Thursday, December 10, 2020

Wiggly Bridge Small Barrel Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

Recently, I reviewed Wiggly Bridge Distillery's Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon. My overall rating for it was a Bar.  When Wiggly Bridge sent me that bottle, they also included one of its Small Barrel Bourbon.  That, my friends, is what this review is about.

Something I didn't talk about in the Bottled-in-Bond review is the history of the namesake bridge. Originally constructed in the 1930s in York, Maine, the Wiggly Bridge is the nation's smallest pedestrian suspension bridge. Dave and Dave Woods (father and son) chose to name their distillery after this bridge, suggesting that bigger is not necessarily better. There is a lot of pride, both in the bridge itself and what the distillery creates.

The Small Barrel Bourbon utilizes the same mash of 58% corn, 37% rye, and 5% malted barley as the Bottled-in-Bond.  Unlike it, though, Wiggly Bridge uses 30-gallon barrels instead of the latter's 53-gallon. The Woods have a hand-rolled copper pot still and use Scottish yeast to assist in the fermentation process. It rests in those medium-toasted, #3-char 30-gallon barrels for at least three years before being dumped and then bottled at 86°.  Distribution is currently limited to ME, DC, MA, NJ, NY, and CA. A 750ml will set you back about $50.00.

As always, I'd like to thank Wiggly Bridge for a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. With that being said, it is time to #DrinkCurious.

Appearance:  In my Glencairn glass, this Bourbon presented as chestnut in color.  It produced a thin, sticky rim that eventually spawned slow, creeping legs that fell back to the pool.

Nose:  The very first thing to impact my olfactory sense was fig. It wasn't just a hint of it, either. It was fruity and sweet.  I also smelled toffee, corn, and oak.  When I inhaled the vapor through my lips, thick, rich caramel danced across my tongue.

Palate:  I found the Small Barrel Bourbon to have a creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. The more I sipped, the creamier it became. An unmistakable flavor of caramel started things off, and that was joined by oak. As it moved to my mid-palate, I could swear I was eating cinnamon apples. Then, on the back, very dark chocolate and nutmeg took over. If it sounds a bit like a recipe for an apple pie, that's what was going through my mind.

Finish:  Everything rounded out with clove, char, cinnamon, and oak in a medium-length finish.

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  As I stated in the beginning, I gave the Bottled-in-Bond version a Bar rating. It was good, but I thought it was expensive for what it was.  With the Small Barrel Bourbon, it is priced in the typical realm of craft whiskey - right at that $50.00 mark.  More important than that, however, is the fact that I enjoyed sipping on this one. The 30-gallon barrels helped this mature quickly, and I frankly loved the creamy texture. This is a well-balanced, flavorful Bourbon that earns my coveted Bottle rating. Cheers!

My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It

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