• Seth

Barrell Bourbon Cask Strength Batch 023 Review

With plenty of oak, honey, vanilla, amaretto, florals and rye, what else can you ask for in a bourbon?

Type: Blend

Distillery: undisclosed, distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana

Proof: 107.78 proof

Age: 10 years

Retail: $80-90 most places


Strong vanilla and oak hit me right away. Following those is a great cherry coke note. I also get a little honey and toffee. This next one will sound strange, but it smells buttery, and I mean that in a good way. Something about the nose here literally has me salivating and anticipating a buttery sip that coats my taste buds and explodes across the palate immediately. I'm excited to dive in.


The mouthfeel is exactly as expected from the nose. As soon as this bourbon hits your lips, warmth rushes across everything it touches and leaves your mouth tingling with honey and oak. I get a dose of malted rye spice here that I didn't expect, along with raisin bread. There are some florals notes layered throughout that counter the heat quite nicely. Instead of the cherry coke I got on the nose, the palate brings a bit of amaretto. As I've come to expect with virtually all Barrell products, this is one of those bourbons that may present new flavors each time you open it up.


Long and warm, with clove and tobacco on top of the sweet notes, this stuff will keep you comfortable on a cold winter's night.


I've said it before and I'll say it again for this batch; this is a winner for Barrell. It brings a ton of spice and warmth, but it doesn't drink "hot". The flavors are the star of the show, not the heat. With plenty of oak, honey, vanilla, amaretto, florals and rye, what else can you ask for in a bourbon? Barrell's Cask Strength line is one of my favorite lines in bourbon, and this is one of my favorite batches from within this line. Pick one up if you come across it.

This sample was provided at no cost by Barrell Craft Spirits. Thoughts and opinions are my own.



Rating Scale:

This is a general guide of what I consider each score range

4.75 - 5.00: Phenomenal. Hard to imagine anything better. Acquire at any cost.

4.25 - 4.50: Excellent. I'll camp out to get a bottle if necessary.

3.75 - 4.00: Great stuff. I'll buy backups if not too expensive.

3.25 - 3.50: Good stuff. Try to keep one on the bar, but don't spend too much.

2.75 - 3.00: Not bad. I don't regret the purchase, but may not buy another.

2.25 - 2.50: Sub-par. I regret the purchase. Reserved for mixed drinks.

1.75 - 2.00: Bad. I'll struggle to finish the bottle. May not want it in cocktails.

0.00 - 1.50: Drain-pour. Something seems wrong with it. Get it away.