Skip to Content

Barrell Bourbon Batch 013 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batch 013 Review

The way that Barrell Craft Spirits had always blended their bourbon batches (#001 through #012) was that they’d take distillate from only one distiller (usually always Dickel, but MGP and a KY distiller had singular batches as well) and blend it together into a homogenous batch trying to highlight a particular flavor profile. 

Batch 013

But Barrell Bourbon Batch 013 changed all of that. For the first time, Barrell began to blend two different distillates together in an effort to create a taste that couldn’t be found in just one traditional distiller. The label indicates that they took 5 and 8 year old distillate from an Indiana source (MGP) and Tennessee source (Dickel) to make this batch.  Digging deeper, the Barrell website says that the Indiana barrels are 5 years old and they’ve been blended with both 5 and 8 year old Tennessee barrels as well.

Barrell bottles are typically priced into the premium range, so let’s see if Batch #013 really delivers a premium experience.  For this review, I sampled this neat and in a glencairn.

Tasting Notes

Nose: An opening salvo of bright floral notes like geraniums and fresh cedar wood that give way to more citrusy traits like lemon zest and orange marmalade.  There are fruity scents such as stewed dark fruits and inviting sweet scents like caramel and butterscotch. There is also a tiny bit of peanut that wafts in that is a small telltale sign of the Dickel distillate.  It’s a delicious melody.

Palate: Whereas the nose has more hints of sweet notes, the palate gives way to a savory side (still with an underlying sweetness). Oily nuts, browned butter, salted caramel, textbook Dickel vitamin minerality and some of the orange marmalade from the nose sneaking in at the end.

Finish: The MGP traits finally begin to show up on the finish with rye spices and cinnamon that highlights the warmness of this bourbon.  The rye is further evident by a touch of pine and clove. There are a few tannic notes like charred oak that help even everything out, but overall the finish is not as sweet as the nose and palate.  

Score: 8/10

This Barrell Bourbon Batch 013 is extremely unique.  It was one of the first bourbons I experienced that had a noticeable savory note in it.  Not to spoil other Barrell Bourbon reviews, but this is a trend that is continued in each subsequent batch that blends together two or more different distillates. 

The ability to create different and unique tastes not normally associated with any one distiller produces a product that can rightfully command a premium because nobody else is making an experience like this.  Well, with the exception of J. Mattingly’s special trash can blends. If you’re in the market for a highly unique bourbon, look no further than Barrell Batch #013. And don’t wait too much longer, because once they’re gone, they’re gone.

Rating Breakdown

1 | Disgusting | Drain pour (Example: Jeffers Creek)
2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it 
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)
10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close (William Larue Weller)

Featured Products

  • Neat Traveler
  • View Larger
  • Description:The Aged & Ore Neat Traveler is a complete travel kit for spirits. We combined our widely praised Neat Glass with one of our 3oz Flight Bottles and housed them together in a custom EVA travel case. Perfect for a night away with your favorite pour. The tie
  • Bottle Flight
  • View Larger
  • Description:The Aged & Ore Bottle Flight is a premium set of 4 custom silicone wrapped glass bottles designed to transport and share samples of your favorite spirits. The flight bottles come in a custom EVA travel case that fits perfectly in any small bag. An Aged &
  • Travel Bundle
  • View Larger
  • Description:This Bundle combines two of our crowd favorite products, creating the ultimate travel bundle to bring along your favorite spirits and glassware. Bundle Includes: Neat Traveler (Gray) Bottle Flight (Gray) Note: This bundle is only available in gray and col

*Bourbon Culture is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.