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casey Buckley

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Barrell Bourbon Batch 011 Whiskey Review

Barrell Bourbon Batch 011 Whiskey Review

Barrell Bourbon Batch 011 is crafted by Barrell Craft Spirits, LLC (BCS) or Barrell Bourbon which is an independent bottler of unique batch, cask-strength, aged sourced whiskey and rum spirits. Barrel Bourbon has built a huge name for themselves, especially as of late. Over the last two years, Barrel Bourbon has won amazing awards in the Ultimate Spirit Challenge and the San Francisco World Spirits competitions, earning scores between 92-98 and four Double Gold medals. Barrell Bourbon Bactch 011, which is being reviewed here, was a Finalist in the 2017 Ultimate Spirits Challenge Awards, with an Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation and received a score of 96! This goes to show that they are not gaining popularity and recognition from a fancy bottle or a fancy name, or because in today’s bourbon whiskey world everybody is searching out cask-strength varieties. Barrell Bourbon has proved that they have great products by putting out award winning spirits.

At BCS they definitely have a niche for finding and selecting barrels of great tasting bourbon whiskey and other spirits. Barrell Bourbon crafts products by bottling spirits at cask strength that shows off unique effects of different distillation methods, barrels, and aging environments. All of the batches that Barrell Bourbon puts out are limited releases and produced with a distinct flavor profile that they intentionally hit. Aside from sourcing both bourbon and American whiskey, Barrell Bourbon or BCS unveiled plans to build a distillery in Louisville, Kentucky and start their own distilling. On to Barrell Bourbon Batch 011 review.

The Bourbon: Barrell Bourbon Bacth 011 whiskey review
Barrell Bourbon Batch 011 has a deep golden honey color with shades of reddish auburn. Barrel Bourbon Batch 011 is a Straight Bourbon Whiskey, distilled and aged in Tennessee, then crafted and bottled in Kentucky. Aged for 6 years in American white oak barrels and bottled at cask-strength at 114.8 proof. The mash bill is 70% corn, 25% rye, and 5% malted barley.

The Review:

Distiller: Barell Craft Spirits
Age: 6 years
ABV: 57.4% (114.8 proof)
Price: $80-$85

Nose:
Sweet toffee and syrupy cherry notes gives the senses much excitement, with some aromas of tobacco and seasoned oak.

Palate:
Right away thick maple syrup flavor coats the entire mouth with lots of vanilla, quickly followed by notes of dried cinnamon sticks and clove that remind you that this is definitely a high-rye mash bill. Flavors of sweet corn and ripe dark fruits are also very apparent with a nice little taste of oak.

Finish:
The finish is long and rich while the candy-like maple flavor lingers. Notes of sweet hazelnut spread on a graham cracker shows up on the finish, followed by vanilla and dry oak.

Value:
Barrell Bourbon releases range anywhere from $65-$90 which is right in the middle of the spectrum of cask-strength whiskeys. After reviewing Barrell Bourbon Batch 011 and enjoying every bit of the bourbon, I would say the value is fair, especially since Barrell Bourbon tends to put out high quality products that most consumers speak highly of. I would like to see more of these types of offerings closer to the $60 price range, but with the bourbon boom happening right now, cask-strength or barrel proof whiskeys are extremely sought after.

To Trap or Not To Trap:
If you get a chance to buy a bottle of Barrell Bourbon batch 011, I recommend trapping this delicious bourbon and bringing it home.

 

Four Roses Single Barrel Whiskey Review

Four Roses Single Barrel Whiskey Review

Four Roses Bourbon created 10 different unique bourbon recipes by using two different mash bills and five different yeast strains. The 100 proof single barrel offering always uses the OBSV recipe. Just to quickly decipher the mash bills, the fists letter is always “O” which means that is was produced at the Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky. The second letter, in this case “B” indicates which of the two mashbills is used, as described above, there are only two mash bills. The third letter will always be “S” which indicates Straight Whiskey, so you really only have to variables in each recipe, which is the second and fourth letter, the mash bill and the yeast strain. The fourth letter “V” in this case, indicates which of the five yeast strains were used in the recipe. Now that you’re probably a little confused, just think that there are only two variables in each recipe, the second and fourth letter because the “O” and “S” will always be the same in every recipe. That leaves two different mash bills that can be combined with any one of the five yeast strains, allowing for 10 different recipes in total. No more math, we’ll just head to the Four Roses Single Barrel Review now.

