I’ve always encouraged blind tastings. Most often it’s fun when you’re trying new bourbons, but it’s also a fantastic way to get real with a brand that you think is your favorite and to mix in a brand that you claim to not like so much. Blind tastings are, to put it paradoxically, eye-opening.
But it’s sort of impossible to do a blind tasting without help… Until now.
The Blind Barrel Tasting Kit from Blind Barrles provides the samples for a blind tasting for you with a subscription kit on a quarterly basis. The kit includes four 50 ml samples of craft whiskey brands, providing an opportunity to try new products instead of blind adherence to what you think is your favorite brand. And then when you fall in love with a new brand, scan the QR code for the reveal and you can order a bottle.
It ends up costing about $15 per sample which is reasonable not just for the variety and exposure to new whiskey, but economically for a “try before you buy” mindset. For my four samples, I ended up with a four grain bourbon that struck me as having lots of green wood and too herbal for my liking; a sweet, nutty bourbon that was creamy with a great cinnamon kick (it ended up being Kings County!) that I enjoyed tremendously; a wheat whiskey finished in Sherry casks that was heavy on the barrel finish in a balanced, layered way; and a Rye that stood out immediatley as a powerhouse Rye, although on the verge of too much pine for me. Other than Kings County, I had never had these brands (and hadn’t even heard of two of them), so I’ll keep the secret so as to not influence your guesses. I would buy two of these in a heartbeat, and I’d consider the Rye, so those are really nice odds.
Check out https://blindbarrels.com/ for the holiday season or just for fun. You’ll find the typical few usual suspects states who don’t like shipping, but fulfillment partners can deliver to 42 states, which is likely to have you covered.
Disclaimer: The brand managers kindly
sent me a sample for this review,
without any strings attached.