Bottles of Chestnut Farms Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey sport a fine sketch of a horse running around the outside of the bottle, which separates the bourbon from other labels produced through Barton 1792 Master Distillers.
The bourbon was distilled and bottled for Total Wine at the 200-acre operation in Bardstown, Kentucky, which is owned by the Sazerac Co. The distillery also produces bourbon for Costco’s Kirkland Signature label and Trader Joe’s.
While Barton doesn’t disclose its mash bill, Chestnut Farm reviewers have determined it is high-rye bourbon with rye content between 12% and 15%. Other Barton-made bourbons that follow this mash bill include Ancient Age, Elmer T. Lee, Rock Hill Farms, Blanton’s, and Hancock’s President’s Reserve.
The label for Chestnut Farms bourbon proclaims it is “bottled-in-bond straight bourbon whiskey.” This indicates the bourbon is a product of one distillation season for a single distiller, was stored in a federally bonded warehouse under U.S. government supervision for at least four years, and was bottled at 100 proof.
The Total Wine listing for Chestnut Farms and discussion among reviewers indicates it was a “highly allocated” bourbon, meaning it was kept in low supply at the retail level to help create demand among consumers.
While it is distilled by Barton, Chestnut Farms is bottled by another Sazerac company, Clear Springs Distilling Co., in Bardstown.
New Orleans-based Sazerac is the largest distilling company in the United States, owning 74 brands, including Buffalo Trace, Van Winkle, Weller, 1792, OFC Vintage, and Eagle Rare. Its Barton 1792 distillery is kept busy not only producing its own brands but supplying the bourbon for clients under their labels. The company has also returned to its roots, producing French cognac in Sazerac de Forge blends that date from the 1800s.
Sazerac is as New Orleans as beignets and café au lait served curbside at Cafe Du Monde. The Sazerac Cocktail was born in New Orleans in the 1800s and remains one of the world’s most well-known drinks. In 2008, the Louisiana legislature proclaimed it the official cocktail of New Orleans.
Sazerac got its start by importing its French brandy, Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils, to the coffee houses of New Orleans. In the early 1800s, Antoine Peychaud, an emigrant from French Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), made a name for himself as a druggist in the Latin Quarter by mixing an herbal remedy of aniseed and gentian, which he called Peychaud’s Bitters.
Some mixologists put the bitters in the brandy with a little sugar, et voila!
Peychaud’s Bitters is now a Sazerac brand, but Sazerac-de-Forge et Fils succumbed to the Great French Wine Blight that wiped out most of Europe’s grapes in the mid-1800s. Savvy Americans substituted rye whiskey for brandy, then added absinthe, an anise-flavored wormwood liqueur that would be banned across the world in 1912, blamed for deaths, credited with fabled hallucinogenic powers, and associated with addiction. It wasn’t until the mid-1930s that a safer substitute, Herbsaint, was produced. Sazerac bought that brand in 1949 for its new Sazerac recipe.
– Pairing by: Erik Calviño
Presents a sweet nose bursting with classic bourbon notes of vanilla, caramel, and burnt sugar along with subtle layers of dried fruit and mint. On the palate, you’ll find plenty of body with a balanced attack of caramel, oak, and spice with an extra-long finish.
Cigar Pairing: Olmec Claro
The cigar is the lighter shade sibling of the Olmec Maduro, Cigar Snob’s 2022 Cigar of the Year. The lighter wrapper on the Claro knocks down the pepper and earth of the blend while accentuating the cedar and sweet espresso notes. The Chestnut Farms Bottled in Bond introduces a rich and creamy caramel sweetness to the cigar that settles nicely in between the pepper and cedar flavors.