Happy Autumnal Equinox. For most of us, the first day of fall ushers in cooler weather, colorful leaves and a fine reason to break out some fall-appropriate spirits. Now, we drink staples like bourbon and scotch year round, because they’re delicious, but we tend to increase our brown spirits uptake come September and October. And today, we’ve got a spirit that’s essentially fall in a bottle.
It’s called Bushel & Barrel, and it’s a blend of Kentucky bourbon with Berentzen Apple Liqueur for something akin to spiked cider. We usually approach such products with hesitation, because too often the liqueur–and it’s sugary sweet sensibilities–overpower the whiskey. But here they’ve managed to achieve a decent balance between the two parts.
On the nose, Bushel & Barrel is full of apples. Not fresh apples, but more like candied apples soaked with bourbon. Take a sip, and things stay consistent. It’s definitely sweet, but the apple tartness helps to round things out. And on the palate, you’ll start to pickup more bourbon, including cinnamon spice and vanilla. That welcome rush of bourbon fades toward the end, and you’re left with a sweet apple finish.
This won’t replace your favorite bourbon, but there’s enough bourbon here to keep things interesting. The blend of whiskey, spice and apple is appropriate for fall, and rather than sip this one straight, we’d recommend lengthening your drink with a helping of unfiltered apple juice or even some ginger beer with a few dashes of Angostura Bitters.
– 30% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★