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Wheel Horse Bourbon Batch 6 Review - Green River Distillate on Full Display


Wheel Horse Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Bringing the original Green River Distillery location back to life has been no small feat. Fueling the distilleries development has been a strong founding team, a penchant for contract distilling, and a relatively recent acquisition by the ever-expanding Bardstown Bourbon Co. Due to this catalyst-ladened infusion of resources, Green River (formerly O.Z. Tyler) is set to distribute their new products in 26 states. I first tried Wheel Horse bourbon back in 2021 when it was just coming-of-age under the original Batch 1 label. I loved it then, adopting a less-than-savory (but quite endearing) catch phrase for the brand. Those close enough to receive my unfiltered opinion might hear me exclaim, "Wheel Horse f***s!", which I assure you is a compliment of the highest caliber.


Wheel Horse Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

With 2 further years of crafting and refining their process, has the whiskey changed? Let's find out if the "Whiskey Without Regrets" still has my adoration. Shout out to Steve Coomes for a great write up about their re-opening in Owensboro on BourbonBanter.com that was helpful for background research. For full transparency, I was sent this bottle by the brand with no strings attached in order to be able to give it an honest review. I have purchased plenty of Wheel Horse products on my own prior to this, so this was certainly an appreciated gesture, but it will not affect my rating in any way. On to the whiskey!


 

Company on Label: Green River Distillery (Bottled by Latitude Beverage Co)

Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Mash Bill Percentages: 70% corn, 21% rye, 9% malted barley

Proof: 101°

Age: 4 years

Further identification: This is batch 6 of Wheel Horse bourbon which is non-chill filtered and available at an MSRP of $34.99


 

Nose: Raising the cool glass to my nose makes aromas of caramel apple, crème brûlée and mulled wine waft outward in sweet waves. Hints of metal bits, the essence of a spice rack, and soft corn husks give this a digestible simplicity that most should be nodding along to thus far. The nose-feel is quite soft here and I'm digging deep here without finding any heat in the nostrils. A swirl of the glass unleashes a torrent of oak, black pepper and allspice. Oooh - as the glass begins to warm up it becomes so much more expressive with caramel sauce oozing from every corner. Bright floral sweetness proliferates when the heavier aurulent aroma fades. I'm digging this. Let's jump into a sip.


Returning my nose to the glass adds in delicate layers of potting soil and a brick facade that slows the evolution of the pour. Late in the glass the cooler tones begin to prevail again as heavy cloth movie theater curtains begin to close. A singular rose is tossed out before the curtains swish past each other. The observer mournfully carries it out onto the wet pavement outside, satisfied yet sad at the conclusion of the beauty that came before it. A touch of water in the glass amplifies tones of bubblegum, confectioners sugar and sweet strawberry shortcake. Nosing the empty glass shows off the scents of pixie sticks and vintage clothes.


Palate: At first sip there is wonderfully oily, viscous mouth-coating on full display. Cherry skins, apricot and plum offer a good introduction to what already feels like a solid bourbon. Another sip uplifts the omnipresent caramel tones the nose was portraying in a multitude of configurations. The tongue and gums tingle with the hints of fresh garden mint and soft parsley. Overall it is definitely creamy with notes of Earl Gray tea and lemon peel. Coffee house treats begin to pop up as I work through more of the liquid gold in my glencairn; almond cream scones, pistachio biscotti, and a cherry danish paint the picture of a morning gone terribly right. The close yet distant bustle of those in a hurry to get somewhere is well contrasted by the slow evolution of the whiskey at hand. It warrants and demands patience as my last sip carries out plum pie with a silky dollop of whipped cream. The finish is medium with hints of pirouline chocolate wafers and dulce de leche cheesecake.


TL;DR: Huge caramel tones on the nose, creamy bakery delights on the palate... just good bourbon


 

Rating: 4/5


I will continue to opine that Green River makes great bourbon. If you haven't had this one yet, you're missing out on some wonderful whiskey. I'd love to see how their rye has come along, as I wasn't as big of a fan of the batch 1 edition of that mash bill, but I've been a fan of their bourbon since day 1 - age statement be damned. I, like many others in the whiskey world, am really looking forward to seeing how this distillate continues to mature in the future. As of today, it's absolutely at a quality level that is free of regret.

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Glenn Johnson
Glenn Johnson
Dec 13, 2023

Love to see this whiskey getting some more love! It punches way about it's price class for sure.


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