I have been hooked on Barrel Bourbon ever since I tried Batch 006, wanting to try more. I did some online research and I believe some of the recent single barrel releases have the same mash bills of Batch 006, but have slightly different ages, proofs and are from different parts of the rickhouse. Why are these single barrels instead of part of a batch? Good question, my guess is that it is because they have special characteristics that certain retailers liked and requested to be bottled specially for them. In general the way single barrel programs work for most whiskey companies is a retailer will get a bunch of single barrel samples and will pick the one they like the best. Ultimately, the only way to determine how good these single barrel picks are, is the old fashioned way–you need to drink them.
Batch 006 was amazing and my original 96/100 review is here:
I did a side by side analysis using the same Batch 006 bottle as the original review which is good to observe four months of evolution in the bottle: I’m still getting the same peanut butter flavor with the sweet campfire complexity. The strong oils and complex mouthfeel are just as present as when I first tried it. Months later, my original review is confirmed.
Barrell Bourbon Single Barrel 006 is bottled at 62.55% abv vs 61.45% for the Batch 006. The Single Barrel release is also older clocking 8.5 years vs straight 8. I also didn’t realize it before I opened the bottle (actually a friend opened the bottle and ripped off the top before I even saw it) but I was the lucky recipient of bottle #1! If I saw it, I’m such a sucker for collecting, I probably would have kept it and bought a new one. This is a Caskers Members barrel pick, and from what I know of them, they tend to pick pretty good single barrels.
The nose is similar but there are definitely subtle differences–it’s obvious that this comes from the same source, but it’s amazing what slightly different aging in different parts of the rickhouse will do. The nose is a little sweeter, more like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Golden Grahams cereal, and French toast brioche. There also is a touch of candied and dried fruit, that I was not noticing in the Batch 006. The nose isn’t as powerful either, but there are more layers of flavors. The palate is also excellent with the Reese’s and dried fruit coming through. Although the oils and less present in the mouthfeel, there is more grittiness. Single Barrel 006 is extremely enjoyable.
Both of these Bourbons are excellent and it is almost impossible to pick a favorite; it comes down to subtle styles. If you like the bigger peanut butter with oils, then go with Batch 006. If you like the slightly more subtle with candied fruit, less oil and more grittiness then Caskers single barrel pick 006 will be your favorite. Either way, you can’t go wrong. 96/100
If anyone has access to other Barrell Bourbon single barrel releases I would be very interested in trading bottles or samples and please reach out to me via Twitter @newbourbondrink thanks!!