West Wind Bourbon is unique for two reasons. First: it’s a sourced whiskey, but it’s not sourced from one of the big guys, it’s sourced from a craft distillery. Second: because it uses a 9-grain mashbill; which is how I know it’s sourced from a craft distillery. None of the big guys, make a 9-grain mash. Though how GRC got a hold of this whiskey is a tale all in itself.
In GRC Import’s Words: West Wind Bourbon
“No nonsense, no story, just awesome unfiltered sourced bourbon, bottled in small quantities. West Wind Bourbon is a nine grain bourbon matured for over two years, and then glass rested for another three. It has a very high Rye content and is bottled at 110 proof.
This release was originally owned by a private party. Due to unforeseen circumstances it found its way back into the bulk market. GRC Imports took possession of the 1688 bottles and is releasing it for general distribution. Because it is not filtered at all, the Bourbon might look like it has sediment in the bottle. This is intentional as we did not want to remove any of the flavor elements of the cask or Bourbon.”
Ok so the “glass rested” part is a bit of fluff and reading between the lines its story essentially goes like this. It was bottled for someone else and for some reason they couldn’t bring it to market after so after sitting in a warehouse for 3 years it hit the bulk market and was bought by GRC. The next question is, who makes a 9-grain product? The only one I can think of is Corsair and their awesome Grainiac, but that was a one-and-done; At least under the Corsair label anyways. It’s possible they sold off a bunch to someone else or even did a second batch as a custom order.
Both scenarios are totally viable, but If GRC knows what’s in the bottle they’re not telling so we may never have confirmation of the source. I obviously have my guess and, especially after tasting it, I’d put my money on that funky little Tennessee distillery with the ugly but now iconic label. And speaking of taste let’s dive into the West Wind Bourbon review and see how it compares to what I think it might be.
West Wind Bourbon Info
Region: USA (Tennesse?)
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
West Wind Bourbon Review
Nutmeg, caramel heavy dark sweets, dark fruit, roasted grain, licorice and a bit of young woodiness and grits that signifies it’s a young whiskey likely done in small barrels, but it doesn’t even come close to overwhelming. It’s a balanced note and not the dominant player; few people can do this well and Corsair is one of them… just saying.
Nutmeg, roasted grain, young craft oak, vanilla, anise, licorice, dark fruit and a touch waxy and fruity. The craft profile is a bit heavier here, but not significantly so and a touch of water dissipates that craft oak profile a bit letting the sweeter notes rise further to the top.
Long fade of craft oak, caramel, dark fruit, copper, vanilla and corn. It’s my least favorite aspect of the whiskey, but still not bad.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good sense of balance, full body and a heavy oily feel.
After tasting this 9-grain West Wind Bourbon I think it has to come from Corsair, but I don’t think it’s leftover barrels of their Grainiac. It doesn’t quite hit the same notes and depth I found in that Grainiac sample a generous reader sent me, but it does carry a lot of similarities.
I’m now thinking it had to be something like a custom order made for an NDP who failed to bring it to market and so GRC did. A truly interesting bourbon and if you’ve ever wanted to get some kind of an idea about what that Grainiac tasted like I’d go snag a bottle of this West Wind Bourbon. It’s a fun whiskey that’s balanced, unique, enjoyable and definitely worth a try.
SCORE: 87/100 (B+)
West Wind Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 89
- Palate - 86
- Finish - 88
- Balance, Body & Feel - 89
West Wind Bourbon is good stuff. Just barely hits the 88 (maybe even an 87.9) but it’s fun.