There are few bourbon distilleries on the market that are able to find harmony between age-old tradition and innovative craftsmanship. It’s one of the things that’s made Barrell Bourbon so beloved in this space. On one hand, the Kentucky-based brand bottles all of its whiskey at cask strength for a purer, barrel-focused identity, but on the other, its techniques of combining moonshine from different regions and casks have allowed its products to possess unique profiles.
Back in 2018, Barrell introduced its ongoing Dovetail line, which takes its signature whiskey and finishes them in a combination of barrels that previously housed rum, port, and Dunn Vineyards cabernet. Recently, the distillery decided to see what would happen when it used the same finishing and blending methods with some of its older stock, such as that used for its high-end Gray Label, which typically features bourbon or whiskey that’s been aged for quite a bit.
The new Gray Label Dovetail uses whiskey that’s been aged for up to 20 years. Like almost all of Barrell’s releases, this expression is also a marriage of regions, this time featuring liquid that was distilled in Indiana, Tennessee, and Canada, and later bottled in Kentucky at 131.54 proof. Characteristics from all three finishing casks come through on the palate, which displays notes of fennel, strawberry rhubarb, coconut, allspice, ginger, licorice, and even earl grey.
Best served neat or with a splash of water, Gray Label Dovetail whiskey is now available for preorder for $250 from Barrell’s website and other select retailers.