Whiskey Review: Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Release 3

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Barrell Craft Spirits. This in no way, per our editorial policiesinfluenced 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, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is esteemed for their masterfully blended American whiskey. Shortly after their launch in 2013 they began to gain recognition and accolades for their small batches of bourbon. Each batch is blended from sourced casks of whiskey that are typically a mixture of ages and bottled at cask strength. However, for their premium line of spirits, also named Barrell Craft Spirits (BCS). the company makes a limited edition bourbon with a notable 15 year age statement.

This iteration is the third release of BCS 15 year bourbon and is a blend of whiskeys distilled and aged in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. The final product is crafted in Kentucky through a vigorous tasting process for which the brand is known. It is bottled at barrel proof ,which is the case for all Barrel Craft Spirits whiskey. This expression clocks in at 104.9 proof (52.45 ABV). This ABV is somewhat low for a cask strength bottle but not atypical for a mature spirit. Older casks aging for a long time can tend to lose a considerable amount of their proof.

The 2020 release of BCS 15 year was extremely limited, with only about 12,000 bottles being made available for sale. Representing the high end of the brand it comes with a hefty price tag of about $250 and is packaged in the producer’s signature oval bottle with seemingly handwritten markings on the label. The bottle feels understated and quaint for a premium product and I appreciate the nod to small batch production.

Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Release 3

Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Release 3 (image via Barrell Craft Spirits)

Tasting Notes: Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon Release 3

Vital Stats: Mash Bill: corn, rye and malted barley. 104.9 proof (52.45 ABV). Aged 15 years.

Appearance: Honey

Nose: Complex and powerful the nose opens up with pickled ginger, tart cherry and pine. Oak, caramel, and candied orange peel are not far behind.

Palate: The first thing noted is the fruitiness of the palate it is rich with strawberry shortcake, pink lemonade and green apple. Oak stands alone in the mid palate where the finish is robust with French vanilla ice cream and freshly brewed coffee.

The Takeaway

Summary

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There’s a lot to love about this whiskey. There is a good deal of oak intermingling with a wide range of complex flavors owed to the array of sourced 15 year barrels. The fruit profiles make this bourbon feel fanciful and perfect for a special occasion. I tasted it on my birthday and it was just right for the moment. If you’re lucky enough to track down a bottle and willing to spend a little extra it is unlikely to disappoint. I’d be happy to add a bottle of this to my bourbon collection.

4.5
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