Wathen’s Private Barrel #59 "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)

SKU #1351462

Here's another stupendous cask from our friends at Wathen's. If you don't already know, Wathen's (bottled by father and son team Charles & Sam Medley) is one of the country's most well respected non-distillery producers. We refer to them as non-distillery producer rather than non-distiller producer because of course Charles Medley is one of Kentucky's most well respected distillers. He had decades of experience running the old Owensboro plant, before moving toward contract production. That means he's got a special relationship with his contracted producers. He gets to call the shots, use proprietary yeast, dial in his specifications for fermentation, distillation and barreling. Other NDPs, even those buying contracts rather than bulk, likely rely on the expertise of their distilling partner to determine these important specifications. The Medleys do it themselves. The result is something that is uniquely Medley and always delicious. Ultra round and approachable, this single barrel was dumped all the way back in 2016 and has been sitting in glass since then. Always a mystery regarding the actual distillery here, but my money is on Barton in Bardstown. They've got a great old school facility and some extra capacity since their brands are mostly sold regionally. No matter who actually distilled it, the key to this cask is BALANCE. Few single barrels are so overtly "smooth" as this little gem. A supple corn driven bourbon with just the right amount of spice to keep it in check.

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Price: $39.99
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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/5/2018 | Send Email
We've been content previously to let these wonderful Wathen's single barrels sell naturally off the shelf. It's usually those early adopters who take a chance only to let the bottle sit in the bar for a few weeks that end up coming back begging for more. I used to be able to give it to them. Those were the days. I think I erroneously referred to the last casks a "certain sleeper" meaning it might be around for a while until the real heads figure out how special it was. Talking like that has the fully intended consequence of peaking almost everyone's interest. One bottle turns into two or three at the touch of a button these days. Now I have people constantly returning asking me if I still have that awesome cask from those Medley boys, but of course we do not. The single cask program here moves pretty slow. I selected this bad boy along side the AMAZING Barrel Proof offering last year and it's just showing up now. I remember sitting across from Sam at lunch tasting the line up. He asked, "what do you look for when selecting a cask?" I hummed and hawed a bit. "We want something special. Something bigger and better than our customers can already get, not just different, but noticeably better. But in terms of the one quality that I'm looking for in determining the value of a particular cask, it would be balance." Sam lit up, "That's exactly what my Dad says!" "I like you David." I feel the same way Sam and that quality is exactly what we find in this wonderful barrel. The nose starts VERY corn driven. Corn bread baking in an old wooden house. As it aerates the fruit starts to pour out of the glass. Sticky stewed stone fruit, tart red cherries and that corn boiling behind. Then gorgeous fresh cut wood, touches of graphite and dried herbs. In the mouth, its round and medium bodied. The front end is more toward the caramel and toffee than the fruit, but in the middle the spices really take over tinged by old wood and earthy gravel. The finish is medium length and super soft with almost no burn though the obvious barrel spice dries it up leaving you with one impression - balance. Classy stuff...

Staff Image By: Anthony Russo | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/11/2018 | Send Email
The smell reminds me of the crispy center of a Butterfinger bar: peanut-y, butter-y sweetness. Bright and high toned, this bourbon does not feel as "rich" as some others, great for people who want something more elegant than the more "syrupy" spirits. Add a bit of water and the nuttiness pops a bit more, making this super interesting bottle even more intriguing. Delicious!

Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/6/2018 | Send Email
This is the first time that I have tasted a selection from Wathen. I was really impressed with the quality of this barrel. The nose is an interplay of vanilla and spice. In the mouth the spice theme continues with soft with and complex flavors completing the picture.

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/4/2018 | Send Email
I try to live my life with a healthy appreciation for balance. Work, family, fun, etc. But in the whisky (and wine) world, you often find people looking for things to be over the top. Superfluous. Dripping in whatever cask finish they've cooked up. Massively extracted. This Wathen's selection challenges all of that. It offers you a little bit of everything in a harmonious package. It's a whisky for how I like to live my daily life. It's got a beautiful sweet corn profile, a little spicy herbal note, wood tannin to bring it all together, and is proofed at a friendly 47%. It is smooth. It is elegant. It is well priced. All around, it's a terrific selection for a drink tonight.

Staff Image By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/31/2018 | Send Email
Private Barrel #59 is awesome. Toffee and caramelized brown sugar on the nose, plus a hint of banana and toastiness through the palate, this is elegant and delicious, with satisfying heat on the finish. Plus you get the quality of a single barrel and the expertise of eight generations behind it. If you like special Bourbon with a backstory, do not miss our Wathen’s Single Barrel.

Staff Image By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/30/2018 | Send Email
The Medley family from Owensboro, Kentucky (a high school team we beat on road to the Class A championship game) has eight generations of master distillers under its belt. These family's roots run back to the birth of Kentucky bourbon. Wathen's Barrel 59 starts out with a very subtle nose of honey-covered walnuts, with no alcohol sting to cloud the senses. There's a bit of banana and nutmeg, too. Mouthfeel is more toasted banana bread and toffee ice cream - it's a lovely warm sensation that over-delivers as it goes down. The finish is smooth with long-lingering spice. This would be my go-to summertime bourbon. Warm and easy!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Bourbon

Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Kentucky

Alcohol Content (%): 47