The Best New Whiskeys to Drink This September
Including Old Forester’s best Birthday Bourbon yet, a deconstructed Yamazaki single malt and Barrell's follow-up to its most-awarded release
Welcome back to our monthly guide to all things whisk(e)y.
BCS Gray Label Dovetail / Barrell Vantage
Dovetail uses the same blend and finishing method as its 2018 counterpart, which won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. This time out, the blend — finished in rum, port and Dunn Vineyards Cabernet barrels, features older and rarer barrels, aged up to 20 years. Bottled at 131.54 proof, the fruitier/jammy notes are front and center here; with a rich and creamy mouthfeel, you’ll get notes of vanilla wafers, creme brulee and allspice.
Vantage, meanwhile, is a blend of three straight bourbons (distilled in IN, KY and TN) finished in three expressions of virgin oak: Mizunara, French and toasted American oak, all at different char/toast levels. Bottled at cask strength (114.44 proof), this is the bourbon to get if you’re all about the wood behind the liquid. It’s spicy, oily, sweet and tobacco-y.
High West Campfire
The annual release from this Park City, UT distillery is a blend of Scotch, bourbon and rye whiskey, ranging in age from 4-15 years and bottled at 46% ABV (the release coincides with a conservation effort from the brand called Protect the West). It’s a smoky affair, but also one that offers up some sweeter toffee notes.
The Glenturret 50-Year Old in Lalique
Scotland’s oldest working distillery (read more on that here), is releasing a 50-year-old expression on September 12 — its oldest bottle yet. You can actually score the first bottle of this (housed in a striking black crystal decanter) at the current Sotheby’s auction, which runs through Sept. 9. The whisky was drawn from a singular cask that was filled in 1972; it has spent the last five decades maturing in a refill Sherry cask
Old Forester Birthday Bourbon
To celebrate OF as the first bottled bourbon, this long-running whiskey brand offers an annual, limited-edition release to honor founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday. This year’s iteration, the 22nd, was only available through an online sweepstake. That said, the distillery says there will be additional opportunities to purchase. “Future releases will be on random days and at random times and may be in the form of a gift shop release or in conjunction with select tastings or tours,” they note. So, what did you miss? A lot of fruit on the nose (raspberry, orange, cherry) which continues on a bright palate that adds cinnamon, cocoa, vanilla and a fair amount of oak.
Yamazaki Tsukuriwake Limited Edition Collection
Japan’s oldest commercial whisky distillery recently released a collection that honors the philosophy of Tsukuriwake, which means “artisanship through a diversity of making.” Here, that means you have individual access to four Yamazaki single malts — Puncheon, Peated Malt, Spanish Oak and Mizunara — that together make the composition of Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky. Even the spicier ones here, like the Mizunara (a Japanese oak), still maintain a lot of creaminess, fruit notes and, of course, balance.
And five more:
- Buzzard’s Roost, a woman-owned whiskey brand in Kentucky, celebrates its third year with two new bourbons: Char #1 Bourbon and Toasted American Oak Bourbon, which feature high-rye mashbills.
- We’ll hopefully have a sample soon to test, but we’re excited (as always) for the latest Jefferson’s OCEAN Aged at Sea release. The new one, Voyage 29 Wheated, is (natch) a wheated bourbon that was uniquely aged as the casks holding this liquid circumnavigated the globe.
- The Macallan’s new entry in its Fine & Rare Collection is The 1989 Edition, a cask strength single malt matured in a single sherry seasoned European oak butt cask for 32 years. It’ll only set you back $18,500 for a 750ml bottle.
- Terroir-driven Waterford Whisky just announced it has bottled the first Irish-peated whiskies in generations: Peated: Fenniscourt and Peated: Ballybannon. The two expressions will be available in the U.S. starting in October.
- Later this fall Russell’s Reserve is introducing an annual “Single Rickhouse Collection” — the first launch here is Single Rickhouse Camp Nelson C, which features liquid from 72 barrels from a now dismantled rickhouse, It’s a non-chill filtered bourbon aged for over 10 years and bottled at 112.4 proof. We’ll have much more on this next month.
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