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The Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This July

The Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This July

The dog days of summer are officially here. Backyard barbecues, trips to a lake, river, or beach, maybe a mountain hike or two, some camping out, perhaps a trip to an island for some EDM? It’s all on the table.

One thing is for sure, you should have a really good bottle of whiskey with you. It’s a good thing that July happens to be a great month for new whiskey.

It used to be that things slowed down between spring and fall releases. That pretty much feels like a relic of the past these days, as the new whiskey releases are still hitting hard and fast. To that end, I’m listing 25 brand-new whiskey releases that you should 100% try right now, as those dog days of summer get hotter and hotter.

The 25 whiskeys listed below cover a wide range of price points and regional styles. There’s a rhythm and reason that runs through them all in that they’re all damn tasty (in their own way). Read my tasting notes and find the whiskey(s) that spark your interest. Then hit those price links to see if you can get a bottle in your neck of the wood. Let’s dive in!

Check Out The Best New Whiskeys Of The Last Six Months:

Four Roses The Ten Recipe Tasting Experience

Four Roses Single Barrels
Kirin Brewing Company

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $129

The Whiskey:

This new tasting kit is something that people have been clamoring for for quite a while. Four Roses is known for its 10 distinct bourbon recipes. Until now, you could only really taste each individual recipe via random single barrel releases at the distillery gift shop or via barrel picks at retailers, bars, and restaurants. Now, you can try all 10 recipes (explained in detail here) in one sitting.

Tasting Notes:

Read my tasting notes on all 10 recipes here.

Bottom Line:

This is an awesome new drop from Four Roses. I’ve seen lines miles long for single barrel releases of specific recipes, so this makes a lot of sense for all of us who don’t want to ever stand in those lines. Moreover, this tasting kit gives you a chance to see just how much yeast changes a bourbon’s flavor profile — spoiler alert, it’s drastic.

WhistlePig Summerstock Whiskey Pit Viper Limited Edition “Solar Aged”

WhistlePig Summerstock

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $69

The Whiskey:

This new summer-ready release from WhistlePig is a blend of wheat and rye whiskeys. Once batched, that whiskey is finished in a toasted solera barrel (a barrel that is never fully emptied). Finally, the whiskey is batched, proofed, and bottled all under a 100% solar-powered farm and distillery.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Maple syrup over vanilla-forward pancakes with a hint of butter leads to a dash of cinnamon and orange with a twinge of nuttiness.

Palate: There’s a dry grassiness with woody cinnamon on the palate next to more of that sweet maple, a touch of citrus, and smudging sage.

Finish: There’s a thick blackberry jam on the finish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream underneath alongside very faint hints of brown spice and brown sugar.

Bottom Line:

This is a decent whiskey that really feels like Sunday morning breakfast pancakes piled high. There’s a lightness to the palate that kind of feels summery but ultimately circles back to that pancake breakie. It sticks with you too. I got a little of this on my hands when I poured it and they smelled like freshly made maple bars for a while afterward. So if you’re into that whole maple/pancake/doughnut vibe, this is the whiskey for you.

Old Scout Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey Topflight Series by ReserveBar

Old Scout Single Barrel

ABV: 57.9%

Average Price: $69

The Whiskey:

This barrel prick from ReserveBar is from a six-year-old barrel stored out in West Virginia. The whiskey in that barrel was made in Indiana from a mash bill of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barely. The barrel was sent out to West Virginia to age in the misty Appalachian hills before it was bottled 100% as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Salted caramel candies and dried apricot dominate the nose with a sense of old boot leather, sweet popcorn, and a hint of candied orange wedges.

Palate: The palate veers dramatically from the sweet candy toward dried lavender over spiced nut cakes with a hint of dried sage lurking next to old cedar cigar humidors.

Finish: That sage, cedar, and tobacco drive the finish toward a touch of mincemeat pie, old figs, and more leathery dried apricot.

Bottom Line:

This is funky and delicious. It’s a great single barrel at a great price. Get it while you can.

