Review: Barrell Craft Spirits 13-Year-Old Rum

This 13-year-old rum is among the first wave of Barrell Craft Spirits (BCS) releases alongside an exquisite 15-year-old bourbon and complex 25-year-old American whiskey.  Barrell Craft Spirits is a new upscale line from the folks behind the popular Barrell Bourbon.  If you follow this blog, you already know how big a fan I am.  Don’t believe me – just search my site for Barrell.

Rums from Barbados, Jamaica, and Guyana that were at least 13 years old were blended together at cask strength, which in this case is 124.2 proof.  The company’s first rum, released in 2016, was pretty damn tasty.

On the nose, BCS rum features notes of buttery toffee, ripe plantain, and a slight herbal quality.  There’s also a bit of tea and cognac in the background.  The palate offers hints of molasses, oak spice, coconut shavings, and vibrant lime zest.  Those spices ramp up heading into the long finish, which is as warm as a Kentucky hug.  I preferred the rum with a touch of water, which brought about a bit more sweetness.

The barrels that make up this blend were almost released as single barrels.  I’m glad they weren’t.  As good as those barrels may have been, blending them together is probably the better decision.  I base that statement on the quality and drinkability of past spirit releases from Barrell.  I’ve tasted a couple of their single barrel bourbons, and while they were tasty, they didn’t hold a candle to every other Barrell release, which was a blend.  In other words, Barrell’s strength lies in their blending ability.  With that, BCS rum is a delicious, hearty, and complex release.  Captain Morgan this is not.  8.5/10

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

Review: Glenfiddich Fire & Cane Single Malt Whisky

Photo Credit: Joshua Brasted

How’s this for attention grabbing – a peated Glenfiddich finished in rum casks.

I repeat – peated Glenfiddich finished in rum casks.

If I’ve lost you, there’s no hope.

If you’re still on board, Glenfiddich Fire & Cane is the latest entry to their Experimental Series.  Glenfiddich isn’t known for its peated whisky because, to my knowledge, it rarely releases any peated expressions.  We’re not talking Laphroaig peat levels here.  Bourbon barrel-matured peated AND unpeated whisky is blended together and then married in Latin rum casks for three months.  The resulting whisky was bottled at 43% abv and is available in stores for $49.99.

Rum fans should enjoy the nose with its tropical fruit, sugarcane, and slightly earthy peat notes.  On entry, sweet toffee and green banana develop into spiced pears, smoke, and wood spice.  The medium length finish leave a sweet caramel and slightly smoky note.

Delicious.  The spiced pear Glenfiddich flavor profile works beautifully with those smoky and rum notes.  At 43% abv, Fire & Cane doesn’t feel thin.  Though I’d love to have seen this bottled at a little higher proof, it’s current abv serves it well.  Bottom line: this whisky delivers big flavors at a price that will please both your palate and your wallet.  Recommended!  8/10

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

Barrell Rum Batch 001 Review

Joe Beatrice can pick some fantastic barrels of whiskey.  However, his newest release is something entirely different.  Enter Barrell Rum batch 001.  It’s a 7-year-old Jamaican pot still rum, bottled at a cask strength of 134.73 proof.  The rum matured in ex-bourbon barrels in Jamaica, and was crafted and bottled in Kentucky.  A 7-year-old, cask strength Jamaican rum?  Yes please.

One thing to note is no coloring, sweetening or flavoring has been added.  It syncs with Beatrice’s MO to bottle everything in its natural state, so to speak.  For that, we’re thankful.

So, how is it?

There is lots going on in the nose: vanilla, molasses, carmelized onions, toasted oak, and hints of coconut water and spice.  On the palate, I get waves of cooked sugar cane and vanilla extract.  Some small spikes of baking spice crack their way through, along with vibrant lime and green banana.  The warm finish leaves a spicy ginger and raw sugar cane note.  Very potent, and slightly astringent.  A splash of water helps combat the dryness a bit.

What a wonderful array of flavors!  I hope every future release of Barrell Rum showcases a different style of the spirit.  Every time I taste a release from this company, I can’t help but guess what’s in the future.  A rye whiskey perhaps?  Maybe a brandy?  How about a single malt?  We’ll just have to be patient.  In the meantime, I’m going to pour another glass of this rum.  Good stuff.  8.5/10

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