The folks at Louisville-based Barrell continue to crank out spirits — having moved on from solely bottling bourbon to now making blended whiskey, rye, and rum.
Batch #5 carries a 9 year old age statement and is a blend of four whiskeys, finished separately in bourbon, American brandy, Cognac, and amaro barrels.
It’s a capable and somewhat unusual whiskey, but not Barrell’s best, lacking a bit on the balance front.
The nose features a honey/spice character, with notes of clove oil, some mint, and a gentle but clear popcorn character. The palate, at full strength, is bruisingly hot, so don’t be shy with the water. This batch can manage a healthy amount of it, and I watered it down considerably to make the spirit approachable. Once tempered, a mixed bag of cereal notes leads the way to a certain sweetness that features notes of tea leaf, cinnamon, and some cardamom. It all leads toward a finish the showcases that popcorn character again, but tempered with spices. Though it’s rather dry, it does hint at butterscotch, giving it a bit of life on the back end.
B / $60 / barrellbourbon.com