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94 points

Barrell Cask-Strength Blend of Straight (Batch 029), 57.94%

Initially soft and reticent on the nose, with water revealing the sweet maltiness of a vanilla shake, as well as buttered toast, almonds, and melon. A smooth creamy palate shows honey, blueberry pie, and vanilla ice cream. Baking spice and more pie notes emerge, along with toasted walnuts, bitter coffee, chocolate, and a finish of cinnamon-sprinkled vanilla custard and baking spice. A hot one, even with water, but loaded with well-integrated flavors.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2021)

92 points

Barrell Cask Strength Blend of Straight (Batch 028), 54.43%

barrell bourbon batch 028 Richly layered aromas of honeycomb, varnish, cola, licorice, and earth pour forth, with nicely balanced cedary oak and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. On the velvety palate there is a bounty of delicious orchard fruits—Golden Delicious apple and ripe peach—underscored by beeswax candle and furniture polish that suggest some older whiskey in the mix. On the finish, licorice and earth rise above lip-smacking citrusy sweetness.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2021)

90 points

Stellum Cask Strength Blend of Straight, 57.49%

stellum bourbon From the minds at Barrell Craft Spirits. The nose is fruity, with notes of mixed-berry preserves, cherries, blackberries, and Smarties, with additional dessert-like aromas of tiramisu and milk chocolate-covered caramel. A velvety mouthfeel showcases more caramel, plus orange and berry flavors, while also providing a good deal of spice that carries over to a slightly underwhelming finish. Enough complexity and proof to handle water well.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2021)

88 points

Barrell Seagrass Martinique Rum, Madeira, and Apricot Brandy Finished, 59.65%

barrell seagrass rye Candied oranges and watermelon, pineapple, and confectionery shop meet tropical fruit grove, anchored by an earthy note of potpourri. There’s sweetness on the palate, but a chile powder heat serves as counterweight when things become spicier—quite different from its dulcet start, though water evens out the balance. The finish reveals cinnamon-raisin cake and Christmas spice. There’s generous spice and sweetness here, but at times a lack of balance.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2021)