The Bourbon:
The bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel being reviewed here was stored in warehouse no. HW and came from barrel no. 85-4O. The color is golden amber and the mash bill is 60% Corn, 35% Rye, and 5% Malted Barley.

The Review:

Distiller: Four Roses
Age: NAS (Four Roses states that each barrel is between 9 – 11 years)
ABV: 50% (100 proof)
Price: $40

Nose:
A subtle nose out of the Glencairn glass, which I noticed an apricot like fruit and spicy floral aromas slightly dominated, but not far behind were rich caramel syrup and vanilla bean notes with just a touch of cedar wood.

Palate:
Rye spice comes in showing off warm baking spices that is quickly followed by vanilla and sweet ripe apricots. The fruit is difficult to finger as it is complex and sweet, cherry makes an appearance that gives way to a nice burn. Loads of chewy caramel flavor makes its way to the back of the tongue with a light amount of oak.

Finish:
The finish is long but still remains subtle. Definitely a full-bodied finish that gives way to more of the baking spices and caramel that mingles with long lasting notes of cherry, vanilla, and oak.

Value:
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is a great value with the average retail price right around $40. For a single barrel bourbon that is this complex and unique, it makes other single barrel offerings hard to compare that are in this price range. Plus, what Four Roses is doing is very unique, I’ve seen other companies try to make their whiskey unique in multiple ways just as a sales gimmick to raise prices. Four Roses has been creating 10 different mash bills for generations now and it has stood the test of time. To say the least, they know what they are doing and have stuck to their guns because it works.

To Trap or Not to Trap:
Definitely trap a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel for your home bar, for $40 you won’t be let down and will most likely savor every last drop. If your not sure about high-rye bourbon or are just getting your feet wet with high-rye bourbon, try to trap a pour at a bar and see how you like it.

 

Bourbon Trapper House Blend 3 Whiskey Review

Bourbon Trapper House Blend 3 Whiskey Review

We are always on the hunt for what whiskey we want to blend for the next Bourbon Trapper House Blend. We blend a couple different types of bourbon or whiskey into a 750ml whiskey decanter and call it our House Blend, in this case Bourbon Trapper House Blend. It’s a fun display piece on your bar that always strikes up a conversation. The beautiful decanter that is filled with whiskey goodness sticks out on a home bar and will be sure to make people curious. We have always had people ask what is inside, there is a sense of pride while talking about your House Blend, as there should be. If you put a lot of thought into what types of whiskey you want to blend and think about the flavor profile that you want to achieve, there is a sense of achievement when it comes to your own House Blend.

This is our third Bourbon Trapper House Blend and we chose to blend three different types of whiskey this time around. We chose Booker’s Batch no. 2013-6 for it’s sweet flavor, high proof, and “straight from the barrel” qualities. Next, is Old Grand Dad 114, which we’ve used in past House Blends as we learned that it blends very well with other whiskey. We chose Old Grand Dad 114 for it’s high proof, complex dark fruit flavors, and for it’s relatively high-rye mash bill. Last, is Bulleit Rye Whiskey, which we chose for it’s 95% rye mash bill and it’s semi-sweet and spicy flavor profile. We blended these bourbons equal parts in a 750ml whiskey decanter. Our goal for Bourbon Trapper House Blend 3 was to pick whiskeys that we felt were going to give us an end result of a high proof blend that was a balance between sweet and spicy rye flavor with complex fruit notes. We also try choose whiskey that will not break the bank, and choose whiskey we love with certain qualities and characteristics that we seek out based on what end result we are trying to achieve. We always let the flavors marry for about a week in the whiskey decanter before reviewing the blend.

The Bourbon:
-Booker’s no. 2013-6 has a golden mahogany color with a mash bill of 77% Corn, 13% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley.
– Old Grand Dad 114 has a dark henna color with a high-rye mash bill of 63% Corn, 27% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley.
-Bulleit Rye is a deep golden copper color with a mash bill of 95% Corn, and 5% Malted Barley
The Review:

Distiller: (Booker’s) Jim Beam, (OGD114) Jim Beam, (Bulleit Rye) Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana (LDI) /Midwest Grain Products (MGP)
Age: 7 years and 6 months (only Booker’s had an age statement)
ABV: ~57% (~114 proof combined)
Price: $105 total (All Three Bottles Included)

Nose:
A blast of rye spice and caramel filled the nose. A bit more alcohol burn than expected, but a quite a bit of brown sugar and cinnamon helped tame the burn. Dark fruit is very apparent with hints of vanilla amongst a fair amount of oak.

