By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
The two tiny casks of Invergordon brought in by Barrel to Bottle are definitely intended to attract the bourbon drinker to this exciting category. I try to avoid selling Single Grain as "bourbon light" partly because I think that over simplifies the category and more precisely because I believe often misleads the consumer about what they're getting. But the B to B guys have found two casks that work wonders to cross over really the categories, while staying true to the Single Grain aesthetic. I think these are really fun to taste together so I'll add my notes for both here. The color for both of these is yellow gold. The nose on barrel 981 is more classic grain with notes of marzipan, yellow flowers, coconut, hay bails, vanilla. By contrast barrel 090 has more corn oil, more oak, maple syrup, cooked cereals and baked apples. On the palate, both far surpass the relatively restrained nose. #90 is very sweet up front, textured, oily, baked sweet corn, subtle herbs and a long citrus-y finish. Barrel #981 has more vanilla, a bit of melon and more spice. There's still some sweetness, but building toward a large spicy finish. Adding 3ml of water softens #981 slightly and I think I like the bold intensity of it at cask strength better, but #90 loves the water. Adding the same amount brings a bit more stone fruit and heightens the experience on the palate significantly. The are surprisingly unique within this context and while they still offer a much more restrained and elegant experience than any old bourbon, they will certainly scratch an itch that most bourbon drinkers might not even know they have.