I have a couple of JD SB Barrel Strength bottles, one bottled in 2018 and the other in 2019. Let's see how they stack up next to each other. Fun!
The first one is Barrel No. 18-2744 from Rick No. L-17, bottled May 8 2018.
The colour is a dark reddish amber. Big dark cherries on the nose, with the usual suspects you come across in a bottle of JD: mint, overripe banana, black liquorice, vanilla and big oak. This one seems oakier than most - usually I also get some malt in the background, but this time it's mostly oak and cherry. Water brings out peaches!
On the palate the banana comes forward, followed by the mint and yes - there's the malt. Very syrupy mouthfeel, but the alcohol does not overpower. Thick caramel. Hot pepper. After a while I get more herbs: sage, rosemary, arugula (which I know isn't an herb...) Hotter with water. Much more expressive than the nose.
The finish is sooty, beefy, full of oak, baking spices and graphite. Massive umami. Power. Oak. Big fruits. Tons of spice. This is what you came for. Let's see what the next one is like.