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 (06.24.19)
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.
Russell’s Reserve, Single Barrel #18-0435, WW&W Selection, 55% ABV, $62.99
From Camp Nelson A warehouse, 4th floor, barreled on 21 December 2009, and dumped in March 2019, making it just a few months over of 9 years old.
The aroma is bright fruit with orange and apricot. It enters the mouth all sweet and creamy with a dollop of baking spice. It builds in the mouth and develops oh, so nicely and finishes, long and enjoyably lingering. Pour a couple of fingers and savor the flavor!
Four Roses, 100 proof OBSV, Single Barrel, WW&W Selection, March 2019, $42.99
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 full of orange zest. It was tart on entry with nice spicy fruit flavor. Cut to 100 proof it blossomed with orange cream aromas and flavor, nicely balanced.
WhistlePig, 10yr, Single Barrel #72263, WW&W Selection, 57.7% ABV, $93.99
The aroma is full of butter with hints of green herbs and wood spice. In the mouth it is viscous, creamy, very rich with a long spicy finish.
Old Forester, Single Barrel #4195, WW&W Selection, 45% ABV, $45.99
When looking for a single barrel you want it to seduce you right from the aromatics and have you in its clutches by the time you swallow, and this one had me at “hello!” The nose is filled with cinnamon and baking spices with a hint of citrus. One in the mouth it is creamy with chocolate and a warm cinnamon roll. With a bit of water, it blossomed with red fruits, cream and a hint of tobacco. The taste held the sweet creaminess we love with a lovely balance of wood spices and a very nice finish.
Wild Turkey, Kentucky Spirit, Single Barrel #18-0859, WW&W Selection, 50.5% abv $61.99
Another great selection from the Camp Nelson barrel warehouses. Originally distilled on November 4, 2009, this whiskey is a little over 9 years old. It is full of red fruit and spice in the aroma. The entry is sweet and fruity. It builds into a big mouthfeel and finishes long and creamy, with a hint of tobacco.
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.
Makers Mark, Private Selection, WW&W Single Barrel #8, 59.75% abv, $74.99
Once again, we worked with The Butchertown Grocery on a repeat of 4 staves for our 8th selection. This time we pulled from only 4 stave combinations. Nice fruity nose of pear and cherry with light spice. The entry is big, bold and chocolaty with a fruit finish and hint of pepper. On a second taste there as a maple cream element added to the aroma with spicy, almost meaty flavor. Chris
Selected and greatly anticipated:
- Russell’s Reserve Bourbon
- Kentucky Spirit Bourbon
- 1792 Bottled in Bond Bourbon
- W L Weller Barrel Proof Bourbon
- Knob Creek Bourbon
- Knob Creek Rye
- Elijah Craig Bourbon
- New Riff Bourbon
- Wilderness Trail Wheated Bourbon
- Wilderness Trail Bourbon
- Wilderness Trail Rye
- Peerless Bourbon
- Peerless Rye
- Driftless Glen Bourbon
- Bulleit Bourbon
- Yellowstone Bourbon