It's finally time for another new batch of the consistently good blends that Barrell bourbon puts out. For our ease of tracking this release amongst all of their other epic releases, this one proudly bears its incremented batch number. This is typically a great offering for the traditionalist who maybe steers away from some of the more complex finishing techniques Barrell is employing on their famed Seagrass and Dovetail releases. You will see the picture above is backdropped by one of their most delicious single barrel bourbon releases they chose to offer up to the whiskey community. I thoroughly enjoyed that pick! Now, back to batch 033 land...
Their website states that this batch is:
a marriage of high-rye barrels and high-corn barrels ranging in age from 5 to 9 years old
This sample was provided to me from Barrell Craft Spirits at no cost and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to review this pour with no strings attached.
Company on Label: Barrell Craft Spirits
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed blend of TN, KY, and IN mash bills (high rye and high corn bourbons)
Age: 5 years (a blend of 5-9 year bourbons)
Further identification: This is batch 033 which is releasing across the country in July/August 2022
Nose: Funky barrel influence is the first thing that jumps out of the glass at me from a distance. I definitely get a lot of that heavy malted corn and molasses that I've found on other high corn releases. A lemon hard candy is sitting pretty in the center of the glass. Light pepper, vanilla pound cake, apricot and anjou pears tantalize the senses. There's a lightness here that is inviting; the aromas are a sweet Siren song luring me to take a sip. Deeper inhales show off a linen characteristic before bursting forth into a wave of proof I hadn't noticed as of yet. Wow on a swirl I find a really potent flash of a fruit smoothie consisting of plum, peach and rich strawberry. Overall the nose has turned quite punchy now with some good cinnamon spice almost leaning towards an Amburana oak. Time for a sip.
Afterwards there is a distinct increase in that linen characteristic that almost leans towards a white paper note now. The overall feel is that of a well-aged bourbon highlighting your typical toasted vanilla and caramel charm. The intensity on the nose-feel is quite thin and light which makes it very approachable to experience what a medium aged bourbon should really smell like. The empty glass smells of dark chocolate, Spring flowers, light dirt, and '90s arcades.
Palate: A nice cherry forward profile greets me immediately. It's laced with black pepper, molasses and just a hint of anise. Another sip builds in more tart fruit with raspberry and peach showing up upfront while a buzzing begins to vibrate towards the back of my tongue. It's almost like an effervescence that delivers more like the old crackle of a TV stuck on static. The linger highlights a soft, sweet raisin. This glass is distinctly less spicy than the first time I tried it, so I think this release will benefit from a little air time in general. Where the first glass was spicy, this one is quite floral. I get a fun blueberry poptart vibe at times. A bigger sip and swish does elicit some of that aforementioned spice but in a manageable wave that carries brown sugar, mustard seed and a savory characteristic like salted meat. My last sip is again amaretto cherry forward with a soft kiss of mint, tarragon, nutmeg, and fennel. Yum! The finish does rise up in a way that sticks in the nose which is typically a bit more sensitive to spice and proof, but it feels well under wraps here with English toffee settling everything down.
There were big improvements from batch 032 to batch 033 for me personally! This feels very well crafted and would be a good gateway pour to some higher age statements for whiskey enthusiasts and rookies alike. I really dig this pour and will be looking forward to finding a bottle soon. Nice job with this one BCS team!