This second drop of Hardin’s Creek Kentucky Series is a celebratory moment for serious fans.

For the casual sipper hunting something special, HCKS Frankfort is a 17-year, high-proof, and collectible bourbon presented by James B. Beam Distilling Co. for under $200 to help jumpstart a collection. Why so special? Here’s the deal on Hardin’s Creek Kentucky Series.

What's In The Bottle?

To create this trio of bourbons, a single batch of distillate was shipped to three Kentucky-based locations for maturation: Clermont, Frankfort, and Boston. The idea was to study the effects of microclimate on extra-aged bourbon, which was matured for 204 months. With the final product being overseen by Beam’s 8th Master Distiller Freddie Noe Jr., the first bottling, Clermont, was released in June 2023. Frankfort, aged at Beam’s Frankfort-based campus, is the current release, while Boston will be available this fall. The idea is to collect all three and taste them against each other to draw your own conclusions about the effects of location on maturation. All whiskey in this series is bottled at 55% ABV, or 100 proof, priced at $170 MSRP.

“These liquids are comprised of the same mash bill, and aged for the same amount of time, but resulted in a different tasting profile. It’s a real testament to how micro-climates and diverse landscapes can impart major differences on the flavor profile of each whiskey.”

—Freddie Noe, Eighth Generation Master Distiller of the Fred B. Noe Distillery

How Does It Taste?

Expect oak, cigar box, and campfire smoke on the nose, leading to caramel and raisin with gentle floral tobacco on the palate. The whiskey shows its age on the finish with aged oak tones throughout.

Spirits writers, marketers and designers are among the most influential forces in the spirits industry. Their opinions, ideas and creative talents inform and influence consumer perceptions and buying decisions. The John Barleycorn Society was started by a group of spirits journalists seeking to honor excellence in all facets of the industry. The journalists spent several years creating a comprehensive competition that became the John Barleycorn Awards. An elite team of authoritative and influential spirits journalists was selected to administer the flagship component of the Awards, a blind tasting competition destined to become the preeminent arbitrator of spirits taste, quality and character.