Wilderness Trail Maple Rye Review

First, Wilderness Trail made some rye whiskey. After the barrels were dumped, maple syrup from Vermont aged in them. Then, after the syrup was dumped, the barrels were filled with 5 year old rye whiskey and aged another 6 months. An voila! We have Wilderness Trail's first finished whiskey!! What's it like? Read our Wilderness Trail Maple Barrel Finish Rye review and find out!

Wilderness Trail
Small Batch
Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Maple Barrel Finish
Walker Woodfill Distillers Select
98.30 Proof

Please enjoy our Wilderness Trail Maple Barrel Finish Rye Review!

Wilderness Trail’s First Finished Whiskey

First Wilderness Trail Distillery made some rye whiskey. After the barrels were dumped, maple syrup from Vermont aged in them. Then, after the syrup was dumped, the barrels were filled with 5 year old rye whiskey and aged another 6 months. And, voila! We have Wilderness Trail’s first finished whiskey!!

Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Sweet, with brown sugar, dark fruits in the back like plums & dark cherries, orange citrus, rye spices & light cedar. Rich maple syrup becomes gradually more noticeable; moderate alcohol
👉Taste: Interestingly, it tastes as it smells; the rye spices are there, mellowed a bit by the maple syrup.
👉Finish: Black pepper spice builds in the long finish, but the sweetness lingers on; moderate burn

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The Effect Of Maple Syrup

The effect that the maple syrup has on this whiskey is quite interesting. Sweetness and rye spices are the first things that hit me in the nose. However, that sweetness is not initially identifiable as maple syrup. Later on, the rich maple syrup flavors become more noticeable but blend very nicely and are not at all overpowering. The same things happens in the taste; the Wilderness Trail Rye flavors that I love are there, and the maple blends with them in a very complimentary way. Even the maple syrup will not temper the spice that builds in the finish, and that’s a good thing!

There are a LOT of finished whiskeys out there these days! For some distilleries, that is pretty much their focus. Others, not so much, but nonetheless, almost all have dipped a toe. Some people love them, some purists hate them, but I think by now, almost everyone has found at least one that they enjoy. For me, the perfect finished whiskey is one where the base spirit is complemented by the finish, not overpowered by it. While that seems simple, I have tasted many finished bourbons that completely lacked balance. So, in practice, getting that balance must be a lot more difficult than it sounds.

Wilderness Trail Maple Rye Cap
Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

Conclusion

Personally, I think rye stands up to finishing better than bourbon because of its naturally spiciness. Whereas with bourbon, the flavors can be softer, especially if not at higher proof, and easily overpowered. Wilderness Trail Maple Barrel Finish Rye has achieved the perfect balance. The finish is totally complimentary to the rye whiskey. I won’t go quite as far as to say that if you didn’t know it was a finished whiskey you might just think it was a very sweet rye, but it’s not that far off. Well done, Macaulay!

What is your preference – finished ryes or finished bourbons? Cheers!🥃

We hope you have enjoyed our Wilderness Trail Maple Barrel Finish Rye Review! Next, read about Wilderness Trail’s unfinished rye in our Wilderness Trail Small Batch Rye Review! Or if you want to learn more about the distillery itself, read our Wilderness Trail Distillery Review!

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