Barrell Whiskey Batch 002

In addition to their line-up of cask strength bourbons, Barrell has produced two batches of cask strength whiskey. While the company does not disclose the precise mash bill for its "Barrell Whiskey" releases, we know that Batch 002 was aged in used bourbon barrels before being finished in used sherry casks. Under federal regulations, producers may only call a whiskey bourbon if its aged in new, first use oak containers, even if the mash bill otherwise complies (i.e. 51% corn).

Barrell Whiskey Batch 002 is a 9.5-year-old Indiana-distilled, Sherry cask finish whiskey that clocks in at 123.9 proof or 61.9% alcohol. It lacks the robust color and aroma of a cask strength bourbon, as used barrels impart less, but it's still a hell of a whiskey with a reasonable price tag.

Barrell Bourbon

123.8 proof

Color: Bright, golden.

Nose: Initially medicinal with an ethanol and Band-Aid like kick. After air time, much more pleasant notes of brown sugar, vanilla extract, and caramel emerge. It reminds me of freshly baked cookies, if there were 123 proof whiskey in the batter.

Tasting Notes: Sweet and relatively dry, the predominant flavors are vanilla, honey, brown sugar, ginger, and bright fruit. The sherry influence is very apparent but not overwhelming. The finish is on the dry side but features a nice balance of creaminess and oak on the tongue.

Overall: B+. This bottle continues to grow on me. Within a sitting, it improves with air time. Within the bottle, it improves with each pour. It's a sweeter, punchier whiskey than most, but I find that it hits the spot every time I pull it off the shelf.

Peer Reviews:

Adventures in Whiskey

Breaking Bourbon

* Barrell Bourbon provided us with a sample of Batch 002.