Palate:
Rye spice takes the stage with some cinnamon and clove. Getting past the rye spice and alcohol on this one is difficult, but after digging for more, there are dark cherry notes with a decent amount of toffee and vanilla along side a good amount of oak on the back of the tongue.

Finish:
The finish is long and full-bodied, and was probably the best part of this blend with notes of toffee and vanilla lingering with the rye spice finally balancing out. Dark fruit, baking spices and oak mingled together even minutes after each sip.

Value:
The value on Bourbon Trapper House Blend 3 is right along the middle ground. We don’t usually go up into the $60 price range for a bottle to put in a House Blend like we did with the Booker’s, but considering only one third went into the blend there is still a good amount to enjoy on it’s own. This House Blend was definitely my least favorite so far. I had high hopes, but the astringent alcohol was muting the other flavors even after letting it open up for several minutes. If you read past Bourbon Trapper House Blend reviews, blending two different types of whiskey had better results than blending the three whiskeys we did for this blend, who knows maybe it was just the three choices we picked. However, the Old Grand Dad 114 and the Bulleit Rye Whiskey are a great values, both sitting right around the $25 price point. Bulleit Rye is a great whiskey, but it’s a Rye whiskey that I believe makes killer cocktails, not great for sipping neat.

To Trap or Not to Trap:
Trap these bottles for your home bar, but we don’t recommend this blend to show off as your House Blend.

 

Bourbon Trapper House Blend 2 Whiskey Review

Borbon Trapper House Blend 2

Bourbon Trapper House Blends are a neat and fun way to have your own unique bourbon or whiskey that you can call your House Blend by blending a couple different types of whiskey together and showing it in a whiskey decanter. This has been a hit for me when guests come over, they always ask, “What’s inside the decanter?” It’s a great talking point as people become interested in what whiskeys were used and why those types of whiskey were picked to blend. As you put a lot of thought into what your House Blend is going consist of, there is a sense of pride while talking to guests about it. I love bourbon and whiskey, but I love how it brings people together even more.

This is our second Bourbon Trapper House Blend and we chose Old Grand Dad 114 for it’s high proof, high rye, the dark bakery sweetness, dark fruit flavors, and the heavy baking spices. We also picked Old Forester Signature for it’s relatively high proof, high rye, and the rather fresh fruit flavors along with a more candy like sweetness. We blended these bourbons equal parts in a 750ml whiskey decanter. Our goal for Bourbon Trapper House Blend 2 was to pick whiskeys that compliment each other, yet still have some similar qualities. We also try choose whiskey that will not break the bank, and choose whiskey we love with certain qualities and characteristics that we seek out based on what end result we are trying to achieve.

The Bourbon:
-Old Grand Dad 114 has a dark henna color with a high rye mash bill of 63% Corn, 27% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley.
– Old Forester Signature is medium-dark rose gold in color with a mash bill of 72% Corn, 18% Rye, and 10% Malted Barley.

The Review:

Distiller: (ODG 114) Jim Beam, (Old Forester Signature) Brown-Forman
Age: NAS
ABV: 53.5% (107 proof combined)
Price: $48 total (Both Bottles Included)

Nose:
This blend has some heat on the nose. You’re hit with brown sugar, and sweet baking spices, followed by some citrus and caramel apples.

Palate:
These two whiskeys blended wonderfully, with a complex flavor of sweet fruits that shows off both bourbons high-rye qualities. In the mix is a dark candy-like butterscotch flavor with some cinnamon, vanilla and plenty of oak.

Finish:
A long full-bodied finish with quite a bit of cinnamon and baking spice. Towards the back of the finish expect that candy-like butterscotch to make a full return with a surprisingly decent amount of oak.

Value:
The value on this Bourbon Trapper House Blend is really high, but you can expect that from most of the House Blends we do. You shouldn’t even break $50 for both bottles and if you liked the House Blend that much, you can refill the decanter a second time with the same bottles. As far as Old Grand Dad 114 and Old Forester Premium go, the value on each one of these bottles is fantastic. They are both full, complex, and keep you coming back for more at a price point well below what you might find something for that is double the price and half the quality.