Pinhook Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Flagship Bourbon 2023

Pinhook Flagship 2023

ABV: 50.74%

Average Price: $42

The Whiskey:

The new Flagship release from Pinhook is made from a three-year-old set of barrels from Castle & Key. The bourbon is a contract-distilled mash of 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malted barley aged in the old Old Taylor warehouses. Those barrels were then batched and bottled at a lower cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Grandma’s butterscotch candies and leathery apricot drive the nose toward almost warm s’mores with gooey marshmallows, milk chocolate, and a fresh Graham Cracker.

Palate: There’s a sense of fancy dark chocolate peanut butter cups on the taste that leads to espresso beans, Red Hots, and a nice lush crème brûlée.

Finish: The vanilla cream keeps the finish soft as light winter spice, a hint of oak, and more chocolate and espresso round out the finish.

Bottom Line:

This is just a nice pour of bourbon. It’s fresh and leans into childhood chocolate and candy nostalgia very nicely.

Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Single Batch Double Oak Finish “The Gentle Cut”

Clonakilty Irish Whiskey Single Batch Double Oak

ABV: 43.6%

Average Price: $39

The Whiskey:

This is an Irish whiskey blend — that’s a mix of pot still (made with malted and unmalted barley) and grain whiskeys. The barrels were left to age right next to the ocean in Southern Ireland for years. Once blended, the whiskey was then re-filled into a new oak cask and put back in those seaside warehouses for another maturation run. Once just right, the barrels were vatted and bottled as-is without chill filtration.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is like a walk through an apple orchard in full bloom with pear, peach, and apple leading to fresh sweetgrass, old saddle leather, and a sense of sweet cinnamon and nutmeg baked into an apple crumble.

Palate: There’s a nice zesty spice to the palate with fresh ginger layered into the pear and apple with a hint of hazelnut adding a creamy edge before white pepper and more fresh sweetgrass arrive with this hint of salinity.

Finish: That sweetgrass gets a little dry on the finish with pear and apple skins, orchard wood, and winter spice leading to a salted honey end.

Bottom Line:

This is a soft and very summery pour of whiskey. It’s light and almost airy, like a seaside breeze in a fruit orchard. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7 Single Malt Australian Whisky

Starward Ginger Beer Cask #7

ABV: 48%

Average Price: $90

The Whiskey:

This whiskey takes Starward’s signature and award-winning single malt and ages it in ginger beer casks. Starward makes ginger beer in-house and ages that in old whisky barrels. Those barrels, in turn, become whisky-finishing vessels for a 12-month final maturation before batching, proofing, and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: It should come as no surprise that sharp ginger pops on the nose which leads to dark orange oils layered into salted dark chocolate with a hint of chili spice and raisin.

Palate: Candied ginger and grilled pineapple lead to fresh vanilla pods before a dark fig and date vibe takes over with more wintery spices.

Finish: Those dark fruits and spices peak on the finish as the candied ginger makes a return with a sharp pepperiness and a touch of dry sweetgrass.

Bottom Line:

This is a great spicy whisky that will work wonders in a fruity cocktail that needs a spicy foundation.

Milam & Greene Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch 1.2

Milam & Greene
Milam and Greene

ABV: 54%

Average Price: $69

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is from Master Blender Heather Greene who picked 75 barrels for the blend. The blend is a mix of contract-distilled Kentucky whiskey with Tennessee whiskey rounding out the mix. The batched barrels were vatted in a 1,000-gallon tank before being re-barrelled into French oak for a final rest.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is light but runs deep with walnuts, vanilla flowers, soft custard cut with nutmeg and clove, and a light sense of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Palate: The palate is like walking through a fruit orchard in full bloom with a hint of wet black tea next to buttermilk biscuits dripping with butter and honey.

Finish: The finish gets slightly dry with a sense of dry and barky winter spices, dried red berries, and apple chips next to a light sense of brandy-soaked oak staves.

Bottom Line:

This is a great candidate for light summer sipping. This feels built for that thanks to the orchard fruits and floral vibes.

Wyoming Whiskey Wilderness Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Wyoming Whiskey Wilderness

ABV: 42%

Average Price: $50

The Whiskey:

This limited-edition whiskey from Wyoming Whiskey is a continuation of that brand’s work with Yellowstone Forever (the official nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park). The whiskey in the bottles is Wyoming Whiskey’s classic wheated bourbon (68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley — all local and non-GMO) that’s cut down with local limestone water from the warm spring-rich area (the water they use is actually from an aquifer that hasn’t seen light in 6,000 years, which is admittedly cool).

