Monday, July 1, 2024

Review | Wire Works Bourbon Barrel

This whisky is the second single malt whisky that will form the core range from the English distillery of White Peak in Derbyshire. The Wire Works Bourbon Barrel is the first bottling to use 100% first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, which were sourced from the Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky, and features their oldest whisky to date. Some of this was from their very early spirit runs in 2018. The new whisky will join the Caduro as a permanent expression in the core range.

The White Peak distillery was founded in 2017 by Max and Claire Vaughan. It is located in the village of Ambergate near Matlock, Derbyshire in the Peak District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The distillery is housed within the former Johnson & Nephew copper wire factory on the banks of the River Derwent. This was the inspiration behind the name of Wire Works for the brand. They also produce rum and gin, as well as supporting the local community in eco-friendly and sustainability projects. It was Derbyshire's first ever craft whisky distillery and White Peak is one of the founding members of the English Whisky Guild.

The Wire Works Bourbon Barrel is bottled at 53.5% ABV and is both non-chill filtered and of natural colour. It will be available from the distillery shop in Derbyshire and via It will also be available in selected specialist spirits retailers throughout the UK and several other world markets. A bottle will cost £65.
"Bourbon Barrel is a signature whisky for us, elevating our house style and showcasing our flavour elements; our Derbyshire home, lightly-peated malt barley, fresh local Brewer’s yeast, long fermentation and slow distillation."
Max Vaughan | Co-founder of White Peak.

Our Tasting Notes

The colour is bright golden yellow and the nose is elegant, sweet and uplifting. Delicioius aromas of vanilla, honey and white peach leap from the glass and are quickly joined by further aromas of white chocolate, green apple and crisp pear. Hints of cocoa powder and icing sugar sit in the background. A soft heathery and mossy peat smoke entwines everything.

On the palate this whisky surprisingly soft and gentle considering the ABV strength. It is sweet and has a fruity ester-like quality. Notes of fudge and butterscotch are joined by runny honey and vanilla toffee. Then comes the crisp green apple and pear from the nose plus suggestions of caramelised banana, white peach and juicy apricot. There is also a hint of creamy milk chocolate. Gentle heathery peat smoke adds a savoury note and balances the sweetness and fruitiness well. Background savoury notes of bitter cocoa, white pepper and cinnamon stick are joined late on by further hints of candied orange, cardomon and freshly cooked warm gingerbread.

The finish is warming and with a peppery edge. This is the first time that some oaky dryness shows itself and this, in combination with the warming spice, gives a refreshing and mouth watering feel. The fruitiness fades first, then the sweeter elements. This leaves the oak and spice to draw out the finoish superbly well.

What's The Verdict?

We have been eagerly waiting to see what White Peak would do for their second Wire Works core range release. Caduro, the first such bottling, is a multi-award winner so Bourbon Barrel has much to live up to. And they have not disappointed. This is a classy and elegant whisky that shows off the fruity spirit made at the distillery wonderfully. Ex-bourbon casks give no hiding place and the White Peak mildly peated whisky shines through well. Some of our favourite whiskies are pure ex-bourbon cask and there is now a new one to add to our favourites list.

No comments: