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Cask Finish Series: Tale of Two Islands

In 2018, Barrell Craft Spirits produced a very limited release of our Tale of Two Islands Rum: a Jamaican Rum matured in peated Islay single malt barrels. To create it, the blending team 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 the Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands blend, the team took the empty casks that held the 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.

Cask finished series Tale of two islands Solo shot.png


Indiana: 5, 6, & 9 years old

Maryland: 5 & 6 years old


Corn: 73%

Rye: 23%

Malted Barley: 4%

  • A blend of straight bourbon Whiskeys

  • Further matured in Tale of Two Islands barrels

  • Bottled in Kentucky

  • 118.22 proof cask strength bottling


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.


Appearance: Rich mahogany.

Nose: All the hallmarks of high-res bourbon are tinted with the smoke of Islay malt. It singes the sage, torches the marshmallow, flambés the banana, and grills the peach. Apricot and candied cherry round out the stone fruit character while coconut macaron complements the banana.

Palate: Dark chocolate, espresso, and malty porter set the stage. They usher in a different side of Islay, this time its tarry, inky side. The texture is waxy with some gritty tannin that highlights its chalky mineral character. Underneath, it's still a fruity bourbon, exhibiting notes of candied lemon peel, nectarine, and plum sauce, all enhanced by the rum that previouslv sat in the barrel.

Finish: The waxy texture turns greasy with clarified butter, brisket, and lemon oil. They leave behind burnt caramel, blackberry, and peppercorn.

With a splash of spring water

The fruits are tinged with pink, becoming grapefruit, watermelon, and lychee. A conga line of pineapple, papaya, and creamsicle issue forth from the rum barrel. Honeycomb and almond croissant anchor everything firmly in bourbon territory. Black licorice, rootbeer, and lavender reflect back the palate's herbal side.


Breaking Bourbon reviews Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands calling it "so unlike anything else on the market, that it's difficult to fully wrap your tastebuds around"


Uproxx calls Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands a "must-have"


Drink Hacker reviews Barrell Cask Finish Series: Amburana and Tale of Two Islands


The Bourbon Van reviews Barrell Batch 035, Rye Batch 004, and the Cask Finish Series.


The Bourbon Judge reviews BCS Cask Finish Series, Tale of Two Islands and Amburana, giving both blends a "buy" rating, calling BCS "the kings of blending whiskey"


The Bourbon Finder reviews Barrell Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands praising Barrell's "outside-the-box thinking that crafts finished whiskey like nothing else. This is a limited edition product I could really see flying off the shelf. "

Courier Journal includes Barrell Cask Finish Bourbon in their Holiday Shopping Guide of Bourbon Gift Ideas.

Bourbon Lens reviews two Barrell Cask Finish Bourbons, saying Cask Finish: Amburana "is my favorite Amburana finish ever!"

Whiskey is a Journey reviews the BCS Cask Finish Series.

EveryDay Drinker calls Cask Finish: Amburana a "fall time sipper" in this review of two Barrell Cask Finish Bourbons.

Bourbon Junkies sips on the BCS Cask Finish Series, calling Amburana “the best Barrell I've ever had."

Bourbon Of The Week reviews the BCS Cask Finish Series, Tale of Two Islands and Amburana, saying, "The flavors are so well balanced."

Bourbon Bytes tastes Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands and Cask Finish: Amburana in a recent review

Whiskey Tornado calls Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands a "very enjoyable bourbon" in this review.

Bourbon and BS Podcast tastes some new Barrell releases.

Forbes features Cask Finish Tale of Two Islands in their "Whiskey of the Week," saying it's "one you don't want to miss."

Whiskeyfellow awards Cask Finish Tale of Two Islands and Cask Finish Amburana with a "Bottle" rating.

UPROXX includes Rye Batch 004 and Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands in "The Best Whiskeys We Tasted At The 2023 Kentucky Bourbon Festival.

Whiskey Apostle reviews Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands, describing the palate as "dark chocolate, fruity with orange, coffee, grapefruit, lemon, caramel with subtle peat and pepper. 

UPROXX lists Cask Finish: Tale of Two Islands and Cask Finish: Amburana in their roundup of Delicious New Bourbons For Bourbon Heritage Month

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