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Rich salted caramel is accented by brioche with a sense of marmalade and salted butter on the nose.

Palate: That orange goes full creamsicle on the palate with rich and buttery vanilla next to mild notes of winter spice, candied orange peels, and red candied almonds.

Finish: The orange creamsicle really drives the finish as the almond turns into light marzipan with a dash of pear brandy and wild sagebrush rounding the end out.

Bottom Line:

This is another lighter summer sipper. It’d also use this for citrus-forward whiskey cocktails that scream “refreshing summer sipper!”

Square 6 Wheated Bourbon Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Square 6 Wheated Bourbon
Heaven Hill

ABV: 52.5%

Average Price: $89

The Whiskey:

This new whiskey from Heaven Hill’s Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filiatreau and Evan Williams is all about that wheat. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of two “artisanal” bourbons made at the Evan Williams Experience in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The first mash is a 74% corn, 16% wheat, and 10% malted barley recipe while the rest is a 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley mash. Those whiskeys are blended and bottled as-is otherwise at nearly cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: This bursts forth on the nose with a deep salted caramel sweetness next to rich and oily vanilla, bright yet almost tart cherry, and a sense of dried figs and dates with a hint of orchard woods.

Palate: The palate leans into the caramel with a touch of coffee cake loaded with raisins, walnuts, and raw sugar with plenty of winter spices and a load of buttery goodness.

Finish: The nuttiness veers into marzipan on the finish as those spices take on a grassiness (hello, wheat) with a nice layer of Cherry Coke on the very end.

Bottom Line:

This new batch from Square 6 is dialed and tasty. It leans toward craftiness (on purpose) to provide a unique POV on the usual Heaven Hill fare. That said, this is deep and fun and makes for a great cocktail base or summer sipper over some rocks.

Still Austin Bottled In Bond Red Corn Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Still Austin Red Corn Bourbon
Still Austin

ABV: 50%

Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

This brand-new whiskey — the first is a series of four new releases — from Austin’s Still Austin is about special corn. In this case, Jimmy Red corn thrown in the mash. That makes the recipe 36% Jimmy Red corn, 34% white corn, 25% rye, and 5% malted barley.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Rich, wet, and earthy masa drives the nose toward dark fruit leather, old spice bottles, and soft floral honey just touched with vanilla.

Palate: Freshly cut oranges are dipped in maple syrup on the palate with a sense of soft vanilla custard, pumpkin pecan pie, and plenty of winter spice that amps up toward black peppercorns.

Finish: That black pepper makes for a spiced finish as the pecan pie, orange, and custard all slowly fade away with a fleeting hint of an earthy cornfield after the rain.

Bottom Line:

This is a great pour. I really dig pairing this with tacos and bbq as it just hits right in that mode. A good low-and-slow carnitas braised with a ton of orange, spices, and just a hint of earthy sweetness is a good place to start.

Maker’s Mark Bill’s Recipe French Oaked No. 46 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky Cask Strength

Maker's Mark 46 Cask Strength
Beam Suntory

ABV: 55.15%

Average Price: $68

The Whisky:

This version of Maker’s 46 is all about shining a light on the brilliance of their stave program. The wheated bourbon is a small batch (made in a 1,000-gallon vatting tank) that’s re-barreled into used Maker’s Mark barrels that are fitted with heavily seared French oak staves. That whisky rests for another few months before bottling 100% as-is at cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose draws you in with a sense of old rickhouses and mincemeat pies with a hint of plum jam over buttermilk biscuits just kissed with clove and nutmeg.

Palate: Those biscuits turn into Christmas spice cakes with plenty of nuts and dried fruits with a candied orange hint next to caramel sauce and vanilla cake.

Finish: The end is lush at first with a nice earthiness that plays into rum raisin and brandy-soaked holiday cakes before fading abruptly.

Bottom Line:

This new Maker’s release is just delicious. I dig it in an old fashioned or Manhattan. It also works really well as a slow sipper over some rocks too.

