Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Series: Tale of Two Islands Edition 001


Classification: A Blend of Straight Bourbons Finished in Used Rum/Peated Barrels

Company: Barrell Craft Spirits

Distillery: Undisclosed distilleries in Maryland and Indiana

Release Date: September 2023

Proof: 118.22

Age: 5 Years (Blend of 5, 6, 9, and 16 year old bourbons per company website)

Mashbill: Derived mashbill from blend: 73% Corn, 23% Rye, 4% Malted Barley

Color: Mahogany

MSRP: $90 / 750mL (2023)

Official Website


Bootstrap molasses | Cinnamon spice | Burnt sugar | Shoe polish | Seasoned oak | Coconut macaroon


Nutty | Dark chocolate | Roasted coffee beans | Cola | Shades of sweetness


Roasted malt | Barrel tannins | Char | Mild smokiness | Ramp up of heat


A finished bourbon that is so surprising and unique, it's hard to fully grasp what Barrell is trying to say.

Barrell Craft Spirits has proven over the last 10 years that they are great blenders. They have proven this time and time again with their Barrell Bourbon batches, but when the company moves into an unexplored blended or finished category (e.g. Seagrass, Armida, Dovetail), it’s always worth taking note. Barrell dubs this release as part of their expanding “Cask Finished Series,” but the name is only telling half the tale.

Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Series: Tale of Two Islands Edition 001 rides on the coattails of one of their lesser known releases, 2018’s Tale of Two Islands Rum. That was a rum finished in peated Islay single malt barrels. For their latest release, Barrell took those used barrels and finished a newly concocted blend of bourbons in them. The result is just as unique as it sounds.

The bourbon’s nose features a big aroma filled with strong notes of bootstrap molasses, sharp cinnamon spice, a bit of shoe polish, and a nice but fleeting coconut macaroon accent. The palate is where things start to buck expectations. It’s very nut forward, with a rich dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and not-very-sweet cola base. Likewise, the finish features roasted malt, barrel tannins, barrel char, and mild smokiness. Taken as a whole, it’s so unlike anything else on the market, that it's difficult to fully wrap your tastebuds around. It features a much more robust and roasted flavor profile than I expected from a rum and Islay whisky cask finish. I can't say it veers in any one direction completely and is surprisingly noncommittal. Its flavor profile is well outside of what we’ve gotten from a Barrell product before, making it hard to put in a box and fully define to a T. Its uniqueness is its blessing but perhaps also a curse.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
360 video

Written By: Eric Hasman

November 6, 2023
photo of author
Available at these retailers
Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Series: Tale of Two Islands Edition 001
Also Check out
No items found.
Reviews By This Author
Recent Reviews
Recent Articles
  • Exclusive Content
  • new content summary
  • bourbon in the news
  • social media roundup
Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyEthics PolicyCommenting Policy