Wheel Horse Bourbon — from Latitude Beverage Co., in partnership with Owensboro Distilling Company (formerly O.Z. Tyler) — is the follow up to Wheel Horse Rye, which arrived in mid-2020. Now a bourbon follows up: made from a mash of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley and aged for a minimum of two years.
Bold and sharp on the nose, this has a heavy alcohol character that is indicative of youth, but with some time in glass it finds a tempering that allows notes of butterscotch and pastry cream to emerge, alongside a mild citrus element. Rye spice aromas become more evident on the long haul. The palate takes a more straightforward path through the candy shop: nougat, coconut, lemon curd, juicy orange, and finishing on its sweetest notes, hitting marshmallow, marzipan, and orange Creamsicle as the whiskey gets more sugary on its fade-out.
While this whiskey initially hit my palate as blunt and plain, I found it evolving in the glass to showcase more immersive and engaging elements as its boozier notes blew off. While it’s a pushy whiskey uncut and at full proof, it mixes well and keeps its fruity sweetness emblazoned right on its sleeve. Give it time in glass to settle down, and it showcases some its charms — as well as its impressive value.