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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sipp’n Corn Bourbon Review – Barrell Bourbon Batch 006

I’ve read and heard many glowing reviews of Barrell Bourbon, but for some reason I was resisting the temptation to jump aboard.  Maybe it was because I had felt burned by a few other merchant bottlers.  Or maybe it was because the $90.00 price tag for eight year old Bourbon distilled in Tennessee didn’t make sense to me when I could get Elijah Craig 12-year Barrel Proof and all kinds of Four Roses private selection Single Barrel options at barrel strength, both of which have known provenance and a proven track record.  Still, I was curious, and all it took was seeing a sale price at Kroger.  Now that Batch 007 and private selections have landed, it’s time for a review.

Bourbon:
Barrell Bourbon Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottle 4076 of 5460.

Distillery:
Unknown, but distilled in Tennessee

Mash bill:
70% corn; 26% rye; 4% malted barley

Age:
8 years, 6 months

ABV:
61.45% (122.9 proof)

Cost:
$76.99 (sale price)

Tasting Notes

Appearance:
Rich caramel amber with a hint of orange.

Nose:
Enticing aromas of brown sugar, warm caramel, and a nutty, sugary desert.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Taste:
There’s some fire initially, but it is tamed down with some air, and you’re left with complexity beyond what I expected, especially with a splash of water.  It’s buttery with a nice transition from vanilla and caramel sweetness to cinnamon, baking spice, pepper, and big charred oak.  Other than a slightly distracting green wood flavor, I really enjoyed it.

Finish:
Long, not from a high-proof burn, but from a wonderful, warm swell of corn and brown sugar sweetness, lingering cinnamon red hots, and plenty more oak.  This finish is the real deal.

Bottom Line

Limited releases and distinct batches are tough to predict.  I’ve been wrong about some that I made herculean efforts to find, and I’ve passed over others, only later learning that I had missed out on a remarkable Bourbon.  Barrell Bourbon was one of those that I shouldn’t have waited so long to try.

Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale:  3.5

The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Swill.  I might dump the bottle, but will probably save it for my guests who mix with Coke.
2 – Hits the minimum criteria, but given a choice, I’d rather have something else.
3 – Solid Bourbon with only minor shortcomings.  Glad to own and enjoy.
4 – Excellent Bourbon.  Need to be hyper-critical to find flaws.  I’m lucky to have this.
5 – Bourbon perfection.  I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.

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