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Barrell Introduces New 'Cask Finish' Bourbon Series



One of the US' most popular whiskey and spirits indie bottlers, Barrell Craft Spirits, has announced its new Cask Finish Series - which would see new collection released each year.

Founded in 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky, Barrell Craft Spirits is known for its very high quality blended bourbons and ryes. One their most notable call to fame is perhaps their unique cask finished bourbons and ryes, specifically the Seagrass expression - which is a blend of American and Canadian rye whiskeys finished in Martinique rum casks and apricot brandy. These Barrell cask finished whiskey have been incredibly well received.

This quarter, Barrell's new Cask Finish Series will introduce two new blends: the Fall Amburana and A Tale of Two Islands (which we've given a sneak peek here).



The first in this year's lineup is the Amburana expression – a blend of bourbon whiskies from Indiana (5, 6, 7, & 10-year) and Kentucky (5-year), further matured in 

Amburana is a blend of Indiana (5, 6, 7, & 10-year) and Kentucky (5-year) bourbon whiskeys, which were further matured in sustainable wooden casks from Amburana trees, native to South America. These casks impart a strong cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla spice notes.

According to Barrell, great skill in whiskey blending is needed to impart the right balance of flavours to the bourbon with Amburana. For this expression, the Barrell blending team initially blended two mashbills with different char levels finished in Amburana casks. After which, non-cask-finished bourbon was then added to add balance and depth to ensure  bourbon flavours remain dominant. The overall mash bill is of 75% corn , 21% rye and 4% malted barley. This expression comes in at cask strength of 58.21% ABV (116.42 proof).

Official Flavour Notes

An intense baking spice character centered around cinnamon fills every nook and cranny of the tasting experience. It’s a veil through which one experiences the aromas of chocolate, walnut, and toasted sourdough. The palate too has a narrative driven by cinnamon and spicy ginger beer with cameos from marmalade, tarragon, and hefeweizen. A healthy splash of water foregrounds passionfruit, goldenrod, and honeycomb.



The second expression is the Tale of Two Islands Bourbon – a blend of bourbons from bourbons from Indiana (5, 6, & 9-year) and Maryland (5 & 6-year). The bourbon is finished in casks that have previously held peated Islay single malt, after which they were used to hold Jamaican rum. Interesting huh! In fact these casks were originally used for Barrell's 2018 Tale of Two Islands Rum, a Jamaican rum matured in peated Islay malt casks. 

Official Flavour Notes

The sweetness of the rum and the smokiness of the Islay casks mingle together with the underlying bourbon for a classic bourbon with notes of old-fashioned donut and coconut macaron.

The overall mash bill is of 73% corn , 23% rye and 4% malted barley. This expression also comes in at cask strength of 59.11% ABV (118.22 proof).

Founder Joe Beatrice shared that  “The intent for this Series is to produce unique blends that showcase the finishing cask, while respecting the underlying bourbon blend.”

It isn't exactly news to learn that Barrell is releasing interesting cask finished bourbons, but the new Cask Finish Series seems to signal the brand's intention to produce more frequent small batch releases.

If you are based in the US, both Cask Finish expressions are available for purchase online via the Barrell online shop and in select retailers later this month for the suggested retail price of US$89.99 per 750ml bottle.

88 Bamboo Editorial Team