Some would say that selecting a barrel of bourbon is all fun. It is a very enjoyable experience. Going to a barrel warehouse with a master distiller to thief a barrel is a true sensory experience. Even sitting with a group with samples pulled from barrels from a distillery too far away to drive, is a great way to learn about what styles each barrel represents. Not all barrel samples are a taste treat. Finding a barrel that sings is a wonderful way to pick a barrel. And thus, 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.
CURRENT SELECTIONS (05.21.20)
Knob Creek, Rye, Single Barrel #7971, WW&W Selection, 110 proof, 750ml, $58.99
Selected back in August 2019, this barrel was a clear standout. Tasted at 120.9 proof, which was very close the final proof of 120, so just a drop or two of water was all that was needed to determine the finished product. Aromas of vanilla, cream and spice. Initially it is spicy, spicy, spicy from start to finish. However, on the next taste the spicy flavor is laced with sweet, fruity flavors and it is lush and smooth from the start to the last swallow. A fun, flavorful rye. Enjoy.
Four Roses, Single Barrel, 100 proof, OBSV, WW&W Selection, January 2020, 750ml, $49.99
The OBSV mash bill has always provides something new each time we have selected a barrel. It is also the one that Four Roses utilizes for its releases. Tasted at barrel proof, this barrel’s aroma was fruity with strong vanilla notes. Cut to 100 proof it blossomed with a spicy cherry aroma and a well-balanced flavor of cream and spice. Nice, warm finish.
WhistlePig, Rye, 15yr Single Barrel, WW&W Selection, 117.4 proof, 750ml, $250
This is the first barrel of 15yr released as a single barrel in Kentucky! The original fill date of this 100% Canadian Rye was 23 May 2003. It has aged in Vermont since 2014. In September 2019, it was filled into a finishing cask to age before being bottled in March 2020 (which makes it almost 17 years old). It is wonderfully complex in the aroma of dried fruits and exotic spices. The taste is at once bold and mouth-filling, yet it quickly starts to yield its layers of rich, round fruit, oily/buttery texture, rye spice, baking spice and more to discover. It finishes smooth, with just a bit of heat.
Driftless Glen, Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel #1438, 116 proof, 750ml, $58.99
Sean McCollian the owner of Driftless Glenn whose small craft distiller is in the “Driftless Region” next to the Baraboo River in Wisconsin. Utilizing smaller, 30 gallon barrels, you will note the really deep, dark color. This is our third barrel from Sean, and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we did upon selecting it. Aromas of brown sugar and cinnamon. The entry is sweet, with an oily, viscous mid-palate, where flavors of cream and vanilla are laced with wood spice and a bit of tannin. The finish is long and spicy.
Knob Creek, Single Barrel #8501, Bourbon, WW&W Selection, 120 proof, 750ml, $59.99
We selected this barrel back in August of 2019. It was a tough day as we had 6 bourbons and 3 rye barrels to taste. I know, it’s hard work.It was worth the wait on this barrel, it has a certain smoky note in the nose that accentuates the rye character, with spice and herbal mint. It is sweet and creamy upon entry, all laced with toffee, vanilla and wood, rich and complex with a smooth, yet warm finish.
WhistlePig, Rye, Single Barrel #2756, WW&W Selection, 115.5 proof, 750ml, $91.99
Sourced from Canada and aged in Vermont, the color is dark and rich, which implies an older whiskey than the stated 10yrs. There is a wonderful toffee caramel aroma almost like that of a caramel apple covered in nuts. It is warm on entry, not hot like its proof, 115.5, might imply. Round, rich, spicy and quite yummy with a spicy, balanced, warm finish.
New Riff, Single Barrel #7135, Bourbon, WW&W Selection, 112.2 proof, 750ml, $49.99
Aromas of cinnamon, cream with hints of lemon citrus and a bit of toffee on the end. Big creamy entry with a lush mid-palate. The finish is bold, spicy and warm, very nice!
Knob Creek, Single Barrel #8502, WW&W Selection, 120 proof, 750ml, $59.99
On a lovely day in October 2019 we selected 2 barrels of Knob Creek, one from the Boston still and this one from the Clermont still. This was the first barrel we selected, because we immediately fell in love with the aromas of toffee, brown sugar with hints of maple. The taste profile is rich, sweet with great spice in the mid palate. It finishes woody and spicy.
Yellowstone, Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel #1808-600, 93 proof, 750ml, $45.99
Another FIRST for WW&W! We selected this lovely barrel of Yellowstone on September 4th of this year. It was produced at the Limestone Branch Distillery, the new home of Yellowstone bourbon. This selection was full of caramel, toffee, raisin and spice. The taste followed suit with the aroma. It was sweet, laced with vanilla, full bodied with a warm spicy finish of toasted oak.
Maker’s Mark Private Selection, WW&W Single Barrel #8, 107.4 proof, 750ml, $74.99
We revisited our original Private Selection from 2015 which 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 cellaring, 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.
Selected and greatly anticipated:
- New Riff Bourbon
- Eagle Rare
- Three Chord Bourbon
- George Remus Bourbon
- Rossville Union Rye BIB
- Maker’s Mark Private Select
- Barrell Bourbon
- Pinhook Rye
- Copper & Kings Brandy
- 1792 Full Proof Bourbon
- Russell’s Reserve Bourbon
- Kentucky Spirit Bourbon