Starlight Distillery Carl T. Huber’s Single Barrel Indiana Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Rum Barrels

Starlight Distillery Rum Finished Bourbon
Starlight Distillery

ABV: 56.35%

Average Price: $69

The Whiskey:

This whiskey starts with Starlight’s high-corn Indiana straight bourbon. Select barrels are chosen and batched after four-and-a-half years before being re-barreled into rum casks. Then, single barrels of rum-cask bourbon are chosen for single-barrel bottling of cask-strength bourbon. In this case, that meant only 114 bottles.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Mincemeat pies and dark molasses drive the nose toward cacao nibs, old cinnamon sticks, and powdery white pepper with a bold vanilla base and plenty of sweet warmth.

Palate: Salted caramel dipped in dark chocolate and cut with fresh maple syrup drives the palate toward dry chewing tobacco, toffee rolled in almonds, and old oak staves with plenty of vanilla left in them.

Finish: That wood gets very spicy on the finish as soft maple syrup and pecan counter the end with soft dry chocolate tobacco just kissed with dry red chili.

Bottom Line:

This is a great example of rum-finished bourbon and how tasty it can be. This also makes a mean cocktail. Think of a bourbon-laced Tiki cocktail and you’ll be all set.

Elijah Craig Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Private Barrel S2B2

Elijah Craig Single Barrel
Heaven Hill

ABV: 61.95%

Average Price: $82

The Whiskey:

This barrel pick from ReserveBar is a masterpiece bourbon. The whiskey in the bottle is a nine-year-old barrel made with Heaven Hill’s classic bourbon mash bill (78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley). The barrel rested in Heaven Hill’s famed warehouse KK for all nine of those years before it was bottled for this special release.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Rich cherries soaked in maple syrup mingle with a light sense of cedar cigar humidors, apple-cider-soaked cinnamon sticks, and cloves buried in orange peels with a hint of marzipan lurking in the background.

Palate: That cinnamon and clove blend with eggnog and nutmeg as the palate leans into mincemeat pie, vanilla cake, and a hint of toasted marshmallow dipped in dark chocolate.

Finish: The end gets a little dry as white pepper and old boot leather mingle with rich maple syrup over blueberry pancakes with a light sense of vanilla sugar cookies.

Bottom Line:

This is one of the best Elijah Craig expressions I’ve tried in a while — no disrespect to the Barrel Proof releases. This is everything you want from an iconic Kentucky bourbon. Buy it now before it sells out.

Woodinville Straight Bourbon Whiskey Private Select Single Barrel

Woodinville Private Select

ABV: 57.2%

Average Price: $99

The Whiskey:

This craft distillery out in Washington is starting to create a big footprint nationwide. This release is a single barrel pick of five-year-old local grain-to-glass Washington bourbon. The barrel spent exactly five years and four months aging in Central Washington during deeply cold winters and very hot high-desert summers, accelerating the aging process significantly. It was then barreled 100% as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: A dark and almost dried cherry greet you on the nose with a sense of toasted Graham Crackers, maple syrup, and huckleberry pie next o hints of spiced winter cakes and salty dark chocolate.

Palate: Those spicy winter cakes follow on the palate as salted caramel and vanilla cake lead back to a lush cherry ice cream with a hint of dark chocolate and almond.

Finish: That dark chocolate gets creamy and sweet on the finish with a hint of floral honey and nasturtium spice next to a mild sense of old yet sweet oak.

Bottom Line:

This is an excellent example of the beautiful whiskey made at Woodinville. As a single barrel pick, it shines bright. As a whiskey, it’s 100% worth adding to your bar cart as a stellar example of non-Kentucky bourbon.

Booker’s Bourbon “Apprentice Batch” 2023-02 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Booker's 2023-02 Batch Bourbon
Beam Suntory

ABV: 62.75%

Average Price: $249

The Whiskey:

The second batch of Booker’s has arrived. This batch is named after the relationship between Booker Noe (who helped define Beam in the 20th century) and his mentor, Carl Beam, back in the 1950s. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of a lot of barrels from prime spots in several warehouses across the Beam campus. The end blend ended up being 7+-year-old bourbon that’s bottled completely as-is without proofing or filtering.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose is nutty in the way that a rich and brandy-soaked holiday cake is with a deep layer of rich vanilla, candied orange, candied cherry, stewed pear, and deeply sharp winter spices.

