Wednesday, August 23, 2023

J. H. Bards Port Barrel Finished Bourbon

As mentioned previously, we picked up this J. H. Bards Port Barrel Finished Bourbon during a recent visit to the distillery. I bought the bottle, untasted, on a whim. Well, technically we had been given a taste, but we were drinking pineapple rich Painkillers at the time, so the flavor of the bourbon taster was pretty well overshadowed.

The limited release bourbon is made with four year old bourbon that was further aged in port barrels from the local Beliveau Farms Winery. The aroma is muted and soft, with some sweet notes over the bourbon. At just 80 proof, the bourbon is light on the palate. There's a sweet fruit touch added to the oak and vanilla. The finish is short with some lingering sweetness. Overall, I found the drink to be on the mild side, while still being enjoyable. 

With my initial taste of the bourbon before choosing a cigar told me to pick something on the milder side of the spectrum. I chose the Perdomo Twentieth Anniversary Sun Grown. The cigar is a 5 x 56 stick with a soft box press. It uses all Nicaraguan tobaccos in the blend. The wrapper leaves were aged for over 6 years, and then aged in bourbon barrels for another 14 months. The cigar gives off rich but not overwhelming notes of sweet cream, oak, and cocoa, all touched with a hint of pepper and cedar spice. This cigar is one I frequently pair with ales, and made a good match for the mild flavors of the bourbon.

The pairing was an enjoyable, low key combination. The port finished bourbon would probably not stand up to a more boldly flavored cigar. However, it does also seem like a suitable late evening sipper to be enjoyed alone, without accompaniment.


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