Barrell Bourbon is a fairly new entrant into the whiskey scene and has been racking up some pretty impressive accolades from the whiskey community in blogs, ratings, and word of mouth. Another blogger did a really great job in getting the background, and it is definitely worth checking out…
It’s now my turn to determine if the juice in the bottle is worthy of what I have heard.
Barrell Bourbon is always bottled at cask strength, and each batch is different, which is something I absolutely love. I have my Buffalo Trace standard and Weller 12 for consistency, and I have my barrel proof bourbons for variation. It’s good to have both, but I have been drifting far more to the barrel proof whiskeys recently in my collection, and for me to buy something that isn’t cask strength these days, it’s a struggle. I have this emotional internal conflict that I do not want to pay extra for watered down spirits. I really appreciate that they bottle it from the barrel, and let the bourbon speak for itself. Barrell Bourbon does not own it’s own distillery, but they have made myriad contacts in the whiskey industry and have access to some amazing product that they try hundreds of samples of before picking the right barrels for their next batch. It’s pretty obvious that Joe Beatrice has an amazing nose and palate and has the ability to source some pretty incredible whiskey. Just like a master blender in a distillery, so much of the magic that goes into the bottles is picking the best barrels at the correct time and creating the right blend. These guys have done it.
Batch 006 is bottled at 122.9 proof and has a gorgeous deep honey amber color.
Peanut butter jumps off the nose, nice big spoonful of Creamy Jif, just like the one you would snag with a big spoon when Mom wasn’t looking. In the back of the nose s’mores and Cinnamon Toast Crunch integrate perfectly into the emerging complexity. This bourbon will bring back memories of camping; you can smell the nut trail mix and campfire smoke. There’s a good heat initially, but mellows out, even when quaffed neat. The satisfying mouthfeel of balanced wood oil and tannins leads into a long, satisfying and relaxing finish.
There’s a reason that this bottle is less than half full and I’m just writing the review now: it continues to evolve every time I take a drink. When I first opened it I thought it scored low to mid 90’s, but now that I’m halfway through, I realized that I was way too low. The heat on the nose after it’s been sitting on my bar for a little while has mellowed so much that I will only consume it neat. I have been extremely harsh on my reviews for most smaller producers, but I give credit where credit is due. These guys may be small, but they know what they are doing and are producing a phenomenal product. I will be going back and trying to review prior batches if I can find them (and if I have time… I may just do a quick two liner and score for each). 96/100