A new year is upon us; before we know it, 2022 will be over and done with. 2023 will bring new opportunities, ready to be embraced and exploited. The whiskey industry is no different.
“In the whiskey industry, the past is always with you. But we’ve set ourselves apart by always keeping one eye on the future. Maybe that’s why we love celebrating the New Year so much. Each autumn, we create a very special blend of bourbons as a toast to the new beginnings and fresh energy of the year to come. Barrell New Year Bourbon 2023 is a tribute to the optimism that every new year brings.” - Barrell Craft Spirits
Barrell New Year Bourbon 2023 begins with Bourbons from around the country. Sourced from distilleries in Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Wyoming, New York, Texas, and Maryland, this blend includes whiskeys as young as five and as old as ten years. Bottled at its cask strength of 56.77% ABV (113.54°), New Year has a suggested retail price of $84.99 for a 750ml package. The Bourbon started to show up on store shelves earlier this month.
I’ve long suspected BCS sources from MGP (Indiana), Jim Beam (Kentucky), George Dickel (Tennessee), and Wyoming Whiskey (Wyoming). Still, the range of distilleries from the other states is new to me and could be challenging to nail down, especially with a broader blend.
I’ve also not had previous incarnations of New Year Bourbon, making this virgin territory for your friendly neighborhood Whiskeyfellow. I’ve had very few mediocre whiskeys out of BCS, so I’ll confess I’m a bit excited. But, before I #DrinkCurious, I must thank BCS for providing me with this sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. We’re rapidly running out of the year; let’s get this done.
Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this Bourbon presented as warm chestnut. A thin-to-medium halo formed on the wall, leaving droplets that defied gravity.
Nose: A big blast of caramel-covered cherries greeted my nostrils, and I wasn’t about to complain. I picked out a slight waft of mint, suggesting that at least one of the Bourbons in the blend has a high rye content. Plum, citrus, toasted coconut, pecan, and cedar followed, ending with barrel char. When I opened my mouth and drew the air past my tongue, I honed in on lime and vanilla.
Palate: I encountered a full-bodied Bourbon that introduced my palate to flavors of dark chocolate, chili peppers, and roasted almonds. As the liquid moved to mid-palate, I tasted vanilla, brown sugar, and rye spice. The back featured leather, clove, and freshly-cracked black pepper.
Finish: The long-lasting finish was smoky and spicy with leather, clove, dark chocolate, chili peppers, and a gentle kiss of black cherry.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: New Year 2023 Bourbon is an easy sipper. Is it high-proofed? Yes, but you’ll never notice that so long as you don’t slam it. There’s no burn. It is all sweet, spicy goodness in a glass. I’d like to know who those other distilleries in the blend are because some of what I tasted is not indicative of the distilleries I am familiar with. BCS has another winner here, and for $84.99, I’d consider it one heck of a good purchase. It takes my Bottle rating hands-down. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.