The Best New Whiskeys to Drink This March
Including an Irish whiskey that spans six continents, a 30-year old Talisker and the world's most interesting decanter
Welcome back to our monthly guide to all things whisk(e)y. This month: New Japanese and Irish expressions that think globally, a 30-year old Talisker release and the most interesting decanter ever.
Just launched in the U.S. (although the distillery has been around since 1973), this Japanese distillery is best known for its blending prowess: Their Single Grain is a blend of three different grain whiskeys via the U.S., Canada and Scotland, while their namesake Fuji release is a blend of Japanese and Scotch whiskies. Either way, they all use Mt. Fuji snowmelt water in all processes of production. They’re all wonderfully balanced and decidedly not sweet, possessing a bit more of an earthy character.
Virginia Distillery Co. Cuvée Single Cask
A cask-strength edition of this Virginia distillery’s Courage & Conviction expression (which we profiled here). Released late last year, this exceptional American Single Malt limited release is being rolled out in several batches over the coming months. We found it sweet and bold (because cask strength), with notes of dried fruits and marmalade, with a spicy finish that coats the mouth.
Puncher’s Chance: The D12TANCE
A limited release, the first extension of Puncher’s Chance (via the Oregon-based Wolf Spirit brand, which was, fun fact, founded in an old laundromat) is a 12-year-old Tennessee bourbon finished in California Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. And yes, the 12 is a boxing reference. There’s a lot of wine on the nose, plus notes of cocoa and dried fruits. On the palate, it’s sweet a bit syrupy, with notes of fruit and gingerbread. A solid punch.
Stranahan’s Sherry Cask
This Denver distillery does special editions well. Here, they take a four year-aged transfer it to 500 liter Oloroso Sherry barrels to finish. I’m not usually a Sherry cask fan, but this 47% ABV release features strong notes of baking spices, cocoa and dark fruits — admittedly, it feels a bit Christmas-y, but as long as winter continues, it’s an ideal by-the-fireplace sipper.
Talisker 30 Year Old
A very limited annual release from the Isle of Skye distillery(less than 500 bottles are available nationally), call this one “sweet smoke.” I found a lot of fruit (mainly pineapple, oddly) on the nose, with smoke, citrus, biscuit and even a bit of saltiness on the palate.
Angel’s Envy Rye Whiskey Finished in Ice Cider Casks
The Louisville distillery’s fourth Cellar Collection release is also their first new finished rye since 2013. It’s seven-year-old, 95% rye whiskey finished for 364 days in ice cider casks from Vermont-based Eden Specialty Ciders. We got a lot of dates/raisins and dark fruits, plus a bit of cinnamon — I almost would have guessed a sherry cask. Overall, a spicier number than I expected, but certainly unique.
Other notable new releases:
- An interesting new Irish whiskey for March? Lost Irish utilizes casks sourced from six continents and is triple distilled using all three whiskey production styles. It’s a unique and easy drinker, with different elements and influences coming through on each sip.
- Looking for a solid, flavored whiskey as a mixer? We just tried Kentucky Coffee, which actually has a flavor profile closer to a sweet coffee than brown spirits … and would ideally work in any drink that requires both a boozy and a caffeine kick.
- Two new canned cocktails to try, if you’re whiskey fans: WhistlePig’s PiggyBack Craft Cocktails, which are crafted with fruit barrel-aged in WhistlePig Whiskey barrels and 100% Estate Rye straight from the WhistlePig Vermont Farm; and Spirited Hive, a line of honey-based RTDs (the bourbon-based one is perfectly fine, but we were partial to the vodka one with cranberry, honey and lime).
- Woodford Reserve, the Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, is honoring “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” with the release of its limited edition 2022 commemorative Kentucky Derby bottle, available for pre-sale starting now on ReserveBar.
- Penderyn has already helped define Welsh whisky. Now, the distillery has released two U.S. exclusives from their Single Cask program that look to Portugal — a Six-Year-Old Moscatel de Setúbal Cask and a Six-Year-Old-Tawny Port Cask.
- Mortlach Single Malt Scotch Whisky has partnered up with Italian designer Luca Nichetto on a limited-edition SEI Decanter, a rather wild-looking vessel crafted from handblown glass. Expect more of these collaborations from the Speyside distillery.
The Secret to Great Cocktails? Find Out in The Spill.
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