Barrell Bourbon Batch 012 Review


Following its award-winning Batch 011, Barrell Bourbon has unveiled its latest – the 9-year-old Batch 012.  Following in the footsteps of several previous batches, Batch 012 was distilled and aged in Tennessee.  The youngest stuff in the bottle is 9-years-old, but the company says there are “selected older barrels” blended into this batch.  Proof-wise, we’re looking at a strong but not overpowering cask strength of 108.5 proof.  Batch 012 was distilled from the same mash bill as Batch 011:  70% corn, 25% rye, and 5% malted barley.

Batches 005 and 006 were close to the same age, and they’re still my favorites of the bunch.  How does this new batch stack up?

The nose carries a vibrant citrus note that brightens up dark caramel, baking spices (especially cinnamon), vanilla and a slightly earthy note and something else (cigar box?). It sort of recalls a fantastic Four Roses single barrel I had once.  Don’t ask me the recipe – I don’t remember.  On entry, creamy caramel and vanilla cake create a wonderfully rich bed.  Waves of spice build, while dark chocolate arrives on the mid-palate.  Some oak tannins and leather show up late to the party.  Nice.  Complex.  The finish is long and warm, with hints of fresh squeezed citrus, a hint of wood smoke, and slightly astringent oak spice.  

I rather enjoyed this batch.  A lot.  To my tastes, whatever Tennessee distillery Barrell Bourbon sources these barrels from, they hit their peak around the 9-year mark.  The spirit is complex but extremely easy to drink.  Well done! 9/10

Barrellbourbon.com

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