Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee
Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 Bourbon Review
Barrell Bourbon Batch 35: Stats and Availability
Barrell Bourbon’s Batch 35 is the latest among the company’s regular blended releases. This particular batch is bottled at 117.5 proof and features components from three different states with the following breakdown:
- Indiana: 6, 7, and 8 year-old bourbon
- Tennessee: 7 and 13 year-old bourbon
- Kentucky: 8 year-old bourbon
As per usual, specific distillery sources and exact percentages in the blend remain undisclosed.
These releases almost always contain some surprises, and Barrell is renowned for its ability to turn blends into products greater than the sum of their parts. Let’s see how Batch 35 tastes.
Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 Review
As with all VinePair whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.
Apricot jam is strong early on the nose. A layer below that sits bananas foster, with sweet and caramelized fruit sugars kissed by ethanol. The nose has a slightly numbing quality — at 117.5 proof, there’s plenty of alcohol here to do that trick — so it takes awhile for more than a note or two to come through in harmony.
Toasted pecans gradually come into the fray, along with pineapple upside down cake. After even more time, some traditional notes of rye spice and herbs make their presence known, pairing well with the tropical fruit.
Spicier on the palate than on the nose, there’s white pepper and a bit of celery salt salinity. Things quickly mellow out into subtle notes of toffee, cocoa, and mocha. Apricot returns here toward the back of the palate, not overly sweet but a welcome succession from the initial hit of spice.
The bourbon gets creamier with each successive sip, building on its own viscosity to create richer sweetness, the oak coming through just enough to punctuate the experience. We don’t know the exact blend breakdown here, but this drinks significantly older than the youngest distillate (six years) in the blend.
After an intriguing nose and palate combo, the finish wanes just a bit and drops off faster than I would have hoped. Heat returns as the whiskey hits the throat, just slightly overpowering some of the creamy, fruity, and borderline-chocolate notes from the midpalate.
It’s still quite enjoyable after acclimating with a few more sips, with milk chocolate and cola building and playing well together. Batch 35 reminds me of fernet and espresso on the finish, except a touch more fleeting than that secret late-night combo.
Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 Rating
Barrell Bourbon Batch 35 provides plenty to be fascinated with, particularly a trifecta of pepper, salinity, and sweetness in the mouth. As with previous high-quality releases, the flavors eventually come together in some impressive harmony, especially after a couple drops of water. (Hint hint.)
One fault lies in a somewhat fleeting finish, keeping Batch 35 below the top tier of releases in this ongoing series. But as with all things Barrell, there’s always another release — and another mystery box of flavor — hiding just a little further down the calendar.