Barrell Craft Spirits Gray Label "Release 5" Cask Strength Bourbon
Barrell's Gray Label bottlings were the original home for their most prized whiskey parcels, and has included extremely well aged Canadian whiskey, as well as bottlings inspired by their finished releases - Seagrass and Dovetail. This is the 5th release of the original, more classic Bourbon blend that kicked off the line back in 2018.
This release of Gray Label is constructed from bourbons of varying ages made from five different mash bills. After marrying, the blend goes into casks made using 36-month air-dried staves to rest and further mature. Barrels made from these staves are not often used in bourbon production, in part because they are much more expensive than casks made with kiln-dried staves. They do, however, create lengthy, complex flavors, and a rich mouth feel. The mingling in these casks crafts a mellow, sophisticated spirit that concentrates the flavor of a higher-proof bourbon, with a gentle oxidative character and deep dried fruit notes. This is a bourbon with the complexity and density of age, without over-oaked chalkiness or an ethanol bite. Crafted in Kentucky from bourbon distilled in IN, KY, and TN.
Nose opens with bright fruit notes – dry cider, tart green plum, and banana pudding. These accompany the expected caramelized sugar notes of cinnamon donut and pecan pie. The tropical side slowly unfolds, revealing pineapple, passionfruit, and coconut milk. Peach cobbler and strawberry cheesecake reflect the fruitiness taking on a more cooked character.
The palate shows honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon - fun and seldom-seen flavors in a bourbon. Mary Jane candies and dark chocolate ganache offer an earthy contrast. There is a gentle undercurrent of celery salt, and beeswax candle. The finish is mouthwatering and refined with an initial burst of sweet tea and Meyer lemon. Rose jelly, raspberry pastilles and chardonnay provide a sophisticated floral signature.