A local ABC Board received the first Wheat Penny Barrel Proof Bourbon released in the country. I’m not sure why Cleveland Whiskey decided to send their 115 proof release to Youngsville ABC, but I figured why not snag a bottle when it drops on your doorstep. The price of admission was $56 so I decided to bring a bottle home. Before I opened the bottle some research yielded Cleveland Whiskey started as a company devoted to accelerated aging of Bourbon. I scoured the label for any indication of an age less than 4 years and came up empty. My bottle is Batch: 01 Bottle: 0629 and finishing woods are Black Cherry and Toasted Oak. The grist is 51% Corn, 45% Wheat, and 4% Malted Barley. The aroma was filled with sherry, cherries, and strong oak. Lurking not far behind was a strong presence of caramel and wafting alcohol aromatics and slight hints of pepper. The flavor had brown sugar, caramel, leather, oak, sherry, cherries, and light characteristics of black pepper. The finish was oak, cherries, and a substantial and lasting warming presence of alcohol. For some reason the flavor seemed just a little rough, but it didn’t seem young. The color was quite dark so I’m guessing the Bourbon spent time in the oak and then they ran it through the accelerated aging process with the black cherry wood. Perhaps over time the story of the Barrel Proof will emerge and we’ll learn exactly how it was created and how long it was aged. As I was taking the bottle out to recycling I happened to look at the stopper and saw it was what appeared to be a Wheat Penny. As you cannot reproduce currency I pried the penny out of the stopper and it was a 1958. I probably won’t run out for another bottle, but it was an interesting drop and I ended up with a collectible coin as a Cracker Jack prize!