Barrell has currently been discovering a lot of alternative ways to point out off its shares of older Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee bourbons. For starters, some has been discovering its means into their normal Batch blends, which has doubtless contributed to the persistently top quality of that line in recent times. The introduction of the Gray Labels in 2018 turned a house for a number of the most prized and well-aged bourbon parcels, none of which has been bottled youthful than 15 years. I didn’t assume Barrell might transfer extra upmarket than that, or wanted to, however on the shut of 2021 they dropped their latest, tremendous premium providing, Gold Label. Listed here are the deets:
Barrell Craft Spirits Gold Label Bourbon is a mix of 16- and 17-year-old straight bourbons. Barrels for this launch have been chosen from 4 completely different collections: cherry bomb barrels with a wealthy mouthfeel, nutty oak-forward barrels, excessive proof and excessive complexity barrels, and barrels with pronounced milk chocolate notes. The final group underwent a secondary maturation in toasted virgin American oak casks earlier than being added to this intricate and seductive mix.
This mixing method isn’t all that completely different from what Barrell has carried out with their Batch releases in recent times, except for the toasting, using solely 16-17 yr previous bourbons, and naturally the colour of the label. Let’s see what’s beneath all that bling, lets?
The nostril is intense and deep. “Seductive” is an applicable descriptor, however there’s additionally a singular earthy high quality right here. The toasting has added a fancy oak dimension, however it’s extra sandalwood and caramelized sugar, not the everyday pastry sweetness or chocolaty notes. Cigar wrapper and dry baking spices arrive in time, together with sweeter aromas of grilled peaches and darkish berry compote. The palate is large and spherical with buttery gingerbread, clove, and barbecue smoke which imparts a pleasant savory high quality. Stewed stone fruits give issues a constant, if restrained, sweetness. An surprising pop of rock sweet and chai spice on the end wrests a youthful brightness out of all that mature bourbon, if solely briefly, earlier than wealthy notes of seasoned oak and pipe tobacco tuck in for the lengthy haul. The value of admission is steep, however you’ll be laborious pressed to search out the rest fairly like this on the cabinets.