An experiment in taste: Cask Strength Bourbon from two nearby casks

Most single barrel bourbons tend to be proofed down somewhat. It is rare to find cask strength single barrel bourbons; frankly the only one I know of is Four Roses Single Barrel store pics. However, those bottles have an added variable of different mashbills and yeasts. I haven’t been to a tasting of different whiskies straight from the barrels. But, I am curious as to how much variety there is in the same bourbons aging in nearby casks.

So I have two bottles of Barrell Single Barrel; same recipe, same cask proof, same age of nine years. One is barrel 5d37 and the other is 5d39.

I reviewed 5d39 here. But how do these stack up?

5d37 has very traditional bourbon notes coupled with the candied fruit taste of batch 15. The sweet palate and finish is a delight, with some cinnamon on the finish.

5d39 is a different thing altogether. Much more nutty flavor. Hazelnut to be exact. Tons of rye spice. The sweetness really takes a back seat.

Now, they are the same bourbon. But how different they are is truly amazing.

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