I picked up a bottle of Barrell’s Grey Label Bourbon Release 5 recently. I reviewed release three back in 2020. This release is a little different – it is a blend of bourbons from five different mashbills that was then married and re-casked in barrels made from air dried staves that previously held Grey Label bourbon. Air dried staves are far more expensive the kiln dried staves and Barrell suggests this contributes to rich mouthfeel and flavor. This release is fairly low proof for Barrell, being only 100.58 proof.
The color is a very nice solid amber. On the swirl is a nice film with big long legs. Very oily. The nose is extremely fruity – honey-suckle, green apples, pineapple, and peaches. Very intriguing. On the palate, there are melons and raspberries with an undercurrent of molasses and dark chocolate. Very nuanced and interesting. On the finish, the raspberries eclipse the melon notes but with wonderful oak in the background. Very nice mouthfeel on this bourbon – not super thick but definitely substantial. Really flavorful despite being low proof. This whiskey is dangerously drinkable. Really nice release form Barrell.