Milam & Greene Whiskey announces the fourth release in its 2023 Wildlife Collection, Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon, a limited-edition, cask-strength, single-barrel bourbon. Each release in Milam & Greene’s Wildlife Collection highlights how the weather in the Texas Hill Country impacts the aging process of their whiskey and honors the local Texas wildlife that thrives in this challenging environment. Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon will be available exclusively on the Milam & Greene Whiskey website and in the distillery tasting room beginning at 3:00 p.m. (CST) on Wednesday, October 11.

Milam & Greene Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon is pulled from cask #618, and only 130 bottles are available of this extremely limited, 126.8 Proof cask-strength release. This single-barrel bourbon is named for one of the fastest flying animals in the world which reaches speeds up to 100 mph. Texas is home to the largest known free-tailed bat colony in the world, Bracken Cave Preserve, near San Antonio, and the largest urban bat colony under the Congress Avenue Bridge, in Austin. As autumn approaches, bats begin migrating to warmer climates for hibernation. This makes late summer and early fall the peak season for viewing free-tailed bat colonies in the Lone Star State. This makes it perfect timing for Milam & Greene to release this cask as the bats take flight.

“The whiskies in our Wildlife Collection are a product of the environment,” says Milam & Greene Whiskey CEO and master blender Heather Greene, who was just named as 2023 Master Blender of the Year.  “The Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon was aged for more than five years in Tennessee where it was distilled before being subjected to the vast temperature swings in Texas. This barrel has been in our Blanco, Texas rickhouse for two years and four months, which is longer than any of the Wildlife Series releases. It has been exposed to some of the harshest weather in Texas with triple-digit heat and driest summers on record, contrasted with extreme cold and ice storms during the winter. The deep freezes and searing heat cause the whiskey to interact with the barrel more aggressively driving deeper and more complex wood notes and earthiness not seen in the other releases. The reaction helps enhance the flavor by extracting richer notes of oak and viscosity, and it increases the proof since high temperatures with high humidity cause more ethanol to evaporate while high temperatures with low humidity cause more water to evaporate.”

Milam & Greene Whiskey distillery manager, Rikk Munroe, is accustomed to seeing the fast-swooping bats first-hand around the distillery and in the Texas Hill Country. “Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon is named for the Mexican Free-Tailed bats that take up residence in the rickhouses occasionally. They roost in the upper dark corners during the daytime and head out around dusk to feed on insects before returning by morning to sleep for the day.” 

The Wildlife Collection: Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon

Milam & Greene Wildlife Collection, Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon was distilled in Tennessee with a mash bill of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley. It was barreled in Tennessee on March 7, 2016, and was bottled in Texas on September 25, 2023, at 126.8 proof. Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon was aged a total of seven years, six months, and 18 days with almost five and a half years of aging in Tennessee the final two years and four months on the northside of the Milam & Greene Rickhouse 1 in Blanco, Texas, in row 1 where it rested undisturbed, unrotated, and without climate control.

Free-tailed Bat Single Barrel is a multi-faceted bourbon with a tawny bronze color. It has deep aromas of caramel candy, stone fruit cobbler, and baking spice. The palate carries through with mild nuttiness, oak notes, allspice, and candy corn enveloped in a smooth, creamy, and round mouthfeel. It has a medium oily finish punctuated by black peppercorn before slowly easing into soft mint candy.

Pricing and Availability 

The seven-year-six-month-18-day-old Milam & Greene Free-Tailed Bat Single Barrel Bourbon is our oldest Wildlife Collection release to date and will be available for $149.99 only on the Milam & Greene website and in the distillery tasting room. This single barrel had a yield of just 130 bottles at cask strength of 126.8 Proof. As a very limited release, once this is gone, it’s gone. This edition, which is part of an incredibly fast-selling series to date, is sure to fly off shelves as quickly as the resilient winged animal for which it is named. Each release of the Wildlife Collection has sold out online in minutes. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each bottle of the Milam & Greene Wildlife Collection will go to benefit Texas Parks & Wildlife.

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