Whisky Advocate rating of 88
We're thrilled to announce the release of our first-ever Barrell Whiskey American Vatted Malt. This bottling is a blend of exclusively American single malt whiskeys. We partnered with small and large producers across the country to select whiskeys that express the full diversity of American terroir and style. The resulting blend is remarkable, and we are proud to be the first to showcase the growing category of American single malt in this way.
We chose the name “American Vatted Malt” as an homage to the old Scottish category of vatted malt, which was once the preferred nomenclature to describe a blended whisky made entirely from single malts. Today, the Scots refer to that style as blended malt, but affection for the term “vatted” lives on.
As a new category, American single malt producers are notoriously creative, looking to their local environment and regional traditions to create distinctive whiskeys. That meant the blend was a challenging one technically, as it asked us to bring together a plethora of unique components. Never before have we strived to balance the distinctive tang of Southwestern mesquite smoke with the sweet and creamy maltiness of malted barley, or contrast briny coastal peat with the warm vanilla character of toasted oak. The resulting blend is complex and multi-faceted, rewarding the drinker with unfolding layers of flavor.
This first release of American Vatted Malt was years in the making, as many of the components in the blend come from emerging distilleries that have never traded or sold bulk whiskey before. The physical and logistical work of sourcing and blending with a group of small, independent producers is neither easy nor short, but we believe it lays the groundwork for a new, exciting, and collaborative future. Some of our collaborators have asked to remain anonymous, but the core group of participants includes:
• Balcones Distillery, Waco, Texas
• Hamilton Distillers Del Bac, Tucson, Arizona
• MGP, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
• Harvest Distillery, Valatie, New York
• Santa Fe Distillery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
• Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn, New York
We look forward to continuing to work with this group of innovative whiskey producers while searching out new partners for future releases of Barrell Craft Spirits Vatted Malt. In addition to expanding our ever-growing portfolio of spirits, this new project is an important step in advancing our vision of the next chapter of whiskey in America.