A friend decided to buy a fifth of Barterhouse Bourbon and he liked the $75 bottle enough he bought a second to keep for a special occasion. I’d read the reviews and just could not pull the trigger on the bottle because of the price point. The Bourbon is a product of Diageo from Bernheim and is basically Bourbon from barrels which have been aging from mothballed operations of Diageo. It’s an ambitious project and with their stocks could go on for a very long time. There are two other offerings which have been released and more planned. The price point is $75-150 so probably out of reach for most of us unless we are positive it is outstanding.

Back to Barterhouse, last night at a speakeasy it was featured at $8 an ounce which is more or less a bargain at a bar so I decided to give it a whirl. The Bourbon was certainly not what I was expecting, it was sweet with a brown sugar character and flavors of tobacco, with cinnamon and even hints of chocolate in the finish. It was quite a nice Bourbon, but at that $75 price point just not everything one hopes for in a premium product. Now don’t get me wrong, this is one tasty beverage, but I’d rather have Four Roses Single Barrel, Blanton’s, or Colonel E.H. Taylor Small Batch and could basically have two of the Four Roses or Taylor for the price of one Barterhouse. If I bought a Blanton’s I’d still have $20 in my pocket by skipping the Barterhouse. If it was a little less sweet it would certainly be a force to be reckoned with. It is a 20 year Bourbon, but when you look at it as 1994, it suddenly doesn’t seem so old. If I catch it on special again I might have another, but at this point I don’t see me bringing a bottle home.