HazMat Release from Barrell Craft Spirits!! 13yr Canadian Rye. Unicorn Alert!!

Unicorn alert… Single Barrel from Barrell Craft Spirits… 13yr Rye… Barrel L943, bottle #100… this clocks in at a HazMat 145.2 proof.  When I saw this, I grabbed a few… don’t think I’ll ever come across a Barrell HazMat again and I strongly regret not getting enough of the ECBP 140.2 proof back when I could…

Nose… the moment you pop the cork the nose jumps out at you–before even pouring the glass.  You can tell this is Canadian… maple syrup and vanilla rock candy permeates the room.  With the whiskey is the glass I’m also getting Necco wafers, heavy cream, butterscotch and gingerbread houses.  The crazy part is, I’m not getting much burn here on the nose, and this is HazMat!

The mouthfeel is great, completely oily covering the whole mouth.  There is decent heat and you can tell it’s not bottled in bond, but it’s enjoyable and balanced.  There is a strong tannin structure that goes right through the center and the finish builds up momentum with more and more flavor coming through.  This is a two to three minute finish.

In one way this is very different than any of the other Barrell releases I’ve had before… but it’s also consistent with quality and nuance and putting out really good whiskies, straight from the barrel.  If you can find this on the shelf, do not hesitate to grab it (or two or three!).  Finding HazMat whiskies that are good are extremely hard to find, and this is one of them.  Will be something that probably just goes up in value due to scarcity, but if you find them, grab two, so you can still open one.  I will probably open another one once this is gone… It’s worth it!  96/100.

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Shave and a haircut. Four quick reviews.

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Old Forester Rye. Super candied nose. Bananas Forester, banana split, skittles, marshmallows, graham crackers. Pretty easy down for 100 Proof. Medium mouthfeel. Nice hug. Finish does go a little bitter at the end though after a minute. Lots of hype here. Very good for $25, but not one I will bunker. 88/100.

1792 Full Proof NCF Single Barrel from 99 Bottles, 125 Proof. This one was around $55, not bad for a Barrel strength whiskey. Nutty, coconut, Necco wafers and waffles. Better mouthfeel and medium heat for the Proof. Mouthfeel builds with intensity in a good way with an enjoyable hug. Caramel and butter comes through at the end. Finish a solid two minutes. I’m generally not a 1792 fan, but this is the best one I’ve ever had. If you like 1792, this is a must get bottle. 92/100.

Barrell Dovetail finished in Dunn Cabernet barrels, 122.9 Proof. Incredible nose, so much going on. Brown sugar, Twix, cassis, totally enveloping. Crazy how easy this goes down for the Proof. I’m loving this Dunn cask finish. Finish 2-3 minutes. This is totally unique and special—tongue completely enveloped with tart cherry and tannic goodness. Glad I grabbed a couple at $80. Seeing it trade double that in secondary. 96/100.

Jefferson’s Presidential Select 16yr Twin Oak. Mixed reviews on this one, but going in unbiased. Strong wood nose but with waves of vanilla and charcoal. For 94 Proof the mouthfeel is better than expected. Interesting tastes but certainly quite a bit of oak. On the good side the finish goes for two minutes and improves instead of bowing out into bitterness. It’s a good Bourbon, but probably not worth the retail price. Worth a try at a bar. 92/100.

Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

This is a review I wrote a long time ago… but never uploaded… I’m in the middle of a Four Roses kick, so I thought I would do it now:

Four Roses Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Barrel No. 34-5T, warehouse DN, 50% abv, purchased at Morrell’s in NYC about a year ago.

Watching the Patriots Sunday Night Football, and needed something to drink…

Beautiful medium dark amber color.

Roasted brown sugar slow cooked yams, peanut butter s’mores, graham crackers and maple syrup flavored cereal. Even at 50% abv, very nice, easy to sniff nose.

Nice palate feel, not too hot at all, all the flavors are coming in on the tongue… It feels like it’s was a little too filtered, because I am looking for more in the mouth, and I’m not getting it. It’s very tasty and enjoyable, and the finish is pretty decent too. I made the mistake of having the 2014 FRLESB an hour before which is an epic dram, and although this is very solid, it doesn’t make it to the upper echelon.

