I took a trip to New Orleans this weekend with my darling wife to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We had lunch Saturday at La Petit Grocery, a James Beard award winning restaurant, but had a little time to kill before our reservation, so we went across the street to Market on Magazine to browse. Little did I know that the owner of that market is apparently the brother of the owner of River Ridge Discount liquor in Jefferson Parish. Now, I had heard of River Ridge and knew they often did barrel picks, but I generally don’t make my way to that part of Jefferson Parish very often. Lo and behold, they had the Barrell Bourbon Private Selection River Ridge released around April 2. An unexpected find in what seemed like an unlikely place.
Unlike Barrell Single Barrel, this is a blend of bourbons from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, like the traditional Barrell Bourbon releases. The labels has percentages for the various ages on the bourbons blended together for this batch. 30% is a five year old whiskey, which I am betting is the Kentucky bourbon. 30% is ten years old, which I am betting in the MGP from Indiana. The 35% fourteen year and 5% sixteen year old is Tennessee. It comes in at 114.68 proof.
Color is a nice amber. Nice film and legs on the swirl. The nose has cinnamon, oak, dark corn syrup, and some floral notes. On the palate, there are floral and cinnamon notes on the front, then some nice oak, brown sugar, a hint of tobacco, juicy fruit, which then moves to an oak finish with some nuttiness. My palate tells me this is a Four Roses bourbon mixed with that MGP bourbon that has the juicy fruit component, with the older Tennessee bourbons providing the oak and nutty notes. Nice rich mouthfeel.
It is somehow similar to other Barrell Bourbon batches I have had, but somehow just a little bit better. And I have to say, this is a pretty interesting direction Barrell is taking in doing Private Release blended bourbon, rather than just single barrels of Tennessee whiskey. This is a very good bottle of Barrell bourbon and given that the price is comparable to Barrell Single Barrel, I hope more stores pick up these private release editions, as judging by this bottle, they can be quite good.