15 STARS Bourbon – Homage to Kentucky Craftmanship

by Joceline Diaz  |  09.15.2022

There is a new Bourbon in town so rich in American history that you’re bound to taste the dedication, excellence and tradition that these producers put into their exclusive bourbons. Out of Bardstown Kentucky, Father and son team, Rick and Ricky Johnson are creating liquid gold. Their two current releases have already won multiple awards, but this duo has so much more to offer on the horizon. From proprietary corns to a collection of American treasures, 15 STARS Fine Aged Bourbon is worth all the buzz.

The name, 15 STARS, is derived from the 2nd official US flag which represented Kentucky as the 15th state by displaying both 15 stars and 15 stripes. The brand name pays homage to 225 years of Kentucky bourbon.

15 STARS takes pride in producing outstanding whiskey. They craft all their products in a meticulous manner using the finest quality materials. This includes selectively sourcing aged whiskeys, marrying different mash bills and aged stocks to capture complexity. They spare no expense of effort in their pursuit for great whiskey, they only release products that have met their highest standards.

It’s the little things that make a big difference and show the level of dedication and artistry that these producers pour into their whiskey. Each bottle of 15 STARS is topped with a metal stopper inspired by the first U.S. coinage containing 15 stars, engraved by the American artisan Robert Scot. The Johnsons have also curated a rare collection of American treasures and historical artifacts from the 18th & 19th century all representing Kentucky, view their gallery at 15stars.com. “A great amount of craftsmanship went into their art whether it was silversmithing, furniture making, or gunsmithing, and we look to put that same craftsmanship into our bourbon,” says Johnson.

Let’s talk proprietary grains. 15 STARS was born with the idea of using heritage-colored corns to create bourbon expressions that have never been produced before. “For the last 3 years Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBC) has been distilling these proprietary-colored corns for us including black, red, white, and blue in varying mashbills including rye bourbons, wheated bourbons, and barely legal ryes at entry proofs as low as 103,” says Ricky Johnson. Their Heirloom Baby Black Corn and Red White and Blue Heritage Corns have unique flavors that will lend balance and complexity to their bourbons. These patriotic bourbons are not quite ready, but the Johnsons are looking forward to the day they can share these limited releases.

15 STARS combines the expert craftsmanship of early Kentucky distillers with innovative and creative aging and finishing techniques to share only the finest whiskey. Their 14 Year Old Timeless Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey received a Double Gold medal in the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and went on to be a Best of Class Finalist. If you’re lucky enough to land a bottle, you’ll be met with a bouquet of butterscotch and maple, a palate of indulgent dark chocolate and molasses highlighted by cream and vanilla followed by oak, coffee and a lasting hazelnut finish. The second amazing whiskey they currently offer is produced by marrying two fine bourbons aged 7 and 15 years and was awarded a Silver medal at the 2022 SFWSC. Very complex and purposefully made, the 7 & 15 Year Old Private Stock Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey greets you with apricot and maple on the nose, citrus and spice with caramel on the palate and a long and soft finish.

These rare bottles are available at select Kentucky retailers, visit 15stars.com for more information on how to get one or both!