The other day I had a visit from the McBrayers, both father and son. They were in Louisville and wanted to bring me a bottle of their second batch of W.H. McBrayer Bourbon. We sat on the porch and had a few drinks, talked history and whiskey and enjoyed the nice, spring weather.
The second batch of W.H. McBrayer has a different flavor profile from the first batch. When you are making your whiskey in ten barrel batches, you need to expect this to happen. The good news is that after the first two years of making this whiskey, they increased the number of barrels that they had made. This batch consists of five barrels from the second year’s distillation and a single barrel of the first year’s distillation. This six barrel batch meant they had a few more bottles to sell as opposed to the first batch of five barrels. The bad news is that they sold out within three hours. This is a shame because it is excellent whiskey. Matt and I decided to make it our whiskey of the month for May 2022. Here are our tasting notes for Batch Two.
W.H. McBrayer Bourbon Batch Two
Age: Five barrels of four year old and one barrel of five year old.
- Mike: Very brandy-like with lots of fruit –raisins, prunes and dried apricots, rich caramel and sweet oak wood.
- Matt: Lots of caramel and fruit – prunes and dried apricots, sweet oak wood and a citrusy hint of spruce tips.
- Mike: Very fruity with raisins, grapes, and prunes, rich buttered caramel, allspice and sweet oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and raspberry and blackberry fruit come out to join the party. Tasted with a pecan and it adds a milk chocolate note to the taste.
- Matt: Caramel with dark fruits and creamy orange with sweet oak wood. The dried cranberry added a note of white chocolate covered raisins. The pecan gave a fruity red wine flavor with a note of chocolate, orange and dark fruit.
- Mike: Long with oak and spice and lingering sweet fruit notes. The dried cranberry added even more fruit to the finish, but made the finish shorter. The pecan added lingering notes of chocolate to the finish.
- Matt: Long with oak, tobacco and allspice. The dried cranberry added a note of hot pepper jelly. The pecan made the finish very long with oak, tobacco and dark fruit.
I would pair this Bourbon with a My Father The Judge cigar, because of the chocolate notes in the smoke. However, I might try it again with a lighter cigar such as a Nat Sherman Metropolitan to see what flavors the Bourbon would add to the smoke of a mild cigar.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller
May 27, 2022 at 12:51 pm
I fail to see the point of advertising this whiskey on a public forum when it is unavailable to anyone but a select few.
May 27, 2022 at 3:21 pm
I do not consider this blog as advertising the brand, but as an acknowledgement of the fact this small business is doing things in a good way and making a good product. I think other people should know this about their whiskey so when it does come more available, they know what it is.
May 27, 2022 at 4:06 pm
Do you make the same complaint when people review a Van Winkle product or other products from Buffalo Trace that people cannot get?
May 28, 2022 at 1:06 pm
Looks like you need to sign up as it is some of the best you’ll get. Small batch means you’re not going to buy it at the liquor store!