Barrell Bourbon Batch 027 started with six-year-old fruit-forward barrels from Tennessee and five-year-old spice forward barrels from Indiana. After these were blended together, 13 and 15-year-old barrels with more wood tannin and depth were layered in and a select number of 9-year-old barrels with a higher rye content were blended in for spice and assertiveness. Finally, 5 and 8-year-old wheated bourbon barrels were added to soften the batch, brighten the front palate, and solidify a cohesiveness to an otherwise extremely complex flavor profile.
Many bourbons just taste like caramel, some older bourbons taste like oak, but this – this bourbon is a cherry bomb. At times bright and juicy, at others, brooding and oxidized, but while there are many flavors to be found, cherry stands above them all.
On the nose, the 115.7-proof cask strength whiskey has supporting notes that span sweet desserts, woodsy herbs, and rich oils. But their presence is an afterthought to the singular
and intense focus of this whisky’s nose, and that focus is squarely on old, comforting cherry. Deeper bass notes of sweet potato pie, walnut shells, and freshly ground coffee flesh out the aromatic register. The influence of rye is subtle here, potpourri, earl grey
tea, and bouquet garni whisper at the periphery.
On the palate, the candied texture that falls short of syrupy and a just gentle tannin suggest minimal oak extraction but significant concentration over long years spent slowly evaporating in a rickhouse. Like the nose, a bright, juicy acidity puts the focus squarely on a note of cherry. A bit more floral than the nose, candied violet and lavender are just able to peek through, along with a steely minerality.
The finish is gentle, yet complex and makes one imagine a flavor wheel in thin air. This mysterious yet fruity bourbon leaves the palate with blood orange, rosehip, hibiscus, and sumac.
When enjoyed with a splash of spring water, lychee, pineapple and honeydew melon emerge, and heather, sage, and cigar smoke lend a welcome complexity. This is followed by baklava, Boston cream pie, and a creamy brown ale, which lends a subtle hoppy note to the finish.
Barrell Craft Spirits, based in Louisville, Kentucky, is an independent blender and bottler of unique, aged, cask-strength sourced whiskey and rum, recognized for its blending expertise. We design, produce, and launch Spirits with a focus on what people want now and not what has been successful in the past. This affords us access to some of the most interesting and delicious spirits in the world.