Limestone Branch Experimental Collection Red Wheat Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

While trying to figure out the DNS issue this site was having last night, I ended up doing a little research for an upcoming post. One of the unsung benefits of being a spirits writer is that if you plan to write about what you are drinking, then you can just say you are doing "research." And the greatest part of that is, it isn't even lying. 

So since I was busy doing IT work (and doing research on future posts) last night, I thought that it might be a good time to finally get around to the third of three bottles of Limestone Branch Experimental Bourbon that I bought back in May.

This one has a very similar name from the second bottle I reviewed. So much so that the reason that the reviews were written in the order they were was because I grabbed the wrong bottle when I did the second review. There is a single word of difference in the names. This one does not have the word Malted in it. Which of course means that this is a much more typical wheated bourbon mash then the malted wheat bourbon was.

Limestone Branch Red Wheat Bourbon is a 98 proof bourbon distilled from a mash of 60% White Corn, 28% Wheat, and 12% Malted Barley. It is 22 months old.

Limestone Branch Experimental Collection Red Wheat Bourbon

Purchase Info: $22.99 for a 375 mL bottle at Total Wine, Louisville, KY

Details: 49% ABV. Single Barrel. Barrel 59. Mash bill: 60% white corn, 28%  wheat, 12% malted barley. Barrel Entry ABV: 50.58%. Barrel Char level 3. Aged 22 months.

Nose: Caramel, wintergreen, cardamom, and peach.

Mouth: Caramel, brown sugar, mint, hints of baking spice.

Finish: Warm and of medium length. There is an immediate "young" note upon swallowing which is followed by peach and baking spice. 

 IMAGE: a hand-drawn neutral face

Thoughts: I have never had a peach note show up in a bourbon before, so for that, I find this really interesting. This shows a lot of promise, but sadly just isn't there yet. As they release older versions though, this will be one to keep an eye on. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support, visit Thanks!

Limestone Branch Experimental Collection Malted Red Wheat Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

Have you ever been so busy that you just forget to eat? You wouldn't know it from looking at me, but it happens to me all the time. I'll get so into working on a project that all of a sudden I'll look up and it's four in the afternoon...and it's right about then that I realize that I am really hungry and end up eating a little too much to compensate. 

This is the probably the reason you wouldn't be able to tell that I frequently forget meals. 

Anyway, that's the sort of passion that I expect most craft distillers have. Not the gorging after unintentional fasting part, but the getting so into a project that you forget about everything else part. The distillers that I've met have all really loved what they are doing and loved the experimentation that they could do.

Which brings us to the second of three bottles of Limestone Branch's Experimental Collection that I picked up in May. This one is named Malted Red Wheat and is made up of a mash bill of 60% white corn, 28% malted wheat and 12% malted barley. 

Limestone Branch Experimental Collection Malted Red Wheat Bourbon

Purchase Info: $22.99 for a 375 mL bottle at Total Wine, Louisville, KY

Details: 47.5% ABV. Single Barrel. Barrel 114. Mash bill: 60% white corn, 28% malted wheat, 12% malted barley. Barrel Entry ABV: 50.63%. Barrel Char level 3. Aged 20 months.

Nose: Toffee, floral, gentle baking spices.

Mouth: Generic Sweetness, malted milk, cinnamon spice.

Finish: Youth shows up on the finish bringing cinnamon spice and dried grain notes along with it. 

 IMAGE: a hand-drawn face with a neutral expression

Thoughts: I have a feeling that when it grows up, I will like this much better than the first bottle in the series that I reviewed. For right now though, this one is quite a bit too young for my palate.

Hey folks, no plug for the store tonight. I'm taking off next week for a family vacation to North Carolina and would be unable to fulfill the orders anyway. That also means no posts next week. Wish me luck, it's a road trip with a 13 year old, a 7 year old, and a 4 year old...they may just drive me to have an extra bourbon when we stop for the night. 😉

Limestone Branch Experimental Collection Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

One of the things that I think that small distilleries have brought to the whiskey world is a willingness to experiment. To find different flavor profiles and to bring them to the world. They almost have to. If you are making the same style of whiskey as the big guys and don't have their economies of scale, they will beat you on price every time. But if you are offering something different, then maybe you can more easily convince people that your product is worth spending a little extra to support. 

Tonight's whiskey comes from a small distillery that has been putting out some fantastic bourbon under the Yellowstone and Minor Case brands. Almost all of that whiskey was sourced, though the latest Yellowstone did contain a bit of their whiskey as well. So though I knew they had good palates, I wasn't exactly sure how their in-house bourbon would taste. 

So when I saw that there were three young single barrel "Experimental Collection" bourbons from Limestone Branch at Total Wine in Kentucky, I felt like I needed to pick them up. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect. Would it be a familiar flavor profile? Something completely different? I didn't know, but I did know Steve Beam, and I also knew he's good at what he does. So I pulled the trigger. 

Limestone Branch Experimental Collection Bourbon

Purchase Info: $22.99 for a 375 mL bottle at Total Wine, Louisville, KY

Details: 47.5% ABV. Single Barrel. Barrel 11. Mash bill: 75% corn, 13% rye, 12% malt. Barrel Entry ABV: 54.57%. Barrel Char level 3. Aged 24 months.

Nose: Smells young. Wet coffee grounds and old lumber.

Mouth: Nice spice. Orange slice jelly candies, bitter almond, anise, and a fair dose of charcoal.

