We kept the last pick for 2023 local – our own Middle West Spirits in Columbus.  We rounded out the year with a wheat whiskey pick (we did a Sagamore rye and two bourbons).

Middle West was a great host and walked COWS through a great line up.  Afterwards, the pick team ate at Middle West’s restaurant on site.  The food, like the whiskey, was fantastic and they learned that it is prepared in duck fat.  And with that, COWS quickly concluded they like the duck.

 NAME – Middle West Wheat Whiskey Barrel Proof – COWS Like to Duck

PROOF – 129.56


COLOR – Brown Sherry (1.9 on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart) – this one is dark.

NOSE – Sandalwood, raw honey, and a light fruit cocktail – the nose betrays the proof point in that you do not get a strong ethanol presence.

TASTE – The palate stays pretty true to the nose.  Very soft and sweet up front with a caramel/honey blend on the tip of the tongue.  This gives way to sandalwood and strong Bing cherry note in the middle and sides.  What is intriguing is that the honey note continues through and brings with it a very heavy, oily presence.

FINISH – This is a long finish.  And this is also where the whiskey reminds you that it is approaching 130 proof.  The initial sip will jump up and bite you in the back with heavy baking spices.  But that gives way once again to the honey note while the sandalwood gives way to oak.   And it lingers for quite a while.

REVIEW – I like a lot of things about whiskey and one of them is when a pour has a good oily presence on the palate.  This is one of the most viscous whiskies I have ever had.  As a wheat whiskey, the fruit notes definitely come through but not overwhelmingly and are balanced nicely with the wood and honey notes.

FINAL COMMENTS – As someone who will swing by the bottle shop periodically to see if there are any barrel picks for sale, Middle West barrel picks do not disappoint.  This COWS pick is something special – don’t sit on it.

This one will work a little differently.  COWS will take reservations.  Those who get reservations will pick up and pay for the bottle at Middle West.