Wow. I saw a post about this upcoming release at Sprayberry Bottle Shop appear on one of the local Facebook group’s newsfeed (Bourbon Barrons represent). I had always wanted to try some of the local distillery releases, but considering that they are relatively new, I was apprehensive to drop $40+ to try something that I knew would be a younger bourbon. However, with the Georgia Heartwood, I was intrigued for a few reasons. For starters, it’s locally made in Atlanta at ASW Distillery. It’s also a wheated bourbon, it’s cask strength (56.9%) and if that’s not enough, it’s a single barrel store pick. If it had an age statement on it, it would be the perfect store pick trifecta. But with that set aside, it’s still an amazing pick.
So aesthetically speaking, the bottle looks great. There’s a nice contrast with the white, gold and dark blue on the label. The juice is a beautiful dark amber that makes you want to have a pour. So that’s just what I did! The nose is a beautiful bouquet of sweet dark fruits, raisins and oak with just a trace of the alcohol on the end. It’s definitely one of those bourbons that I enjoy simply nosing for a while before I even take my first sip and one that you continue to nose throughout the drinking experience. The palate is rich, dark fruit with an almost sawdusty oak. It’s oily, coats the mouth and produces a wonderful warming mouthfeel. Chewing it around a bit I get a bit of orange peel and leather. The finish is medium length and dry with a very faint peanut note swirled with vanilla and a hint of caramel.
Holy crap. This stuff is great. It checks almost all of my boxes in what I like in a bourbon. It’s got a fantastic nose, the palate is rich and complex, the darker fruits are a real standout and the finish is quite enjoyable. I would consider this a steal at $69.99 for a cask strength, single barrel store pick and would but it up against anything else in that price range. I much prefer this to other higher proof wheaters like Maker’s Mark Cask Strength or Old Weller Antique 107. There’s only two things that disappoint me about it: there’s no age statement and it’s sold out. Shoutout to Sprayberry Bottle Shop for an excellent store pick. I’m looking forward to other picks from them and you local guys and gals should be too!