Finish: Medium length. Citrus and almond fade to reveal the dried grains used in its creation as well as a menthol mintiness.

 IMAGE: A hand-drawn Smiley face

Thoughts: On my first try of this whiskey, I was not a fan. As I've spent a little more time with it, I've started to come around. I think this was just so different that, initially, I was thrown off a bit. Yes, this is young. And yes, you can tell from teh nose and the taste. But it doesn't taste bad, as many young whiskeys can. It's just really different. It doesn't taste grainy until the end of the finish. I kinda like it. Is it my favorite thing on the shelf? No. But I'm glad to have picked it up and help support (and taste) a bit of experimentation. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support, visit Thanks!

Wilderness Trail Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

A little over four and a half years ago, my wife noticed that a craft distillery out of Kentucky was following her on Twitter. As she didn't tweet very often, this was a surprise for her, and she reciprocated the follow. 

A little while later (late October 2013), she noticed a tweet stating "Sign up for a limited time to reserve your bottle from our first release of Wilderness Trail Bourbon." Being enthusiastic, she signed up. She asked me if I wanted to sign up as well, but as craft bourbons were (are) far from a sure thing, I declined to also get on the list. To be honest, I wasn't sure I'd want two bottles, much less four from a distillery I hadn't heard of before.

Of course, that distillery didn't stay unknown for long. In December of that year, Chuck Cowdery profiled them on his blog, letting us know that the new distillery was just the latest venture from a (then) decade-old company named Ferm Solutions. To quote the company website: "Ferm Solutions is a leading research, product development, engineering and technical service provider to the ethanol and distilled spirits industries."

 This information set my mind at ease. If the company knew enough about fermentation and distilling to make products for and advise others on it, they could very possibly make a decent product themselves. Then I remembered that Town Branch was also part of a large company that should have been able to lend some expertise and they still made a pretty lousy bourbon.

And so I pretty much forgot about being on the Wilderness Trail list until my wife received an email this spring informing her that the bourbon was ready and asking if she still wanted to purchase hers. Remembering the good things we'd read about them over the years, and using it as a good excuse for a long weekend in Kentucky, we jumped at the chance. 

Wilderness Trail Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon

Purchase Info: We bought two 750 mL bottles, one in a commemorative box for $79.99 and one for $45 without. 

Details: Single Barrel. Barrel# 14C28A. Bottle# 37/242. 50% ABV. Non-Chill filtered. Sweet Mash bourbon.

Nose: Classic Bourbon notes of caramel, oak, and vanilla are joined by cooked cereals and cinnamon. 

Mouth: Follows the nose with caramel, oak, cooked cereals, and cinnamon. 

Finish: This is a finish that lingers in both the mouth and the chest. Warm and long. Lingering notes of cinnamon and oak.

 IMAGE: A hand-drawn smiley face.

Thoughts: I wasn't paying attention to Wilderness Trail previously, but I sure am now! This is one of the few Craft Distilleries to have put out a product that can not only compete with the big boys in their own style but would beat some of them too. I really like this and cannot wait to see what comes next.

And yes, now I'm kicking myself for not getting on the list too. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support, visit Thanks!

Good reviews and High West American Prairie Bourbon

Posted on by Eric Burke

An interesting thing that I've only recently realized is that while my hobby is providing reviews for things that other people have made, my living is made providing services and creating objects that live and die by reviews from other people. I'm a Freelance Graphic Designer, I have an Etsy store, and I watch people's dogs. 

It is amazing how bad a poor review or a lost client can feel when you've worked your ass off. It is why I try to couch negative reviews in the nicest way possible. Very few people set out to purposefully create a bad product so just because I think a poor review is justified and is good for consumers, I don't want to discourage someone just because being a dick will get more clicks than being nice about it. 

Conversely, a great review will make you feel like you are on top of the world. Like all the hard work you put into a job was noticed and made someone's life better. It's even better when that good review is hand-delivered and is accompanied by whiskey. 

Which is what happened to me last week. 

There is a dog that I have been watching at least once a week for the last six months or more. He was just a pup when it started and we've had the pleasure of watching him grow up. Last Friday, our client came up the walkway holding a bag that looked suspiciously like a booze bag. In it was a very lovely card letting us know how much she appreciated all we do for him and a bottle of High West American Prairie bourbon. Which was doubly appreciated as we hadn't reviewed it previously. 

Long story short: if you appreciate someone, let them know. It'll make their day.

High West American Prairie Bourbon

Purchase Info: This bourbon was a lovely gift of appreciation from a dogsitting client. Suggested retail price is $34.99.

Details: Age stated as 2 years old. The High West website says that is is a blend of 2- to 13-year-old straight bourbon whiskeys with one of them being an MGP bourbon of the 75% corn, 21% rye mashbill.

Nose: Butterscotch, mint, cinnamon and a hint of pickle juice. 

Mouth: Sweet with a nice mouthfeel. Caramel, nutmeg, dusty oak and a hint of anise. 

Finish: Medium length. Notes of cinnamon, mint, and oak. 

Thoughts: The folks at High West have a reputation for sourcing whiskeys from multiple distilleries and blending them to make a tasty end product. This is no exception. Even though the product is legally only 2-years-old, this is a pretty good dram. They recommend using it in a cocktail, but I think it works just fine on it's own. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support, visit Thanks!