Barrell Bourbon, Batch 4, 6 years old, 58.4%

A few years ago, my mate Shai went back home to America, for some holiday. He thought it a good idea to do a bottle share of some things he picked up there. If I recall correctly there was a Maker’s Mark Cask Strength in that batch too. There were two others, but I don’t remember which ones. I might even still have the samples… Oh, the decadence…

Barrell Bourbon isn’t a distiller. They are not unlike many of the scottish blenders in that they blend their bourbons after sourcing them from undisclosed distilleries. They produce bourbon, rye whiskey, American whiskey (that’s not bourbon or rye) and a rum.

Unfortunately, I don’t think their bourbon is available in The Netherlands, or Europe for that matter. And in this case it is rather unfortunate.

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Image from WhiskyBase

Sniff:
Scharp, rich bourbon with a boat load of corn on the nose. Hard candy, lime, pear drops. Also some apple and oak scents. Charcoal and embers.

Sip:
Sharp, with a lot of alcohol and chili peppery heat. Very dry and spicy, mostly pepper and sawdust. Black and chili pepper. Some corn sweetness, but not as much as on the nose.

Swallow:
A long and drying finish. Still with some heat, but not as sharp as the palate. Not by a long shot. Dried apple peels, some sweetness.

This is a bourbon with a complexity that I don’t often encounter in the spirit. Generally, and this is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, bourbon is rather straight forward, with the pitfall of becoming one dimensional. Of course, there are others that are much better than that, but those aren’t readily available in Europe. Especially newer releases are increasingly hard to get.

This one I was very happy to taste and drink. Yes, it’s sharp, but that also fits it, since the sharpness is backed up with lots of bold flavors. Very enjoyable, and very good.

Barrell Bourbon, Batch 4, 6 years old, 58.4%

87/100

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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