Palate: The taste is very soft by way of a winter nut bread that’s spiced with real clove, allspice, and nutmeg next to apple-cider-soaked cinnamon sticks, eggnog creaminess, and a bright rush of wild sage and maybe a hint of bouquet garni dipped in floral honey.

Finish: The end really amps up those spices with a very barky vibe as the orange turns to marmalade and the nuts turn to marzipan and pecan waffles with a sense of creamed vanilla honey dashed with sweet cedar kindling wrapped with leathery tobacco leaves that have just been singed.

Bottom Line:

The next batch of Booker’s has arrived! It’s great. Get it. And then drink however you like to drink your whiskey.

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Batch Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2023 Release

Woodford Reserve Batch Proof 2023

ABV: 62.35%

Average Price: $129

The Whiskey:

This brand-new Batch Proof release from Woodford Reserve is all about the process. The blending process of amazing cask strength barrels is front and center thanks to the whiskey going into the bottle untouched by water, leaving it “batch proof.”

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Deep marzipan and dark cherry pop on the nose with a sense of zucchini bread full of winter spice, brown butter, and walnuts next to bright orange zest and a dash of black peppercorns tied to old oak and light boot leather.

Palate: Those winter spices really amp up on the palate with a sense of clove, cardamom, and nutmeg next to old vanilla pods, dried glove leather, and a hint of dank pine resin tied to a hint of cherry bark.

Finish: That woodiness and dankness drive the finish toward a layer of spice nut cake swimming in buttercream with a nice dose of smudging sage and cedar bark leading to old tobacco pouches.

Bottom Line:

This is Woodford Reserve dialed up as high as it can go. It’s delicious. I like this with a single large rock as a slow sipper. It gets so creamy and luscious in the glass.

Augusta Distillery Buckner’s Aged 13 Years Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Augusta Distillery
Augusta Distillery

ABV: 60% (varies)

Average Price: $199

The Whiskey:

This is a very niche brand out in rural Kentucky that’s sourcing old barrels. The whiskey in the bottle is a Kentucky straight bourbon that rested for 13 years before it was bottled completely as-is both unfiltered and at cask strength.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose opens with a sense of old barrel houses full of sweet and spice bourbon next to a gentle moment of creamy vanilla honey with old corn husks stuffed in the honey which is poured over spiced winter nut breads with a hint of butteriness and earthy nutshells.

Palate: The clove, allspice, and anise of the nut bread amp up the buttery palate with a sense of Earl Grey tea leaves, salted caramel, and mocha-heavy espresso beans next to a light marzipan moistness and hints of burnt orange next to old dry black cherry bark.

Finish: The end lingers for a while as the marzipan and orchard barks fade toward sharp eggnog spices and soft creaminess before the vanilla creamed honey slathers old oak staves with a good dose of earthy fall vibes kind of like a forest floor on a frosty day.

Bottom Line:

This was just named the best bourbon on the planet by the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Buy it while you still can.

Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 36 Years Old

Tomatin 36
Takara Shuzo Corp.

ABV: 45.1 %

Average Price: $1,535

The Whisky:

This is 100% malted barley malt whisky that spends a lot of time in the warehouse. The whisky in the bottle is a blend of a minimum of 36-year-old barrels — both ex-bourbon and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. Those barrels are vatted and allowed to rest before the whisky went in the bottle with a touch of water.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: There’s a deep sense of apple and cherry trees in full bloom on the nose with a hint of mango skins, white peaches, and mulled wine spices that leads toward dark plum jam over buttery scones with a hint of brandy butter lurking in the background.

Palate: The palate is immediately lush and silken with a sense of pear pudding and mincemeat pies next to fire-roasted almonds, dried apples, and raw honeycomb with a light lavender vibe.

Finish: The spices rear their head on the finish with a mild eggnog and spiced Christmas nutcake feel that leads to figs and prunes with a hint of pear pie and soft vanilla rounding out the end.

Bottom Line:

This was just named the best overall whiskey in the whole goddamn world. It is absolutely delicious.

