Wathen’s Private Barrel "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml) SKU #1311227


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Tasting Notes

This exceptional single cask from the Medley Family is on another level. The Medleys are Kentucky legends and some of the few NDPs (non-distiller producers) who actually get to dictate how their distilling partners produce the whiskey that they contract. That means truly taking over a distillery and produces bourbon to their exact specification. The result is a portfolio of whiskies with unique character at exceptional prices. This single cask was selected with Sam Medley and is easily one of the "smoothest" whiskies in the store. I don't love to use that term because it's essentially meaningless in real terms, but what I mean here is that there isn't a sharp edge anywhere in this bottle. Round, supple, rich and comforting without being cloying or overtly sweet, this is a real drinker's whiskey. Notable are the aromatics of spiced honey, deep exotic mahogany, baked vanilla beans and subtle candied citrus. The palate is Crème brûlée over pepper and spice. The finish is easy and long without a hint of heat. This one was Sam's favorite of the day and it was without a doubt ours as well. A superlative cask by any measure. (David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits buyer)

Staff Reviews

  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    This wonderful cask of Wathen's is definitely one of those sleeper whiskies. When we get a barrel of Weller, Eagle Rare or even Buffalo Trace people jump out of their seats to get one of the 200+ bottles. But Wathen's hasn't got the name recognition for the non-nerds and so it usually goes out on a real slow simmer. People slowly decided to try a bottle and then three or four weeks later they show up praying that we still have it. Objectively though, this cask bests every single Buffalo Trace single barrel we've received in the last 2-3 years. That's kind of the beauty of the Wathen's/Medley brand is that they can offer something that's superlatively good and nobody seems to notice. While they won't share the age statements here I'm happy to guess that this is at least 10+ years old. A big nose of vanilla bean, cacao nibs, maple syrup and barrel spice. Exotic woods and freshly varnished antique furniture meld perfectly with the candied fruit and savory spice. It feels totally mature. It's RICH! Palate coating and forwardly sweet on the front. Then meanders toward and long spicy dry finish. Awesome texture and length here. This will likely be most peoples new favorite for the very short time that we get to enjoy it.
  • Anthony Russo
    By: Anthony Russo
    K&L Staff Member
    Fell in love with this as soon as I could smell it: like someone is shucking fresh corn right next to you. Only 47% abv, but has a sharpness on the tongue that makes it seem like more. Interesting, unique, and an amazing price.


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