In the past we’ve covered the first edition of bourbon and rye from Wheel Horse — sourced from O.Z. Tyler in Owensboro, Kentucky and bottled in Rhode Island. Now the brand is continuing apace with further batches, though there don’t appear to be any changes in the production process. Today we look at Wheel House rye batch #3, released in spring 2021. It remains a blend of 95% rye, 5% malted barley and carries no age statement.
On the whole my opinion of the whiskey remains scarcely changed from its straightforward launch two years ago, though my tasting notes are quite a bit different.
A racy nose immediately evokes notes of cut grass, barrel char, black pepper, and peanut shells all in a slurry, finding a bit of respite in the form of butterscotch and a light lemon character — which is at least a break from the rather dank impression left by batch #1. The palate is however quite unusual, even a little weird, with notes of incense and floral body lotion kicking things off. The whiskey eventually finds its way to more traditional rye spice notes, including cloves and nutmeg, alongside notes of well-toasted barrel staves. The finish remains a bit tough and industrial — I called it rustic in 2020 — and while it doesn’t overly impress, it’s at least worth loose consideration as a mixer at this price point.
101 proof. Reviewed: Batch #3.
B- / $27 / wheelhorsewhiskey.com