Barrell Vantage Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey
(750 ml) [WA 95, #3, Top 20 Of 2022] [USC 94]
Regular price $150.00 Sale price $83.97 Save $66.03
Vantage is a blend of straight bourbons finished in three distinct expressions of virgin oak: Mizunara, French, and toasted American oak casks. The result is a warm, elegant bourbon that highlights the many dimensions of oak.
The BCS team has drawn on years of experience with three-part barrel finishing, used previously in Armida, Dovetail, and Seagrass. With Vantage, those same techniques were applied to the oak itself, using different char levels, toast levels, and oak origins to create a multidimensional blend.
Each component whiskey in Vantage is finished separately, then systematically combined according to a blending process fueled in equal parts by a scientific approach, experience, creativity, and experimentation. This process focuses on the wood characteristics and the specific flavor contributions that each cask contributes to the blend. The result is a masterfully blended, perfectly balanced representation of the harmonious synergy between bourbon and barrel.
Appearance: Burnt sienna.
Nose: Creme brûlée, coconut oil, and chocolate pudding invoke the creamy richness of toasted American oak. Tarragon, nutmeg, and warm cola are among the dry, extractive spices highlighting the French oak. Mizunara’s incense and grilled pineapple notes, meanwhile, take the profile in a totally different direction.
Palate: Sweet and oily with a pronounced espresso note. It’s pleasantly rich on the tongue, which obscures much of the tannin – surprising given how much wood is present. The French oak’s robust spice notes inflect a maple syrup sweetness.
Finish: Green grapes and red plums burst above the barrel notes for the first time. It’s spicy, too, with za’atar, crystallized ginger and Szechuan peppercorns.
With a splash of spring water: The nose grows earthier, exhibiting graham cracker and dark chocolate. The spirit’s rye grain emerges, not just with pumpernickel but also celery and chive blossom. The palate grows sweeter, tasting of maraschino liqueur and pavlova. It finishes on grapefruit zest and kola nut.
94 Points, Excellent/Highly Recommended - Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2023
"Bright, peppery aromas waft from the glass, expressing dried apple, tangerine peel, and lemongrass with dusty earth and a hint of dried sage. A splash of water releases big notes of toasted grain, crushed peppercorns, and worn leather that taper off in the finish."
95 Points, #3, Whisky Advocate's Top 20 Of 2022
"Already an established force in the world of blending, Barrell Craft Spirits has demonstrated its finishing prowess with a series of creative releases that marry different cask types together. Vantage is the most recent, and to us, the most successful. The nose has a bake shop sweetness, with aromas of sugar cookie, nutty chocolate brownies, and Funfetti cake, plus earthy dried tobacco leaves and strawberry candies underneath. The creamy palate delivers rich chocolate, Red Hots, and with water added, dried leaves and snickerdoodles. Big cinnamon spice on the finish ties this one up beautifully."
Best Finished Whiskey Of 2022 - Breaking Bourbon
"Barrell Vantage offers a new spin on toasted bourbon finishing with a flavor profile that finds new and exciting territory. What’s most notable about the product is its drinkability in the sense that it isn’t necessarily a bold sip, instead offering a more nuanced flavor profile that gets you coming back for pour after pour. Its complexity is subtle, but layered and so well integrated that it highlights Barrell Craft Spirits' ability to blend at a level above most others in the American whiskey space. Barrell Vantage is layered with nuance and complexity, rich and full-flavored, but at the same time so incredibly drinkable you’ll want to have a spare on hand so you can keep this finely tuned finished whiskey flowing."
"Explosive oak spice and an oily texture all over the palate, with tons of cinnamon and ginger, along with earthier notes of cigar box/woodshed, and black pepper/chile. Sweetness creeps forward more as you go, with honey and toffee, especially suggestive of honeycomb candy. Barrell uses the word “warm” several times in their descriptions, and it’s very apt—the big dry spice notes really convey a hearty warmth, making this feel like a winter dram, and giving the cinnamon in particular a quality evocative of snickerdoodle cookies." - Paste