Wilderness Trail – Family Reserve Rye SB

Quick Stats:

Distiller: Wilderness Trail Distillery

Spirit: Kentucky Straight Rye

Aged: 4yr 4mo

Price: Around $54.99

Proof: 107

Wilderness Trail Website

Davidoff Tampa Website

Bern’s Steak House Website

About The Distillery
“In 2006, our journey began with a passion for creating the finest whiskeys in the world. We are fortunate to be nestled in the rolling hills of Historically Bold Danville, Kentucky, the birthplace of Kentucky, and also being exposed to the Kentucky Bourbon industry for generations while growing up. In fact, Shane’s family has been distilling in Kentucky since the 1940s when his grandmother, Doris Ballard, met his grandfather, Hubert Ballard, at the Kentucky River Distillery when they were 14 and 16 years old. Doris Ballard went on to retire from Stitzel-Weller after a more than 50 year career in the industry. This type of family history provides a lot of our influences today, including some special yeast strains.”

About The Bottle
“Our three-grain recipe is 56 percent rye, 33 percent corn and 11 percent malted barley. Our rye mash bill is one we created for a broader balance of flavor to offset the typical high ryes commonly found. We use Kentucky-grown Heritage rye from our local KY Proud farm. We enter the new, air-dried #4 char, 53-gallon barrels at 100 proof and 105 proof for our Rye Whiskey and age until maturity in our barrelhouse. We age our Rye Whiskeys on the upper floors of our rickhouses for a minimum of 4 years with regular expressions expected to be between 6 and 8 years of age.”

  • Nose
  • Palate
  • Finish
  • Smoothness
  • Value

Notes & Review


Nose: The nosing on this whiskey is very “clean.” I know that’s a weird word to use when talking about whiskey. But, the nose is so even that it’s actually pretty astounding. There’s a light marbled rye toast note, but it also has a lot of fruity sweetness coming from the rye and corn content. Baked butter peach, cinnamon, and dark cherry truffle make it a nice blend of earthy, sweet, and fruity. 

Palate: The palate is much more classical rye. The front comes strong with rye spice, but it isn’t “spicy” which is an important distinction to make, since it’s really a more mellow body. You also get notes of cracked black pepper, torched molasses brown sugar, black currant, and allspice. There is still a small note of the dark chocolate and cherry truffle and a little bit of the baked peach, but it’s just a faint hint. 

Finish: A nice blend of earthy rye and oatmeal bread fade away into a dry charcoal and campfire oak.  


Review: This was the first time I’ve tried the Wilderness Trail rye, and boy was it good. 

The Family Reserve Rye pick by “Beef & Leaf,” a collaboration between Thomas DeAddio and Nate Wilson from Davidoff of Geneva and Bern’s Steak House. 

At 107, the pour drinks smooth. As in, probably closer to 100, which is always a good thing when pours drink below their proof but maintain a higher level of boldness and flavor. 

This rye is a nice balance of fruit and spice, giving great body and dimension while still maintaining a straightforward approachability. 

Overall, great pick and great rye. 

User Review
5 (1 vote)

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