In addition to fantastic bourbons, Joe Beatrice’s Barrell Bourbon company also drops the occasional whiskey on the market. The difference between the two could be in the makeup of the mash bill (remember, bourbon must be at least 51% corn), but is most likely the use of used barrels. That’s a no-no for straight bourbon, which has to be aged in new barrels. So we have whiskey.
Batch 002 was distilled in Indiana from a corn/rye/malted barley mash bill. The whiskey was aged in ex-bourbon barrels in Kentucky for 9.5 years, then finished in sherry casks. This particular batch is bottled at 123.8 proof.
The nose isn’t as rich as recent batches of Barrell Bourbon, but that’s to be expected. A used barrel doesn’t give as much flavor and color as a new one. Still, there’s lots of good stuff to be found here. Buttered corn bread, apple tart, vanilla ice cream and some fruit leap out of the glass. Taste-wise, strong notes of graininess and graham cracker support delicate honeyed fruit. The lightest touch of spice on the backend adds to the complexity of this whiskey. The finish showcases the fruit notes of the palate with a touch of sweetness.
This is a nice sipping whiskey. It’s light, but packs great flavors. I like that the sherry cask finish is not overdone at all. I like that it’s aged almost a decade. I like that this is cask strength, allowing you to proof down the whiskey to your liking. You see the trend here. This is one I’ll pour over ice and enjoy outdoors during the hot, humid Louisiana summer months. Nicely done.