Barrell Bourbon Cask Strength Batch 024 Review
Bold and warm, a real kick in the taste buds!
Distillery: undisclosed, distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana
Proof: 113.9 proof
Age: 9 years
Retail: $80-90 most places
A huge note of caramel jumps out of the glass. Behind that is a great crème brûlée, charred sugar note. There is plenty of oak to be found, which I wasn't anticipating with the 9yr age statement. I get a little dark chocolate, which isn't something I find often in bourbon, but it has me intrigued about the palate. There's just a tad of orange peel as well, like somebody just dipped a peel ever so briefly into the barrel. This is a really good nose. There's more going on here than I'm able to identify, a true depth of aroma, which is almost always a good sign going into the first sip.
Wow, this is a bold bourbon! When I say bold, I don't mean just hot and full of cinnamon. In this case, it means the heavier bourbon flavors like tobacco, leather, clove and a little rye. I get a little nutmeg going on as well. There's a little bit of sugar here, but it's fiery, like a bourbon soaked sugar cube. Like with the nose, there's plenty of oak throughout this whiskey. Adding a few drops of water doesn't change things much, this stays a bold, in-your-face bourbon. If you're looking for donuts and cookies and nothing but sweet notes, this one won't be for you. On the flip side, if you want a bourbon that lights up your taste buds and really just brings the boldness from start to finish, this is a perfect fit. As is always the case with Barrell, there is a ton of complexity here and I'm excited to go back to this bottle and see what other flavors show up the next time I pour a glass.
Warm, long and consistent with the flavors from the palate. The rye notes step it up a bit in the finish, but there's a little dark fruit to balance it out. It's not a dry finish at all, which is something I sometimes find when there's a lot of rye and oak throughout a bourbon.
This is another great bottle from Barrell, but it's very different from some of their other recent batches. Just when I thought I was starting to put my finger on a typical flavor profile for them, this bottle comes along and changes things up completely. I've yet to find a batch of Barrell Bourbon that I didn't like, but whether this batch is for you or not depends on what you're looking for. If you want sugar in a glass, I'd reach for Dovetail (another of my favorites). If you want something to keep you warm at night and scratch those areas of your taste buds that other bourbons just can't reach, this is the batch for you.
This sample was provided at no cost by Barrell Craft Spirits. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
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.