I wasn’t an immediate fan of Woodinville, but after tasting multiple private barrel selections and (spoiler) their cask-strength rye, consider me converted. Thanks to generous friends, I received two samples of this distillery exclusive. This batch is my favorite of the pair.
Pour: Woodinville Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey
Age: 5 years
Color: rich amber
Nose: candied pear, dried apricot, sliced orange
Taste: fruit cocktail, vanilla cookie, tea, herbal spice
Finish: long w/ sweet cayenne, cinnamon, Altoid mints
Overall: There’s something about a 100% rye done right. Be it Alberta, Frey Ranch, or in this case, Woodinville Cask Strength Rye, there’s an unexpected fruitiness that cradles the rye’s grain-inherent spice. At $70 it’s not cheap, but it’s damn sure flavorful.
Rating: Ryet on.
In December of last year, I purchased a Woodinville Straight Bourbon Whiskey (90 proof). I wasn’t impressed. While not unpleasant, it came across a bit too “crafty,” for lack of a better word. Since then, I’ve been encouraged to try a Woodinville Single Barrel Select. Here goes!
Pour: Woodinville Single Barrel Select (Bourbon Pursuit)
Age: 5 years
Nose: maple syrup, blueberry pancakes, caramel popcorn
Taste: toasted vanilla, English toffee, boozy butterscotch
Finish: long & notably warm – molasses, cream soda, sweet sassafras
Overall: I’m not sure if it’s the absence of dilution or just an exceptional barrel, but this Woodinville selection is no joke. Hell, it’s excellent. There’s so much flavor, in a blind tasting I’m doubtful I’d pin its age as 5 years. Well done, Woodinville.
Washington’s Woodinville Whiskey Co. has received a fair share of positive buzz in the last year, particularly their barrel-proof selections. I’m sure I’ll get to one of those down the road, but for now it’s their 90-proof straight bourbon. I hope it’s as hefty as the bottle.
Pour: Woodinville Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: at least 4 years
Nose: box cornbread, bright maple syrup, sourdough
Taste: sharp vanilla, no. 2 pencil, Mrs. Dash spice blend
Finish: moderate length – mild oak, caramel candy, polished leather
Overall: I really wanted to love this whiskey, but I don’t. While I appreciate Woodinville’s dedication and grain-to-glass attention to detail, the 90-proof expression isn’t there yet. It’s distinctly youthful, but in all fairness they’re just getting started.