Is that a whisper of fall in the air? While I imagine most of you (like me) enjoy whiskey all year round, it is particularly suited for autumn sipping. As the leaves change and the temperature begins to drop, I reach for robust and complex whiskeys to savor. This quarter’s selection fits perfectly into that category. I hope you will enjoy this bottle as the days get shorter and the pours get taller.


Sam Crocker

Spirits Buyer

Barrell Whiskey Private Release finished in Sercial Madeira barrel Blend #AQ81

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

Joe Beatrice founded Barrell Craft Spirits in 2013. A former marketing and technology entrepreneur, he experienced an aha moment when he tasted whiskey straight from the barrel. Rather than opening a distillery, Joe was inspired by the independent bottlers of Scotland, who select and bottle whiskeys from various distilleries. He began seeking out casks from well-known distilleries in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and elsewhere, creating unique, small batch blends, and experimenting with numerous cask finishes. Barrell quickly grabbed the attention and praise of the spirits world and has garnered numerous awards, including 10 Double Gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

To highlight their blending expertise on a smaller scale, Barrell offers a unique Private Release Whiskey Program. Each Private Release Whiskey starts as a microblend that is then given a secondary cask finish before being bottled at cask strength. 

The AQ81 release is a blend of whiskeys from Kentucky and Indiana (Bourbon, Rye, Corn Whiskey and Light Whiskey) created by the blending team on a single barrel scale. It has been finished in a Sercial Madeira barrel, which adds dimensions of dry nuttiness and caramel notes. It is bottled at cask strength of 122.04 proof.

Price: $95.99/btl

ABV/proof: 61.02%/122.04

Tasting Notes:

Appearance: gold

Nose: cinnamon bark, hint of salinity

Palate: tart cherries, almond cake

Finish: dry, lingering

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