1st-Fill Bourbon Barrel (#800520, 211 btl.)
The nose starts off with a potpourri of vanilla, apricots, yellow apples and bananas. Lingering notes of toffee arrive, nicely mixed with blossom honey and a hint of oak spice in the back. The alcohol is already well integrated and not pungent at all.
Sweet and fruity on the palate with a delicate mix of mainly apples and apricots. Now the high alcohol content becomes noticeable: very warm with a white pepper note, ginger spice and a hint of dry oak. Oily and creamy with vanilla and acacia honey. Very mouth-filling!
The finish is long, warm and creamy with caramel and honey. Becomes drier on the tail with oak and wood tannins.
There's less fruit on the nose when a splash of water is added. Still sweet with vanilla and caramel. Seems to be a bit fresher with a hint of citrus in the back. Still sweet and fruity on the palate, accompanied with white pepper and oak spice. Less oily and creamy with milk chocolate and a hint of blossom honey. Less warming, too. The finish is a bit shorter and fairly dry with oak, tannins and pepper.
I thank The Barreliers for the complimentary sample and the photograph!