Bourbon By Robert Ham / December 30, 2020 Barrel Craft Spirits, the independent distillers based in Louisville, Kentucky, recently announced their final bottling of 2020: Barrell Bourbon Batch 027. This new release is a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys distilled and aged using American white oak barrels. According to the prepared statement announcing these new releases, the batch began with a blend of six-year-old whiskey aged in fruit forward barrels in Tennessee with five-year-old whiskey, aged in spice forward barrels from Indiana. Barrell Bourbon Batch 027 (image via Barrell Craft Spirits) The blenders then layered in 13 and 15-year-old barrels with more wood tannin and nine-year-old barrels with a higher rye content. The new batch was finished off using five and eight-year-old wheated bourbon barrels to, according to the statement, “soften the batch, brighten the front palate, and solidify a cohesiveness to an otherwise extremely complex flavor profile.” As for the flavor of Barrell Bourbon’s Batch 027, the distillers are unequivocal about the taste of this new blend being a “cherry bomb.” As they write, “At times bright and juicy, at others, brooding and oxidized, but while there are many flavors to be found, cherry stands above them all.” Bottled at cask strength for a 115.7 proof whisky, the SRP for Batch 027 is $90. Official tasting notes are below. Appearance: Carrot. Nose: Supporting notes that span sweet desserts, woodsy herbs, and rich oils, but their presence is an afterthought to the singular and intense focus of this whisky’s nose, and that focus is squarely on old, comforting cherry. The oak is sweet and nutty, displaying amaretto and sweet, raisonated grapes. Deeper bass notes of sweet potato pie, walnut shells, and freshly ground coffee flesh out the aromatic register. The influence of rye is subtle here, potpourri, earl grey tea, and bouquet garni whisper at the periphery. Palate: The candied texture that falls short of syrupy and a just-gentle tannin suggest minimal oak extraction but significant concentration over long years spent slowly evaporating in a rickhouse. Like the nose, a bright, juicy acidity puts the focus squarely on a note of cherry so monumental that almost nothing else breaks through. A bit more floral than the nose, candied violet and lavender are just able to peek through, along with a steely minerality. Eventually, some oxidized notes evoke an old oloroso sherry, among them hazelnut, molé sauce, and stewed mushroom. Finish: A gentle, yet complex finish that makes one imagine a flavor wheel in thin air. This mysterious yet fruity bourbon leaves the palate with blood orange, rosehip, hibiscus, and sumac. Get Jefferson's Ocean at ReserveBar. Shop now!