Today was one of those days where your phone bleats out an alert for an incoming tornado. To be honest, I didn’t even know that my phone was set up to do that. I’m kinda glad it did. I was three hours deep in a two hour animation project and I was a bit inattentive to the color of the sky outside. When the sky turns green, you know that some nasty shit is about to go down.
I got all the pups downstairs and honestly they had fun for the first couple minutes, exploring all the new areas that they never get to go to. It kind of reminded me of the one time there was a bomb threat called in to my elementary school. We all evacuated to a nearby church. We played and romped, but after a while we got bored. Similarly, boy did these pups get bored. And it took way less time than in my memories of elementary school. We were down there for fifteen minutes…after five they were barking in displeasure. Loudly. And continuously.
But the storm passed just about the time my wife got home, luckily with no damage to cars or structures. The yard was flooded, but it has been for most of the spring. The dogs were happy to be released. And I was ready for a drink.
By chance, I grabbed tonight’s bottle (I had it out to photograph for tonight’s post before the storm hit) and my wife made me a delicious cocktail with it.
Wilderness Trail Settlers Select Single Barrel Rye Whiskey
Purchase Info: $63.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Liquor Barn, Louisville, KY
Details: 56.5% ABV. Barrel Entry Proof: 100° proof. Mash Bill: 56% Rye, 33% Corn, 11% Barley Sweet Mash. Barrel#: 15D17. Bottle 50/221. Non-chill filtered.
Nose: Earthy with Cardamom and mint.
Mouth: Spicy. Mint, cinnamon, sesame seed, honey.
Finish: Medium finish. lingering notes of cinnamon and cardamom
Thoughts: Last year right about this time I reviewed the first release from Wilderness Trail, their Bottled in Bond Bourbon. At the time I said: “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.” So, as you might guess, I was super excited to try this rye whiskey. I was prepared to love it.
Well, I don’t love it. I do however like it. Overall, this is a decent rye. It shows a lot of spice and has a nice mouthfeel. Sometimes I get very young tasting notes when I have this, other times they are nowhere to be found. It depends on what else I’ve had on my palate that day. As such, for me, this has been relegated to a cocktail rye most of the time. And honestly, the price I paid does not match the uses I am normally putting it to.
Bottom line: It has a youthful brashness rather than the barrel flavors that would come with further aging. You may love this. If so, I recommend it to you. For me, there is nothing wrong with it that more time in the barrel wouldn’t fix. If however, you prefer your ryes to not come with the chance of overly youthful exuberance, then maybe go with a Sazerac, Wild Turkey or Rittenhouse Rye and save yourself quite a few dollars. Personally I bought it on vacation (with the vacation splurge on spending) so although I’m a bit disappointed by it I do not regret buying it.
Of course, maybe it’s just the barrel I lucked into. Single barrels vary after all. For instance, I had a glass at 21C in Louisville and thought it was quite good (though not worth the $18 per pour asking price). So your milage may vary. However I probably won’t be buying it again until it has a bit more age under its belt.
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