My very first pour of the new year is the aptly named New Year from Barrell Bourbon. It’s a blend the whiskey producer puts together each fall to celebrate the new year. The 2021 edition features 5, 9, 10, and 11-year-old bourbon from Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, New York, Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado. As always, this expression is bottled at a cask strength of 113.9 proof.
The fresh nose features sweet corn mash peppered with caramel undertones and hints of ripe fruit and herbs. The high proof lends to a nicely textured and pleasant mouthfeel. No dilution needed here. Taste-wise, Barrell Bourbon New Year 2021 starts with a burst of caramel corn. Red fruit develops mid-palate, adding more character. There’s a lack of big baking spices here (hints of cinnamon poke through now and then), though minty and slightly earthy notes emerge on the back palate alongside some oak tannins. The finish is long, sweet, and fruity.
What a fantastic way to kick off the whiskey year! This edition is vibrant and grain forward, but doesn’t come across as immature. Far from it. The addition of the older casks here certainly balance things out and add some seasoning to the blend. Nice job from Barrell Bourbon.
Thanks to Barrell Bourbon for the review sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.