Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon Review

Hardin's Creek Frankfort Bourbon is the second release in the Hardin's Creek Kentucky series. It is a 17 year old bourbon aged in Beam's rackhouses on their Frankfort, Kentucky campus. Read our review to learn what it is like and how it compares to another bourbon in this series.

Hardin’s Creek
Kentucky Series – Frankfort
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Aged 204 Months (17 Years)
110 Proof
James B. Beam Distilling Co
MSRP: $169.99

Please enjoy our Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon review!

Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Is The 2nd Release In The Kentucky Series

Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon is the 2nd release in the Hardin’s Creek Kentucky Series. The premise of the Kentucky Series is to release 3 bourbons, all aged 17 years, and all made with the same mash bill. The only difference between the bourbons is where they aged in Kentucky, either in Clermont, Frankfort or Boston.

Beam’s Frankfort Campus

According to the Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon press release, aging on Beam’s Frankfort campus takes place more slowly than elsewhere due to high humidity related to the Elkhorn Creek that runs though it. In addition, there is less ventilation in the Frankfort rackhouses (as Beam calls their barrel warehouses), than elsewhere. These factors contribute to a different flavor profile than at the other sites.

As an aside, the Beam Frankfort Campus is actually the site of the old Old Grand-Dad Plant. It is currently used mainly as a bottling facility for Beam-Suntory products.

Hardin's Creek Frankfort Bourbon - Kentucky Series - Bottle - Photo: James B. Beam Distilling
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Tasting Notes – Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon

Let’s taste it:

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Dry oak, brown sugar, sweet cherry, burnt caramel; light tobacco, cedar, and vanilla. Relatively mild alcohol
👉Taste: Moderate brown sugar sweetness, dry oak, cherry, burnt caramel; white pepper spice later on
👉Finish: Building white pepper spice and dryness; continuing dry oak; some dried cherry lingers; hint of orange peel; a bit of barrel char joins in later on; long finish with a moderate burn

After I have had a few sips of Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon I can even get some sugar cookie in the nose. Also, as time goes on, the burnt caramel becomes much more dominant in the nose as well. In addition, oak is quite noticeable throughout, from the nose to the finish. There were quite a bit of tannins when I first opened the bottle a couple of days ago, and they are reduced now, but still there. It’s not unexpected to get some tannins and dryness in a bourbon of this age.

Hardin's Creek Frankfort Bourbon vs Clermont
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How Does Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Compare to Clermont?

When compared to the Clermont, the Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon has more brown sugar and burnt caramel, more oak, and drier oak, and a bit of tobacco. Whereas, the Hardin’s Creek Clermont has more sweet caramel, vanilla and cherry. It also has plenty of oak, but the oak is not quite as dry and pronounced as it is in the Frankfort. Interestingly, as I read my Hardin’s Creek Clermont Bourbon review, I see I mention that dry oak was quite pronounced in it, as well. Since I can’t go back in time, it is impossible to know if the dry oak and tannins diminished in the Clermont since I opened it, or if the Frankfort just has more of these characteristics.

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Both the Hardin’s Creek Frankfort and Clermont are delicious well-aged bourbons. However, one must be a fan of oak and some dryness to fully appreciate them both. My comparison suggested that the Frankfort has more dry oak than the Clermont, but that could be in part related to the differing times that the bottles have been open. Either way, if you enjoy older, oaky, bourbons with classic flavors as well as a bit of fruit, you won’t be disappointed giving either of these a try.

Have you had Hardin’s Creek Frankfort? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

I hope you have enjoyed our Hardin’s Creek Frankfort Bourbon review! If you would like to learn about more Hardin’s Creek Bourbons, then check out our Hardin’s Creek Jacob’s Well Bourbon Review, Hardin’s Creek Clermont Bourbon Review, and our Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B Beam Bourbon Review.

Thank you to the James B Beam Distilling Co and Stephanie at Savona Communications for graciously providing this sample for my review!

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