Daniel Weller Emmer Wheat Recipe Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Daniel Weller
Sazerac Company

ABV: 47%

Average Price: $499

The Whiskey:

We finally have a brand-new Weller release from Buffalo Trace (at an incredible cost). The whiskey in the bottle is an experimental wheated bourbon made from Emmer wheat (an ancient Egyptian strain). That whiskey is then left alone to mature for 12 years before batching, proofing, and bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: The nose feels like a slice of emmer wheat sourdough bread covered in seeds that you get in a very good bakery somewhere like Germany (I honestly cannot think of a U.S. analog for it) next to Nutella, fresh orange zest, and salted caramel with a hint of marzipan.

Palate: Bright orchard fruits pop on the palate as fresh honeycombs (with a hint of earthiness) vibe with more marzipan, deep sourdough bread notes, and a good bit of old oak in old rickhouses just kissed with falling leaves and soft rain.

Finish: That Buffalo Trace leatheriness comes through on the finish with more of that oak and warehouse vibe next to orchard bark, dark winter spice, and creamy honey kissed with rum raisin.

Bottom Line:

This new Weller is interesting in that it’s an experimental version of the iconic wheated bourbon. I dig it overall, but it honestly takes a couple of experiences with the bourbon to find all the depth present in the pour. My advice is to try this one at your local whiskey bar and go from there.

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #10 A Blend Of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #10
Bardstown Bourbon Company

ABV: 57.12%

Average Price: $139

The Whiskey:

This brand-new Discovery Series edition from Bardstown Bourbon Company is a masterful blend. The whiskey is a mix of three Kentucky bourbon, one Georgia bourbon, and one Tennessee whiskey all with rye and wheated bourbon mash bills. The barrels were six to 13 years old when batched and bottled as-is without filtering or proofing water.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Caramelized pecan pie slathered in maple syrup runs deep with Black Forest Cake and soft winter spice next to a hint of old boot leather and cedar humidors with a touch of hazelnut with a deep earthiness.

Palate: That hazelnut turns into Nutella on the luxurious palate as buttercream and vanilla cake mingle with woody spices and a hint of candied cherry and orange peels.

Finish: The end is pure silk with a sense of those dry winter spice countered by soft nutty creamed vanilla custard and a light note of wild smudging sage.

Bottom Line:

This is another one that deserves your time. There’s an earthiness to this at first that then fades into creamy Nutella if you give it 10 minutes to bloom in the glass. It’s kind of like a delicious magic trick.

Hardin’s Creek ‘Clermont’ Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Hardin's Creek Clermont
Beam Suntory

ABV: 55%

Average Price: $169

The Whiskey:

This brand-new release from Jim Beam explored the effects of maturation at individual Beam campuses. In this case, the whiskey is a 17-year-old bourbon that spent its life resting at the Clermont, Kentucky Beam campus. The barrels were batched and barely proofed before bottling.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Dark caramel and old vanilla pods lead on the nose with a fleeting sense of cherry syrup cut with clove and anise before a soft oakiness takes over.

Palate: The oak takes on a dark and almost smoky vibe as cinnamon sticks and clove buds lead to old saddle leather and damp pipe tobacco with a hint of cherry apple lurking beneath it all.

Finish: Singed marshmallow and old firewood bark lingers with some sense of vanilla cream and old dried cherries rolled in tobacco and cedar bark and dipped in dark chocolate with hints of salt.

Bottom Line:

This new Jim Beam release is a high water mark of blending for the team. This is a very good Jim Beam product and worth checking out to see the insane heights their whiskey achieves with long-form aging.

Rabbit Hole Dareringer Founder’s Collection Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in PX Sherry Casks Limited Edition

Rabbit Hole Dareringer Founder's Edition
Rabbit Hole

ABV: 51.9%

Average Price: $312

The Whiskey:

This new Founder’s Collection release from Rabbit Hole is a doozy. The whiskey in the bottle is made from wheated bourbon that was aged in well-charred Pedro Ximenez sherry casks from Spain’s renowned Casknolia Cooperage. Just 15 barrels were selected for this tiny small batch offering and bottled 100% as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Thick vanilla custard and walnut cake drive the nose toward musty sherry oak still in the cellar next to dark raw sugar syrup over a spiced fruit cake.

