Wildnerness Trail bourbon review: Single Barrel Bottled in Bond has big oak flavor

Wilderness Trail Single Barrel Bourbon, Photo by Michael Collins/FanSided
Wilderness Trail Single Barrel Bourbon, Photo by Michael Collins/FanSided /

If you like bourbon with a nice earthy, oaky taste, Wilderness Trail Bourbon, Single Barrel Bottled in Bond is a great find.

The first Wilderness Trail bourbon I tasted from their lineup was the single barrel bottled in bond offering, and for those who like a hearty and earthy taste to their bourbon, this could be the pick of the year for you. This is a beverage for those who like more bold tastes in their whiskey.

Wilderness Trail Distillery is an independent operation in Danville, Kentucky, and is now part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. They have several whiskey offerings, including a standard bourbon release, a small batch Bottled in Bond, a straight rye whiskey, and the bottle being reviewed here – the Single Barrel Bottled in Bond.

They are also the home of Blüe Heron Vodka and Harvest Rum.

I jumped right to the 100 proof single barrel to get a real taste of what they have to offer beyond a standard bourbon.

Wildnerness Trail Bourbon, Single Barrel Bottled in Bond tasting notes

Age: 5-6 years (not age stated)
Mashbill: 64 percent corn, 24 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley
Proof: 100

Nose: Immediately you are hit with strong oak notes, perhaps a hint of pine, with a bit of underlying sweetness resembling maple. It’s not a punch in the face nose, but it’s definitely quite unique.

Palate: This is a continuation of the nose, with heavy char and oak in the front. Very hearty and earthy. Next, you’ll get a bit of the spices, not really distinguishable, but very warm. The complexity of the notes makes everything very difficult to single out, but it’s very tasty.

Finish: The finish is short and dry, with that maple-vanilla tickling your tastebuds. Not astringent, but not a lingering, coating feeling on your palate.

Final thoughts: For a $60 or less bottle of bourbon, this is quite nice, and in some ways very surprising. If the aim of the distiller was to create a flavor that was distinctly theirs and would be recognizable in any bottle, then they’ve succeeded in that here.

It definitely left me wanting to sample the rest of the lineup, particularly the small batch and straight rye offerings.

If your preference is the traditional caramel, vanilla, and toffee notes found in many Kentucky bourbons, then you’ll find this whiskey to be a bit harsh for your palate. The uniqueness of this bourbon makes it one to look forward to as the distillery has more aged product.

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