Barrell Spirits | Barrel Proof | Barrell Bourbons | Craft Distilleries | Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 015 to 030 Reviewed

Last updated Jan 13, 2021 | Published on Nov 28, 2020

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by Matty Sims

Disclaimer: The whiskey reviewed was furnished for free courtesy of the spirit distiller. The distillery did not pay us for this review. This review is our honest and unbiased opinion based soley on how the spirit tasted.

This Barrell Bourbon guide will include full reviews for Barrell Bourbon 015, Barrell Bourbon 018, Barrell Bourbon 019, Barrell Bourbon 025, and Barrell Bourbon 026. I will also include video reviews from other respected bourbon enthusiasts for the other batches. Plus details like MSRP, release date, and more for every batch.

Plus I plan on updating this post with reviews for Batches 027, 028, 029, and 030 as they release.

Here are the release dates for each batch on this post

  • 2017 – Barrell Bourbon Batches 015 through 017
  • 2019 – Barrell Bourbon Batches 018 through 022
  • 2020 – Barrell Bourbon Batches 023 through 026
  • Future – Barrell Bourbon Batches 027 through 030 (likely 2021)

Barrell Craft Spirits is headquartered in Louisville, KY. They source their whiskey and blend it at barrel strength in small batches for a bold bourbon with big flavors. I always appreciate the transparency with where the whiskey comes from on each bottle.

Related:

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Table of Contents

What is the best Barrell Bourbon batch?

Best Barrell Bourbon Batches
94.7 Reviewer
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92.3 Reviewer
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92.3 Reviewer
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91.7 Reviewer
0 0 votes
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88.3 Reviewer
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86.3 Reviewer
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Barrell Bourbon Batch 026 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 026

Barrell Bourbon Batch 026
Barrell Bourbon Batch 026Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle112.64 Proof
ABV56.32%
Distilled and AgedTennessee, Kentucky and Indiana
Age9, 10, 11, 13, and 15-year-old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2020
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$80
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
ProsFantastic Palate with Nice Roasted Coconut Notes
ConsNeeds Time to Breath
AvailabilityNationwide
RatingGold 95.4 out of 100 Points
InventoryMust Buy

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

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.

Batch 026 offers great glass coverage with ribbons of thick bourbon rolling around the curves of my Glencairn.

Nose – 94 out of 100 Points

During the initial nosing I picked up a bit of alcohol but after a few minutes the nose opened up nicely. The primary note is brown sugar with a supporting cast of roasted coffee beans, baking spice, and toasted coconut and pineapple sorbet.

Taste – 95 out of 100 Points

The front of the palate shows no heat. I get more of those tropical fruits notes of coconut and pineapple. It offers a great mouthfeel. The mid-palate melds the fruity front with the more savory back with charred oak, lightly smokiness, burnt brown sugar, and black pepper. There’s also some vanilla and cinnamon pudding as well. It’s an outstanding drinking experience.

Finish – 95 out of 100 Points

The finish is long. It goes on and on. It’s creamy cinnamon, baking spice, white pepper, and sweet charred oak.

Complexity – 95 out of 100 Points

The balance and complexity are there. I’m loving the tropical fruit, creaminess, and charred, smoky spice.

Value – 98 out of 100 Points

Just saw this in my local store for $82. For a barrel strength bourbon with this level of complexity—it’s a no brainer.

Verdict – Gold 95.4 out of 100 Points

If you’ve never tried a Barrell Bourbon bows the time. No more delay. Make this your final purchase of 2020.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 025 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 025

Barrell Bourbon Batch 025
Barrell Bourbon Batch 025Details
MashbillCorn, Wheat, Rye, Malted Barley
In the Bottle113.4 Proof
ABV56.7%
Distilled and AgedTennessee, Kentucky and Indiana
Age5.5, 9, 13, and 15-year-old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2020
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
ProsButtery Mouthful with Spectacular Finish
ConsNeeds More Cohesive
AvailabilityReadily Available
RatingSilver 92 out of 100 Points
InventoryBarrel Strength Lovers Should Stock

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Batch 025 highlights the unique additions that secondary grains contribute to aged bourbon. 13 to 15-year corn-forward bourbons and 5 to 9-year-old wheated bourbons were slowly layered in with a selection of 9-year-old high-rye bourbons, revealing notes from the entire spectrum of available flavors. A portrait of finely tuned blending, Batch 025 is citrusy and peppery, without losing the opulence and oaky ease of the older ingredients.

