Friday, February 24, 2017

New Belle Meade Single Barrels from K&L

K&L purchased two barrels of 10 year old cask strength MGP bourbon from Nelson's Green Brier which bottles under the Belle Meade label. The two casks are made from different mashbills. Barrel 2573 is 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley while Barrel 2525 is 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley.

Belle Meade Barrel 2573, 2006, 10 yo, 55.65% abv ($70)

The nose is spicy with some soft, sweet vanilla notes underneath. The palate is sweet with toffee, fading into a butterscotch finish with a slight herbal note.  This is a sweet one, but it's a tasty bottle of dessert.

Belle Meade Barrel 2525, 2006, 10 yo, 59.6% abv ($70)

This one has a fantastic nose of old, polished wood and lemon rind. The nose actually reminds me of the nose on some of those old Bernheim wheaters that Willett put out ten years ago. The palate has a similar profile with wood spice, caramel and a dry, ashy mouth feel. The finish picks up a light, acidic berry note which balances nicely with the dry oak notes.

These are both good bourbons, but the 2525 is great.  For only being ten years old, it has lots of old-bourbon notes. It's definitely among the best MGP bourbons I've tasted, up there with some of the best Smooth Ambler bottlings.  Get it while you can!


Anonymous said...

Any idea of how many bottles of each released, Sku?

sku said...

They list it on the website. It looks like 2525 is now sold out, but there is plenty of 2573 left.

tms_508 said...

Hey Sku,

Thanks for the write-up of some of K&L's more novel bottlings. Does anyone know if these whiskies are chill filtered? Is my impression correct, based on the 9yr Belle Meade and its resemblance to other (chill) filtered whiskies (2016 Michter's 10 Straight Bourbon and Woodford Reserve) that while these are cask strength they are not without some polishing? I mean, what would otherwise differentiate these from the Willetts and SAOSs of yore? The Belle Meade Brand does say something about making whiskey in "Tennessee tradition"... Would you say based on your tasting that some form of charcoal or chill filtration had been applied? Just curious, as these are probably gone from the shelves by now...

Anonymous said...

Drinking the 2525 tonight with my cousin. Great bottling, indeed. I think you're right on with your review. The 'nose of old, polished wood' was evident immediately, and after some time and air I could also pick up the lemon rind. He described it as dense and complex on the palate. Thank you for the recommendation.

sku said...

tms_508, K&L tells me this is non-chill filtered.