There are your everyday sippers, then there are the bottles you keep under lock-and-key. These four whiskeys, all released in the last few months, are in the latter group. From a $53,000 whisky courtesy of The Macallan to the first super-premium bottle by an indie bourbon outlet, these are some of the most interesting new bottles to seek out right now.
Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon
Price: $250 SRP
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, rose jam, lychee, Maraschino liqueur and calvados, watermelon, Pink Lady apples, paraffin, candied chili pepper
Last year’s Infinite Barrell Project was one of our favorite new bottles of 2018. Right before year’s end, Barrell Craft Spirits released a 15-year-old bourbon with whiskeys aged and distilled in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. It’s one of three new expressions, bottled at cask strength as the brand’s first super-premium offering.
Old Charter Mongolia Oak
Price: $70 SRP
Tasting Notes: Cedar, clove, butterscotch, dark chocolate, black pepper and smoked oak
Old Charter Oak is Halen Wheatley’s science project. Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery, Wheatley is using the brand as a means to test the power of oak wood in the bourbon-making process. Starting with bourbon made in oak sourced from Mongolia, each subsequent release of Old Charter will be aged in oak of a different sort. Buffalo Trace says to expect a few releases a year with fairly limited distribution and bottle counts, which means that if you actually see a bottle at its $70 SRP, buy it immediately.
Booker’s 30th Anniversary Bourbon
Price: $126 SRP
Tasting Notes: Vanilla and oak (lighter than most Booker’s releases)
Booker’s Bourbon is Jim Beam Distillery’s high-proof bourbon of note. Usually, Booker’s abides by a quarterly release schedule (called “batches”), but not when there are anniversaries to celebrate. Thirty of years have passed since Booker Noe unleashed the the first bottle of Booker’s on the world (and kickstarted the premium bourbon revolution). This bottling, made from barrells handpicked by Booker’s son, Fred, is a bit more limited than the usual run of Booker’s.
The Macallan 52-Years-Old
Price: $53,500 SRP
Tasting Notes: Fruit, dark chocolate, peat smoke, cinnamon, ginger, wood spices, sweet oak, cherry, blackcurrant
The Macallan’s latest Scotch whisky makes the other bottles on this list seem like everyday finds. Barrelled in Spanish sherry casks for a whopping 52 years, this expression will find its way to 250 bottles (42 of which will come to the US). Bottles are going for the price of a fleet of Eames Lounge Chairs; put another way, each shot is worth roughly $3,000.
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