Awards

  • New York International Spirits Competition – 2020 GOLD 95 POINTS

  • L.A. Spirits Awards – 2020 GOLD

Another thick Barrell bourbon coating the glass. It’s a lighter honey colored bourbon for a blend with 15 years.

Nose Dive – 92 out of 100 points

It’s a delicate nose with subtle but complex flavors. I pick up floral notes, brown sugar cream of wheat, young oak, and a sweet-savory note that I can’t quite put my finger on. Like cardamom but not quite.

Taste – 90 out of 100 points

The delicate doesn’t transfer to the palate. It drinks like double-barreled whiskey. It’s more light and refreshing with a charred oak presence. The front of the palate has pleasant grain notes with just a pop of summer berries and black pepper followed by oak and cinnamon. On the second try, I do get some creaminess on the side of the plate.

This blend is full of surprises. Each time I went back to it for another sip, I found something new.

Finish – 93 out of 100 Points

This blend offers a medium finish with more floral grain notes, light smoky oak, and subtle cocoa notes. It reminds me of eating a mole negro with charred spices, chocolate, and sweet notes. The finish is the star of the show.

Verdict – Silver 92 out of 100 Points

If I had to nitpick it would be that the palate isn’t always cohesive. However, I loved the finish. Such interesting flavors made returning to this a treat.

The Barrell Bourbon Batch 0025 reviewed was provided by Barrell Craft Spirits at no cost for a no strings attached review.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 024 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 024

Barrell Bourbon Batch 024
Barrell Bourbon Batch 024Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle113.9 Proof
ABV56.95%
Distilled and AgedTennessee, Kentucky and Indiana
Age9, 10, 13, and 15-year-old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2020
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Barrell Bourbon Batch 024 is a marriage of high Rye Bourbons ranging in age from 9 to 15 years old. The 9, 10, and 13-year-old barrels were chosen for their peppery assertiveness, making this “spice box” marriage wonderfully robust yet a little rough around the edges. We refined the blend by adding in citrus forward, lower proof, 15-year-old barrels bit by bit, ensuring that the rye forward base would continue to shine, while delivering a lush mouthfeel.

Awards

  • L.A. Spirits Awards – 2020 BEST SMALL BATCH BOURBON PLATINUM MEDAL

  • New York International Spirits Competition – 2020 GOLD 94 POINTS

  • Whisky Advocate rating of 93

 

Barrell Bourbon Batch 023 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 023

Barrell Bourbon Batch 023
Barrell Bourbon Batch 023Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle107.78 Proof
ABV53.89%
Distilled and AgedTennessee, Kentucky and Indiana
Age10, 12, and 15-year-old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2020
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
AvailabilityReadily Available
InventoryBarrel Strength Lovers Should Stock

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Barrell Bourbon Batch 023 is a blend of 10, 12 and 15-year-old barrels. We focused on a balance of richness and depth from the older barrels. The blend mingled for a couple of months to heighten the lushness and complexity. Finally, we methodically layered in 15-year-old barrels to bring out notes of tropical fruit and angelica spice. The result is an evolving bourbon with layers of flavor.

Awards

  • Whisky Advocate rating of 92

  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge – 2020

    • 93 POINTS

 

Barrell Bourbon Batch 022 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batch 022
Barrell Bourbon Batch 022Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle116.6 Proof
ABV58.3%
Distilled and AgedKentucky and Indiana
Age5-year-old


StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2019
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Barrell Bourbon Batch 022 is a marriage of two separate and iconic styles of Bourbon: Classily dry and woody Kentucky Bourbon, and floral, herbaceous, and sweet Indiana Bourbon. The final blend was constructed from four separate lots, each with its own nuanced family of flavors. Much like Batches 007, 011, and 013, Batch 022 incorporates the freshness of some carefully chosen, younger barrels to bring a more extensive set of flavors and aromas to the table.

Awards

  • San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2020

    • GOLD

  • Ultimate Spirits Challenge – 2020

    • TOP 100 SPIRITS​

    • FINALIST (96 POINTS)

 

Barrell Bourbon Batch 021 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 021

Barrell Bourbon Batch 021
Barrell Bourbon Batch 021Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle106.34 Proof
ABV53.17%
Distilled and AgedTennessee, Kentucky, Indiana
Age10 to 14-year-old

StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2019
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Barrell Bourbon Batch 021 is the culmination of two separate projects used to contrast one another. The first is a blend of 10-year-old barrels from TN, IN, and KY. We sorted these barrels into 3 groups by their most defining characteristics: one group of the most corn-forward and buttery barrels, one group of the woodiest barrels, and one group of easy-drinking lower proof barrels. The result was three different ingredients, each designed to bring a particular aspect to the final product.

