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.
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.
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