Barrell Bourbon Batch 18 and Batch 19 have both been great. I think this is due to the use of Four Roses bourbons of different recipes with their wonderful 14 year old Cascade Hollow bourbon from Tennessee. Batch 20 is another wonderful blend along the same lines; I am less sure of the provenance of this bourbon but I can say it is great.
This batch is a blend of ten year old Kentucky bourbon and 14 year old Tennessee bourbon I mentioned earlier, weighing in at a nice 106.7 proof. Color is a nice maple amber. Nice film and legs on the swirl.
The nose is very traditional bourbon, with some oak, caramel, and vanilla, but also with lighter fruits-apples and pears; almost like bourbon meets calvados. A little bit of an herbal tea note reminiscent of Four Roses 130th Anniversary edition.
On the palate, oak, rye spice and apple come to the fore, then the herbal tea with vanilla on the back. A hint of hazelnut and walnut and bitter dark chocolate emerge, which on the finish turns to cinnamon. Finish is dryer than other Barrell releases yet lingering.
Chocolate apple pie with cinnamon and nuts with a contrast of hot herbal tea.
It’s like the Food Network sourced a bourbon. It is challenging to the palate. There is so much going on there. And you can’t just ignore these things and enjoy it. Every sip makes my brain turn on in analytics mode.
It’s definitely a bourbon for bourbon nerds. And definitely worth the price of admission.