• Barrell Craft Spirits

WHAT IS SINGLE BARREL BOURBON?



WHAT IS SINGLE BARREL BOURBON?


All whiskey is aged in barrels. That’s not just because they’re convenient containers. they’re also a key ingredient that contributes to the color, flavor, and aroma of the finished product.


Barrels are handmade objects, and no two are exactly alike in appearance, or in their impact on the whiskey. Two barrels side by side in a warehouse can produce dramatically different final products. Those differences come from a variety of sources, including what forest the wood was sourced from, how old the tree was, the weather it experienced during its growth, and even where in the log the staves were cut.


Because of that inherent inconsistency in cask influence, single barrel bourbons offer a diverse range of flavor expressions. One of the reasons whiskey producers often mix multiple barrels together for bottlings is to get a more consistent flavor–to make sure, in other words, that each batch of your favorite whiskey tastes the same.


But it turns out that whiskey lovers–especially those with a taste for novelty–are sometimes more interested in diversity than consistency. Mainstream single barrel releases like Blanton’s and Jim Beam’s Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon began to gather steam in the 2010s, which introduced the concept of single casks to the wider American market. Today, they’ve become immensely popular.


They can also be hard to get your hands on. The average bourbon barrel holds about 220 bottles’ worth of whiskey, depending on evaporation. That means a true single barrel release is kind of like the ultimate small batch.


Single casks generally highlight variation in oak influence, preserving uniqueness rather than blending it out. That means if you’re looking for a consistent, predictable experience, they might not be for you.


At Barrell Craft Spirits, we love single barrel bourbons, but we’re also unabashed fans of blends. Here’s why: Not every whiskey makes a great single barrel bottling. Some casks taste unbalanced on their own, but shine in blends or larger batches. Others have a special character that’s so unique we think it deserves to be highlighted as a single cask.


We’re picky about which barrels make the cut, which makes our dozens of annual single barrel releases in our Single Barrel collection that much more special. We bottle all of them at cask strength and without chill filtration, doing everything we can to recreate the experience of drinking directly from the barrel in a whiskey warehouse. And, of course, since they’re true single casks, each one is one-of-a-kind.


Interested in our current single barrel or small batch releases? Visit our website to shop online, or find a retailer near you.


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