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Barrell Bourbon Company 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #A111 Cask Strength Straight Kentucky Whiskey (750ml)

SKU #1476078

The Barrell Co. has established themselves as the premier independent bottler of American Whiskey on the market today. They focus their efforts on blending, barrel selection, and ferretting out interesting and unusual mashbills. This whiskey falls distinctly into that last category. A straight cask strength Kentucky whiskey for $120? How is it possible? Well it's missing a crucial word that would otherwise rocket the value of this particular whisky into the stratosphere - Bourbon. But just because it's not bourbon, doesn't make it any less delicious. This whiskey is however, a complete mystery. The whiskey is classified as straight whiskey, but arrived at the warehouse in used cooperage. That means it spent at least some time in new oak before being transferred into new barrels. The bottler was twice removed from the source so no mashbill is recorded. Trying to game out the source of this whiskey isn't easy either. Almost no one in Kentucky is using old non-bourbon straight whiskies. But if you search carefully, you'll find a few examples of this style being used as by one of the big guys. There's been some speculation that this is bourbon mash in used cooperage, but that would not classify it as straight. Much more likely is a blend of grains none greater than 51% aged in new cooperage for part of it's life. Beyond that we can't tell you anything definitive about this whiskey besides the fact that we love it! A unique relic of the blended whiskey era.

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Price: $119.99
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By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/27/2020 | Send Email
Well this one was a bit controversial. Barrels of this expression have been popping at fine purveyors of spirits across the country and we were lucky to get one of the CA barrel allocations. That said when I tasted the barrel, I was under the impression that is was a bourbon mashbill aged for 18 years in used barrels. When the bottles arrived, I realized this was in fact impossible because the whisky was designated as "straight" implying that it had spent at least two years in new oak. After contacting the bottler about the discrepancy, we came to the conclusion that this was in fact whisky with no predominant grain in the mash that had spent at least two years in new oak before being transferred into used barrels for the remainder of it's maturation. While the provenance is unusual, it wouldn't be the only old Kentucky straight whisky, and it's not unusual for brokers to be legally bound from revealing their sources even to the point of not being able to disclose the mashbill. This is however, delicious whisky and for the sleuths out there, you might be able to identify just what distillery this is coming from if you look close enough. I however cannot comment or even speculate about it's origins. What I can do is tell you that it's absolutely delicious. Another, almost unexplored side of American Whiskey. The nose is restrained compared to a bourbon of this age, but nonetheless offers all the subtle nuances of old american whiskey, just with out the intense oak. Deep roasted vanilla bean, salt water taffy, hints of citrus peel and eucalyptus. On the palate, we're back in bourbon country at first, with a that sweet corn coming through, but before it finishes a dark rye spice comes up. The finish is long and filled with wintergreen and lacquer box. A totally unique expression from one of the most innovative bottlers out there today.

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