I was trying a recent bottle and was struck by how good this is.
I compared it to small amounts of Early Times (when it was a bourbon) and a couple of my own blends.
The Barrel Select has a good oak taste which avoids tannic excess, also, there is a mild sherry-like background, reflecting the use of sherry casks to age some of the component whiskies. There is a kind of steely centre which characterises the whisky. This must be the rye since we know that the brand combines corn, rye and barley "varietal" whiskies. (Yet the rye comes out differently than in a U.S. straight whiskey). The taste is well-knitted together, it is a good blend.
In contrast, my own blends were a little ragged. I need to get them more concentrated yet keep the balance the Barrel Select has. The Early Times also seemed a little rough and aimless, with lingering barrel decay notes. But this sometimes happens (when you follow one kind of drink with another).
Next time I'll reverse the order of the tasting (first the Early Times, then my own blends, then the Barrel Select). My conclusions might be different...