There was a rumor that Old Grand Dad 114 might be getting discontinued and people grabbed up every bottle they could find. So it may be harder to find at the moment in certain areas, but every time I stop at the liquor store it has been in stock, so I don’t think there is much to worry about for now.

Our Verdict:
Trap these bottles for your home bar, they wont disappoint or break the bank either.

 

Van Winkle 25 Year Old Bourbon

Article Old Van Rip 25 Year Old Bourbon

An extra special, one-time bottling of Van Winkle bourbon will soon be released. Only 11 barrels comprise this very small batch bourbon, making the 710 bottles especially rare and even harder to find than the usual Van Winkle whiskeys. The barrels were distilled in the spring and fall of 1989 and stored on the lower levels of a metal clad warehouse built in 1935 at the Van Winkle family distillery in Shively, Ky. In 2002 the barrels were moved to Buffalo Trace Distillery, where they continued to age for another 12 years on the lower floors in Buffalo Trace’s brick warehouses. The lower floor placement helped preserve the sweet, mellow notes of the world-famous wheated bourbon recipe. In 2014 the Buffalo Trace team moved the barrels into stainless steel tanks to halt the aging process and preserve the rich flavor profile fans have come to expect from the Van Winkle line. These extra special bottles deserve an extra special vessel, so each bottle is a handmade glass decanter from Glencairn Crystal Studio. The bottle information is engraved on each decanter, individually numbered, and hand finished with a silver stopper. A glass top for the decanter is also included. Each decanter is packaged in a handmade wooden box crafted in North Carolina by James Broyhill II of Heritage Handcrafted. The lid is constructed using the oak staves from the 11 barrels that held this bourbon. The outside of the box bears a metal plaque with the Old Rip Van Winkle logo and states “asleep 25 years in the wood.” Inside each box, the decanter and glass top, is a bourbon certificate of authenticity, numbered and signed by Julian Van Winkle, grandson of original founder Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. “We are excited to be able to offer something so unique and rare for our most devoted fans,” said Julian Van Winkle, president, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery. “This is a once in a lifetime offering and the beautiful decanter and wooden box just take it to the next level and make it something in which I’m very proud to be associated.” The 25 year Old Rip Van Winkle Bourbon is bottled at 100 proof and will start shipping in April. It is packaged one bottle per case. Suggested retail pricing is $1,800 for a 750 ml bottle. About Van Winkle Bourbon The Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery has a four generation history. The Van Winkle family’s involvement in the bourbon industry began in the late 1800s with Julian P. “Pappy” Van Winkle, Sr. He was a traveling salesman for the W.L. Weller and Sons wholesale house in Louisville. Pappy and a friend, Alex Farnsley, eventually bought the wholesale house and also partnered with Mr. A. Ph. Stitzel on the purchase of Mr. Sitzel’s distillery. The three of them merged the two companies and became the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. In May of 1935 at the age of 61, Pappy opened the newly completed Stitzel-Weller Distillery in South Louisville. Its prominent brands were W.L. Weller, Old Fitzgerald, Rebel Yell, and Cabin Still. Pappy had a heavy influence on the operations there until his death at the age of 91. His son, Julian, Jr. took over operations until he was forced by stockholders to sell the distillery in 1972. The rights to all of their brands were sold to Norton Simon, Inc. Later, United Distillers, who eventually ended up with the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, sold off all of the original labels around 1999. After selling the distillery, Julian Jr. resurrected a pre-Prohibition label, the only one to which the Van Winkles kept the rights, called Old Rip Van Winkle. He used whiskey stocks from the old distillery to supply his brand. Julian Jr.’s son, Julian, III took over in 1981 when Julian, Jr. passed away. Julian III has continued with the Van Winkle tradition of producing high-quality wheated bourbon. His son, Preston, joined the company in 2001 and the Van Winkles look to continue that tradition for generations to come. In 2002 the Van Winkles entered into a joint venture with Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin County, Frankfort, Ky. All of the Van Winkle’s whiskey production now takes place at Buffalo Trace Distillery under the same strict guidelines the family has always followed. For more information on the Van Winkle family of bourbon please visit www.oldripvanwinkle.com.