Revered Kentucky distillery Buffalo Trace just announced the debut of its Daniel Weller series, a line of experimental wheated bourbons that pays homage to W.L Weller’s grandfather, Daniel. The series’ first launch is the limited-edition Emmer Wheat, a 47-percent ABV bourbon created with ancient Egyptian grain, according to a June 7 press release.
Emmer wheat isn’t typically found in the mashbill of most modern bourbons, but was once a staple in Egyptian beermaking. Archaeological discoveries have found its symbol inscribed on pyramid walls, and experts traced its domestication back over 6,000 years.
“We began this experiment to see how one of the original, long-forgotten wheat strains would taste in our wheated bourbon,” master distiller Harlen Wheatley says in the release. “We’ve found it offers just a slightly — yet delightfully — different taste that brings us into a new bourbon territory. It will taste like Weller, but with distinct, unique notes that make it stand apart from the other Weller whiskies we’ve released to date.”
The Emmer Wheat expression, which retails for a cool $499.99, was aged for almost 12 years and features fresh, nutty aromas. The brand says that Emmer Wheat contains characteristics of oak, honey, and orchard fruits on the palate with a complex, oaky finish.
Limited quantities of the new expression will be available in the coming month. The bourbon will be housed in a translucent 750-millimeter bottle with a compass-shaped stopper, which has the coordinates of Daniel Weller’s farm in Kentucky etched on its underside.
“Our motto is ‘Honor Tradition, Embrace Change’ because we believe the world’s best whiskey has not yet been created,” Andrew Duncan, global brand director for Buffalo Trace Distillery, says in the release. “We will continue to experiment with multiple variables that affect the final taste profile – grains, techniques, aging, barrels, and more – in pursuit of that ultimate goal. When an experiment ‘graduates’ to be released under a beloved brand like Weller, it’s a reflection of our confidence in the whiskey.”
The distillery plans to release a new expression in the series — varying in mashbill and other production factors — every other year under the direction of Wheatley.