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 (09.10.19)
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.
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.
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
- Kentucky Spirit Bourbon
- W L Weller Barrel Proof Bourbon
- Knob Creek Bourbon
- Knob Creek Rye
- Elijah Craig Bourbon
- New Riff Bourbon
- Wilderness Trail Bourbon
- Wilderness Trail Rye
- Peerless Bourbon
- Peerless Rye
- Driftless Glen Bourbon
- Bulleit Bourbon
- Yellowstone Bourbon