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Announcing our New Cask Finish Series Barrell Craft Spirits is thrilled to be releasing a new Cask Finish Series, and we’re starting off with two particularly exciting releases. The first is an Amburana Cask Finish bourbon. Amburana is a tropical hardwood sometimes called “Brazilian oak.” It’s known for giving spirits a distinctive cinnamon, floral, tropical, and vanilla flavor that’s unlike anything else. A little bit can give whiskey enticing rounded spice notes, while too much can completely overwhelm the character of the spirit. That means achieving a harmonious balance with the bourbon takes skill, precise timing, and a light hand. Rather than working with cubes, spirals, staves, or other oak alternatives like many producers, Barrell Craft Spirits’ Chief Whiskey Scientist Tripp Stimson sourced true 53-gallon casks made from sustainably harvested amburana wood to finish bourbon. It took a full year of R&D to hone in on the right timing and conditions that would create just the right balance of flavor concentration, layering in those heady tropical spice notes without losing the delicious flavor of the bourbon itself. This bourbon has an intense baking spice character centered around cinnamon. The palate has a narrative driven by cinnamon and spicy ginger beer with cameos from marmalade, tarragon, and hefeweizen. A healthy splash of water foregrounds passionfruit, goldenrod, and honeycomb. Additional tasting notes are available here.
The Tale of the Tale of Two Islands
Our second release is equally exciting: Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands. In 2018 we produced a very limited release of our Tale of Two Islands Rum: a Jamaican Rum matured in peated Islay single malt casks. To create it, we filled previously used Islay Single Malt Whisky casks with a small amount of Barrell Rum Batch 001. We let it mature and the result was a deeply intense Jamaican rum with just a touch of misty peat smoke. With separate distillation, aging, and finishing influences from Jamaica, Kentucky and Islay, this was a truly unique spirit. For this limited edition release, we took the empty casks that held our Tale of Two Islands Rum, and used them to finish a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys. The sweetness of the rum and the smokiness of the Islay casks mingle together with the underlying bourbon that continues the Tale of Two Islands! This is a classic bourbon with notes of old-fashioned donut and coconut macaron. Over time, that bourbon slowly leeched the brooding peatiness left behind in the barrel staves by smokey Islay whisky. A splash of water unlocks wild, tropical volatiles that are the calling card of Jamaica’s ester-packed rums. For more tasting notes click here.
Robb Report names Barrell Vantage the best Barrel-Proof Whiskey of 2023 in their ‘Best of the Best’. UPROXX calls Batch 035 a "masterclass in blending" in their blind tasting of limited edition bourbons. Bourbon Culture reviews Batch 035, saying, "This is another great release that still shows us that Barrell excels at making the sum of its components greater than they are individually." Whiskey Raiders gives Batch 035 a score of 90, saying, "This is delicious and should scratch the itch of a drinker looking for a new profile to turn to." Whiskeyfellow gives Batch 035 a "Bottle" rating, describing notes of milk chocolate and spiced nuts. InsideHook describes BCS Gold Label Bourbon as a "high-end bottle [that] offers a richness and depth of flavor beyond the regular batches of Barrell Bourbon, as good as they are." GOLF.com highlights Barrell Dovetail as one of the best cask-finished spirits for summer, describing it as an "assemblage of flavors and aromas." The People's Bourbon Review sips on Batch 035, describing the palate as "bold but rich with characteristics of warm baked bread." UPROXX reviews BCS Gold Label Seagrass saying, "You’ll always find something fun, new, and intriguing every time you return to this pour." Barrell Seagrass, Dovetail, and Armida are also included. InsideHook includes Barrell Craft Spirits in the article, "The Best Bourbons Under $100," saying, "This is one brand you should absolutely try." Robb Report features Barrell Private Release Rye, saying, "This new release from Barrell Craft Spirits is one of the most quintessentially “rye” rye whiskeys you’ve likely ever tried, and that’s a very good thing."
We like to grow our following organically, so we hope you'll follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn to help get the word out about Barrell Craft Spirits. If you're a bar or retailer that wants to do a tasting with us, send an email to email@example.com. We're happy to participate in and promote these. And check our website for in-person tastings that are coming up.