Well, I drank a good bit of whiskey over the holidays but had zero time to write about it. Work and family kept my extremely busy since my last post. Catherine and I hosted a New Year’s bash at my house, and I went by Hokus on the off chance they might have something new. Lucky me, they had just gotten in the Barrell Bourbon New Year release for 2019. I had a bottle of the 2018 but didn’t get it until July of last year. So, I was pretty excited to get this at just the right time, and I popped the cork at midnight and it was my first sip of whiskey in 2019.
Barrell Bourbons, with the exception of the single barrels, are blends of two or three bourbons, with a bourbon made at Cascade Hollow distillery (Dickel) as a base. Joe Beatrice, the blender, goes all out for the New Year releases. They involve many different bourbons from all over the country.
This one includes bourbons from the usual suspects of Kentucky and Indiana, but also includes whiskies from Texas, New York, and Illinois.
The color on this is a light copper. On the swirl this leaves a thin film with thin legs. The nose is very floral, with a sort of buttery note. On the palate, are hints of almond, oak, light corn syrup, clover honey, and nutmeg. Medium finish with pleasant bitters lingering, like a Sazerac cocktail or a strong rye old fashioned like they make at the City Club in Baton Rouge. The finish is just fascinating. Like nothing I have ever tasted on neat bourbon but have added ingredients to cocktails to make it do just that.
By comparison, the 2018 was just loaded with wonderful traditional bourbon flavors. The 2019 on the other hand is very different. If you are a fan of bourbon cocktails made with bitters, this bourbon is definitely for you.
A Happy New Year indeed.