Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Barrell Craft Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Barrell Craft Spirits of Louisville, Kentucky is an independent blender of sourced whiskey and rum. In recent years they have been recognized for their unique blending expertise that has resulted in award winning whiskey. Founder Joe Beatrice launched Barrell Craft Spirits in 2013 after a long career as a marketing and technology entrepreneur. When he decided to pursue his passion of craft spirits Beatrice eschewed the thought of opening his own distillery. He chose instead to buy exceptional casks from known producers and blend and bottle with as much transparency as possible.
Barrell Bourbon Batch 026 is a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys bottled at cask strength (112.64 proof) which is customary for the brand. The batch is a combination of 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15 year old barrels blended in several steps. The producer notes that, “The first was a fusion of 9-year-old high rye barrels peppery and pointed on the palate, 10-year-old oak forward barrels, and sweet, toasty 11-year-old barrels for mouthfeel and classic baking spice notes. The second balanced citrus forward 10, 12 and 15-year-old barrels with spicy, floral 9-year-old high rye barrels. These two blends were gradually co-mingled resulting in an intriguing bourbon that dances between fruit and spice long into its finish”.
By providing extensive transparency for the sources of their blended bourbon Barrell Craft Spirits gives us a unique and rare tasting experience. The philosophy that each barrel can be elevated by the incorporation of others is fascinating and fresh. Each batch is blended to taste and sampled extensively throughout the process.
Tasting Notes: Barrell Bourbon Batch 026
Vital Stats: Batch 026 is a blend of straight Bourbon Whiskeys. Distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Selection of 9, 10, 11, 13, and 15-year-old barrels aged in American white oak barrels. Bottled in Kentucky 112.64 proof cask strength bottling.
Nose: The nose is appealingly spicy with cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Fruit notes of cherry and grapefruit intermingle with the warmth of oak .
Palate: This is rich and heavy with molasses and chocolate cream pie but not overly sweet. The hint of mahleb is detected underneath weightier profiles offering floral notes and a neat balance. The journey of the mouthfeel is notable as it coats the cheeks and tongue it is springy and soft.
Overall this whiskey impressed me. I appreciate the complex mouthfeel and short finish, like it was never there, a difficult task for a cask strength whiskey. Moreover the evocation of holiday baked goods without being even remotely on the sweet side of what a bourbon can be really does it for me.
User Review2.95 (37 votes)
Faith Raspante is a freelance writer and bartender based in Portland, Oregon. A love of craft cocktails and creative mixology led Faith to discover the nuanced pleasure of tasting whiskey and other spirits. When she isn’t behind the bar or in front of a laptop she enjoys boating, home improvement...