Hot on the heels of so many recent whiskey releases, Barrell has added to the annual fall bourbon frenzy with its 25th bourbon batch. That’s a lot of batches, and while there’s never been a real formula to these releases, you have to go back pretty far in the lineup to get a blend with any 5-year-old juice in it (with the exception of the annual New Year’s releases and Batch 22 which was all 5-year barrels). Like Batch 24 and 23 before it, there is also some 15-year-old bourbon in this latest blend, with 9-year and 13-year rounding out the mix. As has been the trend for a lot of recent Barrell releases, the bourbons in Batch 25 are sourced from all three of the usual whiskey state suspects: Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee.
On the nose, Batch 25 is decidedly light and fruity with lots of fresh red berry and cherry notes. It’s sweet, but not overly so. A thick lacing of vanilla bean, damp oak, and old floorboards adds an enjoyable counterpoint to the fruit cocktail component. On the palate, this one opens with that same fruitiness, bright and redolent with a syrupy sweetness. Tinned pears, orange marmalade, and cocktail cherries build with intensity alongside a generous heat before giving way to a burly punch of oak, drying things out considerably into a lingering finish of sawn lumber, cinnamon, and clove. Lots to enjoy in this one from beginning to end. Another winner.