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 (10.14.19)
Wilderness Trail, Rye, WW&W Single Barrel, 112 proof, 750ml, $67.99
Aromas of maple, fruit and spice. The initial sweet taste blossoms into a spicy, rich, round mouthfeel. It has a long spicy finish, quite tasty.
Peerless, WW&W Single Barrel, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, 108.8 proof, 750ml, $96.99
Buttercream, spice & toast defined the aroma on the day we selected this barrel with our friends at Butchertown Grocery. It was fruity, sweet with a rich, full mid-palate and lush, long, spicy finish.
Knob Creek Single Barrel #8498, WW&W Selection, 120 proof, 750ml, $54.99
Picking barrels is truly an experience, fun, educational, frustrating and rewarding. This barrel was a floor higher and closer to the outside walls from warehouse L. So, what does that mean, a bit warmer climate than previous selections. At a bit over 9 years old, in a warmer climate would indicate more penetration and that shows in the taste. This is a bold expression of Knob Creek. Big spice and toast notes greet both the nose and on the palate. Chewy, spicy, bold and long lasting.
Peerless Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel, 111.5 proof, 750ml, $74.99
The long anticipated Peerless bourbon has not disappointed. Now we are able to offer the first single barrel released, other than the distillery. The aroma is big, bold, nutty with walnuts taking the lead after time, layering over vanilla cream notes. The entry is at once, sweet and creamy. Lush across the middle and finishing with a peppery, vanilla flavor. Selected with our friends at Butchertown Grocery.
Driftless Glen Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel #199, 111.2 proof, 750ml, $58.99
Driftless Glenn is a small craft distiller in the “Driftless Region” next to the Baraboo River in Wisconsin. Ok, it’s not Kentucky, we know, but Sean McCollian the owner has really crafted one fine bourbon. Utilizing smaller, 25 gallon barrels, you will note the really deep, dark color. With aromas of almonds and other honey-roasted nutty notes that yield to a creamy, nutty flavor with a balance mouthfeel and a long warm finish. We look forward to our next selection as they are doing things really well.
Wilderness Trail Bourbon, WW&W Single Barrel 15C #4, Barrel Strength 108 proof, 750ml, $67.99
This is the first release of their wheated mashbill as a single barrel. We were excited to taste through 3 different barrels. The aroma was full of dried fruits, sweet and layered with toffee. It starts of sweet and it is round, rich and nicely balanced. The flavors linger long on the finish. 223 bottle yield.
Pinhook, Rye, WW&W Single Barrel, 54.5% abv, 109 proof, $67.99
Pinhook first established itself as a rye whiskey, having originally sourced their barrels. Sean Thomas, Founder/Master Taster, quickly establish a reputation for batching some very tasty ryes. When we approached him about doing a single barrel of their whiskey he enthusiastically said “yes,” and the process began. We are thrilled to offer the first single barrel of Pinhook to the market. The aroma has hints of dill and mint that complement the ripe pear and exotic spices. The entry is elegantly spicy, not a big overwhelming taste. You know it is rye. The mouthfeel is rich with a nicely spiced viscosity. It is surprisingly sweet on the finish and the 109 proof is warm but not astringent. The flavor lingers long and welcoming.
Grass Widow Bourbon, Single Barrel, 59.6% abv $78.99
Grass Widow Bourbon comes from Two James Spirits, the first distillery to open in Detroit, Michigan since prohibition. With the help of distiller David Pickerell, Grass Widow, named for a regional pre-Prohibition whiskey brand, is a sourced high-rye bourbon mash bill (36% rye, 60% corn, 4% barley) blend that was aged in new oak, then given a finish in ex-Madeira casks.
Aroma of toffee with hints of butterscotch that has hints of cinnamon. It is sweet on entry with a nice vanilla and slight cereal grain note. It is rich in the middle and spicy on the finish. For 59.6% abv, this is really smooth.
Selected and greatly anticipated:
- Russell’s Reserve Bourbon (2)
- Kentucky Spirit Bourbon
- W L Weller Barrel Proof Bourbon
- Knob Creek Bourbon (4)
- Knob Creek Rye
- Elijah Craig Bourbon
- New Riff Bourbon
- Wilderness Trail Bourbon
- Bulleit Bourbon (2)
- Yellowstone Bourbon
- Maker’s Mark Private Selection