I have been out in San Francisco for my brother’s wedding, so of course the first place I hit was a liquor store when I arrived Thursday afternoon. I went to the Whisky Shop, a very serious importer of Scotch to the United States. I picked up a bottle of Single Cask Nation Glenrothes 8 year old sherry cask aged scotch, which is cask strength, for my wife, and she has yet to open it. I think this one my fly home with us. But, they also had Barrell Bourbon Batch 16, which I hadn’t gotten to try yet.
This bottle has already gotten a little love over the weekend. The wedding festivities ended this afternoon, and I have a little time before dinner so I thought I would get in a review of the latest Barrell batch.
As I have written before, the palate on which Barrell Bourbons are based is a Tennessee bourbon made at Dickel, that is very nice, has some nutty notes, but definitely a nice palate with which to blend other bourbons. The last Barrell Bourbon to have MGP (Midwest Grain Products, Indiana) bourbon in it was batch 13. I really liked that one. Batch 16 has both Kentucky bourbon (I think Heaven Hill) and MGP bourbon.
Color is a beautiful dark amber. Legs are extremely long and oily. On the nose, is slight baking spice and ever so slight oak. The palate is very heavy on their Tennessee bourbon side, and those flavor notes are very familiar to me. But the nuttiness is definitely toned down, and then the rich rye spice of the MGP bourbon really shows its colors. A lovely thick, syrupy mouthfeel. Finish is long on cinnamon, showing the rye spice and the bourbon’s age, with the youngest whiskey being 9 years old and 9 months.
This is definitely one of their better releases. I really like it when Joe Kimball adds some MGP bourbon to the mix. This is top drawer stuff. I know there are naysayers out there that don’t like Barrell Bourbon because it is a blend of different bourbons and is not showing off what a particular distiller can do. But, Joe Kimball does really great blends of good bourbons to achieve great flavor profiles, and taste is ultimately what matters. Batch 16 is definitely one of the better ones.