Review: Wigle Madeira Cask Finished Bourbon
Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Wigle Whiskey. This in no case, in accordance with our editorial policies, affecting the end result of this see again. It should also be noted that by clicking on the purchase link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
The creative minds of Wigle whiskey are back with an organic Pennsylvania bourbon that is finished for a year in a Madeira barrel. The spicy, caramelized notes of bourbon have been specifically selected to pair with the fruity and nutty notes for which Madeira is typically known. How do the two come together once bottled?
Madeira is both a place and a fortified wine. The place is an island archipelago off the coast of North Africa. The wine has been produced according to its signature process since the 15the century, when it was found that adding grape-based spirits to wine barrels could help barrels withstand long sea voyages for export. Today, the process involves heating and stirring the wine to develop oxidized flavors and bring it to its full potential.
It is not a new technique to incorporate various types of barrels to formulate a specific flavor profile. Port barrels, beer barrels and even other whiskey barrels are widely used in the maturing of whiskey. This technique, called ‘finishing’, allows the brand to explore their creative spirit while experimenting with a wider range of flavors than are readily available in the basic distillation process.
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Accompany the whiskey with the dessert
Wigle bought a few Madeira casks and used them to accent their own bourbon. The result is a full-bodied drink with a luminosity and complexity that will give the drinker something to talk about while soaking in their preferred setting.
Tasting Notes: Wigle Madeira Cask Finished Bourbon
Vital Statistics: 92 proof. The bourbon was aged for 18 months, then finished for a year in Madeira barrels. $ 85 for a 750ml.
Appearance: Dark, with a little red in the color. Almost like a ruby port.
Nose: Brown sugar and tangerines are at the front of the nose with that in mind. A hint of dark chocolate adds a bitter richness to the scent with the flavors of malt and oats.
Palace: Christmas fruit cake is the first flavor that comes to mind when tasting this sample. A note of orange marmalade accompanied by raisin and dried fig completes the fruit flavors. The bitter chocolate on the nose is subtle but still present in the mouth. The sweet hint of rosewater creeps in with a floral accent and the drink ends with a bite of baking spice and a balanced spice of heat.
It’s an interesting and sobering drink even if it doesn’t tick all of my personal boxes for what I’m looking for. A little ice or water softens any sharp edges present and you have something to share and discuss. Lots of flavor to chase if you like to play detective. It’s a bit immature and that’s what holds me back from a higher rating.
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