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Barrell Dovetail Bourbon Review (2024 Best Edition)

Barrell Dovetail Bourbon Review

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The blending and finishing of bourbon whiskey are interesting yet not wholly rare approaches these days, and while some do it well, others could be more successful. 

In this honest-to-goodness Barrell Dovetail bourbon review, let’s see if this bourbon experiment gets it right or will turn people away. 

In-Depth Review on Barrell Dovetail Bourbon 

Bottle of Barrell Dovetail Bourbon on a Table

Barrell Dovetail bourbon from Barrell Craft Spirits is a carefully selected and blended bourbon whiskey.

Unlike other non-distiller producers, the company adds a unique aspect to its bourbon mix.  

Aside from seeking premium quality bourbon, the brand sources whiskeys with the proper blending to provide a unique yet delicious Barrell Dovetail whiskey. 

The blending of whiskeys finished in cabernet, port, and rum casks result in a rich, buttery, and deep whiskey.

It is consistently released in un-numbered batches with different alcohol proofs. 

Quick Facts 

DistilleryUndisclosed distilleries from Tennessee & Indiana
Classification & RegionBourbon, USA
Alcohol ProofVaries around 61% – 63%
Mash BillUndisclosed Ratio (Corn, rye, and malted barley)
Age StatementNo Age Statement (NAS)
ColorRich golden amber
Rating4 Stars 
Average PriceRoughly $92 per 750 ml (Drizly)

What’s Barrell Dovetail Bourbon?

Barrell Dovetail whiskey is a blend of whiskeys obtained from unnamed distilleries, and it took almost a year to perfect the excellent flavor profile of the Barrell whiskey. 

It is finished in Dunn Vineyards Cabernet barrels, blackstrap molasses rum casks, and Late Bottled Vintage Port pipes to highlight the favorite flavors of a good whiskey. 

“We decided that every product would have three points of differentiation…I wanted to provide people with a wide range of products.”

– Joe Beatrice, Founder of Barrell Craft Spirits

Every release is blended to taste by the BCS blending team and bottled at true barrel proof, resulting in proof variations. 

This whiskey is a woody bourbon, delectable and unique, and its interlocking components are seamlessly and visibly merged like a dovetail joint of a masterpiece cabinet. 

The Barrell Dovetail whiskey has won multiple awards in prestigious spirits competitions for its excellent flavor profile. 

Tasting Notes 

Pouring Bottle of Barrell Dovetail Bourbon on a Glass


As we popped the bottle, it boasted sweet and robust aromas of molasses, candied raisins, anise, brown sugar, caramel, oak, and tropical fruit. 

The aroma was pleasant yet intriguing as it stayed in a glass, and the rum-like notes and touch of heat were evident, given its high alcohol proof. 

It had an excellent combination of sweet and savory aroma, quickly followed by a wide array of fruity notes from its aging in terroir-driven Dunn cabernet barrels, LBV port pipes, and rum casks.  


Barrell Dovetail whiskey features darker and spicier tasting notes with a well-complemented savory and herbaceous flavor profile. 

It has an excellent combination of dark fruit and cane sugar, with a touch of charred oak and mouth-coating rummy molasses. It is robust but not harsh, with a nice layer of flavors. 


The peppery spice and long touch of heat are very noticeable as it lingers on the palate.

The toasted marshmallow, molasses, and dark cherries follow with a warming and inviting aftertaste. 

The rum sweetness is present with red wine fruit, baking spice, and slight oak. 

Our Thoughts on Barrell Dovetail Bourbon

First Sip

On our first sip, we noticed it was more rum-forward, and the molasses, oak, brown sugar, and caramel led the way until it finished. 

The bourbon finished in three types of casks (late bottled vintage port pipes, blackstrap molasses cask, and cabernet cask) gives out complex yet delicious flavors. 

It may initially carry the sweetness of rum, but the heat bite and other tasting notes will remind you of a well-blended whiskey. 

Second Chance

We tried Barrell Dovetail whiskey with a few drops of water, and the unexpected explosion of tropical and light floral welcomed us. 

We chewed the whiskey, and it gave out nice grassy molasses, rum, dried raisins, roasted oak, garlic, and brown sugar, with a little dark berry and clove at the end. 

Why We Like It 

Barrell Dovetail Bourbon Bottle Label
  • It has enough whiskey foundation, and the influence of other casks makes it more palatable. 
  • It is easy to find and has good value for money. 
  • It tastes excellent when with water and shines best in cocktails. 

Barrell Dovetail Bourbon Drawbacks 

  • If you are not a big fan of rum, you can find its aroma and tasting notes overwhelming. 
  • The heat and harshness can be mind-blowing, mainly if you are not used to cask strength. 

Value & Uniqueness

If you are a Barrell fan interested in exploring finished whiskeys, the Dovetail Barrell whiskey is a game changer [1].

The brand shows they are masters of their craft by delivering a unique tasting and barrel proof. 

The whiskey finished in Cabernet barrels, LBV Port Pipes, and rum cask results in layers of rich tasting notes on the sweet side. 

