Barrell Bourbon Private Release GXA1 Blend Review

Review by Mark Pringle |
Published on:

80 Highly Rated Bourbon General Review of Barrell Bourbon Private Release

This is a review of Barrell Craft Spirits' Private Release GXA1 Blend Bourbon at 119.94 proof. I would describe this as a bourbon drinker's bourbon. While the profile is not unique, the crafting is lovely. According to Barrell Craft Spirits, the Barrell Private Release Bourbon series is an exercise in micro-blending and variations on a theme. They select bourbons of four different ages and blend them into multiple recipes. This is a review of the GXA1 Blend with a component age statement of 75% 5 years, 15% 7 years, 5% 9 years, and 5% 14 years. All of which are straight bourbons.  

Barrell Bourbon Private Release GXA1 Blend

Sample courtesy of Barrell Craft Spirits.

Rating: 80


Ratings breakdown based on a 100 point scale.

  • 90-100 Exceptional
  • 80-89 Very Good
  • 70-79 Average
  • 60-69 Below Average
  • 50-60 Drain Pour

Detailed Tasting Notes

Nose Review - Rating: 80

Barrell Bourbon Private Release GXA1 Blend starts off with minty cinnamon spice notes. Buttery clove and caramel progressively start to come to the forefront. After about a minute or so, all of these notes begin to blend seamlessly. After my first taste, the nose morphs into a floral spice indicative of a high rye bourbon. Only after letting the glass sit for a while will you encounter a tinge of sweetness in the aroma. There is nothing aggressive or overpowering on the nose.

Palate Review - Rating: 84

On the palate, "Oh wow (my initial reaction)," rich, warm, and spicy heat with a thickness that is hard to describe. Not a thickness of viscosity but a viscosity of flavor. Now, don't get me wrong, oiliness is also present. You feel it when you rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Additionally, baking spices, including cinnamon, cloves or allspice (very similar), and peppercorn are clearly evident. Saltiness is also present on the palate of Barrell Bourbon Private Release GXA1 Blend. It is present from the front of the tongue to the mid-palate. I keep going back to the presence of its oily nature. This is different than a thick creaminess. This has a viscosity, an oily slipperiness that I look for now in bourbons. I had to update my notes because I am now getting a strong mintiness on the palate too.

Finish Review - Rating: 82

As I write my notes, the heat lands right below my Adam's apple and the back of my throat. I am not getting many notes on the backend, but the finish is very long.

Uniqueness Review - Rating: 77

This is a bourbon drinker's bourbon. If you like bourbon and lean more toward an aggressive, spicy, yet refined nature, you need to add this to your collection. This is not a unique flavor profile but a well-crafted whiskey.

Value Review - Rating: 77

While Barrell Bourbon Private Release GXA1 Blend would appeal to many true bourbon drinkers, the $99.99 plus price tag will narrow the prospective buyers to those who truly appreciate the experience of bourbon-tasting.

Author: Mark Pringle
Smell IS taste. I am just a guy who has been hit with the bourbon bug and who has come to the conclusion that life is too short to drink average tasting bourbons. Go Gators!
My External Website (External Website Opens in New Window)


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