Barrell Bourbon New Year 2019 Review
Another great blend from Barrell Bourbon. A tasty cask strength bourbon with a minty, rye kick.
Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey (blend)
Distillery: Distilled in TN, KY, IN, NY, TX and IL (crafted and bottled by Barrell Craft Spirits)
Age: Blend of 4, 5, 8, 11, 14 and 15-year-old straight bourbon whiskeys
For a specific breakdown of this batch, visit https://www.barrellbourbon.com/newyear2019
Before I get into the notes, here's a quick explanation of what "New Year" is for Barrell:
"To celebrate the New Year, we've created Barrell Bourbon New Year 2019 Limited Edition. It's comprised of reserves from some of our batches and other choice barrels coming from 6 distilleries in 6 states. Throughout the year we set aside particularly inspiring barrels that we believe will make an interesting contribution to the New Year release. We do dozens of test blends to find the combination we believe to be the best and most interesting from our barrel inventory to make our New Year blend a truly unique expression."
Gold, without the dark amber hue of the cask strength bourbon line from Barrell.
The nose here is light, with no single, overbearing aroma that dominates the others. The first that really separates itself is dried fruit. It reminds me of a fresh opened bag of apricot leathers. There's a bit of oak and barrel char, as well as some rye spice. I also get a surprising note of spearmint, which is something I've previously only found in one of the specific yeast strains and mashbills of Four Roses Barrel Proof. The mint is a welcome note here and balances the rye nicely.
This is a bit more rye forward than I was anticipating. I didn't get all of that from the nose, but it explodes on first sip with some bold, earthy rye notes. There's a nice, buttery mouthfeel here that coats your taste buds and really lets you experience all aspects of the blend. The way this envelops your senses accentuates every bit of the spice that this 112 proof blend packs. It's enjoyably hot, with several unique spice notes. I'm getting savory spice, caraway, even a bit of fennel. I'd say it actually drinks like a higher proof than 112. A couple drops of water bring the sweet, fruit side of this whiskey back to the forefront.
This is a long, warm finish. Lots of rye notes on the front end and it finishes with a nice kick of spearmint.
I went into this one not really knowing what to expect. As with all Barrell cask strength blends, it's more complex than the average whiskey you'd find sitting on shelf at your local spot. After getting into it, it has a lot of familiar rye elements, but also some pleasantly surprising characteristics with the mint and caraway spice. Rye elements can be a little bitter or harsh at times, but this one does rye well. Rye drinkers will really like this bottle, and I think it's a nice crossover for those who are looking to expand their palates a bit. I wish the fruit elements were a little heavier, as that's one of Barrell's signature notes that I love, but this is another enjoyable cask strength expression from this line.
This sample was provided at no cost by Barrell Craft Spirits. Thoughts and opinions are my own.