A blend of straight bourbon from Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, Barrel Vantage also harnesses a Cerberus of finishes: French Oak, Toasted American Oak and Mizunara. Bottled at cask strength with no coloring or filtering, this expression is set to replace Armida in Barrell's "evergreen" lineup, posed alongside longtime favorites like Dovetail and Seagrass.
Bold and oaky, lots of black tea, a touch of sandalwood, spice drops, raisin bread and a touch of light fruit: lemon and orange.
Rich on the palate. There's a lot of wood here, tannic and dry with plenty of spice, and an exotic touch on the back palate. Black tea, pepper, clove, a light touch of anise. Satisfying viscosity, drinks right on proof. Spicy and dry on the back palate.
Long finish, oak, orange peel, spice drops and a good deal of caramel. There's a lot of wood influence from the various finishes here, that's hard to deny. It rides the line for me, but will be a hit for most.
Overall, this expression does a great job of delivering a ton of complexity and barrel influence without ever tipping too hard into over-oaked. It's brimming with unique flavors, tied in with familiar ones. This will almost assuredly be a hit compared to the intense, brooding and deeply polarizing Armida, but I have to admit that I'll miss that herbal, bitter, experiment. Overall, this is a well placed release from Barrell and it adds a blend of straight bourbons to their evergreen line: a tactical decision on paper and a delicious one in the glass.
Disclosure: The producer provided this sample to review free of charge, and without expectation of review or rating.