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Old Elk 8 Year Wheated Bourbon




Whiskey Review: Old Elk 8 Year Wheated Bourbon

Tasting Notes:

This is a highly wheat-forward 8-year-old bourbon, with 45% wheat added. It was distilled in Indiana and bottled at 100 proof.
This has a rich amber color in glass, supported by strong legs and good viscosity.
The first things that come to mind regarding aromatics are fresh and bright on the nose. They reflect sweet vanilla, fresh-cut grass, a strong note of baked bread, some minor oak, a hint of blackberry, and a brown sugar undertone.
This whiskey drinks soft and easy, like sipping cool spring water on a hot and clear day. It doesn’t get much more of a clean palate than this, reflecting some near-perfect balances between vanilla and oak. Alongside that, a pleasant sweet bread secondary taste exists with a bit of spice, a kiss of maple, and a hint of pear.
It is easy on the finish, slipping away almost too quietly in a short fashion.
A sweet spot is found in Old Elk 8 Year Wheated Bourbon regarding aging and the higher wheat part of the mash bill. As far as wheated bourbons go, this is easily one of the best I’ve ever had. Great job.
Old Elk 8 Year Wheated Bourbon
We review Old Elk 8 Year Wheated Bourbon, an extremely wheat-forward bourbon, with 45% wheat content added in. Distilled in Indiana, it costs $99.99. (image via Old Elk)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Old Elk is one of Colorado’s more prominent craft distilleries these days. Founded in 2013, the distillery team here is led by Master Distiller Greg Metze, a decades-long veteran who learned his trade at the old Seagram’s Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and Melinda Maddox, who joined Old Elk in 2019 as the Beverage Director and, more recently, she became its first Master Blender.

Old Elk has its whiskeys contract distilled for it, leveraging “an existing distilling facility and their equipment to bring to life” its custom mash bills created by Metze. A particular focus of Old Elk is its so-called “Slow Cut Proofing Process,” in which water, instead of typically being added in a very short period to whiskey to proof it, is added over weeks in “small increments” to keep the liquid cool” and save “the delicate flavors” produced during “mashing, fermentation, distillation, and maturation” that is said to be lost when gallons of water are added nearly all at once.

Old Elk’s whiskey products focus on four key areas: core bottlings, a “Master’s Blend” series, a “Cask Finish” series, and some more specialized offerings. A high-malt bourbon helped put this distillery on the map, and these days, it is joined by wheat whiskey, rye whiskey, and wheated bourbon, among others.

What’s in the bottle

The whiskey being reviewed here, Old Elk 8 Year Wheated Bourbon, falls into the distillery’s more specialized offerings. The mash bill on this expression is extremely wheat-forward, with 45% wheat content added in. Distilled in Indiana, it is bottled at 100 proof and costs $99.99.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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