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Woodinville B&B Private Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon

3 Reviews
The private barrel of Woodinville Bourbon we chose (#2084) carries forward much of what we love about the flagship expression - the full bodied richness of a pot still bourbon, its warm sweet notes, and the long robust finish of oak and spicy kernels. But barrel #2084 brings a much more complex and deeper character into clear relief. A familiar caramel aroma wafts from the bottle, on the palate this bourbon shows honey, bacon and butter biscuits, custard and cornbread. Hints of banana cream pie, burnt creme brulee crust, and grandma’s shortbread cookies are ever present, pushing against balanced notes of toasted oak, with a wood spice finish.

The high-rye mash bill of 72% corn, 22% rye and 6% malted barley, aged for 5 years (the bourbon was barreled in 2014), keeps up the Woodinville style of bourbons that are just as friendly to sip as they are to mix into an occasional cocktail. Barrel #2084 comes in at a significant proof of 121.14, which could be a harder proof to stomach in the hands of lesser producers - but this bourbon is lovely to sip straight out of the bottle, or titrated drop by drop.

A mastery of flavor has become a reliable mark of Woodinville’s careful process. The grain production is carefully controlled with all corn and rye produced on the same non-GMO Omlin Family Farm in Quincy, Washington. After the harvest, the grain travels to Woodinville where it is milled to a fine flour and then mashed at grain-type specific temperatures. Followed by a 4 day open air fermentation, the resulting wort is very ester rich - which marries perfectly with the single-batch pot still distillation that follows. The pot still distillate runs directly into a small column still where precise cuts are made for a final result of a 140 proof, hearts-only spirit.

The distillate is barreled at 110 proof, a lower barrel entry proof than is standard. This is a more costly process, but some of the most well regarded bourbon producers (e.g. Weller/Van Winkle, Michter’s) stand by it as a practice to soften the harsher notes and draw fuller flavors out of the wood. The five-year-aging takes place back at Omlin Family Farm. The large temperature fluctuations maximize the barrel extraction and oxidation, while the drier Quincy air pushes the Angels’ Share to 30%.