Wheated Bourbons, or wheaters, have a cult following. Don’t get me wrong; traditional Bourbons have their massive fan base, but there’s something about wheaters that drive some folks wild. Wheated Bourbons are less spicy due to a lack of rye grain. And, since distilled wheat has no natural flavor, it magnifies the flavors of other grains and wood. It also rounds out the mouthfeel, giving what many describe as a smooth sensation.
Two Souls Spirits is an American independent bottler. I’ve talked about independent bottling and how it differs from simply sourcing whiskey. But, in a nutshell, independent bottlers procure unusual barrels and package them with their brand in combination with the distiller’s brand. Transparency is a given part of the operation.
Today, I’m exploring Two Souls Spirits New York Wheated Bourbon, which came out of Finger Lakes Distilling. Finger Lakes Distilling was founded in 2007 by Brian McKenzie in New York’s wine country in Burdett. Finger Lakes is a New York State Farm Distillery, which means its liquor-making license is dependent on producing products from fruits, grains, etc., grown primarily on New York farmland.
“This one is for the old-school wheater fans out there. Dusty and funky in the best way, this whiskey packs a big punch of classic Bourbon notes (toffee, vanilla) balanced perfectly by thick layers of oak and barrel spice. An extremely rare cask strength wheated Bourbon from Finger Lakes Distilling, this is a true one-of-a-kind barrel from a preeminent US craft distillery. The only downside? Nearly 9-years [sic] in a barrel gave the angels plenty of time to take their share.” – Two Souls Spirits
Barrel 1563 was distilled from a mash of 70% white corn, 20% wheat, and 10% malted barley. It was filled on February 6, 2014, and dumped on November 17, 2022, giving it an eight-year age statement. Entry proof was 100°, and the barrel was subjected to a #4 char level. Only 113 bottles at 52.83% ABV (105.66°) were made available and priced at $129.99, which can be purchased directly from the Two Souls Spirits shopping page.
Finally, I must thank Two Souls Spirits for providing me with a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Now, let’s #DrinkCurious.
Appearance: I sipped this Bourbon neat from my Glencairn glass. Inside, the liquid looked like copper and formed a thicker rim on the wall. Sticky droplets remained below the rim, releasing syrupy legs.
Nose: Strangely, the first thing I smelled was mint. I was taken aback because that’s a smell associated with rye. The lack thereof left me puzzled. The aroma included cherry, corn, and caramel. I tasted cherry and vanilla when I drew the air through my lips.
Palate: An oily texture filled every crevice of my mouth and introduced my palate to caramel, vanilla, and cherry. As it moved to the middle, I encountered toffee and mocha. Flavors of tobacco, black pepper, and clove were featured on the back of my palate.
Finish: The finish offered black pepper, clove, tobacco, and mocha in a crescendo of spicy heat.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Was this a one-of-a-kind wheater as described by Two Souls Spirits? Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt. It is unlike any other wheated Bourbon I’ve sampled. But it isn’t all that different from traditional, high-proof Bourbons I’ve tasted, and that’s what grabbed my attention. This is a good whiskey, yet I can’t picture myself spending $130 on it without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re looking for something like Maker’s Mark, Weller, Pappy, or Old Fitzgerald, you’ll have to keep looking. Due to all of these reasons, I’m giving New York Wheated Bourbon my Bar rating. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.