Awards

  • San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2020

    • BEST BOURBON

    • BEST SMALL BATCH BOURBON

    • BEST SMALL BATCH BOURBON 6-10 YEARS

    • DOUBLE GOLD

  • Whisky Advocate rating of 94

  • Whisky Advocate Editor’s Choice Winter 2019

 

Barrell Bourbon Batch 020 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 020

Barrell Bourbon Batch 020
Barrell Bourbon Batch 020Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle106.7 Proof
ABV53.35%
Distilled and AgedTennessee and Kentucky
Age10 to 14-year-old barrels

StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2019
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
ProsRefreshing and Delicate
ConsShorter Finish
RatingSilver 86 out of 100 Points
InventoryIf you love barrel proof bourbons, this is your huckleberry

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Barrell Bourbon Batch 020 was blended from a selection of barrels from Tennessee and Kentucky. We started with 10-year-old barrels with a lush, prominent fruit profile and balanced them with 14-year-old oak-forward barrels resulting in a complex bourbon with an engaging brightness.

Awards

  • San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2020 DOUBLE GOLD

  • Whiskies of the World Awards (2019) GOLD (Bourbon > 6 Years category)

  • Whisky Advocate rating of 92

Bronze and amber color. High viscosity. Oily beads of bourbon ambled down the Neat glass’ curves.

Nose Dive – 91 out of 100 Points

Crisp fruit is the prominent note. Think walking through an apple or peach orchard. Subtle hints of light caramel and fresh oak. It’s a delicate and evocative nose.

Taste – 85 out of 100 Points

The minute it hits my mouth I feel a tingle on my lips and tongue. For the tingle think a hot wing when the pepper hits your mouth or a Szechuan peppercorn. Moves into more rounded black pepper and oak. All those subtle flavors from the nose hit you over the head on the palate.

I lose most of the sweetness. There are hints mid-palate but it disappears quickly. I also got just a smidge of leather.

Finish – 83 out of 100 Points

Short-ish finish. Cue “I wish I was a little taller. Wish I was a baller.”

Most of what lingers is on the front of the palate.

Verdict – Silver 86 out of 100

For my taste, it lacked the nuance, balance, & complexity I crave from a bourbon at this price point. What I got here was a caveman of pepper and oak.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 019 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 019

Barrell Bourbon Batch 019
Barrell Bourbon Batch 019Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle109.4 Proof
ABV54.7%
Distilled and AgedTennessee and Kentucky
Age11, 14 and 15-year-old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2019
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
ProsOut of This World Nose
ConsFinish Missing Those Lovely Fruit Notes
AvailabilityReadily Available
RatingGold 93 out of 100 Points
InventoryBarrel Strength Lovers Should Stock

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Barrell Bourbon Batch 019 is a study in complexity. We sorted a careful selection of 9.5 to 14-year-old barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee into 5 groups. We then blended portions of those 5 groups together to maximize the unique qualities of each.

Awards

  • Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2019
  • Finalist (94 Points) – Ultimate Spirits Challenge – 2019
  • Whisky Advocate rating of 91

Barrell Bourbon Batch 019 in the Glass

Medium viscosity. Lighter color like apple cider.

Nose Dive – 94 out of 100 Points

Stewed berries. Love this nose. Like pie filling on the Fourth of July. Got hints of savory baking spice and oak. Nicely balanced.

Taste – 93 out of 100 Points

Reduced berries and baking spice on front and mid transitioning into black pepper, roasted nuts, and charred baking spice.

Finish – 90 out of 100 Points

Solid finish. Black pepper, leather, and savory baking spice like allspice and clove.

Verdict – Gold 93 out of 100 Points

I’m a sucker for bourbon with red fruit notes. This served that up in spades. Add to that the bold barrel strength flavors . . . and it’s a clear winner in my book.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 018 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 018

Barrell Bourbon Batch 018
Barrell Bourbon Batch 018Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle111.56 Proof
ABV55.78%
Distilled and AgedTennessee and Kentucky
Age11, 14, and 15 year old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2019
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
ProsAnother Phenomenal Barrell Bourbon Nose and Full Flavor
ConsNo Major Complaints
AvailabilityReadily Available
RatingSilver 92.3 out of 100 Points
InventoryBarrel Strength Lovers Should Stock

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Barrell Bourbon Batch 018 is a cinnamon bomb of a bourbon. We began with a juicy and tropical 11-year-old blend and layered in more structured and spice-driven 14 and 15-year-old barrels to give this batch a serious amount of character and bite.

