THE WILDLIFE COLLECTION
SINGLE BARREL SERIES
Introducing The Wildlife Collection, a new limited-edition series of cask strength, single barrel whiskies that attempt to answer the question, “How does weather affect aging whiskey?” – namely the exceptionally high heat, ice storms, wild temperature swings, drought and low humidity levels that hit Texas Hill Country within the last year. The Milam & Greene Wildlife Collection pays homage to the local Texas wildlife that somehow thrive in these extremes. The first release of this collection was The Scorpion Single Barrel, which sold out in less than 15 minutes. The second release was The Bobcat Single Barrel which sold out in less than 3 minutes. More limited releases coming soon!
“We are continuously experimenting to determine how Texas weather affects aging whiskey – whether it was distilled in Texas or elsewhere – and the results are quite extraordinary so far,” says Milam & Greene Whiskey CEO and master blender Heather Greene. “We’ve noticed that the wild swings in high and low temperatures matched with low humidity here are a real ingredient in our whiskies. The Wildlife Collection, therefore, will deliver a traditional base flavor of a Kentucky or Tennessee whiskey but is tweaked and refined using the natural elements like wind, sun, and humidity of the Texas Hill Country to affect the aging in a barrel and to make something truly special.”
Our Bobcat Single Barrel Bourbon, the second release in the Wildlife Collection, a limited-edition series of cask-strength, single-barrel whiskies, is now available exclusively on our website and in the distillery tasting room. The Milam & Greene Wildlife Collection showcases the effects of Texas Hill Country weather on aging whiskey and honors the local Texas wildlife that thrives in this beautiful, but often challenging environment.
This extremely limited high-proof release is pulled from a single barrel: cask #207. It is named for the solitary, rarely seen bobcat of which Texas has two subspecies: the desert bobcat in the west and northwest, and the Texas bobcat, which ranges across the rest of the state. Much like the solo bobcat that left her tracks behind the Milam & Greene distillery in the winter of 2022, cask #207 is the last from its lot, aging in some of the most intense Hill Country weather conditions on record.
Bobcat Single Barrel Bourbon was distilled in Tennessee with a mash bill of 80% corn, 10% rye, and 10% malted barley. It was barreled on March 15, 2018, and was bottled on March 31, 2023, at 119.48 proof, giving it depth and richness. Bobcat Single Barrel was aged more than four years in new American oak barrels with a #4 alligator char in Tennessee and then for 10.5 months in Blanco, Texas on the northside of the Milam & Greene Rickhouse 1, row 4, level 3, position 5 where it rested undisturbed, unrotated and without climate control. During its time spent in Texas, the whiskey weathered almost two months of triple-digit temperatures, an extended drought, and a multi-day ice storm that caused widespread power outages, significant tree damage, and effectively shut-down commerce in the state.
Color: Russet muscat brown.
Nose: Bobcat is a complex bourbon with a rose petal scent is layered with old leather and maple syrup.
Palate: The palate starts with demerara sugar chased by fresh-baked biscuit and oak notes, followed by a long finish with allspice and cinnamon.
The first release of the Milam & Greene Wildlife Collection is the Scorpion Single Barrel, which was released on Wednesday, February 22, 2023.
The Scorpion Single Barrel is bottled at 123.3 proof, making this bourbon one of the strongest and richest barrels ever seen at Milam & Greene. The Scorpion spent 50 months in Tennessee, followed by eight months on the northside of the Milam & Greene rickhouse in Texas where it sat quietly, without rotation or climate control. Like its namesake, the scorpion, this whiskey thrived in the blazing Texas heat, where there were over 50 consecutive days of triple-digit temperatures and tremendous drought combined with high barometric pressure last summer. This left a darker, richer, more robust, and perhaps even more mysterious spirit than barrels from the same lot that stayed in Tennessee. Some might even call it an “Extreme Weather Whiskey.”
The result is an intense, brooding bourbon with a deep copper color. It has rich scents of maple glazed donut, a viscous texture with bold herbs, black pepper, candied orange peel, and tobacco flavors with a dry finish punctuated by fresh cut lumber notes.
“Scorpion is truly a ‘Texas finished, Tennessee Whiskey’ that belies its age,” continued Greene. “We will release more Single Barrel Wildlife Collection whiskies this year, and I expect each one to be quite different even though their lineages are all similar. I find the minutia of what happens in a cask to be some of the most fascinating and misunderstood aspects of what makes a whiskey beautiful.”
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Color: Dark, brooding amber.
Nose: Kitchen spice, maple, caramel and vanilla. Tread lightly!
Palate: Robust and hot with bold herbs, black pepper, candied orange peel, and tobacco flavors with hints of sweetness.
Finish: Long and lingering like a Texas Hill Country heatwave.
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