Barrell Bourbon Cask Strength Batch 016 Review
Bold, unique and smooth. This is an expertly blended bottle at the perfect proof.
Type: Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery: Sourced from IN, TN and KY (crafted and bottled by Barrell Craft Spirits)
Age: 9 years 9 months (this is a blend of 9yr9month, 11yr and 15yr barrels)
Retail: $80-90 most places
For a specific breakdown of this batch, visit https://www.barrellbourbon.com/batch16
Mahogany. It has the appearance of an organic, local honey.
The first thing that hits me on the nose is the oak. There is a lot of oak here, with hints of tobacco and candied nuts. I don't get a ton of typical fruit, but there are some notes of spiced fruit, almost like a mulled wine. The alcohol feels perfectly balanced. There's enough that you feel it, but not so much you need to pull away. The nose is inviting and has me ready to dive in for a sip.
Fruit may not have been upfront on the nose, but it shows up here. There's a nice sweet, and slightly tart, fruit note that I've not experienced in any straight bourbon before. If I was doing this tasting blind, I may even think it had a really short barrel finish of some kind. The oak comes on quickly, but not as strong as I was expecting with it being so heavy on the nose. I get a bit of honey and a really pleasant spice. I hate to say cinnamon, because that's so frequently confused with the burn, but here it's the actual taste of cinnamon and not just the alcohol. I'm a fan. This proof is fantastic for my preferences. It's got a big, bold flavor, but you don't need ice or water to be able to dive in.
This finish is somewhere between medium and long. It's extra medium. Where there was spiced fruit before, now it's distinctly berries.
I'm a big fan of what Barrell is doing with their line. Consistency has its place in the whiskey world, but products that aren't afraid to change and take chances really grab my attention. That's what is going on here. Each batch of their cask strength bourbon is totally different.
This particular batch is hitting all the right notes. The proof is perfect, bringing complexity while remaining extremely smooth. The fruit notes are unique, delicate and beautifully balanced. The oak is present but not overpowering, suggesting to me that these barrels were dumped at the right time. Barrell knows what they're doing and they've got me excited about future releases. This bottle has something for everybody.
This bottle was provided at no cost by Barrell Craft Spirits. Thoughts and opinions are my own.