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Wathen’s Special Release "Barrel Proof" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)

SKU #1330125

The exceptional Wathen's brand is unique in that they're one of the few non-distiller producers that is contractually authorized to run their contracted distillery to their own specifications. That's because the owner and 7th-generation bourbon has earned the respect of his colleagues. He ran the Owensboro DSP-KY-10 plant until 1991, and after its closure made many attempts to restart the old distillery. Eventually the distillery sold, and the Wathen's sold the old stocks as they secured contracts for future production. Charles Wathens Meldey and his son Sam have slowly built the Wathen's and Medley brand, choosing to stick to their core brands rather expand the portfolio. We've had a great relationship with them over the years, but one thing they've never done for us is bottle full strength single barrel... until now! We're very lucky to be selected as one of only 25 accounts across the country to be offered a single barrel of cask strength Wathen's. In fact, only one other account in California got a crack at these special barrels. They're selected from a special experimental batch of barrels that were filled at significantly lower proof than normal. Medley usually fills at 117 and this special batch went in at 105. Lower entry proof means more maturity and depth in less time. This is one of the most inviting and complex cask strength barrels we've ever come across. After tasting at full proof I'm convinced it's Buffalo Trace though they won't confirm. An absolute triumph!

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Price: $79.99
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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/10/2017 | Send Email
This amazing cask of Wathen's is one of the most exciting releases of the year. We've been hounding the Medleys for a cask-strength single barrel for years and this special batch couldn't have been a better introduction for the brand. The reason I'm so excited about this cask isn't simply that it's crazy rare and sought-after by collectors, but because the whiskey is exactly what I love to drink. This Wathen's is brimming with character, tons of savory sweet complexity on the nose and a wildly boisterous profile on the palate, but what strikes me most about it is perfect balance between all the elements. The result is something that's ultimately difficult to describe because none of the elements stand out beyond the others. They meld together in a perfect sphere of bourbon deliciousness. This really reminds me of some of the older dusty bourbons I've had. At one moment the nose seems nutty, buttery and woodsy. The next it's all dried stone fruit and spice. The whiff, literally gone, a void. For a moment it seems overtly sweet, almost like jam, but before you know it a gravely earthiness has taken over. There's so much there and so much to tease from the whiskey, I'm literally spending hours tasting and re-tasting to try to get a handle on it. That additional time in the glass is crucial because it absolutely loves air. Ultimately, though I have to admit that this bourbon beat me, I must stop thinking about it and just experience it. That's what it's for in the first place. I will note that a tiny drop of water does soften the nose and open the aromatics up quiet dramatically. Not more than the tiniest drop though.

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United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


Alcohol Content (%): 57.9