My readers know I am a big fan of Barrell whiskies, particularly the bourbons. I strolled in to Hokus Pokus today to find out they did a barrel pick of the bourbon. This made my week, which was a very long one in court out of town.
They even put a cool gold and silver wax top on it, which I hadn’t seen before.
This one is fourteen years old, compared to the usual nine years old on most single barrel releases. Normally, they can pull 150 to 190 bottles from a barrel, but as the cool Hokus Pokus sticker recites, they only got 63 after aging the bourbon this long.
Barrell Single Barrel Bourbon is distilled at Cascade Hollow Distillery, formerly known as Dickel and owned by Diageo. The bourbon made there is much better than their Tennessee whisky in my opinion. This bourbon is the palate onto which Joe Kimball blends other bourbons for their usual bourbon product lines. But at this age, I am betting this is going to be quite good. At 113 proof, this is slightly more stout than most of their releases, but not as stout as Stagg Jr. and other cask strength bourbons.
Beautiful deep amber and mahogany in color. Definitely a tad darker than most Barrell Bourbon releases. On the swirl is a film with thin legs but lots of them. On the nose is baking spices, burnt sugar, a hint of oak. Delightful. On the palate, the burnt sugars come to the fore, followed by cinnamon and oak, with a wonderful lingering finish that has a hint of hazelnut. Medium bodied yet velvety mouthfeel; just short of syrupy and I like it. This is the best Barrell Bourbon I have tried and this only has their Dickel juice in it and nothing else. Those five extra years of aging really added a great deal of flavor and complexity to this bourbon.
A Barrell Bourbon 15 year old blended release was Fred Minnick’s whiskey of the year after a blind taste test, a taste test where William LaRue Weller came in second. While I haven’t tried that release, I see where he is coming from after tasting the 14 year single barrel release.
For my local readers, if you want a bottle of this, call Hudson Funk at Hokus and request one. He only got six in because he didn’t think he would sell a whole bunch at $110 a bottle. He assures me he can get more. If you want to get a really special bottle for yourself, or someone you know who really loves bourbon, this bottle is a must get. Truly comparable in flavor to the Kentucky Owl and Old Fitzgerald bourbons I have recently reviewed. Frankly, this bottle is a little more complex on the palate. A lot of character in this whiskey. As crazy as it sounds, this is a steal at $110, given that it is 1 of 63 bottles of truly outstanding bourbon.