Spirit Of The Week: 15 Stars 7 & 15-Year-Old Private Stock Bourbon

The proudly Kentuckian whiskey boasts a nose of cinnamon and maple with signature flavors of caramel, vanilla and stone fruit.

Bardstown’s 15 Stars is so proudly Kentuckian that founders Rick and Ricky Johnson put it all in the name—their moniker nodding to the state being the 15th to join the union in 1862, represented by the 15th star on the American flag. 

The father and son team’s first effort was a 14-year-old bourbon dubbed Timeless Reserve, and with their second fine aged bourbon they hope to lower the barrier of entry. So the Johnsons blended a younger 7-year-old bourbon into their halo offering, proofing down to 107 and cutting price in half (from $280 to $140). 

Despite adding a younger whiskey and proofing down, 15 Stars 7 & 15 Year Old Private Stock still preserves the ideal high-age bourbon notes, with a nose of cinnamon and maple adding to signature flavor notes of caramel, vanilla and stone fruit. 

The 7 & 15 Year Old Private Stock has unsurprisingly picked up many awards in its short lifetime, including a John Barleycorn Gold, SIP Awards Platinum and Double Platinum at the Ascot Awards.

“I am incredibly proud of our 7 & 15 Y.O. bourbon whiskey and what it has achieved in competitions. It’s always great to see other people enjoy our bottles as much as we do,” offers Rick Johnson of his label’s second offering. 

“We are fully committed to the art of blending fine aged bourbons which brings extra depth and complexity to our whiskey.” $140

Follow Contributing Spirits Editor Nicolas Stecher on Instagram at @nickstecher and @boozeoftheday.