The brand found a great combination and nails the blend, so a bottle is worth the price. 

The Rating on Barrell Dovetail Bourbon 

Hand Holding Barrell Dovetail Bourbon

After careful deliberation and tasting, we give Dovetail Barrell whiskey four stars. It offers premium quality and impressive aroma, taste, and finish. 

It drinks nicely with a splash of water, but it can be a solid base liquor for cocktails if you have money to burn. 

Do We Recommend It?

Yes, we highly recommend Barrell Dovetail whiskey. It hits the sweet spot of flavors with excellent strength and depth, not to mention its caramel and buttery finish. 

With the various underlying whiskeys and finishing barrels of BCS, their Dovetail comprises a unique and delectable batch. 

If you are looking for a barrel-proof bourbon with a unique take, Dovetail has a lot of complexity, given its three different finishes. 

If you are on the lookout for other finished whiskeys, you can check out the following:

  • Seagrass 
  • Angel’s Envy bourbon
  • Old Elk bourbon

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long is Barrel Dovetail aged?

Barrel Dovetail undergoes a meticulous aging process, typically resting in barrels for around 5 to 8 years.

This extended period allows the bourbon to develop its unique flavor profile and achieve optimal maturity. Each batch is carefully monitored to ensure consistency and excellence in taste.

What does Barrell bourbon taste like?

Barrell bourbon tantalizes the palate with a rich tapestry of flavors, characterized by its complexity and depth.

Expect a symphony of notes ranging from sweet caramel and vanilla to warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Its velvety texture delivers a luxurious mouthfeel, while hints of oak and toasted nuts add layers of sophistication.

The finish is long and satisfying, leaving a lingering warmth with subtle undertones of dried fruits and chocolate. In essence, Barrell bourbon offers a sensory journey that evolves with every sip, inviting you to savor its intricate nuances.

Is Barrel bourbon worth the price?

Absolutely. Barrel bourbon commands its price tag with an unparalleled commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Each bottle represents the culmination of years of expertise, innovation, and passion for the art of whiskey-making.

The attention to detail in sourcing exceptional grains, precise aging, and meticulous blending results in a product that exceeds expectations.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as the base for your favorite cocktail, Barrel bourbon offers an experience that transcends mere spirits—it’s an indulgence worth every penny.

Who makes Dovetail bourbon?

Dovetail bourbon is meticulously crafted by the esteemed team at Barrel Craft Spirits. Renowned for their dedication to pushing the boundaries of flavor exploration, Barrel Craft Spirits has earned a reputation as a trailblazer in the world of artisanal whiskey.

Led by a master blender with a keen palate and a vision for innovation, the company prides itself on sourcing the finest ingredients and employing traditional techniques alongside modern methods to create truly exceptional spirits.

Dovetail bourbon stands as a testament to their unwavering commitment to excellence, offering a sensory experience that delights connoisseurs and novices alike.

Is dovetail a bourbon?

No, Dovetail is not a bourbon in the traditional sense. It’s a unique blend crafted by Barrell Craft Spirits, a renowned independent bottler.

Dovetail combines straight bourbon, rye, and malt whiskies, finished in multiple casks to achieve a complex flavor profile. While it contains bourbon, its composition goes beyond the standard definition of bourbon whiskey.

How long should whiskey age in a barrel?

The aging process of whiskey in a barrel varies depending on several factors. While there’s no strict rule, whiskey typically ages for a minimum of two years to be legally labeled as straight whiskey in the United States.

However, many premium whiskeys age for longer periods to develop deeper flavors and complexity. Some whiskeys age for five years or more, with certain premium and ultra-premium varieties aging for decades.

The duration of aging is crucial as it allows the whiskey to interact with the wood, absorbing flavors and characteristics from the barrel, thus enhancing its taste and aroma.

Why is barrel bourbon so expensive?

Barrel bourbon often commands a higher price due to several factors. Firstly, Barrell Craft Spirits specializes in creating unique and meticulously crafted blends, utilizing high-quality ingredients and innovative aging techniques. Each release undergoes rigorous selection and blending processes to ensure exceptional quality and flavor.

Additionally, the aging process itself contributes to the cost, as whiskey needs to be aged for several years in oak barrels, during which time it loses volume through evaporation (known as the “angel’s share”).

This extended aging period ties up capital and resources for an extended duration, influencing the final cost of production. Furthermore, limited availability and high demand for Barrell bourbon contribute to its premium pricing, as enthusiasts and collectors eagerly seek out these distinctive and sought-after releases.

How do you pronounce Barrell bourbon?

Barrell bourbon is pronounced as “Barrel” bourbon, with the emphasis on the first syllable. It’s worth noting that the spelling includes an extra “l,” distinguishing it from the typical spelling of “barrel,” which refers to the cylindrical container often used for aging whiskey.

The pronunciation emphasizes the brand’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail in every bottle of its exceptional bourbon whiskey.

What is the difference between whiskey and bourbon barrels?

