Barrell Foundation Bourbon release a dive into lower-proof blends for BCS

Barrell Foundation Bourbon, photo courtesy Barrell Craft Spirits
Barrell Foundation Bourbon, photo courtesy Barrell Craft Spirits /

Barrell Craft Spirits is offering up a new low-proof blend with its Barrell Foundation Bourbon release while remaining true to the essence of the distillery.

Bourbon drinkers who love Barrell Craft Spirits may be surprised by the latest release. Barrell Foundation Bourbon is a 100-proof, 5-year-old blended bourbon that BCS wants to market as an “all-occasion” spirit, targeting a broader market than their typical buyers.

BCS founder Joe Beatrice discussed Barrell Foundation Bourbon in a press release:

"“We believe that a true art form in bourbon-making is the ability to produce bourbon whiskey that can be enjoyed by everyone, and we welcomed the challenge to show that we can produce great bourbon whiskey at a more approachable strength and price for all occasions. For 10 years’ve led the blending movement in the U.S. and now welcome this exciting opportunity to be a trailblazer of an entirely different style of bourbon whiskey.”"

Foundation Bourbon is a blend of bourbons from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Maryland, all ranging between 5 and 9 years old.

With the continued growth of bourbon and other distilled spirits in the United States, a move like this could position BCS to become an even bigger player in the marketplace.

I was sent a sample of Foundation for review and tasting and found it to be right in line with the quality that I would expect from BCS.

Barrell Foundation Bourbon Description

Mash bill (derived): Corn 70%, Rye 23%, Malted Barley 4%
Blend components: Kentucky 8 years old; Indiana 5, 6, and 9 years old; Tennessee 8 years old; Maryland 5 &6 years old
ABV: 50 %
Color: Golden amber
Age: At least 5 years (blended ages)
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Private Barrels Available: NA
MSRP: $59.99

Barrell Foundation Bourbon Tasting Notes

Nose: This is a nose for a bourbon purist. The lower proof prohibits much in the way of heat or ethanol and you get a true nose of caramel, and vanilla, with a variety of dark stone fruits including cherry and date. With deeper sniffs berries and spice begin to emerge. If it’s possible for the nose of a whiskey to be “chewy” this one definitely is. My mouth was watering for caramel-covered fruits after just a few sniffs.

Palate: The mouthfeel is quite creamy, but not oily at all. It lays across your tongue with cinnamon, brown bread, and rich dark chocolate syrup. The mid-palate nearly explodes with citrus and peach sorbet flavors and just a hint of banana. For those who like a sweeter bourbon, this one will check all the boxes for you. The lower proof inhibits much in the way of oakiness, so for those who like that woody quality, you may be off-put by Foundation.

Finish: Here’s where Foundation Bourbon really stands out. The finish is fantastic and long. The creamy quality of the mouthfeel never quits and you get coffee ice cream with just a hint of nutmeg. If I had to estimate, I’d say the finish lasted prominently for a good 8-10 seconds and then just hung around until the next sip.

Conclusions: This is every bit as good as low-proof competitors such as Blanton’s, Elmer T. Lee and Four Roses small batch, but with better pricing and likely better availability than any of them. The blending that was done on this is simply incredible. You never feel like you’re drinking MGP, Dickel, Barton, or any other branded distillate, it’s just a well-blended whiskey. This release could be a game-changer for BCS

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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