Welcome back to our monthly guide to all things whisk(e)y. This month, Wild Turkey goes tropical and we find a $70 blended Scotch that hits all the right notes (smoke included).
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Voyage
The latest in this annual limited-edition series is actually a collaboration between master distiller Eddie Russell and Dr. Joy Spence, the master blender of Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum. Ergo, Voyage is a 106-proof, 10-year-old bourbon finished in Jamaican rum casks that previously held 14-year-old pot still rum. As the first rum cask finish in Wild Turkey’s history, this one has a wonderful tropical fruit note along with cocoa, baking spices, caramel and aged oak.
Caisteal Chamuis 12-Year-Old Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
From Torahbaig Distillery on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, this double-barrel blended Scotch was aged for 12 years in refill American Oak Hogsheads, then re-aged in 230-liter barrels that held Oloroso Sherry — and then re-aged again in epecially coopered European Oak 500-liter butts that were seasoned with Oloroso Sherry. In spite of the “heavily peated” label, it has a low peat point here (18.7ppm) and the smoke is pretty delicate on the nose. On the palate, however, the warm campfire notes shine alongside the sweet, fruity flavors and a bit of maritime salinity. At about $70-$75, this is a steal.
Glenmorangie Cadboll Estate
Aged for 15 years, the third batch of this single-estate release combines a bourbon-matured Glenmorangie with a small portion finished in Amontillado Sherry casks. The Highland distillery’s field-to-glass concept yields a sweet, creamy and fruity sipper with notes of raspberry, apple, toffee, hazelnut and malt.
Still Austin Red Corn Bourbon Bottled in Bond
The first of four limited-release seasonal bottled-in-bond whiskeys, this Texas distillery is launching its new series with a bourbon that combines Jimmy Red corn with rye. This 100-proof release, featuring 100% Texas-grown grains and utilizing a six-month slow water reduction process, is highlighted by a popcorn nuttiness, brown sugar, cherry and some surprising citrus notes that pop up after a few sips. The next editions? A high rye bourbon in the fall, blue corn bourbon in the winter and a straight rye in spring 2024.
Old Forester 117 Series: Bottled in Bond
As part of its limited expression lineup, Old Forester’s newest is a bottled-in-bond release with bottles filled during a single distillation season (spring of 2014). Coming at the required 50% ABV, this bourbon features notes of butterscotch, candied fruit, apricot, caramel and herbal tea, complete with a rich and silky mouthfeel.
Keeper’s Heart Irish + Bourbon Cask Strength
This innovative Minneapolis distillery marries sourced bourbon (MGP) with pot still and grain whiskies from Ireland into something that accentuates the best of both whiskey worlds. Their latest, a cask strength release (118 proof), features the creamy mouthfeel and malt and fruit notes you’d expect from the Irish whiskey, plus underlying levels of caramel, vanilla and charred oak.
Booker’s Batch 2023-02, “Apprentice Batch”
The second 2023 release of this ongoing limited-edition series of uncut and unfiltered bourbons pays homage to the early days of sixth-generation master distiller Booker Noe, who learned his craft under the guidance of his cousin, Carl Beam. Aged a bit more than seven years and coming in at 125.5 proof, this one offers notes of orange peel, citrus, vanilla and a lot of oak, both on the nose and palate. It’s bright and powerful.
When Can You Buy This Year’s Pappy Van Winkle? Consult Our Whiskey Release Schedule.Behold, the release dates for all your favorite rare and limited-edition whiskeys, including Buffalo Trace, Booker’s and Pappy
Laphroaig Càirdeas 2023 White Port & Madeira Casks
Aged in white Port and Madeira casks, this annual single malt release from the Islay distillery is part of the Friends of Laphroaig membership program. While there’s still plenty of charcoal smoke character on the nose and palate, there’s also a juicy, fruity and creamy character here.
Jack Daniel’s Distillery Series Selection #11
The American White Oak barrels for this experimental whiskey first aged Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, then they matured añejo tequila in Mexico before finally returning to Lynchburg to finish this Tennessee whiskey. Coming in at 90 proof, this limited edition (basically, only available at the distillery and in Tennessee) definitely showcases a cooked agave flavor, along with light oak, brown sugar, caramel and a hint of citrus.
291 E Colorado Whiskey Batch 12
This Colorado distiller married barrels from two different wheated bourbon experiments — corn, malted white wheat and rye malt for one, and corn, malted white wheat and malted barley for the other. Bottled at 121.6 proof, the marriage creates a four-grain powerhouse full of graham cracker, caramel, tangerine and baking spices.
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