Whiskey and bourbon barrels share similarities, but they also have distinctive characteristics. Both are typically made from charred oak, which imparts flavor and color to the spirit. However, bourbon barrels are subject to stricter regulations.

For a whiskey to be classified as bourbon, it must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. Whiskey barrels, on the other hand, can be made from a variety of woods and are often reused, which allows them to have a different impact on the flavor profile of the spirit.

Additionally, bourbon barrels are typically larger in size compared to whiskey barrels, contributing to differences in aging dynamics and flavor extraction.

Why is bourbon the best whiskey?

Bourbon’s distinction as the best whiskey is subjective and depends on personal preferences. However, bourbon enjoys widespread popularity and acclaim for several reasons. Firstly, its unique production process, including the requirement for aging in new, charred oak barrels, imparts rich flavors and complexity.

Bourbon often exhibits notes of caramel, vanilla, oak, and sometimes spice, appealing to a broad range of palates. Furthermore, the regulations governing bourbon production ensure a certain level of quality and consistency, contributing to its reputation as a premium spirit.

Additionally, bourbon’s deep-rooted cultural significance in American history and its association with craftsmanship and tradition further elevate its status among whiskey enthusiasts.

Do expensive bourbons taste better?

The price of bourbon, like any other product, can be influenced by various factors, including production costs, aging duration, rarity, and brand prestige. While expensive bourbons may offer unique flavors, exceptional craftsmanship, or limited availability, it does not guarantee a superior tasting experience for everyone.

Taste is subjective, and what one person considers exceptional, another may not. Factors such as personal taste preferences, individual sensory perception, and the context in which the bourbon is enjoyed also play significant roles in determining whether an expensive bourbon tastes better.

Ultimately, the perceived value of a bourbon, whether expensive or affordable, lies in the enjoyment and satisfaction it brings to the consumer.

Who makes Barrell bourbon?

Barrell Craft Spirits is the producer behind Barrell Bourbon. Founded by Joe Beatrice, Barrell Craft Spirits is known for its innovative approach to sourcing, blending, and bottling unique spirits, including bourbon.

Barrell Bourbon is meticulously crafted by blending carefully selected barrels from various distilleries and regions, resulting in complex and distinctive flavor profiles.

Each batch is curated to showcase the diversity and depth of American whiskey, making Barrell Bourbon a sought-after choice among enthusiasts seeking exceptional quality and flavor in their spirits.

Is dovetail the highest quality?

Dovetail joints are renowned for their strength and aesthetics, often considered among the highest quality in woodworking. The precise interlocking design of dovetail joints ensures exceptional durability and resistance to pulling forces, making them favored in fine furniture and cabinetry construction. However, the quality of any woodworking project ultimately depends on various factors such as craftsmanship, materials used, and the intended purpose of the finished product.

Is Jim Beam a bourbon brand?

Yes, Jim Beam is indeed a prominent bourbon brand with a rich heritage dating back to the late 18th century.

Established by Jacob Beam in Kentucky, United States, Jim Beam has become synonymous with bourbon whiskey, renowned for its smooth flavor profile and widespread popularity both domestically and internationally.

Distilled from a mash bill primarily consisting of corn, aged in charred oak barrels, and adhering to strict production standards, Jim Beam exemplifies the quintessential characteristics of bourbon whiskey.

Is Woodford made by Jack Daniels?

No, Woodford Reserve is not made by Jack Daniel’s. While both brands are esteemed within the whiskey industry, they are distinct entities with separate histories, production processes, and flavor profiles.

Woodford Reserve is crafted by the Woodford Reserve Distillery, located in Kentucky’s Bluegrass Region. It is known for its small-batch bourbon production, meticulous attention to detail, and commitment to traditional distilling methods.

Jack Daniel’s, on the other hand, originates from Tennessee and is renowned for its Tennessee whiskey, distinctively characterized by the Lincoln County Process, which involves charcoal mellowing the whiskey before aging.

Is bourbon the same as whisky?

Bourbon and whisky are related spirits, but they are not precisely the same. Bourbon is a type of whiskey, specifically originating from the United States and regulated by strict standards set forth by the U.S. government. It must be made from a mash bill containing at least 51% corn, distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged in new charred oak barrels, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof.

Whisky, on the other hand, is a broad category of distilled alcoholic beverages made from fermented grain mash and aged in wooden barrels, encompassing various styles such as Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey, and Canadian whisky.

While bourbon is a subset of whisky, each type possesses unique characteristics influenced by factors such as ingredients, production methods, and regional traditions.

Final Verdict: Barrell Dovetail Bourbon Review

Barrell Craft Spirits succeed with Dovetail in giving out a unique-tasting whiskey close to the standard bourbon flavor spectrum and will not turn people away. 

It can be rum-forward for some, but it will be fantastic bourbon for the right audience looking out for a casks strength and unique bourbon whiskey. 


  1. Meet Barrell Craft Spirits: A Game-Changing Spirits Brand
  2. Barrell Craft Spirits Introduces BCS Gray Label Dovetail
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