The Best New Whiskeys to Drink This October
Including Bowmore's wild $75,000 collaboration with Aston Martin. Plus, the unexpected return of honey whiskey.
Welcome back to our monthly guide to all things whisk(e)y.
The Last Drop Release No 28
The latest release from a company that specializes in limited-edition bottlings across multiple spirits categories is a blend of vintage straight bourbon and rye whiskeys overseen by Sazerac Master Blender Drew Mayville. “It was a blended product I wanted to make, no restrictions,” Mayville says. “Even before I met The Last Drop, I’d been planning this for a while. Over the last 20 years at Buffalo Trace, I’ve been putting away select quantities of vintage whiskey that I thought were exceptional.” It’s strong on the nose, with vanilla, dark fruits, leather, tobacco, candied orange and spiciness from the rye that calms a bit on follow-up sips. Only 1,458 bottles of this 121.4-proof release, uncut and unfiltered, are available worldwide at an SRP of $3,999.
Oak & Eden Wheat & Honey
This award-winning Southlake, TX distillery takes its wheated bourbon and finishes it with a five-inch, spiral-cut honey-infused oak spire. Thankfully, this is not a return to the honey whiskey trend from about a decade ago…though, interestingly, Woodford Reserve just launched a Honey Barrel Finish, available only at their distillery, so maybe an artisanal take on this old trend is back. For O&E, this 90-proof whiskey accentuates some of those sweeter notes but maintains a creamy mouthfeel and a barrel spiciness. Fun fact: You can actually go to the distillery and make your own infused tipple via the brand’s Bottle Builder program, where you pair one of four finished whiskey bases with over thirty infusion options.
George Dickel Bottled in Bond Fall 2008, Aged 13 Years
The fourth offering in the George Dickel Bottled in Bond series — an award-winning series — is a 13-year-old, 100-proof Tennessee whisky with an 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley mashbill (it’s also chill charcoal mellowed). It’s a buttery mouthfeel with notes of caramel, licorice, cherry and oak spice.
Redemption Sur Lee Straight Rye Whiskey
For this specialty release, the rye-forward whiskey brand utilizes a technique inspired by the French sur lie winemaking process here — the backset that comes off the still during distillation (the “whiskey lees”) is added into the barrels before aging to impart additional flavor. The result? A 47% ABV winner that’s a bit oily, a bit creamy and features a lot of butterscotch and a touch of spice.
A 52-year-old single malt housed in an incredibly sleek and novel decanter — you’ll need a separate magnetic key to open it — serves as the latest collaboration between Aston Martin and the oldest licensed distillery on Islay. Only 100 decanters are available in this limited release, which was matured in two cask styles (American Oak Hogshead and European Oak Butt). There is a lot of pear and butterscotch here — yes, we got a very small taste — along with vanilla and subtle smoke. And it’s’ only $75,000 — Aston Martin not included.
And five more:
- High West’s tenth annual release of A Midwinter Night’s Dram (dubbed Act 10) launched late last month — it’s the Utah distillery’s Rendezvous Rye whiskey expression finished in ruby and tawny port barrels. New this year: An even more-limited edition release, Encore, which was finished in white port barrels and is only available at the distillery.
- The Texas-based Garrison Brothers just released its 2022 iteration of its popular annual release, Cowboy Bourbon. This one is uncut (134.8 proof), unfiltered and selected from a small array of selection of 8 and 9-year-old barrels. We haven’t tried it yet, but the tasting notes are sublime: “Newly tanned leather, monkey bread aroma, spring jasmine, dark cacao chocolate, syrupy Dublin Dr. Pepper, brown sugar, and blackstrap molasses with a chocolate bark finish reminiscent of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.”
- The new BCS Gray Label Bourbon is another unique adventure from Barrell Craft Spirits. It’s a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys of various ages from five different mash bills. After marrying, the blend goes into casks made using 36-month air-dried staves that previously held … Gray Label Bourbon.
- The Dalmore just released its first U.S. exclusive — The Dalmore 14, finished in hand-selected, rare Pedro Ximénez casks from the House of Gonzalez Byass. Expect notes of figs, citrus, caramel and dates in this Highland single malt.
- Blade & Bow just re-released its 22-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, aged and bottled at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. It’s full of apple, vanilla, honey, dark fruits a bit of smoke and oak.
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