking and light on the pocket.

Let’s pour a sip of Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond to see if it delivers on the palate.

At a Glance

  • Distillery: Willett Distillery
  • Location: Bardstown, KY
  • Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Certified: Bottled in Bond
  • Age: Minimum 4 Years
  • Mashbill (rumored): 72% corn, 13% rye, 15% malted barley
  • Proof: 100
  • MSRP: $22
  • Website | Instagram

Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond: What We Say

Noselight alcohol, cherry blossoms, green apple, oak, pine, cocoa powder
Palatebaking spices, rye spice, cherry, lemon zest, Andes Chocolate Mint
Finishmedium, lemon sponge cake, mint
What You Can Expect to Pay$22-$30
Buy It: Now, Soon, Later, NeverSoon
Outsider Rating84/100

The nose on Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond opens with very light alcohol, followed by wafts of in-season cherry blossoms (it’s not overly sweet like a cocktail cherry, but more in tow with the floral smell of a rose and a slice of green apple). There’s plenty of wood, too, both oak char and piney citrus. A deeper nosedive yields a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder. It’s light and refreshing.

On the palate, OBB opens with baking spices (vanilla, nutmeg, and a hint of cinnamon) and some of the rye spice from its 13% mashbill. As the spices fade, fruit emerges—both light cherry and lemon zest. The cocoa from the nose also sneaks out on the palate with a minty uptick in the form of an Andes Chocolate Mint.

Finally, on the medium finish, the baking spices and lemon zest coalesce into a slice of lemon sponge cake with a sprig of fresh mint. This bourbon isn’t a decadent dessert like tiramisu, but more like its ladyfinger (sponge cake) foundation. OBB is a total score at $22.

Recommended Sip

OBB sips great neat. It sips great on the rocks. And it’s an exceptional—and affordable—mixer for drinks like an Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour, or Whiskey Smash.

If You Like Old Bardstown Bonded, Try

  • Old Grand-Dad Bonded
  • Distillery: The Old Grand-Dad Distillery Co. (Beam Suntory)
  • Location: Clermont, KY
  • Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Proof: 100
  • MSRP: $24
  • Full Review

A buck or two more than Old Bardstown Bonded, Old Grand-Dad Bonded is much easier to source. While OBB is a slightly superior bourbon, in my opinion, Old Grand-Dad Bonded delivers a tasty neat sip with notes of cherry, citrus, honey, and cinnamon. In addition, OGD is a fine mixer for Old Fashioneds and other bourbon cocktails.