The Spirit Animal Society is back at it again - making picking whiskey barrels more accessible to the community! Thank you so much to the picking team on this one. We involved more people than we ever have before and it resulted in an absolute gem. As a reminder for those who might be new to the site, I try to never give numerical scores to things that I had a hand in picking, but the tasting notes are pure honesty - so feel free to read between the lines some!
Company on Label: Barrell Craft Spirits
Whiskey Type: Finished Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed blend of Kentucky and Indiana whiskeys
Further identification: Blend # CQ63; Bottle # 012 - This is the pick that a group of Spirit Animal Society members got to join the founders in picking!
Nose: Woah! Funky fruit jump out potent on first nosing. I find lemon meringue pie, vanilla cream biscoff cookie and a faint hibiscus note. This glass is very much a buck from the norm of bourbon sweetness & it has taken on a lot of interesting characteristics I struggle to decipher from the armagnac cask. Nosing deeper I find troves of effervescence; it's like a tingling sweet that reminds me of a fruit forward cocktail in a dark speakeasy with high leather chairs. The sizzling zesty funk that permeates this glass is like no other. Walnut, raisin and rich soil elevate the complexity. Let's jump into a sip!
Returning from a sip of this liquid gold I find the glass has opened up some to softer notes of dusty barrel boogers (IYKYK), flan, and classic hallmarks of exceptional cooperages at work. Sweet, level oak is prevalent all throughout the cool, creamy nose-feel. Late in the glass I find bright linen has butted up against the darker leather tones. Sweet Spring florals build subtly in lovely, delicate wisps. The empty glass smells of green tea, tobacco, soft campfire smoke, and light oak.
Palate: Pow! That'll wake up your taste buds. Boozy limoncello strikes first before a creamy cherry garcia smoothie soothes the soul. Another sip and swish produces marvelous fruit tones. It is quite warming in the chest, so this will tickle the barrel proof fan's fancy. I find I lovely citrus tingle up front like expressed lemon peel, long undulations of sweet, light tea notes, and a long finish carrying barrel funk for days. Fans of Willett's rye distillate will find this right up their alley. As I continue to work through this pour, I find it is most notably lovely on the linger. Dusty caramel, vanilla and light citrus tones scream 'vintage whiskey' - the proof that swings behind it does not agree with the low barrel entry proof of old though. Another sip and swish reveals buttercream frosting, pressed flower petals, grenadine, and subtle campari. Expressed orange peel graces the continuous flow of flavor inherent in the linger that hangs on long after a sip. The mouthfeel builds after several subsequent sips, ultimately culminating in a lovely oily texture similar to some Irish whiskeys. My last sip is potently sweet with European aperitifs around every corner. The glass winks goodbye with a delicious honeysuckle and elderflower liqueur note. Yum!
Rating: This one's a winner!
Barrell continues to manage to outdo themselves with their blending prowess on full display here. The Spirit Animal Society is clearly a group of great palates, as they chose a winner with this pick! Thanks for reading folks. Cheers.