This Un-Gnome Whiskey challenge came from an Instagram giveaway that @saxybourbon ran with @_lostnemo_. You can find the challenge post here, a list of the people who participated here, and the results of the giveaway here (spoilers). The goal of the challenge was to have 10 people taste the sample blind and try to identify the brand, and in the event of a brand tie, the person who guesses the proof closest to the real bottle proof would win a full bottle of the sample in question. This will go down as Un-Gnome Whiskey Blind Review #2!
The sample in this review was provided to me at no cost.
Bottle information will be posted after the glass reveal at the end. Scroll slow if you don't want spoilers!
Color is dark; a dense caramel, almost turning mahogany.
Nose: Big caramel. Pepper. So dank, dark and rich. Soft nose with no burn. Digging up a nice vanilla. Herbal, but light thanks to that thick caramel and molasses. Slight meatiness I definitely feel like I recognize from somewhere. Ooh yes, perfection of a pepper note; feel like I'm at a nice restaurant with this one! Smoothness that says maybe Smoke Wagon, but not Small Batch. I don't smell a barrel finish which rules out a lot of things. Floral funk that might be bringing me back to a Four Roses offering. Very little fruit which is interesting. A little smoke in this older oak; maybe 10-12 years. No rich leather to suggest it made it to 15 and beyond. Still a dusty, oldness is apparent. Coming back we now have a rich, rising cherry. This noses towards an ECBP batch, but not specifically like any I have. Slight anise. Back to creamy vanilla; graduates just barely into a smooth marshmallow.
Palate: Lower proof than the nose suggested. Dusty, creamy caramel transferred well. Some great stinging florals on the tip of my tongue. Pepper is definitely still apparent. Chocolate. Smooth, long vanilla cream. Candy dessert flavors I adore! Palate is getting a little weathered here. Now things are turning herbal/floral like I got on the nose. High flying airy oak that wants to be citrusy, but is actually more like a proofy cotton ball. Ugh, this is something I haven't tried. It's good! But I have definitely not figured it out by the end of the glass. Thoroughly enjoyable pour. A unique citrus greets me and the creamy vanilla finish gives me a long hug goodbye.
Final Guess: Barrell Bourbon, 118 Proof
Reveal: Correct, AND closest proof guess!
I was floored to have won this giveaway. I actually found it quite challenging. In the end, the next day I had some morning clarity and realized that this definitely felt like a blended type of thing, and even the thought of it being a specific store pick crossed my mind - which it ended up being. I am going to enjoy the signed bottle that was sent to me for a long time Amongst the Whiskey!
Company on Label: Barrell Craft Spirits
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Age: 5 years (Blend of: 25% 5 year, 30% 10 year, 35% 14 year, and 10% 16 year... which would produce a weighted average of 10.75 years)
Further identification: This Private Release B24A blend comes from Amelia Liquors, and was even signed by Joe Beatrice himself!