Batch 006 of Barrell Bourbon hit shelves soon after the excellent Batch 005 release. We don’t know what distillery this comes from, but here’s what we do know. It’s distilled in Tennessee and its mashbill is comprised of 70% corn, 26% rye, and 4% corn. It’s also 8 years old and 122.9 proof. So far, on paper it’s the same as the previous batch. Batch 005 was aged 3 months longer and carries a slightly higher proof. Batch 006 was aged on lower floors of the rick house, where maturation is just a tad slower compared to whiskey aging on higher floors.
Compared to Batch 005, the current Batch 006 is more mellow. Toffee and sweet roasted corn jump out of the glass. Diving deeper, I pick up oak, vanilla extract and fruit. Taste-wise, there’s a very brief alcohol hit. Again it’s brief, and not as bad as you’d think from barrel proof bourbon. What immediately stands out is how oily and creamy this bourbon is. It’s like sweet buttered corn bread with maple syrup. The rye spice compliments and cuts through these rich flavors. On the backend leading to the finish is a touch of vanilla and Red Hots. The finish is long, and leaves behind a combination of barrel char, orange peel and cinnamon candy.
Barrell Bourbon founder Joe Beatrice makes it a point that each batch of bourbon is unique. The release of Batch 005 and Batch 006 is basically an exercise in barrel maturation location. Beatrice has selected some outstanding barrels for both batches. Batch 005 comes across as spicier, with that spice showing up as cinnamon. Batch 006 is just a touch richer and better balanced, but you won’t go wrong with either release. Highly recommended!