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.
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!
Peerless, Single Barrel, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, WW&W Selection, 54.5% ABV, 750ml, $125
We have had the great pleasure of tasting Peerless’ fine rye whiskey from new make, up and until we tasted for this barrel selection. From the start the quality of the whiskey, has been, shall we say, peerless. There have been very few new whiskies that I have tasted that have delivered such wonderful, well-made whiskey. Barreled in April of 2015, this a full 2yr old rye. The decision to bottle at full, barrel proof, was the correct one (they were toying with 100 proof for release). The aromas are filled with a smoky, bacon fat, pistachio laced with spice and a hint of maple. The taste was all of that and more. Viscous, almost oily with a balance of oak and spice. A hint of pepper on the warm finish that showed no astringency. There was a nice pleasant reminder of chocolate, that lingered a long time. Truly a great start. YUMMY!
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.
Maker’s Mark Private Selection, WW&W Single Barrel #4, Icons of Whisky Selection, 55.85% ABV, 750ml, $69.99
14 Oct 16. Our 4th barrel selection was done in conjunction with Whisky Magazine to celebrate Whisky Live. This altogether a different selection from our previous releases. We did the following combination of staves: 1 Baked American Pure 2; 2 Seared French Cuvee; 2 Maker’s 46; 5 Toasted French Spice. The result is what we called a “warm weather” whisky. The nose is all sweet fruit with toasted almonds. The entry is round, nice mid palate with a spicy honey flavor with hints of wood spice. Going to be great on the rocks on warm day. Enjoy!
Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel #16-060, WW&W Selection, 55% ABV, 750ml, $64.99
Selected on Valentine’s Day, we feel in love with this barrel. What’s not to love when we were seduced by the scents of caramelized sugar as if we were being served a warm crème brûlée with hints of fresh orange zest. Being totally tempted by the aroma, the taste was full of lush fruit, with the orange note yielding to bold red fruit flavors, layered with creamy, spicy notes. It was well balanced and finishes warm with a long-lasting hug. A perfect valentine’s day gift to be enjoyed every day.
Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, Single Barrel #17-002, WW&W Selection, 50.5% ABV, 750ml, $56.99
Valentine’s Day, 2017, turned out to be a true delight. We got some love from Eddie Russell, Co-Master Distiller at Wild Turkey. We had finished our selections of Russell’s Reserve when he asked if we might like to taste a couple of Kentucky Spirit barrels. And this proved to be better than be rewarded with a great dinner, box of chocolates or a dozen long stemmed roses.
The nose was all brown sugar, cinnamon, with a spicy orange zest. It was bright upon entry, yielding to yummy, round, spicy and so nicely balanced. It was and is “LUSCIOUS.” We quickly signed the barrel head insuring that we wanted this one. Enjoy!
Selected & coming:
- 1792 Full Proof Bourbon
- Limestone Branch Rye
- Four Roses OBSQ Barrel Strength
- Russell’s Reserve Bourbon
- Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- Eagle Rare Bourbon
- Starlight Distillery, Cask Strength Bourbon
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.