For the price, this is certainly a very solid bottle.  I don’t know which recipe this is, which I’m a little bummed about, but it’s good. I think Four Roses makes an excellent product, and highly recommend checking out their higher end products. 88/100.

 

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Quick Bar Review: Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Barrel 8

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit Barrel 8 warehouse G rick 43, 50.5% abv.

Definitely Turkey. Spicy nose with cinnamon and vanilla and allspice. Decent heat but not overpowering.

Good mouthfeel but nothing crazy. Necco and Cinnamon Toast Crunch on the finish. Finish is nice but not too long.

Solid dram. Worth getting at a bar but not for the collection. 85/100.

 

2017’s Top 5 Bourbons & Whiskies Under $100

I’m using the secondary prices (which are very close to MSRP for these picks) for this list as nothing bothers me more than someone saying at $89.99 MSRP Sazerac 18 is their favorite bottle under $100.  Get real guys!  The secondary market is here to say and you might as well just get used to it. Also… only two here are actually Bourbons, I have one rum, one rye and one corn whiskey… but who’s really counting?

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Barrell Bourbon is the winner here, although it is the most expensive of this list.  Usually retailing for around $80, they consistently beat out bottles that you can’t touch on the secondary for 2-4x the price.  While they still are priced under $100, stock up. MSRP $80.

Pikesville is my favorite rye under $100.  115 proof, delicious.  Thank you Heaven Hill!  Second year in a row it continues to be available, awesome and affordable.  MSRP $60.

Foursquare Rum 2004 Exceptional Cask Selection… Exceptional Cask Selection Mark III Single Blended Rum aged 11 years in ex-Bourbon casks, distilled in 2004, released in 2015.  It’s full proof, 59%.  Thanks for Fred Minnick for tipping me off to this one.  Yes, it’s not a Bourbon, but it’s aged in ex-Bourbon casks and is just as delicious. Order one today! MSRP $60.

Old Weller Antique 107 Store Pick Non-Chill Filtered.  Make friends with your local liquor store owner.  Beg them to get a bottle of OWA NCF, ask to buy 4 of them when they come in.  Best $35 you can spend.  MSRP $35.

Mellow Corn.  I’m sorry, you may think I’m nuts by putting this on the list, but for $9.99, bottled in bond, again, thank you Heaven Hill.  This is my go-to after I’m three sheets to the wind and shouldn’t be touching the top shelf stuff, because it holds up and still has a good taste. MSRP $9.99.

Honorable mention goes to Old Forester 1920 Prohibition.  It should have been the number five on the list, but I just couldn’t help myself by putting on Mellow Corn instead.

Agree?  Disagree?  Continue the discussion on my Twitter @newbourbondrink or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/newbourbondrinker/

 

https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/newest-barrell-bourbon-batch-is-a-home-run-011/

https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/mellow-corn-must-have-for-all-bars/

https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/old-weller-antique-ninety-9-single-barrel/

https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/pikesville-rye-2-of-the-year/

https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/4-new-releases-from-barrell-bourbon/

https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/barrell-bourbon-lucky-013/

http://www.heavenhill.com  http://www.barrellbourbon.com  https://www.rumsixtysix.comfoursquare-rum-distillery.html/

Old Weller Antique Ninety 9 single barrel

Those in the know, are aware that in terms of value Wheaters OWA tops the chart. What some people may not know, is that some of the Old Weller Antique 107 single barrels are significantly better than the standard issue. This is one of those situations.

I’m not going to review it like normal, but the characteristics are the same as regular OWA, but there are subtle differences. The mouthfeel is much more interesting: it has more tannins and flavor. The finish is longer. Butterscotch, cinnamon and sugar and butter keep going. The heat is lower. Whoever picked this barrel clearly knew what they were doing.

At $34.99, this was one of best bargains of the year. If you live in CT, be sure to go to Ninety Nine and grab one of these single barrels while they are still available! 94/100

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Barrell Bourbon Batch 006 vs BB Caskers Pick Single Barrel 6

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:
https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/barrell-bourbon-batch-006-home-run-top-5-of-the-year/

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!!

http://www.barrellbourbon.com/

 

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