Barrell Craft Spirits Debuts Gray Label Bourbon 5th Edition
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Barrell Craft Spirits Announces 5th Edition of Gray Label Bourbon

Barrell Craft Spirits

Barrell Craft Spirits has announced the fifth edition of its Gray Label Bourbon. (Photo: Barrell Craft Spirits)

On Wednesday, Louisville, Kentucky-based independent blender Barrell Craft Spirits announced the release of the fifth edition of its Gray Label Bourbon, which it spent five years developing.

“This blending and marrying process is slow, labor-intensive, and costly, but we feel our patience pays off with this truly special offering,” BCS wrote in a news release.

This latest release is a blend of bourbons made from five different mash bills.

After marrying, the blend undergoes further maturation in casks made using 36-month air-dried staves that previously held Gray Label Bourbon.

According to BCS, barrels made from 36-month air-dried staves are not often used in bourbon production due to their price.

“We view them, however, as a key component for achieving long, complex flavors and a rich mouth feel,” BCS said. “The result of mingling in these unique casks is a mellow, sophisticated spirit that concentrates the flavor of a higher-proof bourbon into a lower-proof blend, with a gentle oxidative character and deep dried fruit notes.”

The fifth edition of Barrell Craft Spirits’ Gray Label Bourbon was distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana and crafted and bottled at a cask strength of 100.58 proof in Kentucky. It retails for $249.99.

Barrell Craft Spirits Gray Label Bourbon Fifth Edition Tasting Notes, Via the Brand

Appearance: Wildflower honey

Nose: Opens with some simple, 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.

Taste: Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon make for fun and seldom-seen flavors in a bourbon. Mary Jane candies and dark chocolate ganache over an earthy contrast. There is a gentle undercurrent of minerals such as celery salt, and snuffed beeswax candle.

Finish: Mouthwatering and refined with an initial burst of sweet tea and Meyer lemon. Rose jelly, raspberry pastilles and chardonnay provide a sophisticated floral signature.

With a splash of spring water: The whiskey grows a notch richer and creamier as white chocolate and cappuccino jockey to the fore. Water also liberates some savory notes of spoonbread, alpine breeze, and caramelized onion.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.