Company: Barrell Craft Spirits
Distillery: Sourced (from undisclosed distilleries in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana)
Release Date: February 2020
Age: 10 Years (Blend of 10, 12, and 15 year old barrels per company website)
Mashbill: Corn, Rye, and Malted Barley (undisclosed percentages)
MSRP: $90 (2020)
Batch 023 is Barrell Craft Spirits’ latest release in their flagship Barrell Bourbon product line. Set to reach markets as early as February 2020, this batch blends bourbons from three states with a minimum age of 10 years, though the blend includes 10, 12, and 15 year old barrels with an interesting batching process. First, the 10 and 12 year old barrels were blended together and left to mingle. After a few months, 15 year old barrels were layered into the batch with the intent of bringing more complexity to the overall blend.
With past Barrell Bourbon batches ranging from 5 to 13 years old, Batch 023 comes in on the older side when compared with past batches considering its 10 year age statement. It also comes in on the lower proof side, with past batches ranging from Batch 016’s 105.8 to Batch 008’s whopping 132.84 proof. Notably, Barrell Bourbon is always released at barrel proof.
A waft of brown sugar gives way to caramel, oak, and baking spices. Warm buttery cornbread peeks through, along with a trace of cinnamon. Inviting, but somewhat mild in intensity given the proof.
Spicy notes take the lead, with a mix of baking spices, cinnamon, summer fruit, and black peppercorns. It’s medium-bodied mouthfeel coats the tongue nicely, allowing burnt brown sugar and toasted caramel to come forward. A touch of tobacco comes into play on the backend, along with a bit of heat.
Cinnamon spice crescendos, with baking spices and raw grain in tow. The spice hangs on the tongue, and a slight dry leather note materializes towards the end. Medium length and pleasant.
Batch 023 reminded me a bit of Barrell’s recent Batch 021. The two share the same source states, along with very similar proof and 10 year age statements. I really enjoyed Batch 021, and found myself enjoying Batch 023 as well. By comparison, Batch 021 leans a bit more towards the traditional caramel-vanilla-oak bourbon flavor profile, while Batch 023 is more spice heavy with traces of cornbread, grain, and summer fruit in the mix along with providing a bigger spice pop. As Joe Beatrice and Tripp Stimson of Barrell Craft Spirits go to great lengths to make every batch different, Batch 023 once again succeeds in providing quintessential Barrell Bourbon characteristics that I’ve come to love, but with its own unique spin.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Barrell Craft Spirits. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.