WHAT ARE THE BEST BOURBONS TO COLLECT?
Pappy Van Winkle. Wild Turkey. Knob Creek. Woodford Reserve. Elijah Craig. Heaven Hill’s Henry McKenna Bottled-in-Bond.
Heritage brands like these are part of the reason that American whiskey is so exciting. They’re also the reason that Barrell Craft Spirits does things so differently. Rather than build a distillery to compete with these amazing producers, we decided to source spirits from the best distilleries in the country and focus our efforts on blending.
Inspired by the independent bottlers of Scotland, we source whiskeys from across the country and around the world. Then we blend them into distinctive releases that showcase layers and layers of flavor. Because we’re drawing from an expansive palette, we’re able to create whiskeys with a diverse range of remarkable, sometimes surprising character.
Many of our releases are limited edition. Once we’ve sold out of a Batch release, for instance, it’s gone for good. That makes them especially exciting whiskeys to collect, especially for people interested in experiencing the full range of bourbon flavor profiles.
Ready to start laying in your own collection? Read on for some of our favorite recent releases.
Our latest small batch bourbon is Batch 032. It’s a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys between five and 10 years old sourced from producers in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Fans of wheated bourbon will find plenty to like here. A floral aroma with fennel, dandelion, and yellow cherry ushers in a sweet, almost decadent palate. Look for flavors like brioche, cinnamon rolls, baking spices, brown sugar caramel, and butter. The finish is citrusy and fresh, with a hint of raspberries and anise.
Everybody needs a bottle of Seagrass in their stash. Collectors should opt for this limited-edition bottling made in partnership with the Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to ocean conservation. Every bottle of Seagrass sold with an Ocean Foundation hang tag helps to support seagrass meadow conservation, preventing erosion and flooding and improving water quality.
The whiskey inside the bottle is truly something special. It’s a blend of American and Canadian rye whiskeys. Each ingredient was finished separately in Martinique Rhum Agricole, apricot brandy, and Madeira casks before the final blend. The result is a uniquely delicious combination of tropical and orchard fruits, spicy rye, delicate grassy florals, and oxidized madeira. Seagrass has earned several major awards, including a double gold at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
In the mood for something truly limited-edition? Check out Barrell’s Private Release series, including whiskeys, bourbons, and rums. Private Releases highlight unique micro-blends, many of which are finished in a wide range of different single casks. Each one is bottled individually, preserving all those subtle variations from cask to cask.
The Private Release series is always changing, which means there’s always something new to try. One current release is Barrell Whiskey Private Release AJP3, which is a blend of Indiana and Kentucky whiskeys finished in a Cognac Park VSOP Cask. Another is Barrell Bourbon Private Release C871, which is a marriage of Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky bourbons ranging in age from five to 17 years old. Like all Barrell releases, all of the Private Release bottlings are released at cask strength, delivering maximum flavor.
Looking for something truly special? Barrell Craft Spirits Gold Label Bourbon is a showcase for the choicest stocks from our warehouses. We pulled a selection of bourbons from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tenneseee, all 16 or 17 years of age. A range of profiles, including cherry-centric, nutty, chocolatey, and oaky, created layers of flavor.
To amp up the complexity even more, we finished a portion of those barrels in toasted new American oak casks before adding them to the final blend. The result is a whiskey with amazing depth and evolution that’s worthy of being the centerpiece of any great whiskey collection.