Barrell Craft Spirits’ latest batch of bourbon hits what I think is their sweet spot at 9 years old. Barrels aged 9, 10, 13 and 15 years comprise this batch, bottled at a cask strength of 56.95%, or 113.9 proof. These barrels contained a high-rye bourbon recipe, which makes me think this whiskey will tend towards the spicy side of the spectrum.
The nose is spicy indeed with hints of fresh cinnamon rolls, caramel, tobacco, and cardamon. Taste-wise, Barrell Bourbon Batch 024 starts with a dark caramel with a slightly earthy undertone. A wave of baking spice quickly develops. Some mid-palate sweetness is provided by vibrant, ripe fruit. More of that tobacco from the nose pops in, adding to the complexity. The long finish features burnt lemon peel and some spice.
Though this whiskey allows the rye in its mash bill to shine, it remains a nicely balanced whiskey. Not too sweet. Not too spicy. Given the ages of the barrels used, oak doesn’t seem to be a dominating flavor either. I also find this drinks less than the 113.9 proof. I didn’t add water or ice, as I don’t think this particular batch calls for it.
I’m continually awed by the characteristics of each batch of bourbon released by Barrell Craft Spirits. They’re kind of like a high-end restaurant who doesn’t have a set menu – they just create what they find interesting. Barrell Bourbon Batch 024 is among my favorite whiskeys this year. I can’t recommend it enough.
Thanks to Barrell Craft Spirits for the production sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.