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The James B. Distilling Co. just announced the release of the second bourbon in its Hardin’s Creek Kentucky Series, which is focused on highlighting the effects of maturation at different Beam warehouses on flavor. We got a first taste of this new whiskey called Frankfort, and it’s another one that bourbon fans will want to seek out.
Hardin’s Creek launched in 2022, and we reported on the first pair of whiskeys under this name as well as the first in the Kentucky Series called Clermont. The whiskey in the Frankfort expression is the same liquid that is in the first release and will be in the final release due out in September—17-year-old bourbon produced at the James B. Distilling Co. (the home of Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Booker’s, and more) that was brought to different locations in rural Kentucky an hour or so south of Louisville. The name of the bourbon indicates where it was matured—Frankfort was sent to the campus of the same name where the company’s Old Grand-Dad production plant is located. According to the brand, a nearby creek bed contributes to the humidity in the rackhouses located there, imbuing this area with its own unique terroir.
“These liquids are comprised of the same mash bill, and aged for the same amount of time, but resulted in a different tasting profile,” said eighth-generation master distiller of the Fred B. Noe Distillery, Freddie Noe. “It’s a real testament to how microclimates and diverse landscapes can impart major differences on the flavor profile of each whiskey. The humidity and airflow in our Frankfort campus influence the evaporation and oxidization processes, making a slower reaction to the color and flavor.”
Hardin’s Creek Frankfort is a ruddy orangish-copper color, with grain, peanut, and oak on the nose. This is a rich, sweet bourbon with a good deal of oak on the palate, but the flavor is not tannic or drying. There’s a burst of honey, brown sugar and caramel as you sip, followed by ripe blackberry, candied orange peel, and some notes of black pepper and cinnamon. It’s bottled at 110 proof, but the heat is tempered and does not linger.
You can find older expressions of Hardin’s Creek available to purchase from ReserveBar, but the new Frankfort expression is just rolling out next week and will be available on a limited basis for $170 (expect to pay more than that, however). We’ll bring you the details on the next release when it arrives in September.