Barrell Bourbon Batch 026 – Sample Vault Review

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Welcome to my Sample Vault Reviews. Here you’ll see the amazing once-in-a-lifetime samples in my ‘vault’. A lot of these have been generously sent to me or swapped for a sample of something I own! These samples are  from 3-20cl sample bottles and are from bottles that I don’t currently own. I may not get another chance to try any of these whiskies again and I cannot think of a better way to enjoy them than to share my experiences of them with you, my reader! I usually base my reviews on multiple tastings but these will be based on a ‘one sitting review’- if you have the same whiskey but got different tasting notes, let me know! I am always curious to hear from other peoples palates. Enjoy responsibly my friends!

Sláinte – Paddy

Started in 2012 by founder Joe Beatrice, Barrell Craft Spirits, based in Louisville, KY, is an independent blender and bottler of once-off cask strength sourced whiskey and rum. Alongside his Master Distiller Tripp Stimson, the barrel team source whiskey from 65 different suppliers spread around the U.S. and around the world, and have earned a list of top awards and honours as long as your arm.

Today I’ll be taking a look at Barrell Bourbon Batch 026 which my good friend @kodyjs19 sent to me to try as part of a blind lineup of 6 different whiskies. When he told me what it was I knew I had to review it for all those that have been asking me about Barrel’s whiskies. Thanks also to Kody for the picture of his bottle!

From Barell’s website this batch is described as follows:
Barrell Bourbon Batch 026 was created by combining 9, 10, 11, 13 and 15-year-old barrels in several blending steps. The first was a fusion of 9-year-old high rye barrels peppery and pointed on the palate, 10-year-old oak forward barrels, and sweet, toasty 11-year-old barrels for mouthfeel and classic baking spice notes. The second balanced citrus forward 10, 12 and 15-year-old barrels with spicy, floral 9-year-old high rye barrels. These two blends were gradually co-mingled resulting in an intriguing bourbon that dances between fruit and spice long into its finish.

Vital Stats:

Name: Barrell Bourbon Batch 026
Age: Blend of 9, 10, 11, 13, and 15y.o. barrels
Proof: 112.64 Proof (56.32% ABV)
Type: A blend of straight Bourbon Whiskeys distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana.
Mashbill: Undisclosed
Producer: Barrel Craft Spirits
Glassware: Glencairn


Nose: The nose opens with caramel, soft red fruit, and warm baking spices that fade towards bitter herbaceous notes, charred oak, and cacao powder.

Palate: The palate opens with buttery toffee before vanilla, faintly tart red fruit, earthy rye spice and faint bitter oak emerge alongside herbaceous notes, and roast peanuts.

Finish: The finish opens with lingering rye and baking spices, roast peanuts, bitter cacao and leads into an aftertaste that’s faintly herbaceous.


This bourbon is big on three things, fruit notes, spices, and those classic TN herbaceous yeast notes battling their way out. If you’re a fan of Dickel you’ll almost instantly fall in love with this. If you’re not, the good news is that the rest of the flavours keep those classic herbaceous vitamin notes in check but still expect them to make themselves known across the board. The overall drinking experience for me was very positive and the intensity of the flavours was very well balanced with the proof and viscosity. This bourbon does exactly what it says on the bottle and with Barrell’s reputation you can’t go wrong from here. Having tried this I would be very interested to try more of their whiskies as we’ve all heard the good things said about Barrell at this stage but the proof is always in the pudding!

Try or Buy?

Personally that TN herbaceous profile isn’t something I’d instantly reach for after being scarred for life by a sample of Whoop & Holler – never again! That being said, this does a very good job at holding its full intensity at bay so I’d say at the very least take a leaf out of my book and try to find a sample of it if you’re not sure how it’s going to sit on your palate. Otherwise-buy with confidence!

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