Fern Creek Bourbon is a revival of an old label by Owen Powell and his Drink Bourbon Co. of Louisville, Ky. Fern Creek is a neighborhood on the south side of Louisville. The neighborhood has been around since the 19th century when it was a region of Jefferson County. The brand is named for this region. This is a sourced Bourbon that is bottled as a single barrel product at barrel proof. I am not sure of the total distribution outside of the State of Kentucky, but it is found in most liquor stores here in Louisville. It is priced at about $80 for a 750ml. The labels on this product do not give very much information. There is no age statement so it has to be at least 4 years old, but it could be older. This is barrel 1 and bottle 32. It was bottled on 8-30-19.
This is a Bourbon that I found a little bitter with oak tannins. I think on the whole, it would be an excellent Bourbon with a little more filtration to remove some of those tannins. Adding water helps some but I don’t think it is the proof that is the problem for me, it is too much oak tannins that could have been filtered out. If you like that oak tannin flavor, and I know many people that do, you will love this Bourbon. If not, add some water and ice or use it to make an old fashioned cocktail or a whiskey sour.
Fern Creek Single Barrel Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Corn, Vanilla, some ginger spice and oak. Not a complex nose, but a pleasant nose.
Taste: Oak tannins, pepper spice and hints of citrus. Not overly complex but a bit bitter on the tongue. When tasted with a dried cranberry there are less tannins and the vanilla makes an appearance with the citrus notes being orange and lemon zest. When tasted with a pecan it actually reduces the oak but enhances the black pepper spice with only the slightest taste of the citrus.
Finish: Long, dry and peppery with some bitter oak tannins. The cranberry reduced the pepper spice on the finish and sweetened the oak so it is not so bitter. The pecan lengthened the finish and made it very peppery – the oak was there but in the background.
I am pairing this Bourbon with a Rocky Patel “Decade” Robusto cigar. I find the smoke to be earthy with rich tobacco notes and even a hint of hay, with some sweet vanilla and spice. I am hoping that it will tame some of the oak tannins in the Bourbon. The Bourbon works nicely with the smoke by sweetening the smoke with notes of dried fruit – maybe apricots or prunes. The smoke does help the Bourbon with an enhancing of the citrus notes bringing out orange and lemon zest notes while reducing the oak tannins. It was a good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller