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Wright & Brown #327 Heritage Grain Single Barrel Bourbon

While made from the same mashbill as the flagship bourbon, the grains of the Heritage barrel carry a unique pedigree. This is how Earl Brown describes it. “I know all the farmers personally! My friend Laurance Hindley grew the barley in Honeydew, California on the upper Mattole River Valley of Humboldt County. We then had it custom malted at Admiral Maltings in Alameda. The corn was grown by Adams Grain near Sacramento and we grew the rye on my family ranch in Petrolia, California. It is very much a Northern California terroir bourbon.” Perhaps how our sweeping coastal views like to hide behind pillows of rolling fog, the light aromas here hide a huge palate. Wisps of smoke, clove, and honeycomb on the nose are quickly washed over by an avalanche of warm, big spice. Everything from allspice to black pepper to cardamom - a baker’s dream of an entry. On the following sips lots more nuance emerges: tobacco, leather, and bread. Golden delicious apples and nectarines. Salted caramels and coffee cake with a pat of butter. The big flavors mingle for a good long while, and when they wind down to a drier finish we're left with a slow fade of herbs and cinnamon. Aged 4 years and 6 months and bottled at 124.2 proof (highest ABV bottling in Wright & Brown history!)

Dan Wright & Earl Brown are deeply rooted Northern Californians, raised amongst our coastal agriculture. This translates directly into their award-winning spirits, which now include rye, bourbon, rum, and single malt whiskey. Only recently has the whiskey world started to give proper attention to local grains, and terroir-minded producers (thus far, mostly with Scotch) - but Wright & Brown has made it their focus from the start. While it’s not hard to imagine why a couple of California farm boys would care about the source of their grain, what’s really intriguing is seeing the effect their grain hyper-knowledge has on furthering the definition of true California whiskey.

To capture these big flavors Wright & Brown adheres to slow techniques adapted from pre-prohibition distillation: all non-GMO grains, malting done locally at Alameda’s own Admiral Maltings, sweet mash fermentation, a Vendome still similar to a traditional pot still, and no chill filtration. The distillate that goes into their largely California-sourced barrels is full bodied and intensely aromatic. They enter the barrel at a lower 110-115 proof, allowing for a gentler mingling of grain and wood. About half a decade later we meet our happy trinity.