Some call it American Whiskey, some call it Light Whiskey, I call it Carondolet Whiskey (Bourbon Street on the other side of Canal Street), but whatever you call it demand for ultra-aged bourbon has many whiskey producers experimenting with bourbon mashbill whiskey aged in used bourbon barrels. Sometimes this is an amazing and delicious whiskey, as is the case with Old Carter’s American Whiskey, or, a total failure as is the case with Smooth Ambler’s American Whiskey. Barrell has been putting out excellent Carondolet whiskey for quite some time. Hokus Pokus did a private release, which is batched whiskey rather than a single barrel.
Batch AJ33 is a blend of Kentucky and Indiana whiskies, the most prominent of which is a fourteen year old MGP whiskey. The batched whiskey was then finished in a Sauternes wine barrel, similar to Glenmorangie’s Nector D’Or. It comes in at a hefty 126.66 proof which is cask strength.
The color on this one is darker than previous Barrell Whiskey releases I have had. On the swirl there is a super thick film with legs forming but taking a while to form and drip down; almost gravity defying. On the nose is wonderful creme brulee, freshly baked peach cobbler with lots of cinnamon. On the palate, the creme brulee and peach cobbler notes are joined by some black pepper, grape, and honey notes, with a little oak. On the finish, the peach, grape and oak notes mingle with spice. Mouthfeel on this whiskey is wonderful and tongue coating. Finish is very lingering.
If you missed out on getting an Old Carter American Whiskey, you should definitely pick this Hokus Pokus pick up, and this costs $50 less at $96.99. This is a truly great whiskey, and the Sauternes casks add those wonderful grape and honey notes that really compliment the underlying used bourbon barrel aging.