I’m always excited to sample new batches of Barrell Bourbon. For this post, we’re looking at two recent batches – 026 and 027. Both whiskies are presented at the batch’s respective cask strength, and contain no added color or flavoring.
Batch 026 comes in at 9 years old, though it contains barrels as old as 15 years in its blend. It’s bottled at a cask strength of 56.32% abv, or 112.64 proof. Barrels were distilled and aged in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.
The nose is classic bourbon, with hints of burnt sugar, vanilla, and spice. There’s a bit of red fruit and a minerality here as well. This whiskey is heavenly on the palate. Things kick off with waves of sweet, creamy caramel. As it coats the palate, earthy and spicy notes emerge, developing into a sun-dried tobacco. The sweetness found at the front of the palate is now fruit-laden. Oak tannins lead us into the medium-long finish.
With so many solid batches of whiskey under their belt, it’s hard for a batch of Barrell Bourbon to stand out. They certainly achieve here. Want a wonderfully aged “classic” bourbon with some complexity? Look no further…
Moving onto a younger blend. Batch 027 features 5, 6, 8, 9, 13, and 15-year-old barrels from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. It comes in at 115.7 proof, or 57.85% abv.
There’s a nice grain-centric vibrancy here. Grilled corn and light caramel are featured on the nose alongside hints of cherries and cinnamon. A little airtime lets the fruity characteristic become a bit more prominent. On the palate, the cherry note comes through as Robitussin at first. A little off-putting at first, but tasty once the rest of the flavors emerge. Buttered popcorn and rye spice lend sweet and spicy notes. That cough medicine now becomes more like a ripe black cherry. Wow. The backend sees a bit of coconut and lavender, while the finish remains rather clean.
I’ve tasted cherry notes in a whiskey before, but never one as transformative as featured in Batch 027. Had it remained reminiscent of that ever-so-familiar cough syrup, I would have marked this batch as the first Barrell Bourbon I didn’t care for. However… it’s the Barrel blending team we’re talking about. They simply wouldn’t let something like that through. Batch 027 is yet another example of the level of finesse Barrel Craft Spirits employs when creating a blend. The way the notes transform and develop, especially that cherry note, is stunning. Well done.
Thanks to Barrell Craft Spirits for the review samples. All thoughts and opinions are my own.