This is a strong barley wine at 10% alc/vol that was aged in Bourbon Barrels for a year. Bardstown has a wonderful aroma of vanilla, fruit, smoke, oak and alcohol. On the palate you first taste sweet malt, vanilla, ripe fruit and raisons followed closely by the warmth of alcohol and tannic oak.
Bardstown is the very first beer OHB
It was made in very limited quantities, only about 150 cases total.
About the name: Bardstown is the county seat for Nelson County, Kentucky and is the host city of the annual Bourbon Festival. Most of the famous bourbons made hail from this area of Kentucky. Steven was visiting Bardstown and the many distillers around Kentucky.While visiting the distilleries, Steven arranged to pick up some freshly used barrels, empty less than a day. The barrels were brought back to the brewery and filled right away. The barrels rested in the brewery for a year, full of barley wine.
When the beer was just right, the barrels were emptied into a tank and allowed to condition before being bottled, one at a time, by hand.
Bardstown is such a big and robust beer, as well as being 10%, it will age very well, becoming more mellow as the years pass. If you have the opportunity and the patience to keep a bottle or two back you will be well rewarded.
[Update 1/10/2011] Bardstown is no longer available through the brewery. However, it may still be available through retailers or through trades on sites such as www.beeradvocate.com or www.ratebeer.com. This well-aged beer is worth the effort to seek it out!