Barrell’s Infinite Barrel is a concept by which Barrell takes various barrels that they have setting around and dumps them into a giant vat to blend together. These whiskies have many different (national) origins, but it doesn’t seem to matter much to Joe Beatrice. Everything is game. Each bottle is labeled with a date that you can then refer back to on Barrell’s website to check the contents of what is in your bottle.
Since my bottle is one of the earlier bottlings, the amount of different whiskies is not as vast as it is nowadays. Still, with the blending of both Irish Whiskey and two different kinds of ryes, this blend is going to get very different, very quickly.
My bottle is dated May 9, 2018 and should contain the following:
- Tennessee Whiskey
- 100% Polish Malted Rye
- Tennessee Rye
- Indiana Whiskey
- Irish Whiskey
No percentages are given, but the vat they use never goes empty as they bottle. Every few months, they release another Infinite Barrel with more ingredients mixed into the last. For this review, I sampled it neat in a glencairn.
Nose: The nose opens up with a large hit of wood varnish, sweet mint and rye spice. But then the sweet notes start coming out with sticky toffee and spiced pears. There’s even stranger notes like hints of sweet smoke, port wine and toasted English muffins.
Palate: The palate keeps jumping all around with sweet and spicy. First, a nice thick honey coats the mouth but is quickly spiced up with black pepper, cayenne pepper and gingerbread. Then more rye character pops with fresh mint and green apples. Some tannic qualities show through with leather and strangely, port wine fruitiness.
Finish: The finish leaves some the same spicy and sweet notes lingering around that have been present in the palate and nose so far: gingerbread, white peppercorns and even smoke wrap everything up in a nice satisfying end.
Barrell pulled a strange trick out of its bag and it works surprisingly well. I think this is a bottle that many people skip over in the store due because the name on the front does not really denote what it is. A look on the back of the label would probably make independent fans of Irish Whiskey, Scotch Whiskey, Rye Whiskey and American Whiskey all set this bottle right back on the shelf, figuring a blend of each of them would never work. But it does work because it’s so interesting and complex.
It’s not something that I’d just reach for without some thought, but it does provide a really fun pour. If you’re a fan of High West’s Campfire, this is a bottle you should reach for next because it’s going to blend worlds together that you probably can’t find anywhere else.
1 | Disgusting | Drain pour
2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it
3 | Bad | Flawed
4 | Sub-par | Many things I’d rather have
5 | Good | Good, solid, ordinary
6 | Very Good | Better than average
7 | Great | Well above average
8 | Excellent | Exceptional
9 | Incredible | Extraordinary
10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close
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