Founder’s Reserve EG HH11 is our second cask-strength, single barrel, American single malt whiskey. It is the absolute very last of our Evergreen collection, done in collaboration with Westland Distillery in Seattle, WA, and our oldest whiskey to date.
It’s very rare and, in our opinion, incredibly good. The bespoke mashbill, excellent distillation partner and quality barrel maturation all had a role to play in creating this exceptional spirit. Recognizing the additional special nature of cask HH11, Wanderback’s Founder Phil Downer set it aside. Now 7-years old and 119 proof, this is the absolute very last of the Evergreen distillation run with Westland Distillery in Seattle, WA.
Opening up the barn to check on our maturing whiskey is a rewarding experience. Once the door is open, the air is awash with the aroma of whiskey. The caramel, baking spice, and oak aromas swirl around you and invite you in. The new oak barrels with whiskey from the Lone Star and Old Dominion range are bright and new. Hidden behind them was a darker, dustier cask that quietly matured our oldest whiskey to date.
Ever since we released our first Founder’s Reserve EG HH10, in the fall of 2020, we’ve been watching HH11 with anticipation. This particular Heaven Hills cask was specially chosen by Phil, Wanderback’s Founder and Chief Whiskey Maker, to hold the very last of the Evergreen distillation.
The malt notes of this whiskey were already strong in caramel and cocoa, with the new oak barrels contributing oak and baking spices. But a whiskey can’t stay in a new oak barrel forever – it will turn astringent and be over-oaked. This special ex-bourbon cask was the perfect choice to continue aging the whiskey. This allowed the magic of time to continue developing the flavors. After seven years, the whiskey was deeper, richer, more rounded and even has a hint of leather that’s found in older whiskies. It was time to bottle this outstanding whiskey.
Aging whiskey longer makes for thirsty angels, so this cask yielded just 120 bottles. Each bottle of Founder’s Reserve is hand filled, labeled and signed by Phil. We hope you enjoy this rare and special whiskey as much as we do.
FOUNDER’S RESERVE – HH11 TASTING NOTES
Nose: Dark caramel, baking spices, vanilla, a touch of leather and dried apricot, and rich chocolate.
Palate: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove at first with ginger following. Next is toasted oak with caramelized pecan, cocoa powder, leather, and a long and warming finish of baking spices and rich, dark toffee. It’s that comfortable leather chair by the fire. Perfect to settle into on a blustery evening, with a slice of spiced cake in hand.
This dynamic cask-strength, single barrel whiskey highlights the dark and spicy notes from our unique grain bill and seven years spent in an oak cask.