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Zingari Man Barrel Proof Review

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Zingari man recently launched a limited edition shave soap and aftershave, Barrel Proof, inspired by a couple wet shaving enthusiasts on Instagram.  I was lucky enough to grab a set.

Zingari Man Barrel Proof

From the Zingari Man website:

Shave Soap

“This scent is a collaboration with Nate and Mel known as the BBS Live guys. We started this project months ago and are happy we are finally able to bring it to you. The guys wanted something related to Bourbon so this soap scent notes are rich and slightly spicey Sandalwood, warm oakwood, sweet tonka with a bit of smokiness and bite of bourbon As a little special touch we added real bourbon in the soap!”

Ingredients: Stearic acid, Vegetable Glycerin, Beef tallow, Shea butter, Potassium Hydroxide, Castor oil, Palm oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Bourbon, Jojoba oil, Oat bran oil, Shea butter (and) Glyceral Rosinate (and) Olive oil unsaponifiables, Coconut oil, Daikon Seed extract, Goat milk, Coconut milk, Sodium lactate


“Zingari Man’s Recovery Splash is alcohol-free and sure-to-please, and it will leave your freshly shaven face feeling refreshed and cared-for without leaving it dry, dull, or unpleasantly tight. The Recovery Splash is more lightweight than our other post-care products, but never fear: the expert blends of oils and esters that make our products so hydrating, long-lasting, and clean-feeling are in as healthy supply here as ever. But as a true treat for your skin, try using one of our balms or our rescue potion after applying the Recovery Splash—you can thank me later.”

Ingredients: Water, Water & Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Caprylic Capric Triglycerides, Water & Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract & Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract & Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract & Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract & Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Isopropyl Jojobate (and) Jojoba Alcohol (and) Jojoba Esters, Oat Bran oil, Glycerin, PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Lactobacillus/Arundinaria Gigantea Ferment Filtrate, Salix Alba Bark (White Willow) bark extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Coco Caprylate/Caprate, Ethoxydiglycol, Pentylene Glycol, Di-PPG-2 Myreth-10 Adipate, Fragrance, Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, EDTA.

My Experience With Zingari Man Barrel Proof Shave Soap And Aftershave

Note: I was gifted a pre-release sample of Barrel Proof shave soap and aftershave by Nate and Mel.  My opinions here are my own and no one was given advanced viewing of this review for comment and/or approval.

I recently became aware of Nate and Mel, “” on Instagram.  They hold regularly-scheduled Instagram video livestreams to talk about shaving, bourbon, and whatever else they think up (caution: their livestreams often stray into “Not Safe For Work” [NSFW] territory…sometimes very NSFW).  Barrel Proof is their collaboration with Zingari Man to combine their two favorite pastimes.

Shave Soap

For me the scent profile is predominantly “Sandalwood.”  But more specifically I think it’s a softer, “creamier” Sandalwood as opposed to the “spicier” Sandalwood that Zingari Man mentions on their webpage.  (Click/tap here to read “What Is Sandalwood And Why Is It In My Shaving Stuff?” for more information about the different variations of the Sandalwood scent).  But in any event, after the Sandalwood the oakwood and bourbon notes come through quite noticeably for me.  As usual I offer my disclaimer that I have a notoriously insensitive nose so “YMMV” here.

I find the strength of the sent moderately strong and fairly persistent throughout most of my shave.

The lather of Barrel Proof is much like those of other Zingari Man shave soaps: it’s quite thick and creamy (one reviewer likens it to Greek yogurt). Interestingly, Barrel Proof doesn’t leave nearly as much of a soap residue in my sink, unlike other Zingari Man shave soaps I’ve tried.

I think the soap is quite “thirsty,” requiring more water than I usually need. But don’t over-do it: just start with your normal amount of water and be prepared to add more until you get it right. You’ll get the hang of the hydration ratio after using it a few times.

In terms of performance, Barrel Proof continues Zingari Man’s exceptional reputation for lubrication/glide, cushion/protection, and post-shave skin feel.  Zingari Man is on Sharpologist’s Best Shave Soap list for a reason.


The Barrel Proof aftershave uses Zingari Man’s “Recovery Splash” aftershave formulation.  The consistency is thinner than a balm but thicker than the typical aftershave splash.  Most wet shaving old-timers may recognize this as an aftershave “milk” much like what DR Harris used to offer years ago (actually they still do offer a “milk” [Amazon affiliate link] but they reformulated it several years ago and it’s not like the original product).

The scent is similar to the shave soap but milder and more toward straight-up Sandalwood to my nose (again, YMMV).  Performance-wise the Recovery Splash is not at the same level as Zingari Man’s regular aftershave balms, but solid enough.  On the other hand, Zingari Man’s shave soaps have such a good post-shave skin feel that you probably don’t need a lot of aftershave performance.


Zingari Man Barrel Proof collaboration with on Instagram brings together Nate and Mel’s dual passions of bourbon and shaving with Zingari Man’s exceptional shave soap formulation.  Barrel Proof is available one the Zingari Man website, Top Of The Chain in Canada, and Anticaturia in Slovenia for EU customers.  Other Zingari Man products are available as well.


Shave tutor and co-founder of sharpologist. I have been advocating old-school shaving for over 20 years and have been featured in major media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Lifehacker. Also check out my content on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!View Author posts

2 thoughts on “Zingari Man Barrel Proof Review”

  1. Not quite sure why you are comparing the performance of a splash to a balm, they are 2 totally different products.

    1. Hi Ben, you’re quite correct. As I mention in the article the Zingari recovery splash is neither a ‘regular’ splash nor a balm. It’s kind of in between.

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