Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by Old Elk. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Perpetually ranked as one of the best places to live, Fort Collins, Colorado, boasts stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, world class educational facilities, and now a young distillery. Old Elk launched in 2013 with 40-year veteran master distiller Greg Metze, formerly of MGP. The brand has become an instant favorite with enthusiasts for its approachable bourbons and inviting profiles.
If you’ve never seen a bottle of Old Elk, they are rather unique. It starts with with a heavy pour of glass at the bottom for weight, moves in a slight outward taper towards the shoulder, and ends in a narrow neck adorned with a cork stopper. The stopper topper is designed to look like a piece of elk bone, which sort of gives a decanter feel to the bottle. It does catch the eye of consumers, and although personally I am not usually taken by sales gimmicks, I will confess I do like this presentation. Because this particular bottle will be part of the Master’s Blend Series, the bottle will be adorned with a copper elk bone.
The Master’s Blend Series is the new ultra-premium line from Old Elk. Each bottling is a release from the mind of the master distiller who is being given an opportunity to explore new blends. “My goal was to always create whiskeys that bring generations together over one bottle. It’s humbling to see my four decades of experience in the industry merging into the Master’s Blend Series,” says Greg Metze, “with the Master’s Blend Series, I am taking my expertise and creating new and innovative whiskeys for the true aficionado – the one seeking something to discover.”
Increasingly specialty releases are a gamble. Greg Metze is betting on the brand “by marrying traditional favorites, award-winning bourbons and whiskeys, and a bold sense of adventure, we have created two exquisite, unique whiskies that I am personally very excited to share with the world.” He is a 40-year veteran of the industry, and likely knows what he’s talking about.
The whiskey itself is a blend of the brand’s straight whiskies aged between 6-8 years. In a press release the company states, “Double Wheat is a combination of two of Old Elk’s most beloved and awarded wheater whiskeys: Old Elk Straight Wheat Whiskey and Old Elk Wheated Bourbon Straight Bourbon Whiskey, creating a unique pour. The liquid yields a higher (107.1), and a brighter profiles whiskey with fresh crisp tasting notes and undeniable presence of fruit. Old Elk’s Double Wheat is doubling down on all the classic notes that make their traditional wheaters beloved.” Old Elk has created a strong reputation with their traditional line-up, and rightly are placing a lot of faith in Metze. With this in mind we turn to the glass.
Tasting Notes: Old Elk Double Wheat
Vital Stats: No age statement (6-8 years per company press release), 71.5% wheat, 25% corn, 3.5% malted barley. 107.1 proof, or 53.55% abv. MSRP: $100.
Appearance: Copper with medium legs.
Nose: This whiskey has aromas of dark chocolate cherries, oak, Demerara sugar, orange blossoms, and pie crust. It smells very sweet.
Palate: This whiskey has flavors of sweet wheat, with some char and wood finishes. The mouthfeel gives the impression of a younger whisky. The finish is warming to the chest, with crisp apple, fall fruits, and some baking spices that linger on the tongue with a very nice, albeit short, aftertaste.
This is a good effort; I found the whiskey to be very enjoyable and easy to drink. It is clearly well blended and pushes forward the best notes of the selected entry whiskies. However, this struggles with the marriage of mature flavors. There is a lot of sugar sweetness common to wheaters, but not so much the smoothness and deeper accompanying flavors that would really take this to the next echelon.
User Review4 (1 vote)
Charles Steele is a Portland area attorney, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His legal education affords him an analytical approach to understanding whiskey and other aged spirits. Traditionally a legal writer, freelancing for The Whiskey Wash will prove a unique opportunity to flex his writing skills. Although he...