Barrell Craft Spirits does things differently. How differently? The Kentucky-based blender and bottler is precisely that—they exclusively work with sourced spirits that they blend and then bottle at cask strength.
They have a knack for scouting spirits from far-flung locales, and enjoy blending together spirits created using different distillation methods. The fascinating mutts Barrell Craft Spirits produces in this way are limited releases, and assigned numerical titles that disguise their unusual provenance and character.
One such recent release is Barrell Rye Batch 003, a blend of ryes sourced from Tennessee, Poland, Canada, and Indiana, ranging from four to 14 years of age. Take a whiff of this rye, and you may think that you’ve stuck your nose into a charred barrel. It is dry and toasty, with big notes of sawdust, cigar box, oak, and spice.
But for all that dried spiciness, it starts mellow and rich on the palate with creamy vanilla and toasted marshmallow. From there it moves onto creme brulee and butterscotch at its center. However, this rich, vanilla-packed experience is suddenly shorn away by bold and spicy barrel notes as its formerly creamy character turns hot and dry with a chalky texture. Those toasted barrel notes lead to a long, deep, and slow-burning spice finish that’s deeply satisfying.
Barrell Rye Batch 003 takes two elements that rye whiskey appreciators love—creamy vanilla and dry, crackling spice—and neatly folds them into one complementary package that feels like a shot and a chaser in the best sense of the phrase.
— 58.35% ABV