Whiskey Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch No. 14

When I worked at a brewery, our restaurant had 18 different kinds of unique, fresh beer on tap. Despite having so many options, I still got bored of drinking the same thing over and over again. So, I started making my own concoctions, mixing ciders with IPAs or stouts and blending a Saison with a splash of pale ale and a porter float. Sometimes they were really great, but other times I missed the mark. The creativity and freedom I felt mixing and matching flavors is how the producers at Barrell Craft Spirits must feel when crafting their products, and it doesn’t sound like they’re missing their mark.

Barrell has built their brand on mastering the blend. Barrell’s Bourbon series, which has 14 releases to date, is a craft of blending bottles at cask strength to create a diverse line-up of bourbon expressions. Barrell bottles their bourbon at cask strength to showcase the variety of distilling techniques, types of wood, and aging techniques. They also produce blended batches whiskey, rye and rum.

Batch No. 14 stands as the latest release in Barrell’s Bourbon series. This particular batch, No. 14 is blended with their No. 12 batch and then blended with a 14 year old bourbon.

Barrell Bourbon Batch No. 14

image via Shauna McKnight/The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch No. 14

Vital Stats: Barrell Bourbon Batch 14 is bottled at cask strength, with an ABV of 54.7% and is 109.4 proof. Mine was bottle number 9257. This batch was aged for nine years in White American Oak barrels and distilled in Kentucky and Tennessee. The mash bill is corn, rye and malted barley.

Appearance: It’s a deep red-copper hue, and the legs create a tiny Rocky Mountain landscape.

Nose: The nose is very sweet, with notes of caramel and honey. There are strong notes of charred oak, allspice, stone fruits like peaches and apricot. Smells very smooth, with notes of pepper and jasmine.

Palate: The first sip is also smooth, with powerful flavor that starts off with sweet, honey notes. The flavors are so warm and bright that my tongue almost feels tingly, and each taste adds more layers. Throughout the middle, there are grain and almond notes, toasted oak and rye. This, followed by a slight bitterness and citrus notes create a complex finish that is mouth-watering. It all ends with a toasted pecan sweetness that lingers on the palate. There are also notes of cinnamon, allspice, tobacco, and a floral herbaceous-ness. It has the basics of a classic bourbon, and the rich complexities work to elevate the experience.

The Takeaway

I’d love to try more of Barrell’s Bourbon series. Batch No. 14 was really delicious, and its complexity and distinct flavors had me wanting to taste more and more to try and identify more delicious flavors. I cannot wait to share this with my whiskey-loving friends.

User Review
3.46 (13 votes)