Wilderness Trail Distillery Single Barrel Cask Strength Rye Whiskey (750ml) - Whiskey Hunt Australia Selection
Whiskey Hunt Australia shift their focus to rye with this booming five year old from Wilderness Trail Distillery in Danville, KY, a family-owned business that began in 2012. Co-owners Shane Baker and Pat Heist were in a hard rock cover band, but their love of whiskey and 28+ years of fermentation expertise led them into distilling. Shane Baker's family have actually being distilling since the 1940s. A retired relative worked at Stitzel-Weller for more than 50 years. This type of family history provides a lot of their influence and 'industry know-how' today, including access to some special yeast strains. Baker and Heist have made a name for themselves as international troubleshooters for small and large distilleries, consulting on bacterial contamination, mashbills and analyzing grain quality, yeast strains and fermentation. When they describe Wilderness Trail as "the collective optimization of hundreds of distilleries around the world", it's not merely marketing hyperbole.
Using a consistent single source Heritage Rye helps maintain a reliable flavour profile, as does a traditional sweet mash process. As opposed to sour mashing, where a small amount of fermented mash is included in the following batch, their approach results in a softer, cleaner distillate. “Sour mashing is often used for bacterial control, but you lose the flavour consistency in the stillage,” explains Heist. “With sweet mashing, the yeast, grains, and water are consistent from batch to batch.” Their rye mash bill was created for a broader balance of flavours, as a point of difference to 'high ryes' more commonly found. Air-dried #4 char, 200 litre barrels are filled at 105 proof and aged on the upper floors of the rickhouses for a minimum of 4 years.
The exact recipe for this Australian Exclusive selection is 56% rye, 33% corn & 11% malted barley. Pouring a glowing autumn leaf gold with russet red edges, the opening aromas are peppery and eye-watering, then thick, plump and round; a melting pot bouquet fusing muddled mint, ginger bread and bitter cocoa over sweeter depths of vanilla and maple syrup. The palate offers beautiful flavour definition; Rye-soaked vanillas, with the perfect degree of bourbon sweetness, dialling up the sharpness and pepperiness before dovetailing into carpenter's shop, adding sawdust, charry oak, cigar box and mint julep notes to the delicately astringent finish. A sort of 'Bourye' style that's superbly balanced, effortless and assured. The ABV is never an issue except to the positive. Highest recommendation. 55.5% Alc./Vol. Non-Chill filtered. 257 bottles.