By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
This amazing cask of Wathen's is one of the most exciting releases of the year. We've been hounding the Medleys for a cask-strength single barrel for years and this special batch couldn't have been a better introduction for the brand. The reason I'm so excited about this cask isn't simply that it's crazy rare and sought-after by collectors, but because the whiskey is exactly what I love to drink. This Wathen's is brimming with character, tons of savory sweet complexity on the nose and a wildly boisterous profile on the palate, but what strikes me most about it is perfect balance between all the elements. The result is something that's ultimately difficult to describe because none of the elements stand out beyond the others. They meld together in a perfect sphere of bourbon deliciousness. This really reminds me of some of the older dusty bourbons I've had. At one moment the nose seems nutty, buttery and woodsy. The next it's all dried stone fruit and spice. The whiff, literally gone, a void. For a moment it seems overtly sweet, almost like jam, but before you know it a gravely earthiness has taken over. There's so much there and so much to tease from the whiskey, I'm literally spending hours tasting and re-tasting to try to get a handle on it. That additional time in the glass is crucial because it absolutely loves air. Ultimately, though I have to admit that this bourbon beat me, I must stop thinking about it and just experience it. That's what it's for in the first place. I will note that a tiny drop of water does soften the nose and open the aromatics up quiet dramatically. Not more than the tiniest drop though.