Chestnut Farms was a bourbon I saw on the shelves quite a few times but it always fell under my radar because I knew nothing about it. I had interest in the bottle early on based on the price point and the fact that I tend to gravitate toward bottles adorned with horses (here’s to you, Rock Hill Farms). But when I googled the brand I really couldn’t find anything about it, other than a few posts that indicated it was made by Clear Springs Distilling Company.
Fortunately there are people on the internet who are a lot smarter than me, and a few of them decided to check out the COLA applications for some answers. (For those of you who don’t know, COLA refers to the Certification/Exemption of Label/Bottle Approval forms that distilleries are required to submit). Turns out, Clear Springs Distilling is actually a fictitious name utilized by the Sazerac Company. A little more research revealed that Chestnut Farms is actually made at Sazerac’s other famous distillery, Barton 1792.
The mash bill for this bourbon is not disclosed and there is no age statement on the bottle, but it is a NAS straight bourbon so we know it is at least 4 years old. This bottle comes in at 90 proof (45% abv) and retails for $49.99.
Appearance – medium amber.
Nose – the nose is relatively light and simple. There is a touch of ethanol initially, along with caramel, vanilla, light rye spice, a few mild citrus notes (mainly dried lemon peel), and fresh oak undertones.
Palate – this bourbon leaves a thin mouthfeel and is quite soft up front. There is a slight peppery spice on the tip of the tongue, but overall the profile is quite sweet. There is plenty of vanilla and honey, along with some simple baking spice and oak. I kept hoping for more here but I just didn’t find it.
Finish – the finish is medium-long, with some lingering spice mid-tongue, dried golden fruit, honey, oak, and the slightest hint of fresh mint.
Overall – there is no doubt that this bourbon is fairly easy-drinking and does have some nice flavors, but in the end I thought this bottle felt overly simple and unfinished. The flavors that are present aren’t very complex and there isn’t enough there to really make you want to come back for a second pour. Not to mention, this bottle is going to set you back $50 and there are plenty of other options available that deliver a lot more for a lot less money. If you’re just a big fan of Sazerac or you’re looking for a simple, easy-drinking bourbon and money is no concern, then this is a bottle for you. Otherwise, I would recommend looking for some of Sazerac’s other offerings from 1792 or Buffalo Trace.