Non-Distiller Producers (NDP) is a term thrown around a lot in the bourbon world. These are brands that don't actually distill the whiskey. They only bottle the whiskey. However, there is a major step missing. Blending whiskey is one of the most underrated processes in the industry today.
The brand that introduced me to the importance of blending is Barrell Craft Spirits. Barrell Craft Spirits continues to source and blend some of the best bourbon available today. While this may seem like the easier part, there is an art to blending. And, I'd say their record at spirit competitions proves this as well.
Source: Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana
Proof: 105.1 proof
This complex 15-year-old bourbon was blended and bottled at peak maturity so you can experience its true flavor. It is a perfect union of grain and barrel, with an old, oaky nose and a deep, honey- maple palate that reveals the lushness of the grain.
Barrell Armida Whiskey
Armida is a blend of three Straight Bourbon Whiskeys finished separately in Pear Brandy, Jamaican Rum, and Sicilian Amaro Casks. The ripe, floral pear notes provide a soft entrance into a whiskey that is adorned with hints of spice and arid citrus derived from the Amaro casks (and also the toasty bourbon itself). This mélange of flavor is framed by the tropical sweetness found in rum finished whiskeys. Armida is a journey for the palate: from a brisk northern orchard to an ancient island, it ends up exactly where we intended, with an immensely complex and satisfying whiskey.
While constructing the blend for this whiskey, Joe was taken by how nostalgic some of the combinations of flavors were. Joe’s mother’s family had a farm in the northeast where he would often spend time in the summer and autumn. These brisk, orchard fruit memories inspired many of the first test blends and so, Joe named the project after his mother’s formal name, Armida.
Barrell Bourbon Batch 026
A blend of straight Bourbon Whiskeys
Distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana
Selection of 9, 10, 11, 13, and 15-year-old barrels
Aged in American white oak barrels
Bottled in Kentucky
112.64 proof cask strength bottling
Like a well-aged Sauternes, a complex array of fresh, dried, and cooked fruits dominates the aroma, supported by pungent florals and a delicate layer of barrel-spice. The palate is concentrated and extractive, having pulled quite a lot of sugar and peppery spice from the cask. Water tames it, bringing forth a panoply of tropical fruits on the nose and creamy desserts on the palate.