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The Barrell Private Release Series is a project in detailed blending on a scale small enough to allow extreme precision. The Private Release Series exercises blending expertise while maintaining a single barrel-like scale controlled entirely by hand and the palate. Every ounce of every ingredient changes the overall character of these blends, as does the barrel in which each one is aged. While the recipe for these releases may be replicated, the unique nature of each ingredient and the barrel they are married in makes every bottling singularly special.
From Brian Schmidt, Topflight Series Panel Member:
I'm an outspoken fan of the Private Release series from Barrell Craft Spirits. This pour and our previous Jamaican rum cask pick are two of my favorites. A blend of bourbon and rye finished in an Islay Single Malt Scotch cask is certainly a whisk(e)y explorer's whiskey. We can't tell you which distillery the barrel came from, but they're a growing brand with a cult following. The Islay is immediately apparent on the nose but gives way to classic bourbon caramel, brown sugar, and pepper notes. The palate also starts with that smoky, peaty flavor of Islay Scotch. Still, it's a bit milder than its prior tenant, thanks to the refill and the mature bourbon in the blend. The back half of the pour is nutty, with a subtle cherry and brown sugar sweetness and a little iodine and peat in a long finish. As a fan of bourbon and scotch — this is an exceptionally fun pour. Barrell always bottles at cask strength, and this is another fine instance of a 120+ proof bottling that doesn't have the heat of its ABV. When this pour was first presented to me, I thought it was 1) for a bit of a niche audience and 2) something I may only want once, but I keep coming back to it and am now in need of a second bottle. I can't say enough good things about this pour, and I hope you'll find it as enjoyable as I do.
TOPFLIGHT: Series 1, Barrel No. 53
Smoke, caramel, brown sugar, and pepper notes
Peaty, nutty, subtle cherry, and brown sugar sweetness
A blend of peat and sweet
WARNING: Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects.
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