Wilderness Trail is a relatively new (2012) craft distillery out of Danville, Kentucky that is dedicated to producing quality whiskey, vodka, and rum from locally-sourced grains using their founders’ fermentation prowess and state-of-the-art scientific methods. Wilderness Trail released their first whiskey, a bottled in bond, back in 2018 and has since released a small batch bourbon and rye whiskey as part of its spirit portfolio.
This whiskey is made from a mash bill of 64% corn, 24% wheat, and 12% malted barley. It is not aged-stated, but from the bottled in bond designation we know it is at least 4 years old. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at 100 proof (50% abv). This bottle comes from Barrel No. 15D07, which yielded 252 bottles. Wilderness Trail BIB retails for roughly $50.
Appearance – orange amber.
Nose – traditional notes of caramel, vanilla bean, and baking spice are muddled in equal proportions and underscored by a pronounced note of musty oak. With additional time, the oak started to fade and revealed some botanical notes with a few hints of citrus.
Palate – oak wood presents initially, revealing some youth on the palate, but notes of toasted grain, chewy caramel, and cinnamon spice take over quickly. There is also a mild burn that develops mid-palate which really accentuates the overall sweet caramel profile.
Finish – the finish is medium with an average mouthfeel. A slight burn and some cinnamon spice transition from the palate, but I also found a few muted sweet notes (think dried apricot) and a dominant note of caramel popcorn.
Overall – I really enjoyed this pour. Admittedly, there is some youth that comes through on the palate and this is not the most complex whiskey available, but overall the sweet and smooth profile really worked for me. The musty oak note provided a little ‘funk’ on the nose and palate, but I thought it added an interesting addition to the profile of this sweet, wheated bourbon. I was also pleasantly surprised by how smooth this pour was, especially considering other similarly aged craft whiskey I’ve tried over the past few months. Overall, I think Wilderness Trail is a welcomed addition to my bourbon cabinet and I look forward to sampling their other whiskeys! Cheers!