Barrell Craft Spirits 15 Year Bourbon Review

Barrell Bourbon 15

We are not a frugal bunch when it comes to whiskey (just ask our wives).  “Conservative” isn’t even a fair description.  Collectively, we rarely will say no to a new release of any kind, especially something that contains the magic words, “limited edition.”  Toss in a Fred Minnick “Best American Whiskey” designation and we would typically jump all over it.

But for once we didn’t, despite several opportunities to do so at suggested retail price.  Why?  Well, frankly, it was that suggested retail price.

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Murray Hill Club Special Release Pineau des Charentes Batch 1 and 2 Reviews

No doubt about it, we are pretty big fans of what is coming out of the Joseph Magnus distillery as of late.  Take for example one of our 2018 Flight Club barrel picks, a Joseph Magnus 10 year single barrel Tennessee bourbon (i.e., distilled at George Dickel).  It’s a fantastic barrel sourced to Magnus and one of the most chocolate forward bourbon’s many of us have had to date.  Or the standard Joseph Magnus or one of the Nasa store picks that we sampled late last year.   We have scored these relatively high, and would also likely score high some of the other batches or blends (like Cigar Blend, for example) coming out of Magnus if we had a chance to review each of the ones we have sampled.

Setting aside our love, this past fall Flight Club member Jamie Baalmann picked up a special release from Magnus that had us all intrigued – and for me at least, skeptical.  The special release was Batch 1 of Murray Hill Club Special Release Pineau des Charentes.  The cause for the skepticism? A $160 retail price.

After sampling Jamie’s bottle upon his endorsement, quickly my skepticism would turn to “where can I find a bottle.”

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Thomas H. Handy 2018

Thomas H. Handy 2018

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye is a barrel proof rye and part of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. Regarded as a benchmark of barrel proof American rye, it is always a barely legal (51%) rye and six years old.

This is one of our favorite rye whiskeys each year. The Thomas H. Handy 2018 release was bottled at 128.8 proof, which is a slight increase from the last two years. The 2016 Thomas H. Handy was 126.2 proof. The 2017 Thomas H. Handy was 127.2 proof.

For the 2016 and 2017 releases, there was a noticeable switch between the taste. The 2016 release tasted just as much like bourbon as it did rye. The 2017 release was a much more distinctly rye whiskey.

So, how about the 2018 release?

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