Distiller’s Friday Roundup – April 17th, 2020By Mikael Mossberg
This week brought news of some exciting new releases as well as peeks at some upcoming releases that haven’t been announced yet. First up, Buffalo Trace announced three brand new certified Kosher whiskeys. Buffalo Trace Kosher Straight Rye along with wheat and rye recipe bourbons are hitting shelves right after the end of Passover. Then, Knob Creek is bringing back its 9 Year Small Batch Bourbon and introducing a 12 year to its permanent lineup. Next, New Riff has launched Backsetter Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys. Bardstown Bourbon Co. and Virginia Distillery Co. both have limited-edition whiskeys on the way. Finally, check out some sneak peeks we got on some exciting upcoming releases.
Buffalo Trace Announces Three New Kosher Whiskey Releases
This week Buffalo Trace announced the release of what it claims is the first-ever Kosher whiskey. Back in 2010, Buffalo Trace began working with Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc-Kosher) to develop the products. In 2012 they purchased new American oak Kosher barrels with guidance from cRc and filled with whiskey.
In early 2020, when the barrels were ready to be emptied, the bottling lines at Buffalo Trace were flushed completely to ensure that the whiskey was not contaminated by other non-Kosher spirits.
Kosher law dictates that whiskey can’t be owned or consumed by Jews during Passover, so these products will go on sale after Passover ends on April 16th.
The three whiskeys in the lineup are:
Each whiskey is bottled at 47% ABV and has a suggested price of $39.99. This annual release is limited-edition and will sell through wholesalers and specialty retailers.
Knob Creek Brings Back 9 Year Small Batch Bourbon And Adds 12 Year To Permanent Lineup
In a world where age statements are disappearing at a breakneck speed, Knob Creek this week announced some welcome news. First, the brand is bringing back the 9 year age statement to Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon. Up until 2016 this bourbon held a 9 year age statement, and now after nearly four years away, it’s back to replace the NAS version. Knob Creek 9 Year Small Batch Bourbon will start hitting shelves in late April 2020. It is bottled at 50% ABV and has a $29.99 suggested price tag.
Then, the brand also announced that after a limited run in late 2019, it is adding Knob Creek 12 Year Small Batch Bourbon to its permanent lineup starting in April 2020. This release is also bottled at 50% ABV and has a $59.99 suggested price per 750ml bottle.
New Riff Introduces Backsetter Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys
Backsetter is a new limited release for New Riff. For these whiskeys, backset—a portion leftover from a previously distilled whiskey mash—is added to the mash bill. In this case, the backset used peated malted barley. Otherwise, the distillery uses its standard mash bill for its whiskeys. For New Riff Backsetter Peated Backset Bourbon, 65% corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley is used. And for New Riff Backsetter Peated Backset Rye, the mash bill is 95% rye and 5% malted rye.
Like the rest of the whiskey releases from New Riff (except the single barrel releases which are bottled at barrel proof), these two whiskeys are bottled in bond. Also, they are bottled at 100 proof without chill filtration. Limited availability begins May 2020 with an SRP of $49.99 each.
Bardstown Bourbon Co. Releases Armagnac Cask-Finished Whiskey
The latest limited-edition release from Bardstown Bourbon Co. as part of its Collaborative Series is a whiskey finished in Armagnac casks. Bardstown partnered with French Armagnac house Château de Laubade to create this release. The whiskey began as 12 year old bourbon from Indiana, then finished for 18 months in the Gascon oak Armagnac barrels.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Château de Laubade is bottled at 59.2% ABV and has a suggested price of $124.99 per 750ml bottle. It will be available for sale starting on May 1st, 2020.
Virginia Distillery Co. Launches American Single Malt Named After Late Founder
Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction Dr. George G. Moore Batch is the latest release from Virginia Distillery Co., and the first batch in the Courage & Conviction series. This American Single Malt is named after the brand’s late founder, who passed away in 2013. It was distilled in 2016 from 100% malted barley and filled into 37 separate casks. Out of those, 21 of the casks were ex-bourbon, 10 were red wine “cuvée” casks and 6 were different ex-sherry casks.
This batch aged for 3 years and produced 9,600 bottles. This release is available starting in April 2020 and is bottled at 46% ABV. It carries a $75 suggested price.
The Glenlivet Launches Mysterious Spectra Whisky Set & New NAS Single Malt
The Glenlivet Spectra is a new limited-edition release comprised of three 200ml single malt Scotch whiskies. No age or cask information is provided in this set, which also comes with an immersive digital experience. Spectra is a follow up to The Glenlivet’s previous mystery releases, Alpha, Cipher, Code and Enigma.
The Glenlivet says it plans to release full cask information later in 2020. If you’re interested in purchasing this set, it will be available later in April 2020 from Master of Malt for a suggested price of £105 (~$141).
The brand also announced a new NAS single malt called The Glenlivet Caribbean Reserve. This single malt finished in ex-Caribbean rum casks and is bottled at 40% ABV. It is available nationwide as of April 2020 with a suggested price of $34.99.
New Releases On The Horizon
We try to keep an eye on all of the label approvals that go through the TTB (The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) so we know which releases to look out for. Here are a few of the most interesting looking approval submissions we’ll likely see in the not-too-distant future.
Blue Spot Cask Strength Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey 7 Year
You’ve heard of Green Spot, Yellow Spot and Red Spot. Now it’s time for Blue Spot.
What we know: Blue Spot 7 Year Cask Strength Single Pot Still is a non-chill filtered cask strength Irish whiskey aged for 7 years. It is bottled at 59.2% ABV and spent at least 7 years in ex bourbon barrels, sherry butts and madeira casks.
Maker’s Mark 101
While Maker’s Mark has produced a 101 version previously, first as a distillery-only release, then as a 1L global retail release, it appears that this version is for wider release.
What we know: This is Maker’s Mark’s standard wheated bourbon, just bottled at 50.5% ABV. While the previous release of this bourbon came in a 1L bottled and was only available in travel retail, this will come in a 750ml bottle and appears to be a limited release intended for sale around the country.
TTB approval submissions
Muckety-Muck Single Grain 24 Year
Muckety-Muck Single Grain 24 Year appears to be the latest release in Diageo’s Orphan Barrel program.
What we know: This is a Single Grain Scotch Whisky aged for 24 years from the Port Dundas Distillery in Edinburgh. This is the first single grain scotch in the Orphan Barrel series. It is bottled at 45% ABV.
Stranahan’s Blue Peak
A new release from Colorado-based Stranahan’s, this whiskey is named after a mountain outside of Aspen.
What we know: Stranahan’s Blue Peak is an American Single Malt and is bottled at 43% ABV.
Passover has ended. Time to hunt down Buffalo Trace Kosher Straight Rye!
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