Barrell Bourbon is back with yet another batch in its long-running bourbon series. For those keeping score at home, we’re up to 35 now. To describe this one as another mix of bourbons sourced from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee probably simplifies things too much. The Barrell folks do a great job of explaining on their website the method behind each of their elaborate blends, so I’ll let them do the talking.
Barrell Bourbon Batch 035 is a blend of 6, 7, 8, and 13-year-old bourbons. A multi-mashbill blend of 6 and 7-year-old spicy and earthy, high-rye, high-proof, oak forward barrels was combined with a blend of 8-year-old softer, lower-proof barrels with concentrated notes of dark cherry and butterscotch. After mingling for two months, 13-year-old barrels with dominant fruit flavors were layered in. A portion of these barrels had more tropical fruit notes and the other portion showed more dried and candied fruit notes. The resulting bourbon is peppery and intriguing on the nose, and sweet and long on the finish.
Let’s give it a whirl.
Peppery, indeed. This batch is spicy on the nose at first with lots of dried herbs and a dusty, wood-driven character. With a little time to open, notes of tobacco and woodshop give way to softer, sweeter notes of ginger snaps and black cherry, but the aroma maintains much of its initial piquancy. The palate kicks things off with the expected cask strength warmth, again peppery with Red Hots and a latent chili pepper heat. Top notes of unripe mango and grilled peaches become more herbal with the addition of licorice and aniseed before transitioning to dried citrus peel, cinnamon sugar, and whole cloves on a warm, well-peppered finish. One of the spicier Barrell releases we’ve encountered. Water seems to only up the ante, bringing out bold notes of candied ginger and more spice cabinet.
B+ / $90 / barrellbourbon.com