Some would say that selecting a single barrel of bourbon is all fun, and it is a very enjoyable experience. Just because it is a single barrel, does not mean that each and everyone is a taste treat. The challenge is finding the barrel that we feel represents our “house” style and is atypical when compared to the commercial versions selected by the master distillers.
Westport Whiskey & Wine’s “house” style relies on great aromatics, from fruit, cream, vanilla and wood spices. The flavor is rich, lush and not astringent. It may be robust and warm, but never harsh. When splashed the flavors should open up all the more. We believe that the selections below truly represent our house style, and great values, too.
Starlight Distillery, Cask Strength Bourbon, Single Barrel #1455, WW&W Selection, 55.5% ABV, 750ml, $51.99
Selected 20 July 2017 from a selection of 8 barrels. This was a tough selection as we really enjoyed several. We had to narrow down our choice after revisiting the top three. Barrel #1455 was the clear choice. And this is why, the aromas were filled with pear, citrus and toasty caramel. It was warm on entry with a big fruit flavor, which was supported by a nice, oily texture and a long finish, reminiscent of rye toast. With a splash, it blossomed all the more and the creamy, vanilla really lingered.
Woodford Reserve, Double Oaked Barrel Finish Select, WW&W Selection, 45.2% ABV, 750ml, $64.99
After an almost 2 year break, we are pleased that Brown-Forman decided to allow the return of our own selection of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon. And we are so glad they did. This bourbon is full of red fruit and baking spice aromas with hints of toast. It is sweet, oily and slightly drying in the mouth (nothing that a cube of ice can’t tame). There is a pleasant hint of maple that adds some great complexity. It is really tasty!
Wathens, Single Barrel #139, Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, WW&W Selection 47% ABV, $47.99 750ml
It is too bad that we could not go and thief some barrels for this tasting, however, Charles Medley, the Master Distiller, pulled 6 samples for us to taste, and we were not disappointed. The aroma was candied pecans, laced with peaches and spice, a peach cobbler with pecans. Its taste was sweet on entry, well-balanced, a bit oily in texture, with hints of bacon fat. The finish is spicy with a bit of pepper.
Four Roses Barrel Strength, OBSQ, WW&W Single Barrel Selection, 55% ABV, 750ml, $64.99
St. Patrick’s Day this year proved to be our lucky day! When selecting our Whisky Magazine, Al Young barrel, from among 16 offerings, this little gem of a barrel was left unselected. We decided it needed a good home and started lobbying to add it to our other selection. While this does not bear the AL YOUNG 5oth Label, it was from that selection day. Aromas of toasted vanilla, citrus and spice hold with the taste profile. Once in the mouth there is orange peel and vanilla to compliment the spicy, woody flavors. Finishes very nicely.
Makers Mark Private Selection, WW&W Single Barrel #2, 750ml, $69.99
Our selection is: 2 staves of Seared French Cuvee and 4 staves each of Roasted French Mocha and Toasted French Spice. Before barreling, that resultant whiskey was richly aromatic, delivering big fruit and cream notes. The entry was sweet and creamy, lush in the mid palate, with a lovely, woody, warm finish. After the winter, and now here, we found that the whiskey delivers on that taste. We hope that you, too, will find it as “yummy” as we do.
Makers Mark Private Selection, WW&W Single Barrel #3, 750ml, $69.99
This is our third barrel selection. The new combination was 3 staves of Seared French Cuvee; 2 staves of Makers 46; 4 staves Roasted French Mocha and 1 stave Toasted French Spice. Before barreling, that resultant whiskey was filled with dried fruits, chocolate and a hint of orange. This one explodes with flavors of butterscotch, warm-buttered cinnamon toast and baking spice. With a cube of ice, it is truly delicious, if not a bit decadent.
Selected & coming:
- Kentucky Spirit
- Russell’s Reserve Bourbon
- Maker’s Mark Private Selection #5
- Elijah Craig
- Knob Creek Rye
- Old Forester
Coming in 2017
- Elijah Craig
- Four Roses
- Russell’s Reserve
- Knob Creek
- and several others
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel #28, WW&W Selection, 50.5% ABV, 750ml, $56.99
A visit to the Wild Turkey Distillery on Feb 23 yielded some very tasty surprises. Eddie Russell, Co-Master Distiller, took us down to warehouse A for a selection of some newly pulled barrels, all around 8 plus years of age. We found three very tasty barrels, the first which is this barrel #20 which was barreled in November of 2007 and put in the middle of the 4thfloor of warehouse G. This is where Eddie feels he gets some of the best examples of Kentucky Spirit. This selection was a very pretty amber color. The aromas of nuts, chocolate & caramel were so prevalent, we deemed it to have a SNICKERS BAR nose. And this profile carried through on the palate as well, creamy, caramel, nuts with a rich almost oily texture. We tasted it at 118.2 proof, however, when cut the flavors were still lovely and lingering.
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Single Barrel #20, WW&W Selection, 50.5% ABV, 750ml, $56.99
Barrel #20 which was barreled in November of 2007 and put in the middle of the 4thfloor of warehouse G. This is where Eddie feels he gets some of the best examples of Kentucky Spirit. This selection was a very pretty amber color with aromas of fruit and cream. Tasted at 121.2 proof, it was warm on entry and the apricot and orange fruit notes were supported by a creamy mid palate. The finish was lightly spiced and lingered. When cut to close to bottle proof of 110, the taste just got so much more elegant and balanced, with a rich oily texture.
Knob Creek Single Barrel, WW&W Selection, 60% ABV, 750ml, $48.99
This barrel was barreled on November 10, 2006, making this one over 9 yrs old once it was bottled on April 6th. We tasted it at a robust 122.5 proof. What is really nice about that proof, we were tasting it at so very close to its final proof of 120. The color was dark amber. Aromas of baking spice, dried fruit and red cherries dominated the nose. It entered with warm spice, toffee and cream flavors. Its taste was warm, fruity, a bit drying with a great finish. Well-balanced and very tasty finish.