Wildwood Spirits out of Washington Reveals a Wheated Bourbon

Wildwood Spirits Co., based in Bothell, Washington, is a distillery owned and operated in partnership between one Erik Liedholm and professional chef John Howie of the John Howie Restaurant Group. All of the spirits here have a bit of a culinary bent to them, given that Liedholm is a sommelier as well. The latest release, a wheated bourbon known as The Dark Door, seems to continue to extend this theme for them.

The Dark Door Bourbon, according to those behind it, is made up primarily of ingredients sourced from local farms. It has a mash bill that’s 80 percent corn and 20 percent wheat, and was barreled over two years ago “in carefully selected oak barrels from a small, artisanal cooperage in Higbee, Missouri specializing in wine cooperage.” It is said this cooperage “grows and fells trees responsibly, and looks upon the manufacture of its barrels as a craft” and that “the resulting barrels are two times more expensive than mass-produced whiskey barrels, but produce more interesting aromatic and flavor components.”

The white whiskey that would become Dark Door was put into barrel at 120 proof and bottled at 90 proof. It prices around $50 and is available through the distillery. The name for it, by the way, comes from the dark wood front door of Liedholm’s childhood home in East Lansing, Michigan – the same house featured on the Wildwood Spirits Co. logo.

“The production of bourbon is not an immediate gratification endeavor, but seeing how something you made evolves over two years is incredibly satisfying,” said Liedholm in a prepared statement. “Alas, to get all the aroma and flavor components we wanted, we were forced to be patient.”

Very limited official tasting information suggests rich confectionary notes of caramel, vanilla and brown sugar with lifted floral notes.