Yes, bourbon people, it’s time for yet another Barrell Bourbon batch release. You knew it was coming, and here it is, Batch 29. Did you think I would say Batch 30? Because that one already hit shelves, too. Sometimes, it’s hard to keep up, but we’ll try harder. I promise. Like Batch 27 last year, this blend is the product of a rather diverse age lineup, from six years to a very healthy 16. In keeping with most other batches in recent memory, the component bourbons were distilled in Indiana, Tennessee, and, you guessed it, Kentucky. Let’s pop the top on this one and see how it acquits itself.
The aroma doesn’t quite jump out of the glass like so many past releases. A soft, caramel and cereal-filled bouquet seems to inch to the surface sparingly bringing with it flickers of chocolate wafers, baked apple, and peanut brittle. Surprisingly delicate but still engaging. On the palate, a generous burst of heat acknowledges that these batches are, after all, cask strength. Things cool into bright, pulpy citrus and toasted oak before turning to fudgy brownies with walnuts, maple frosting, and a bit of pie spice that lingers on the smoldering finish. Perhaps a touch too warm at this proof, and while it packs plenty of flavor, there’s a little less complexity than I’ve come to expect from these releases.
B+ / $89 / barrellbourbon.com