A few months ago, Ocean State Distillers of Woonsocket, R.I., sent me a bottle of their Wheel Horse Rye to sample and I liked it. It was a two-year-old rye contract distilled in Owensboro, Kentucky by the O.Z. Tyler Distillery (now Green River Distilling). It was a good solid whiskey that is still young but with good flavor that will get better as it ages. When they asked me if I would like to review their Bourbon, I agreed to do so.
Like their rye, this is made at the O.Z Tyler Distillery and is a two-year-old whiskey. Evidently, Ocean State Distillers is now Latitude Beverage as there is nowhere on the label stating who created the brand, but the information sheet sent with the bottle states that “Wheel Horse is a collaboration between Owensboro Distilling Company, previously known as O. Z. Tyler, and Latitude Beverage”. I am guessing that Latitude Beverage is the former Ocean State Distillers. They have confused me over these name changes, but I will give them credit in that they have good information about the whiskey on the label, and that is the important thing to know.
They state the mash bill is 70% corn, 21% rye and 9% malted barley. It entered into 53 gallon barrels and was aged at least two years. Jacob Call is their Master Distiller in Owensboro. Once again I find this to be a very good Bourbon at two years of age and will get better with more age. This whiskey is not chill filtered and is bottled at 101 proof.
Wheel Horse Bourbon
Age: two years old
Nose: Sweet corn, vanilla, a little tart fruit – maybe green apples or even hints of green banana, baking spices and oak.
Taste: Corn, Vanilla, a little tart raspberry or cherry, cinnamon and allspice, oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the spice is relegated to the finish and the vanilla becomes a French vanilla with maraschino cherry. Tasted with a pecan and the tart cherry or raspberry comes forward and the spices become more peppery.
Finish: Medium long with lots of spice, a little pecan nuttiness and a hint of oak. The dried cranberry makes the finish very spicy with a little paprika or cayenne pepper added to the other spices. The pecan made the finish very peppery and forced the wood into the background, only coming out at the end of the finish.
I would pair this Bourbon with the same cigar I paired with the rye – a Drew Estate Corona Undercrown Pequena Maduro cigar. The cigar has caramel and coffee notes that I think would complement the flavors of this Bourbon nicely.