Awards

  • BEST SMALL BATCH BOURBON 11 Years and Older at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2019

  • Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2019

  • Whisky Advocate rating of 91

Barrell Bourbon Batch 018 in the Glass

Oily mess — in the best possible way. The color of dark wood.

Nose Dive – 93 out of 100 Points

Sweet, ripened berries and dragonfruit. Peanut butter. Vanilla.

Taste – 92 out of 100 Points

Rich and full flavor. Creamy vanilla pudding. White pepper on the side. Oak on the mid-palate. Lots of flavors playing well together.

Finish – 92 out of 100 Points

Black pepper, mild oak. Caramel creaminess with hints of cinnamon. Sold finish.

Verdict – Silver 92.3 out of 100 Points

Fantastic. Complex and full flavor.

Barrell Bourbon Batch 017 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 017

Barrell Bourbon Batch 017
Barrell Bourbon Batch 017Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley (unknown amounts)
In the Bottle112.5 Proof
ABV56.25%
Distilled and AgedTennessee, Indiana and Kentucky
Age10 year 4 months, 14 year, and 15 year old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2018
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
AvailabilityReadily Available
InventoryBarrel Strength Lovers Should Stock

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Batch 017 is an homage to a style of bourbon we love, which has become increasingly hard to find. It’s the classic 10-year-old: high proof and balanced, oak-driven but complex. This batch is our tribute to the elegant bourbons of the past.

Awards

  • Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2019

  • Whisky Advocate rating of 90

Barrell Bourbon Batch 016 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 016

Barrell Bourbon Batch 016
Barrell Bourbon Batch 016Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley
In the Bottle105.8 Proof
ABV52.54%
Distilled and AgedTennessee, Indiana and Kentucky
Age9 year 9 months to 15 year old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2018
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$80
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

Bourbon Batch 016 is a blend of barrels set aside over the past year for a distinct toasted orange note. The ages range from 9 year to 9 months to 15-years-old. Deeply concentrated but not too oaky, this bourbon is unique due to the barrels being selected for similar qualities despite being different ages and coming from different distilleries.

Awards

  • Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2019

Review Coming Soon

Barrell Bourbon Batch 015 Review

Barrell Bourbon Batches 015

Barrell Bourbon Batch 015
Barrell Bourbon Batch 015Details
MashbillCorn, Rye, Malted Barley
In the Bottle107.6 Proof
ABV53.8%
Distilled and AgedTennessee and Kentucky
Age9.5, 10, and 11 year old
StyleSmall Batch
Release Date2018
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
DistilleryBarrell Craft Spirits
Louisville, KY
ProsDelicious, Complex Palate
ConsLacks That Punchy Finish
AvailabilityReadily Available
RatingSilver 88 out of 100 Points
InventoryBarrel Strength Lovers Should Stock

According to Barrell Craft Spirits:

We selected 9.5, 10 and 11-year-old barrels from different distilleries and rickhouse locations. The barrels were carefully blended, resulting in a sophisticated, balanced bourbon loaded with apple, gingerbread and honeyed corn notes.

Awards

  • Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition – 2018
  • (90 Points) in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge – 2018
  • Whisky Advocate rating of 90

Barrell Bourbon Batch 015 in the Glass

Medium viscosity. Rust color.

Nose Dive – 88 out of 100 Points

Cinnamon and clove. Light notes of oak. Snickerdoodle. Brown sugar. Roasted nuts.

Taste – 89 out of 100 Points

Tingle on tip of the tongue with some red peppercorn. Mild sweetness on the mid-palate. Barrell Bourbon Batch 015 reminded me of peach oatmeal. The baking spices and black pepper pop in at the end and carry over to finish. Very refreshing.

Finish – 88 out of 100 Points

Oak and black pepper from top of palate through the finish with just hints of caramel and crisp apple.

Verdict – Silver 88 out of 100 Points

The lower proof helped Barrell Bourbon Batch 015 balance the delicate fruit notes and the spice and bolder flavors. This batch reminded me of Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 11 Year (Spring 2018).

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Barrell Bourbon Batches 015 to 025

Who makes Barrell bourbon?

Barrell Craft Spirits is the distillery behind the Barrell Bourbon, Barrell Whiskey, Barrell Rum, and Barrell Rye brands. They are located in Louisville, KY’s Gilmore Industrial area. The team behind the bourbon includes founder Joe Beatrice, Chief Whiskey Scientist Tripp Stimson, and more.

Is Barrell Bourbon good?

As you can see from the reviews above, Barrell Bourbon has won many awards for many of their batches. Also, in my personal experience, they consistently blend high-quality small batch and barrel proof bourbons.

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.

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