Photo courtesy of Barrell Craft Spirits

Barrell Craft Spirits Gray Label Seagrass

Louisville, Kentucky
Vitals: 130.82 Proof (65.41% ABV); $250

Sometimes timing is everything. The stars aligned for Barrell Craft Spirits as the second release of their Seagrass expression coincided with being named one of the best whiskey’s of 2021 by critic Fred Minnick. And when Fred speaks, whiskey tends to fly off the shelf. We suspect this will be no exception. We have here two parcels of 16-year old Canadian rye barrels, finished in Martinique rhum, madeira, and apricot brandy barrels before being blended and bottled at cask strength in Kentucky by the BCS team of blenders.

“We knew we had something special with the launch of Barrell Seagrass last year and decided to take that same method of global sourcing and blending, both in whiskey and finishing materials and apply it to a very special set of barrels,” said founder Joe Beatrice in a press release.

For those new to the brand, Barrell Craft Spirits is a Kentucky-based company that specializes in sourcing high-quality whiskey and rum. From there, BCS utilizes all manners of innovation in their production, specializing in non-traditional blending techniques and special barrel finishes. Barrell’s spirits are well recognized on the competition circuit. Their expressions racked up over a dozen gold and double gold medals in the 2021 Barleycorn Awards, with their Barrell Private Release Rum B646 Finished in a Ruby Port Barrel besting the category last spring.

How Does It Taste?

While the trio of barrel finishes on these whiskeys impart a sweetness that will resonate with single malt and bourbon lovers, the DNA here is very much Canadian. The palate offers a rich and oily mouthfeel loaded with bright citrus and herbal notes like spearmint. The apricot brandy barrel influence presents itself on the finish, imparting passionfruit, plum, and banana flavors.

Buy It Here

“BCS Gray Label Seagrass is an expression rooted in the profile of Barrell Seagrass, but at a level only achievable with older and higher proof whiskies."

—BCS Founder Joe Beatrice

Spirits writers, marketers and designers are among the most influential forces in the spirits industry. Their opinions, ideas and creative talents inform and influence consumer perceptions and buying decisions. The John Barleycorn Society was started by a group of spirits journalists seeking to honor excellence in all facets of the industry. The journalists spent several years creating a comprehensive competition that became the John Barleycorn Awards. An elite team of authoritative and influential spirits journalists was selected to administer the flagship component of the Awards, a blind tasting competition destined to become the preeminent arbitrator of spirits taste, quality and character.