Review: Barrell Whiskey American Vatted Malt

Barrell Craft Spirits is always in the process of pushing forward with their whiskies. Their latest is American Vatted Malt. The term ‘vatted malt’ was what the Scotch Blended Malt category used to be called. American Vatted Malt isn’t an official designation by the TTB, but it certainly describes what’s in the bottle. Barrell has blended malt whiskies from several American distilleries, including;

  • Balcones (Waco, Texas)
  • Hamilton Distllers Del Bac (Tuscon, Arizona)
  • MGP (Lawrenceburg, Indiana)
  • Harvest Distillery (Valatie, New York)
  • Santa Fe Distillery (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • Kings Country Distillery (Brooklyn, New York)

Malt whiskies from other unnamed distilleries are also included in this blend. As is typical with Barrell releases, American Vatted Malt is bottled at cask strength (117.5 proof) with no added color or flavor.

The nose is deep and robust, with hints of sweet malt, singed orange peel, vanilla, mesquite smoke, and seaweed. Taste-wise, creamy vanilla meets tangy orange and young malt, with a brininess quickly developing. Waves of spice and brown sugar pops in mid-palate. A satisfying tinge of mesquite smoke appears at the end. The finish is long and warming.

I can honestly say this is like no other whiskey I’ve ever tasted. The development in the nose and palate is astounding. Just when I think I’ve nailed a particular flavor, two more appear. It’s vibrant, complex, and most importantly delicious. I’m bringing this bottle to my next BBQ. 9/10

Thanks to Barrell Craft Spirits for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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