Barrell Bourbon Batch 019 is a study in complexity. Barrell Craft Spirits sorted a careful selection of 9.5 to 14-year-old barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee into 5 groups, then blended portions of those 5 groups together to maximize the unique qualities of each. Barrell bourbon batch 019 is a classic bourbon. The sweet opening notes give way to nutty and herbaceous nuance, all overlaid by a lattice of barrel spice.
Neat:Appearance: Sherry cobbler.
Nose: Waffle soaked with syrup and honey roasted cashew. Subtle, herbaceous accents color the aroma: Benedictine liqueur, eucalyptus, Saaz hops and fried sage. Fruity notes are more subdued, though gooseberry, Mirabelle plum and orange zest lurk beneath the surface. Ginger ale and cardamom barrel spice settle over the top.
Palate: The initial impression is of power, but it’s checked and balanced by its breadth and complexity. Like the nose, sweet notes are most apparent, those of salted caramel, marzipan, coconut milk and sabayon. The herbs, too, are present: rosemary, Jasmine tea and the leafiness of an Oloroso sherry. Pops of nectarine and lemon cordial round out the proceedings.
Finish: Clean and consistent, Rainier cherry, amaretto, peaches and cream, and a touch of salt.
With a few drops of spring water: The nose grows fruitier and nuttier, like charoset, but with additional notes of cooked raspberry and fennel pollen; while the palate grows even sweeter and woodsier, tasting of nougat, pine needle tea, and blonde shag tobacco.