American By Lindsay Brandon / February 16, 2015 Barely a toddler in the world of whiskey companies, Barrell Bourbon has already made its mark in the spirit world by competing against such heavyweights as Pappy Van Winkle (and doing just as well). As previously mentioned, the Barrell Bourbon company may blur the line between actual craft distiller and independent bottler, but one thing is for certain: Barrell prides itself on a unique product with every barrel that is bottled, embracing the taste differences that may occur during aging rather than stifling them. So far, their method seems to be working. Now three batches into its sourced bourbon, it has branched out to debut a blended offering known as Barrell Whiskey Batch 001. Corn, rye and malted barley mash are distilled without a neutral grain spirit in Indiana for this new whiskey and then aged gently in Kentucky for at least seven years in ex-bourbon barrels (which, according to Barrell, gives it single malt Scotch-like qualities with American-style flavors). This spirit is non chill filtered, as this can impact flavor. Instead, they use a coarse particulate filer to strain the small bits of charred oak released by the barrel during aging. Batch 001 weaves through a taste tapestry unlike most. Upon opening the sleek bottle and pouring a dram, according to tasting notes from Barrell, an immediate scent of sweet tobacco, stone-ground raw chocolate and crushed persimmon hits your nose. At first taste, you’re reminded of breakfast, with a velvety plate of French toast coated in butter and maple syrup. The corn is prominent throughout, then finishes still rich with aromas of spicy, dark Mexican chocolate. If you care to, add a few drops of water for an earthier flavor or minced pipe tobacco and aged fruitcake that finishes with crushed schist “dripping in raw honey simple syrup.” Not to be messed with, Batch 001 is served to sipping enthusiasts at 122.5 proof, slightly stronger than its bourbon cousins. It is available in some retailers already, pricing at around at least $50. A good place to grab it, for example, is over at Caskers.