Well, it is that time of year again, and, due to Covid, New Orleans Bourbon Festival Bourbons are being released in stores rather than at the festival. Wilderness Trail has a release this year as they did last year. I picked one up this weekend in New Orleans and Hokus Pokus will have some in stock shortly.
This year’s release is five years and seven months old, non-chill filtered and bottled at 117 proof which is noted to be cask strength. Unlike last year’s wheated release, this is a rye recipe bourbon.
Color is pure mahogany. I can’t get over how red this bourbon is. Beautiful. On the swirl is a thin film with thin legs. Nose has a lot of oak along with vanilla and caramel. On the palate heavy oak and vanilla with herbal rye, but the palate is soft and not harsh. On the finish the candied herbal rye becomes dominant. Medium mouthfeel.
The best way I could describe this bourbon is it is similar to Old Grand Dad 114 but with a whole bunch of oak and darker color due to extra age. This barrel started out at 110 proof in the barrel and lost water and gained alcohol to an amazing result in both color and flavor. In my opinion this is a high rye bourbon masterpiece.