Palate: The dark winter spices from the nut cakes drive the palate toward large stretches of cinnamon bark, old oak staves, and dark cherry with a hint of Meyer lemon and tart currants.

Finish: Mulled wine and salted toffee round out the finish with a return to the walnut cake and plenty of sherry-soaked old oak.

Bottom Line:

This is a lush and silky pour that really highlights the depth of the dark fruit involved. I do think I’ll save this more for the holiday season, but it’s available now … so act quickly.

Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Fèis Ìle 2023 Canasta Cask Matured

Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky Feis Ile 2023

ABV: 51.2%

Average Price: $103

The Whiskey:

The annual Fèis Ìle release from Islay’s Bunnahabhain is here! The whisky is an unpeated single malt that was aged exclusively in rare Canasta sherry casks. Those casks were vatted and bottled as-is for this annual release.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Old-school creamy sherry comes through on the nose with caramel-soaked pears and peach next to roasted almond, plenty of cinnamon stick, and a hint of mushroomy earthiness.

Palate: Those caramelized pears lead to stewed figs and orange-laced dark chocolate on the palate as vanilla cream and maple syrup add some serious sweetness and lusciousness.

Finish: The end is sweet with a sense of maple syrup, candied orange, sweet apple candy, and vanilla buttercream with a light touch of winter spice and roasted chestnut.

Bottom Line:

This is a wonderful pour of whisky. It’s soft and sweet and supple. It also has a hint of bourbon in there that makes it a great bridge for anyone looking to dip into Scotch single malts.

Bardstown Bourbon Company Collaborative Series Foursquare Blend of Straight Whiskies Finished in Foursquare Rum Barrels

Bardstown Foursquare Blended Whiskey
Bardstown Bourbon Company

ABV: 53.5%

Average Price: $159

The Whiskey:

This is a much-sought-after blend from Kentucky darling Bardstown Bourbon Company. The blend in this case is a mix of seven-year-old Indiana straight rye with a mash bill of 51% rye, 45% corn, and 4% malted barley blended with a 17-year-old Tennessee straight bourbon with a mash bill of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley. Once those barrels are batched, the whiskey is re-barreled in Foursquare rum barrels for an additional 23-month rest.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Woody banana and rich marzipan pop on the nose with a deep and sharp clove, anise, and cinnamon vibe next to peanut butter clusters dusted with toasted coconut, burnt orange zest, and sea salt with this whisper of rum-soaked raisins and old oak in the background.

Palate: The rye funkiness drives the rummy oak tannins towards a soft sticky toffee pudding with rich toffee, mild vanilla oils, and a sense of spiced mincemeat pie.

Finish: The finish is lush and silken with a sense of fresh and warm vanilla pods over warm grog with a handful of dark and woody winter spices countered by luxurious and buttery salted caramel with a fleeting hint of smoldering marshmallow.

Bottom Line:

This is one of the best pours of the year.

The Singleton of Glen Ord Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 40 Years

The Singleton of Glen Ord Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 40 Years

ABV: 45.9%

Average Price: $1,127

The Whiskey:

This new release from The Singleton of Glen Ord is a well-aged masterpiece. The malt spent 12 years aging in old bourbon casks before being re-barreled into fresh used oak for another 37 years. Finally, those barrels were vatted and that whisky was re-filled into a mix of rum casks which were ex-solera rum casks of Zacapa XO Rum and Zacapa Royal Rum. Finally, the whisky was vatted and bottled as-is.

Tasting Notes:

Nose: Soft orchard fruit — plums, pears, quince — mingle on the nose with a light sense of roasting sage, thyme, and rosemary — all fresh and oily — before a mild note of old cellar oak and dried prosciutto skins arrive.

Palate: The taste leans into the orchard fruit before curing everything with salt, creating a tart yet salted plum/apricot/pear vibe that leads to soft yet dry cacao with a hint of spice barks.

Finish: Those spice barks get sharp and peppery on the finish as the chocolate mellows toward salted figs, plums, and pears that have just been kissed with cherry smoke.

Bottom Line:

Divine. This is just f*cking divine. Is it worth $1,200? I think for how unique and delicious this is, yes.

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