Barrell Craft Spirits Gold Label "2022 Release" Bourbon
The Limited Edition Gold Label line from Barrell features their most precious whiskey stock, using a blending approach similar to their Batch releases, only with whiskey aged into the mid and high teens. The price of admission is steep, but you’d be hard pressed to find anything else like this on the shelves.
The 2022 Gold Label release includes bourbon selected from four different profiles: barrels with rich cherry and nutty notes, spicy tropical fruit-forward barrels, barrels with pronounced herbal and dark chocolate notes, and barrels with oak-forward coconut notes - with this last group undergoing a secondary maturation in toasted virgin American oak casks. Beneath the bright and concentrated esters lies a rich and creamy heart of maple walnut ice cream and a firm oaky backbone. Crafted in Kentucky from bourbon distilled in IN, KY, and TN, matured up to 18 years.
The nose is concentrated, bright, and fruity. Tangerine, mango, and lime zest unwind followed by pineapple, passionfruit, and toasted coconut flakes. Once the nose adjusts, cream soda, syrup smothered French toast, and Nutella emerge. These are framed by a mineral side, contouring the decadence with clay and gunpowder.
Palate is focused on a deep, mature woodiness. There’s a surprising restraint shown on the secondary oak usage with gentle and subtle like vanilla and clove. Instead, a more complex flavor emerges, reminding one of old cedar chest, freshly cut pine, and coconut husk. Some spirit character does peek out at the periphery, most noticeably in notes of sweet cherry and tart apple. Moroccan mint tea, mahlab, and harissa lend a welcome complexity.