Bourbon By Nino Marchetti / December 3, 2018 Barrell Craft Spirits has long been a favorite of us here at The Whiskey Wash, with most of their bottlings that we’ve reviewed over time scoring high marks from our review team. Sourcing and blending is a strong skill set for this whiskey brand, and now they are set to showcase these talents with a new premium line up. The new Barrell Craft Spirits expressions, according to those behind them, are said to have been in the works for three years, being drawn from sourced barrels selected for “for their refined properties and extraordinary flavor profile.” These spirits were then all bottled at cask strength. “After three years in the works,” said Barrell founder Joe Beatrice in a prepared statement, “I am thrilled to release our Barrell Craft Spirits line. Our intent was to blend a set of spirits — each defined by perfect and absolute balance, with deep flavor layering. The barrels harvested for these special releases were individually selected for their refined properties and unique flavor profile. We bottled at cast strength so that you can experience the depth of character and their extraordinary flavors.” Here’s more information on each as detailed by Barrell Craft: Barrell Craft Spirits (image via Barrell Craft Spirits) Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon 15-year-old bourbon distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, and crafted and bottled in Kentucky at 105.1 proof cask strength. This complex bourbon is a perfect union of grain and barrel, with an old, oaky nose and a deep, honey- maple palate that reveals the lushness of the grain. Appearance: Worn leather Nose: Incredibly fruity, the nose opens with strawberry salt-water taffy, Bing cherry, and raspberry but more exotic fruits lurk in the depths. There are subtle herbaceous notes of pizzelle, Maraschino liqueur, Cynar, and pipe tobacco, and the sweetness is kept in check by a hint of paraffin and scorched earth. Palate: As fruity as the nose, exhibiting strawberry and rose jam, lychee, Maraschino liqueur, and calvados, balanced by très leches cake, hibiscus, and angelica. Finish: The theme continues on slowly evolving fruit: guava, watermelon, Pink Lady apples; they’re joined by a touch of paraffin from the nose and a spicy signature of candied chili pepper. Barrell Craft Spirits Whiskey 25-year-old American whiskey distilled in Indiana, and crafted and bottled in Kentucky at 111.2 proof. This whiskey offers the depth of highly matured whiskey complemented by a Sercial Madeira barrel finish. The underlying dry nuttiness of Sercial Madeira adds a new dimension to the whiskey that is exceptional. Appearance: Golden Brown with goldenrod highlights and umber lowlights. Nose: The nose then expands in many directions at once: fruit in the form of Montmorency cherry and dried apricot; floral aromas of apple blossom and fennel pollen; mineral notes of gravel, sea shells, and salt; and some notes that only come from a long, slow maturation, such as Palo Cortado sherry, mastic, and unlit cigar. Palate: Halva, molasses and chocolate syrup make for a sweet entry, but they’re quickly balanced by tart fruit: dragon fruit, and meyer lemon. A subtle array of herbs and spices lend the palate depth, evolving cinnamon, juniper, and anise hyssop. Finish: Deeper and darker than the palate, its pastry notes are fuller, like oatmeal cookie and ganache; its fruit notes less piquant, such as purple plum, husk cherry and lemon sherbet. Flavors of rosemary and nutmeg recall the spicy and herbaceous notes from before, while a salty touch seems to magnify flavors and make the mouth water for another sip.