Whiskeys primed for hot weather drinking are not all that different than what you’d drink come the fall or winter — but certain flavor profiles, proof levels and finishes do pair better with nights spent on the porch, patio or in the woods. These fives whiskeys, all new to 2018, are surefire picks for a whiskey-drinking summer.
WhistlePig FarmStock Rye Crop No. 002
Vermont distillery WhistlePig caters to a very specific drinker — it only produces ryes, and its primary focus lies with pushing whiskey terroir. It claims that, upon drinking both bottles of its FarmStock line (of which this is the second), Vermont’s waters, soil, wood and air can be tasted. No. 002 also happens to be the product of a rather intense crowdsourcing campaign, where the brand asked upward of 500 bartenders and drinkers what they wanted next. The answer was a blended rye — part 2-year, part 6-year and part 10-year. At 86 proof, it’s not going to blow your doors off when sipped in the summer heat, and it mixes just fine as well. A bottle will run you just north of $70.
George Dickel Tabasco
If a slow-burning, neat glass of high proof craft bourbon is exactly the opposite of what you’re looking for, give George Dickel’s collaboration with McIlhenny a shot. The whiskey, which took home a Gold medal at this year’s San Francisco Spirit Competition, is rested for a month in ex-Tabasco barrels with a bit of tabasco pepper mash. Later, it is supplemented with distilled Tabasco and filtered to make a whiskey that is intentionally not for sipping, but makes for a great mixer. Bottles of George Dickel Tabasco are available nationwide.
Wild Turkey Revival
The third in Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell’s well-reviewed Master’s Keep line, Revival follows up the original Master’s Keep and Master’s Keep Decades (both of which scored above 90 on Whiskey Advocate), and further pushes the envelope. Revival’s bourbon is bottled after 12 to 15 years aging in two decade-old sherry barrels. Russell’s new bottle, which is available nationwide now, is a tribute to his father, who introduced Wild Turkey’s first sherry whiskey in the early 2000s. At 101, Revival sports a higher proof than others on this list, so sip it while smoking a cigar — this is not a pour and forget whiskey.
Barrel Whiskey Infinite Barrel Project
A play on the tradition of pouring the last few ounces of every whiskey into a bottle you’ve got stowed in the back of your liquor cabinet, Barrel Whiskey’s Infinite Barrel Project is a bit weird, which is precisely the point. Every bottling the brand has put forth for the Infinite Barrel Project has been different, and will become more and more so over time — the idea being there is something to be learned (and tasted) from aggressively blending whiskeys. The project is running at a clip of bottling once a month, and adding a new whiskey to the “infinite” barrels every time. The May 9th release is the most recent to date.
An impressive followup to a solid launch for a young American whiskey brand. Tincup’s 10 is two-thirds bourbon, one-third rye and a splash of malted barley aged 10 years in oak char #3 barrels. It’s then brought to proof with Colorado spring water. It’s richer and more memorable than the brand’s first release a few years back, and at 84 proof, it’s thoroughly drinkable — mixed or neat.