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Wolves - The Malted Barley Series Lot 1 - Review

The Details


The Malted Barley Series

California Single Malt Whiskey

Lot No. 1

7 Years Aged (Distilled in 2015)

11 Barrel Batch

Distilled, Produced and Bottled by Wolves

Ukiah, California

55% Alc/Vol / 110 Proof

Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley

Price: $260

Poured Neat in a Stölzle 1610031T Nosing Glass

Appearance: Deep Gold

Nose: Stone Fruits, Honey, Vanilla, Dark Chocolate

Palate: Cocoa, Dark Fruits, Honey, Vanilla Bean, Lager Beer

Finish: Medium Linger with a Lengthy, Warm Progression

Overall: This caught me by surprise. I started much of my whiskey journey with Single Malts, but none quite like this. There is a certain beer influence that I continue to pull from sip to sip. I feel I'm drinking whiskey from the start, but a lot of the back end falls very much in line with a blonde lager. The marriage of profiles is delicious and welcomed. Warm and lingering honey, dark fruits and even chocolate are co-stars throughout this expression from Wolves.

Not only did the taste surprise me, the luxurious bottle also stands out. "Each bottle is wrapped by hand with auto-grade vinyl and finally with Italian sheepskin. The glass is heavy and French-Cut, allowing the sheepskin label to lay flush against the glass. The cork top is made of maple wood." Truly a gorgeous design and very elegant to the touch.

But let's get back to the whiskey, shall we? This particular release was Wolves' first Single Malt release. 12 Barrels were distilled in 2015 in an antique alembic brandy still, from two-row pale malted barley and fermented with California Ale yeast. This explains much of that undisputed beer influence I was pulling from each sip. I do enjoy reading the stats on particular releases AFTER I try them so my palate isn't influenced. Like I mentioned, this was a great surprise to find that I wasn't going crazy. Various oak treatments were also utilized ranging from light toast to Char level 3 along with alternating Hungarian and American Barrel Heads. Of the 12 Barrels, 11 of those were used in this Lot (Batch). The other was for a specialty Single Barrel Selection. The 110 Proof stretches perfectly across the palate and to the back-end. So much of my gripe with most Single Malts is how flat they tend to fall at 80-86 Proof. Now, I don't consider myself someone who seeks only high-proof / high-alcohol pours, but there is a time and a place. This is certainly that place and the result is exquisite.

"The price of being a sheep is boredom.

The price of being a wolf is loneliness.

Choose one or the other with great care."

I urge you to give a look to what Wolves is doing in California. Check out their website HERE One of their previous releases took my Number 1 spot in the Rye Category last year (2022). An incredible collaboration with Willett Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky.

I'd love to take a moment to thank the folks at Wolves for providing this bottle. As most are aware, all of my reviews are unbiased and I take great pride in being able to try so many different variations on whiskey.

Library Rating: 8.7 / 10


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