They may have waited four years before releasing their first batch of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey but now that the four year mark has past distillers Shane Baker and Dr. Pat Heist at Wilderness Trail Distillery in Danville, Kentucky are opening the bourbon gates. Their latest release is a Bottled-in-Bond Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey made with a rye small grain versus wheat as found in Wilderness Trail’s original Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon.
High Wheat vs. High Rye Small Batch Bourbon?
There’s a lot wrapped up in that statement. The two spirits mash bills share the same percentage of 64% corn and 12% malted barley but the remaining mash bill grains vary. Wilderness Trail wants bourbon fans to taste the difference when 24% rye is substituted for the 24% wheat.
Unlike Bottled-in-Bond which has a very strict definition the phrase Small Batch has no legal definition. A Small Batch at a craft distillery may be three barrels while a Small Batch at a larger distillery like Four Roses Distillery could be 100 to 125 barrels. In the case of this latest Wilderness Trail Distillery release their small batch consists of 10 to 12 barrels.
Wilderness Trail proudly uses Kentucky-grown Heritage rye from a local farm, a sweet mash process (most large distilleries use sour mash) and low barrel proof entry into a barrel for aging. When it comes time to dump the bourbon out of the barrel for bottling Wilderness Trail’s bourbon and rye whiskeys are bottled at maturity with no chill filtration. That allows more flavor to stay in the bottle. It may also mean fans will see a bit of cloudiness in the bottle at times, and that’s ok.
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The release will take place at the third annual A Taste in Danville on April 27, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the distillery where samples will be available. A Taste in Danville features Wilderness Trail’s Bourbon and some of central Kentucky’s best spirits, locally crafted beers, food and live music.
Wilderness Trail is a proud member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour and can be found at fine retailers and locations across Kentucky, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee. Wilderness Trail plans to add Ohio, California, and Virginia in the near future.
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