|Varietal||Kentucky Straight Bourbon|
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Charles Medley Distillery is releasing another special-release, Wathen’s Barrel Proof. Only 25 barrels of this single-barrel Bourbon will be released, with proofs ranging from 109.6 to 118.6.
While this will be the first release of Wathen’s Barrel Proof, the Wathen’s brand has been available at 94 proof in Kentucky for 20 years. “All our brands honor brands my family has owned in previous generations,” says Sam Medley, an 8th generation distiller and co-owner of Charles Medley Distillery. Bourbon is in Medley’s blood – the name Wathen’s comes from his great grandmother’s maiden name. The young Ms. Wathen married Medley’s great grandfather and named their son Wathen Medley. He and his brothers developed the flagship bottle Medley Brothers in the 1940’s.
According to Medley, Wathen was known to keep a special stash of Bourbon on hand for guests at all times. Long before the advent of the term “single barrel” with the release of Blanton’s in 1984, he would choose a favorite barrel to bottle and offer as his private stock, calling it “Wathen’s Kentucky Bourbon.” The new Wathen’s Barrel Proof release is a nod to this family custom.
Medley shared that the mash bill for these bottles uses lower than the industry standard of rye while the corn and malted barley used to round out the rest of the ingredients is a higher percentage.
“My great grandfather developed our mash bill after Prohibition. We’re very proud of it – he said people drink Bourbon because it’s sweet, so if corn is what makes Bourbon sweet, the more corn the better,” says Medley. He has his reasons for the high malted barley content as well, stating it smooths and sweetens the finish for a higher proof juice, as well as improves the viscosity.
Buttery caramel, freshly shucked corn, oak, vanilla, and a bit of nutmeg with some grassy notes.
Fresh corn on the cob, spice, oak, buttery caramel, and vanilla with some grassy notes.
Long -> Fresh corn, spice, oak, and caramel.
Well, balanced, full-body, and a soft easy feel.