Next up is a wheated Bourbon called Sweet Heat. Distilled from a mash of 51% corn, and 49% wheat. If you're scratching your head wondering where the malted barley is, don't fret. There isn't any. Instead, Boot Hill used an artificial enzyme to get the fermentation going. It aged just shy of four years in a 10-gallon, #3-charred oak barrel. Weighing in just below hazmat with 137.6°, the yield was 31 bottles.
Appearance: I was initially shocked by the color until I remembered only a 10-gallon barrel was used. Deep and dark, it formed a thin rim and medium-thick, sticky legs.
Nose: Dark chocolate was the dominating aroma, with thick caramel underneath. Then, I smelled cherry schnapps. When I brought the vapor into my mouth, the schnapps changed to cherry pie filling.
Palate: A thin and oily mouthfeel lacked the expected heat from the proof. Oak was definitive on the front and carried across the palate. I struggled through it and tasted cocoa and cherry mid-palate, with leather and sweet chili pepper on the back.
Finish: The finish was long and dry. What stuck around was dry oak, barrel char, old leather, and black pepper. It had pucker power for sure.
Verdict: As I mentioned with the palate, Sweet Heat drank much lower than its stated proof. Were I blind tasting this, I'd guess it was somewhere around 110° or so. The nose was intriguing, the palate certainly lived up to its name, but the oak was distracting and difficult to overcome. The finish was nice because I appreciate the qualities of a dry one. While I enjoy oaky Bourbons, I felt this crossed into being over-oaked. This wasn't flat and one-note by any means, and if you gravitate toward heavily-oaked Bourbons, Sweet Heat satisfies that craving. Cheers!