Barrell Craft Spirits has established themselves as the premier independent bottler of American Whiskey on the market today. They focus their efforts on blending, barrel selection, and ferretting out interesting and unusual mashbills. While every new batch from Barrell draws a lot of attention, #25 is the first batch to incorporate any wheated bourbon. This combination of 5.5, 9, 13, and 15 year old whiskies from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee shows exactly why Barrell has made their name with artful blends. While it hasn't been awarded yet - it definitely deserves the hype Fred Minnick bestowed upon it when he said it's "a contender for American whisky of the year."
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By: Andrew Whiteley
K&L Staff Member
At first pour this feels like a real powerhouse that'll just bowl you over. However, if you let it sit in the glass a while and open up really begins to strut. Marzipan and chocolates mix with brown sugar, cracked black and white peppercorns. It is a fully mouth coating whiskey but the tannins are more refined than most 'big' whiskies. Rather than one big grip on your tongue - it's like 1000 little tugs all over your palate. The finish offers a bit of singed oak, lots of salted caramel, and again a distinct honeyed/caramelized almond note. While Barrell has long been regarded as America's premier independent bottler and won many accolades for their work - Batch #25 is a step into the next level. It's balanced and energetic in a beautiful way while capturing the very best each of its components has to offer. The younger (yet very respectable 5.5 and 9 year old) wheated bourbon softens the older 13 and 15 year old corn forward mash bills and provides a richness to the mouthfeel without dominating with an overtly creamy profile. No doubt one of the best releases this year from anyone.
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