Store Picks: Wathan’s Barrel Proof –Haymarket Pick – Barrel 18
Pick Information - This offering was chosen by the barrel selection team at Haymarket Bar in Louisville, Kentucky. This barrel was picked in person at Wathan’s bottling facility. I am reviewing bottle 30 of 99. This pick is 118.3 proof and there is no age statement.
Color – Light amber. Much lighter than expected for a barrel proof but it could speak to the age. The bottle is NAS.
Nose – Heavy caramel. It is the same heavy caramel I get with most Wathan / Medley products. I also got some fruit notes as well.
Palate – Caramel and cinnamon on the front. Verify inviting from the first taste. I get a little vanilla and oak on the back end. Extremely smooth for high proof.
Finish - High medium to long finish. I still get a lot of caramel and some fading cinnamon at the end. You get a nice punch of the high proof at the end to remind you what you are drinking.
Wallet – If you were able to secure one of these when it was released, it retailed for $85.99. Compared to the lower proof Witham’s, which retails closer to $34.99, you are paying the extra for the increase in proof. Both drink well but you do get that punch at the end on this pick that makes it more interesting.
Head to Head – There is no direct head to head of a Wathan barrel proof pick versus a non-pick barrel proof. Compared to other barrel proofs in the same price range, I would rank it somewhere in the middle. Better than some, not as good as others.
Bourbon Wes says – I think overall this is a good pick. One unique and interesting thing about this pick is that it is barrel proof and outside of Four Roses, you don’t see that too often. I enjoyed this pick and would definitely suggest a pour the next time you are in Haymarket. If you are a caramel and vanilla type person who likes a little higher proof, this would be a solid choice.
Rating (tasting notes + price point + uniqueness) – I would rate this store pick a 7 out of 10.
Store picks and barrel selections are popping up at liquor stores, hotels, restaurants, bars, and bourbon clubs and we would love to review your barrel selections in this column.
Ratings System: 1-2 – Would not suggest to anyone. Literally not drinkable neat.
3-5 - Solid pour but not considered special. Would not purchase second bottle
6-8 - Excellent pour. Robust, interesting, and different compared to regular offering.
9-10 - Outstanding. Hunt for multiple bottles. On par with allocated releases.