First off, a word of caution – Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #2 kicks like an angry horse for the first 30 minutes out of the glass, so give it at least 30 minutes to wear itself out before trying to wrangle it. Also, give the glass a slow turn to let the bourbon coat the sides, which will help unlock the scents. Now diving in, I immediately smell grassy and nutty (think peanut shells) caramel with ample vanilla, dried oranges, cherries, oak, and an ever-present must. Even though Bardstown Bourbon Company was transparent about the 3 whiskey in the blend, it’s still not clear to me if the 10 year old bourbon is Jim Beam or Wild Turkey, because both can be similarly grassy and nutty. There’s a lot of roasted oak mixed into the sweetness, followed by cinnamon, nutmeg, and a dusting of cocoa. The citrus, especially orange and lime, ebb and flow through the oak and chocolate, providing fleeting moments of brightness. Even with the remaining kick, it still smells great – a big bourbon-y nose.
After swirling, Discovery #2 rushes out of the gate with oaky and grassy cotton candy spritzed in citrus and licorice (from the rye). That probably means that I’m smelling a sweet blend of caramel, vanilla, and roasted oak. For whatever reason I’m caught off guard by the oaky cotton candy, but it’s interesting nonetheless. After a few more sniffs, I find more baked spiced apple with the slightest peach presence. Between the citrus, apple, peach, amorphous dark fruits lurking around, and licorice, there’s this fantastic contrasting dark and bright fruitiness. It’s all well balanced between the toasted sugars, fruits, and constant dark oak and spice. The nuttiness has worn-off a little as well. Let me reiterate that you should let this sit for 30 minutes; because it becomes more sweet and intense with less alcohol nipping at my nostrils. Regardless, Discovery Series #2 smells fantastic, and it’s not shy to show it off.