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Barrell Bourbon Batch 005 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batch 005 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batch 005 is one of the top 4 reviewed batches that Barrell had released in their formative years.  They had already won a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2015 with Bourbon Batch 004, but Batch 005 got a ton of press in addition to another Double Gold at SFWSC in 2016. When Batch 006 dropped, it turned out to be a situation where lightning was striking more than once, so bourbon publications started taking notice.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 005

Batch 005 was an all-Dickel mashbill that, for some reason, deviated slightly from the Dickel that they were normally bottling (which was 70/25/5 corn/rye/malt). This one was 70/26/4. There shouldn’t be much of a difference, but it’s worth noting this anomaly anyway. If you’re a person that knows a lot about George Dickel and their mashbills, you may be wondering why you’ve never heard of this mashbill, mainly because Dickel’s standard bourbon whiskey mashbill is 84/8/8 corn/rye/malt.  

The high rye mashbill content creates a really unique taste after being ran through the Lincoln County Process, so this is not the same as your standard Dickel fare.  But what you came here to know is how does this taste? Why is this the one that put Barrell on the map? I sampled this neat and in a glencairn.

Tasting Notes

Nose: An impressively powerful nose. It’s deep and rich with melted Snickers candy bar, candied orange zest and lemon bars. There’s a very rich nougat scent coupled with ripe pears, toasted oak and honey drenched cornbread. Outstanding.

Palate: Cherry, dehydrated pineapple pieces (!), cookie dough, spicy chili powder, glazed cinnamon donut, shaved ginger root, corn casserole and salted butter.

Finish: Cherry popsicle, peanut toffee, slate, a slight mint prickle, sweet maple syrup, telicherry peppercorns and toasted corncakes.

Score: 8.4/10


Barrell Bourbon Batch 005_2

*As a final note for those that are new to Barrell Bourbon or George Dickel products, I highly recommend that when you are drinking these for the first time, to not drink any other whiskey prior to these.  I find that even if you have drank something else and think you’ve cleansed your palate well, that it changes the taste and smell for the worse.  I don’t know why this is, but try it for yourself sometime.  Dickel is significantly better when drank by itself.

I don’t know why I wasn’t as enthusiastic with Bourbon Batch 006 as I am with this. Other bourbon reviewers note that Batch 006 was more developed and cohesive whereas Batch 005 was wild and somewhat untamed. I suppose I must like wild and untamed because I thought that all of these flavors really led my mouth on a wild ride that I didn’t want to stop. This is Dickel at its best with very little “Flintstones Vitamins” notes anywhere to be found. Just lots of sweet and savory notes with a touch of oak here and there. Truly, an outstanding batch.

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Ratings Breakdown:

1 | Disgusting | Drain pour (Example: Jeffers Creek)

2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it

3 | Bad | Flawed (AD Laws 4 Grain BiB, Clyde Mays anything)

4 | Sub-par | Many things I’d rather have (Tincup 10 year)

5 | Good | Good, solid, ordinary (Larceny, Sazerac Rye)

6 | Very Good | Better than average (Buffalo Trace, OGD BiB)

7 | Great | Well above average (Old Ezra Barrel Proof, Old Weller Antique)

8 | Excellent | Exceptional (Michter’s Barrel Proof Rye, Four Roses Barrel Strength)

9 | Incredible | Extraordinary (GTS, 13 Year MGP or Canadian Rye)

10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close (William Larue Weller)

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