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Wilderness Trail Bourbon “Derby Pick 2021” Review

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Wilderness Trail Bourbon Derby Pick 2021
Wilderness Trail
Single Barrel
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Family Reserve
“Derby Pick 2021”
6 years 8 months
116 Proof

Well this one was a real surprise! I had no idea that the folks at Wilderness Trail Distillery were going to be releasing such an amazing barrel in honor of the Kentucky Derby! I have said before how much I love their bourbon at barrel strength, and that goes double for their wheated bourbon. That extra proof just does something amazing to it. Unfortunately, the barrel strength wheated bourbons have become somewhat of a rarity as they have been holding them back to further age. So I was very happy to get a bottle of this Wilderness Trail Bourbon!

Wilderness Trail’s Bourbons

So, just to refresh everyone’s memory a bit about Wilderness Trail’s bourbons. They use 2 mash bills for their bourbons. Both use 64% corn and 12% malted barley, with the remaining 24% being either rye or wheat. Their first bourbon release was the Single Barrel BiB wheated bourbon, back in April 2018. That was soon followed by the Settlers Select Rye Whiskey later that year. In April 2019 came the Small Batch BiB “rye” bourbon. In June of 2020 was the release of the 6 year old BiB wheated bourbon, which was then followed by the 6 year old BiB “rye” bourbon, which has since become their standard 6 year old release. You can learn more about the distillery in our full writeup about Wilderness Trail Distillery on

A Special Bottle

This particular one is really special since it is the wheated bourbon bottled at barrel proof and is 6 years 8 months old! While there are many Wilderness Trail store picks out there, I am pretty sure they haven’t released one like this before.

Wilderness Trail Bourbon Derby Pick 2021
Wilderness Trail Bourbon Derby Pick 2021
Tasting Notes

The extra age has mellowed some of the youthful flavors, but the bourbon continues to benefit from the “sweet mash” technique and relatively low barrel entry proof used by Wilderness Trail. So what’s this bourbon like? I get a nose of burnt caramel, butterscotch and brown sugar, which lead to more of the same in the taste, with some char building in the finish. I swear I get a touch of espresso and some apple crisp at the very end. It’s a delicious bourbon!

This is a freshly opened high proof bottle, so I’m sure it will change a bit over time. Have you had a barrel strength Wilderness Trail bourbon? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

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