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Wathen's Single Barrel # 1296

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@VictorReview by @Victor

4th Aug 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Wathen's Single Barrel Bourbon is currently distilled by the Medley family at the Charles Wathen Medley Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky. The Medley family has been in the whiskey business since 1788.

The reviewed bottle is from barrel #1296, bottled 1-21-2011. The reviewed bottle has been open for four weeks. There is no age statement on the bottle, but the Wathen's Single Barrels are reported by some to be 8 years old.

Nose: strong intensity, very sweet maple, strong vanilla, strong rye spice, moderate carnation, moderate caramel, slight honey, slight lemon. This is a very lovely nose, which is made even more amazing by the addition of a few drops of water. The only slight shortcoming of the nose is a bit of astringency more than would be desired.

Taste: strong oak flavours, lots of juicy intense rye spices--cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger--, rich caramel and vanilla, a hint of honey, and a hint of lemon. Very nice, though not a complete translation of the beautiful flavours from the nose.

Finish: very long finish. The oak and maple flavours last longer than the spice.

Balance: this is a well put-together bourbon, which tasted delicious both on first bottle opening and after four weeks of open bottle. The balance is quite good here. This reminds me most of Elijah Craig 18 yo among bourbons I know, even though this is reportedly aged less than half that time. The balance between sweet and sour, and between sweet and dry works well here. I enjoyed these samples which I received from my sister's bottle so much that I purchased a bottle of my own from a different barrel. A review of that bottle will follow.

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JDwhiskey commented

Yet another brilliantly informative review, thanks!. Can you recall what the price of this bottle was?

12 years ago 0

Victor commented

@JDwhiskey, I think that I paid about $ 34 including tax in Maryland. A good source (thanks to @HP12!)to check current US prices is the search function of www.wine-searcher.com. It gives currently posted online merchants' prices plus average price info for the US market.

12 years ago 0

JDwhiskey commented

Thanks, I hope I can lay my hands on a bottle soon enough, seems like great value for money.

12 years ago 0

gfc commented

The Medley distillery doen't actually produce anything, it has been silent for years. This product is contract distilled by an undisclosed distillery. The marketing material is very deceiving and confusing, and, due to that fact, they will see none of my money. Here is a link that helps explain how the whole situation works chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2013/10/…

7 years ago 0

Nozinan commented

@gfc.... an interesting bit of information. Sadly, here in Canada, we are not even given the option of choosing not to buy this...

7 years ago 0

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