About Barrel and Brew

Welcome to Barrel and Brew, where we review just about anything. Our preference is certainly whiskey, but we don’t consider ourselves snobs. From flavored vodka you find at a college party to the best whiskey available, if you’re looking for information, we have it.

Our goal is to provide the most accurate information and tasting notes to those looking to learn more about the whiskey (or spirit) they are drinking.

About Me

My name is Luke Mayock. I am a 2019 graduate of Miami University – the one in Ohio, I know (Go Redhawks or Redskins for those of you that went to school in the 20th century). I was a philosophy and sports management double major and was also a part of the football team.

Present day, my hobbies include exploring the world of whiskey, playing video games with friends, and getting out on the golf course.

To date, I’ve purchased and drunken over 250+ different whiskeys, with the help of some friends and family, of course. I recently passed the Level I examination and am now a Certified Bourbon Professional. I am now working obtaining my Level I Certification in Scotch and also my Level II Certification in Bourbon with the goal of eventually earning my Masters of Whiskey.

I saw “we” here a bit – we have a few other spirits afficionados (my brothers) who create some content on here too, but mostly who just help fund my reviews via their own whiskey obsessions. While they have ample experience, all of the whiskey reviews are tasted by me and written by me.

Luke Mayock Certified Bourbon Professional Diploma

How I Got Into Whiskey

The Covid pandemic. Probably not too different from many of you. I was a recent college graduate, and had just spent the last 4 years drinking whiskey coke, dirty Shirley’s, “trash cans”, cheap vodka…. really anything that had a lot of alcohol in it, was cheap, and sweet.

Once Covid hit, there were no bars to go to. No fun activities to do. So, that left me drinking inside on zoom with friends (or by myself) with nowhere to go. I decided it was time to drink something a little nicer. I also didn’t want all the sugar in coke or lemonade, so it was on to whiskey.

Fast forward a couple months, and I had a growing interest in what makes whiskey so different. How can whiskey with the same mashbill taste so different? How can whiskey produced by the same distillery be so opposite? Why do I enjoy some whiskeys so much more than others? What factors play a role in this and what kind of whiskey do I like?

Those questions took me down a rabbit hole of Google and Youtube searches, and Barrel and Brew is what came out on the other side.

My Favorite Whiskeys

Let me preface with this, I’m a rye whiskey drinker. Rye is my favorite and it’s what got me into whiskey, so it holds a special place in my heart. But, my list of my favorite whiskeys is always changing or growing, so what you see now may not be favorite in a couple months. Sagamore Spirit Rye, for example, was the whiskey that got me into the world of whiskey. It was one of my favorites, but now I view it as a good sipper/intro whiskey.

Also, I’m not counting any multi-hundred dollar bottles. These are all affordable whiskeys that you can find at the liquor store. Some of these are on here out of their pure value, as well. These are the whiskeys that I like to buy, in my price range.




  • Aberlour A’bunadh
  • Ardbeg An Oa
  • Redbreast 12 Yr
  • The Busker Single Pot Still

Everything Reviewed is Tasted

I taste every single whiskey, gross flavored shots, wine, and other random spirits that I write about. Since some of the bottles I write about are really expensive I might only buy a small 100ml taster – but the point is I actually taste everything myself. With the bottle right in front of me, sipping it while I write. I don’t write based on what I remember something tasting like. I also don’t outsource any content to freelancers, use AI to generate any content, or base my reviews on what other people tell me.

As I continue my education towards receiving my Masters of Whiskey I make a concerted effort to taste and review as many bottles as I can afford.

Stayed Tuned via Our Newsletter

I appreciate you coming here to Barrel and Brew, and we hope you stay. Check out the full reviews on some of our favorite whiskey, and join our newsletter! I send out an email of all the spirits we review in a month, so you can stay up to date on what and what not to buy. Really just one email a month that is concise, a little funny, and certainly informative. If you like trying new whiskey’s like I do then give it a subscribe to taste along with us.

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