Barrell Bourbon Batch 015
People text me all of the time and attach photos of whiskey bottles on shelves. "Hey, should I get this? "Is this worth it?" "Who makes this?" For my friends who have been scouting for a while, the questions are increasingly sophisticated, like, "Didn't this bottle used to have an age statement?" or "Is this shit MGP?"
Far too often my answers to the above questions are, respectively: no, no, MGP, yes, yes. It's not often that I excitedly promote a whiskey, no less an $80 bottle. But I am a Barrell Bourbon fanboy- in part because nearly every release is delicious, and in part because Joe Beatrice has stuck to his oath of being transparent throughout. Barrell's Batch 015 is a blend of 9.5, 10, and 11-year old straight bourbon whiskeys sourced from Kentucky and Tennessee distilleries. It was bottled at 107.6 proof, a low alc./vol. relative to other Barrell Bourbon offerings.
Beatrice and distillery consultant/future Barrell master distiller Tripp Stimson selected stock for Batch 015 when they came across a particular "juicy fruit" note in one of the barrels selected for the batch. It is, indeed, a fruitier bottling than other Barrell offerings. It is a highly drinkable whiskey - one that I'd recommend served neat, as is.
Color: Beautiful Texas burnt orange.
Nose: Initially, the nose reminds me of an indoor pool, with a tinge of chlorine. As the alcohol dissipates, dessert aromas take hold- I get cherry cobbler with a scoop of vanilla, caramelized sugar, toasted pecans, and a touch of orange peel.
Tasting Notes: Delicate up front...the entrance is sweet and smooth. Mid-palate, orange explodes, but smoky oak emerges to balance the fruit. Sipped neat, Batch 015 almost drinks like an expensive Old Fashioned. I get bitter orange rind, rich demerara, and a perfect pinch of barrel char.
Overall: A. A top shelf pour- you should get this...it is worth it.