- Bottle = Buy it
- Bar = Try it first
- Bust = Leave it
Friday, September 17, 2021
Thursday, June 18, 2020
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
One of my favorite things about sipping whiskey is discovering something new and unheard of. Oh, it doesn't mean it will always be good, but it is exciting nonetheless. Some folks really enjoy drinking the same thing time after time, and I don't blame them, that's their thing. For me, the whole #DrinkCurious lifestyle is all about exploration into the unknown.
Woodinville Straight Bourbon is distilled in-house at the Woodinville Whiskey Distilling Co. in Woodinville, Washington (that's a lot of Woodinvilles!). The whiskey is then transferred to rickhouses on the other side of the Cascade Mountains in Central Washington where they are left to age. The barrels are created from wood seasoned in the open air for 18 months. The barrels are then slow toasted and are subject to a heavy charring.
The Bourbon itself is distilled from a mash of 72% corn, 22% rye, and 6% malted barley. It is bottled at 90°, and while it doesn't carry an age statement, Woodinville suggests it is aged over five years. Suggested retail is $55 for a 750ml.
Before I get started on the tasting notes, I'd like to thank Woodinville Distilling Co. for providing me with a sample in exchange for a no-holds-barred, honest review.
In my Glencairn glass, the appearance is a dark caramel. It left a thin rim that led to fat legs. Those legs slowly dropped back to the pool of liquid sunshine.
Aromas of cinnamon and vanilla initially permeated my nostrils. Underneath those were toasted wood and berries. When I inhaled through my lips, I picked up crème brūlée.
The mouthfeel was thick, oily and coating. The front of my palate picked up cherry and caramel. There was also quite a bit of heavy oak. Mid-palate, it was very dark chocolate. That all yielded to black pepper and a return of the oak.
All of that resulted in a long, steady, peppery finish that brought back memories of the long-gone Elijah Craig 12.
Bottle, Bar or Bust: There are a few factors going on here in my rating. I enjoyed the mix of cherries and dark chocolate on the palate and the finish that brought back good memories. When that's compounded with the suggested retail, which falls nicely into the rest of the craft whiskey category, there's really no downside and easily snatches up a Bottle rating. If you visit their website at woodinvillewhiskey.com, you can discover if distribution is near you.
Thursday, February 7, 2019
One of the great joys of the Wonderful World of Whiskey is the invitation to do a private barrel pick. It is not only a lot of fun but a great honor. And, if you're very serious about picking barrels, you have to go in prepared to reject all the samples if they won't be something you're proud to have your name associated with.
My goal when picking a barrel is to find something unusual. Some stores or bars like "safe" picks, where they know it will taste just like the standard release. I typically reject those. After all, if it isn't something special, why bother going through the trouble?
Last fall I was invited to pick a barrel of Elijah Craig for BWP - Pierce's Express Market in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The goal was to have this selected and in the store by Christmas. As it turned out, BWP received the barrel just a couple weeks ago. BWP has this single barrel Bourbon listed at $29.99 and it carries no age statement.
The Elijah Craig private barrel program is always 94°. Personally, I wish they'd offer a barrel proof option, but that's not going to happen. Saying that, one of the things I appreciate about the Elijah Craig private barrel program is its affordability. There are a lot of barrel picks that get pricey. Not so with Elijah Craig.
The good news is it has been so long ago since I picked this, I don't completely remember what was picked. That's not quite going into this blind, but it is enough to where any notes I had then are long forgotten, so this is almost a new Bourbon to me. Time to #DrinkCurious...
In my Glencairn, the appearance was typical Elijah Craig's deep amber. It left the thinnest rim on the glass. The rim hung on for several moments before it created thick droplets that just would not release back to the pool of liquid sunshine. This was a surprise because when I tasted the samples, it was with plastic cups.
After letting the glass rest for about ten minutes, thick fruit permeated the air around me. As I nosed the glass, it started as berry heavy. Underneath that berry was aromas of vanilla and oak. When I inhaled through my lips, fresh cream rolled all over my palate.
The initial mouthfeel was like the rim: incredibly thin. A subsequent sip was much less so, and the more I sipped the creamier it became. It could have been a factor of the tingling on my hard palate, but I distinctly remember the same experience with the initial sample. Vanilla was up front, followed by red fruit and black pepper at mid-palate. The fruit gave way to oak, but the black pepper remained. There was, interestingly enough, really nothing on the back.
The very long finish consisted of the charred oak you'd normally expect from Elijah Craig. But, added to that was clove that hung on to the front, eventually yielding to a sweet caramel before melting away. I chose the word melting purposefully because that's the best description available.
Finally, this one drinks heavier than the advertised 94°. It doesn't "burn" but it definitely grabs the attention of your hard palate.
Bottle, Bar or Bust: Let's get real here. I picked this, obviously, I'm biased. Remember my goal: I always want to find something unusual or unique. The BWP - Pierce's Express Market pick fits that description. I am honored to have been a part of this pick and this absolutely rates as a Bottle. If you're in Wisconsin, make the drive to Baraboo. You'll be happy.
Monday, September 24, 2018
I'm going to start this off by saying I'm a sucker for Elijah Craig. This doesn't mean that any of the various expressions get a free pass from me, rather, it means when I see a new incarnation, I get excited and will buy a bottle untasted. When reviewing it, I give it the same unbiased opportunity for Bottle, Bar, or Bust as I do with anything else. There have been a couple of unimpressive releases in the barrel-proof versions...
You can read this review in its entirety at Bourbon & Banter. Cheers!