The Best New Whiskeys to Drink This January
Including Woodford Reserve’s take on “distiller’s beer,” plus a 30-year old Irish tipple and Chicken Cock’s ode to Prohibition rye
Welcome back to our monthly guide to all things whisk(e)y. This month: Woodford Reserve releases its take on a “distiller’s beer,” Teeling’s unique 30-year old expression and the latest in Bob Dylan’s whiskey line.
The Bootleg Series Vol. III by Heaven’s Door
A cask strength 13-year-old Kentucky Bourbon finished in Vino de Naranja Casks for almost a year; you’ll get notes here ranging from buttered popcorn to orange to a spicy rye kick. Unique and memorable, like its bottling, a ceramic vessel featuring Bob Dylan’s painting Sunday Afternoon.
Duke & Dame
I’ve never been one to shy away from flavored whiskey, but even I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Duke & Dame, a salted caramel whiskey started by an investment banker and an international trade advisor. A Black-owned spirit brand, D&D offers up a smooth sipper that’s not overly sweet; it’s a crowdpleaser, but the actual “whiskey” isn’t lost here, even at a modest 70 proof. Works quite well if you want a different take on a Manhattan or espresso martini (and those buttery caramel notes work well in winter drinks, just saying).
Teeling Whiskey 30 Year Old Single Malt
Available this month for an eye-opening $2,200, this is the oldest expression in Teeling’s single malt series. Initially matured in bourbon casks, this release then spent over nine years aging in Sauternes wine casks. There’s a lot of fruit here that cuts through the peated smoke; it’s juicy and bright with just a hint of oak.
Woodford Reserve Five-Malt Stouted Mash
The 17th release in Woodford Reserve’s limited-editon Master’s Collection, this unique whiskey purposely exhibits the flavors of a traditional heavy-style beer. And that roasted malt note is certainly heavy on the nose; that maltiness (and some cocoa) continues on through the finish. This is a love-it-or-hate-it release (I like, but I’d probably stick with WR’s Doubled Oaked release for a day-to-day sipper), but it’s certainly one of the most interesting whiskeys you’ll try in 2022.
M&H Apex Dead Sea
What happens when you craft a whisky in one of the lowest (and hottest) places on Earth? The Israeli distillery M&H was aged in the Dead Sea area, resulting in notes ranging from spearmint to black tea leaves to candied ginger notes, with a dry, smoky, tobacco undertone.
Chicken Cock Cotton Club Rye
Chicken Cock was the house whiskey at the Cotton Club (a legendary Prohibition-era speakeasy) and supposedly a favorite of Duke Ellington. A 100-proof Canadian Straight Rye Whiskey aged for 20 years, the new limited-edition Cotton Club release is both earthy and citrusy, while a hint of vanilla slips in on repeated tastings. Outstanding, but also a hefty price — albeit the bottle does come with a commemorative tin, reflective of the tin cans the whiskey would arrive in via Canada during Prohibition. It’s available for pre-sale on the brand website for $500.
Other notable new releases:
- Ardbeg just released its Monsters of Smoke trio pack, featuring three 200 ml bottles of very smoky whisky from Ardbeg’s core range with packaging inspired by 1950s B-movie horror.
- If you missed it during your holiday shopping, the 2021 Distillers Edition Collection was released, featuring a collection of six limited-edition Single Malt Scotch whiskies via Oban, Talisker, Lagavulin, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie and Glenkinchie. Each release is double-matured in a different type of cask wood — you can hopefully find some of these via Drizly.
- Pre-made tipple brand On The Rocks Cocktails just announced the launch of The Manhattan, crafted with Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey.
- A. Smith Bowman Distillery just released Abraham Bowman Rum Finished Bourbon, which aged for nine years in American White Oak and then a whopping six additional years in rum casks.
- For such an extended age statement, Crown Royal Aged 18 Years is an almost velvety sipper, more exquisite than oaky and featuring notes of vanilla, caramel and stone fruit.
The Secret to Great Cocktails? Find Out in The Spill.
Suggested for you