Tasting Notes: The Higher Proof New Orleans Bourbon Festival Wilderness Trail Bourbon Pick

I didn’t know there were two barrels picked. This one is the same age, mashbill, and yeast as the other one, but aged in a different part of the warehouse and is 119 proof, or 1% more alcohol than the other barrel.

Color: This one is not as dark as the other one; just a nice medium amber. Swirl: nice thin film with big legs; almost gravity defying. Well made spirit. Nose: vanilla, caramel and herbs, not as oaky as the first barrel. Palate: really nice high rye recipe bourbon, with the caramel and vanilla on the front fading into heavy candied rye. Much less oak than the first barrel. That little extra proof though is evident, not with burn but without richness in the mouthfeel. Finish is about medium long.

I think I prefer the other barrel with its heavy oak, but folks sometimes joke that I must have sucked on a charred oak stave instead of a binky when I was a baby. But this bourbon is definitely great in its own right, and the lesser amount of oak allows the caramel and candied rye to really shine.

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