Watershed Distillery Barrel Strength Bourbon Batch # 2 can’t be missed
Bourbon lovers are used to the hunt for limited edition bottles, and the latest version from Watershed Distillery is worth finding.
The new Watershed Distillery Barrel Strength Bourbon Batch 002 is finished in the distillery’s apple brandy barrels, delivering a complex and captivating flavor profile.
This release follows last year’s Batch 001, which marked the 10th anniversary of the distillery.
There are only 3,060 bottles available in seven states for a suggested retail price of $ 89.95. These include Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, and Michigan.
I recently sampled this new bourbon at the Columbus, Ohio Distillery alongside Watershed Distillery CEO Greg Lehman, Barrel Master Anne Dimmick and Chief Distiller Aaron Harris.
After a single sample of White Dog from the still, I had the chance to taste the Barrel Strength Bourbon Batch 002. This is something I have been looking forward to since tasting the first batch while checking out their Bottled in Bond Bourbon.
Although I taste many spirits, I am always on the lookout for something special from independent distillers who have a specific vision. As a result, this version stays with me for days after tasting it.
This bourbon reminds me of everything great about fall. The nose reminds me of walking to a farm stand with freshly soaked caramel apples. There is a nice mix of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla and a hint of roasted oak. It’s a fall mix that makes me want to grab a hoodie and look for a campfire.
The flavor brings a touch of warmth filled with spices, black cherry and toasted nuts. The finish is balanced but daring with lingering complexity.
Anne Dimmick described research to find the right barrels for this version with blind tastings and an attempt to trip Harris with a recirculated sample. In the end, the team chose the same set of barrels to deliver the “magic” Harris says this new version offers.
This is one of my favorite barrel bourbons and possibly my favorite from Watershed. If you can find it, I highly recommend adding it to your bar. If you can’t find this bottle, look for the Bottled in Bond, one of their delicious single barrel versions or the Barrel Finished Nocino.
This version comes from the original wort bill bringing flavors from the roots of the distillery. At the launch event, I got to taste White Dog from the new mash bill still. This brings in a sweet corn flavor with just enough oily stickiness to be a bit chewy. It certainly didn’t taste like sipping an unaged 145.2 proof bourbon.
Lehman describes the old mash bill as “building blocks along the way to get to where we’re going.” It echoes the celebration of the roots and culture of the company that he shared with me earlier this year. Speaking about the new mash bill and the aftermath, he said, “I like the direction we’re going, but I don’t know the destination.”
Their white dog is not yet available to the public, but that could change.
Watershed Distillery Barrel Strength Bourbon Batch 002 can be found at the Columbus, Ohio Distillery while supplies last and at select retailers in select locations in Ohio and Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Lexington, New York and Tampa.
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