Distiller’s Friday Roundup – August 13, 2021By Amanda Schuster
August began rather quietly in the booze world, but here we are in the second week and Leo season is in full roar!
There’s lots of booze news to get to this week.
In American whiskey news alone, this week sees the debut of Freddie Noe of Jim Beam’s latest blending opus, Little Book Chapter 5 “The Invitation”. Meanwhile, Old Forester has released Warehouse K, the next bottling of the 117 series. Indeed all of the bourbon for the bottling come from barrels from that historically coveted warehouse. Barrell Bourbon Batch 30 has also been released, as well as a new Texas-grown single malt from Andalusia Whiskey Co. called Palo Duro. Plus there’s a Motörhead Bourbon now, and just how you like it, babies, of course it’s called Ace of Spades. We also learn more about Buffalo Trace’s latest expansion plans to fulfill bourbon demand.
But hey, it’s also National Rum Day next week! For the occasion, Mount Gay is offering a National Rum Day cocktail kit to make daiquiris and help protect the ocean. And there’s also more whiskey; Stranahan’s Caribbean Rum Cask is marking the occasion.
For dedicated tequila collectors, check out the deets on Código 1530 13-Year Añejo Tequila, if you have the dinero. But if you’re feeling less splurgy, there’s El Mayor Extra Añejo Sherry Cask Aged for you.
Baltimore Spirits Co. also has a new release in its Baltamaro series, Chamomile Bitter.
But first, we have details on the much-anticipated Parker’s Heritage Collection 11-Year-Old Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey. The 2021 release continues the heavy char series.
Grab a tasting glass and let’s get started!
Heaven Hill Distillery Announces Release of 2021 Parker’s Heritage Collection: Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey
Heaven Hill Distillery has announced the 2021 limited edition release of Parker’s Heritage Collection 11-Year-Old Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey. This is the 15th edition in the series, which is bottled at 61% ABV. The whiskey will be available in September at an SRP of $139.99.
This bottling continues the series of releases with liquid matured in barrels with a heavy char. It is composed of 75 barrels charred for one minute and 30 seconds (Level 5) — as opposed to the traditional 40 second char (Level 3) for Heaven Hill. The heavy-char wheat whiskey features a mash bill of 51% wheat, 37% corn and 12% malted barley. Furthermore, it was matured for 11 years on the sixth floor of Rickhouse Y. Notably, this release is the second time wheat whiskey has been featured in the Parker’s Heritage Collection. The first was 2014’s Original Batch Cask Strength.
In Honor of the Late, Great Parker Beam
“The Parker’s Heritage Collection is a testament to the distilling legacy at Heaven Hill Distillery and the detailed attention each step of the process receives,” said Susan Wahl, vice president of American whiskies at Heaven Hill. “We are excited to release the third mash bill in this heavy char series, showcasing the consistency of quality throughout our innovation pipeline. It is in tribute to Parker and his legacy that we continue to support ALS research and patient care with this collection.”
The series is named for late Heaven Hill Master Distiller Parker Beam, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also called ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2010. The past eight editions from 2013-2020 have raised more than one million dollars toward ALS research and patient care through donations through Heaven Hill for each bottle purchased. Indeed the 2021 Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey edition follows this tradition, with a portion of the proceeds from each bottle sold donated through Heaven Hill to the ALS Association.
New Whiskey Innovation from Freddie Noe – Little Book Chapter 5: “The Invitation”
Freddie Noe, 8th Generation Beam Distiller, has released the fifth chapter in the Little Book Whiskey series, “The Invitation.” According to the press release, the title is, “a prompt to fans of American whiskey to expand their palates, as well as a reflection on Noe’s experience blending and innovating chapters of Little Book over the last five years.”
“The Invitation” features a range of younger and older American whiskeys that each contribute different flavor profiles to the final blend:
– 2-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon
– 3-year-old malted 100% rye
– 5-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon
– 15-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon
“The Invitation” is bottled at 116.8 proof with an SRP of $124.99. Additionally, beginning August 25, Little Book Chapter 5, as well as a super limited few cases of Little Book Chapter 1 “The Easy,” will make up the debut products for a new direct-to-consumer quarterly membership program from the James B. Beam Distilling Company, called Barreled & Boxed, available in Kentucky and Washington D.C only at launch. Hopefully more to come!
Old Forester’s Next Release in the 117 Series Features a Blend of Barrels Aged Solely in Warehouse K
Old Forester Distilling Co. has announced the release of the second expression in the 117 Series, which is a blend of barrels from Warehouse K, which was originally constructed in 1953. It is a heat-cycled facility, and has long been used for Old Forester’s single barrel expressions.
The 117 Series is a limited-expression lineup created in Spring 2021, curated by Old Forester Master Taster Jackie Zykan.
“Warehouse K has gained a cult following among bourbon connoisseurs,” Zykan said. “This blend is a representation across multiple floors and locations within this warehouse, giving a more holistic example of the profile its barrels yield.”
Old Forester Warehouse K is bottled at 110 proof and has an SRP of $49.99. On the negative side, availability is limited. For those interested, it will be available in the retail shop at Old Forester Distilling Co., as well as in select Kentucky retailers.
Buffalo Trace Distillery Makes Headway on $1.2 Billion Expansion
Buffalo Trace Distillery is, uh, barreling along with its $1.2 billion expansion, which includes more barrel warehouses, construction of an additional still, additional fermenters, expanding the dry house operation, and much more over the past year.
Yet, according to the press release, despite these strides, it will still be a few years before its supplies can reach the demand of thirsty bourbon fans. But after all, good whiskey takes time!
“The bourbon category continues to grow at a rapid rate, and while we have been increasing production across our portfolio for the last several years, we are still catching up to consumer demand,” said Sara Saunders, vice president of marketing, Buffalo Trace Distillery.
One of the most important construction projects started in the past year involves repurposing the oldest aging barrel facility, Warehouse B, to a new dry house. Though it was built in 1884, Warehouse B has sat empty for two decades for quality control reasons because of its proximity to the cookers and fermenters. However, those conditions make it an ideal location for drying spent mash to sell to farmers for livestock feed and it allows the distillery to repurpose the building while maintaining its historic integrity and not allowing any whiskey byproduct to go to waste.
There are many other projects for the 246-year-old distillery in the works, including a new cooling system, wastewater treatment facility, new barrel aging warehouses, a new mill house and more.
“We’ve made great strides in our expansion so far, but we still have a long way to go in order to meet the needs of our fans,” said Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley. “We continue to take all the proper steps to ensure every barrel is of the highest quality as we increase supply.”
Buffalo Trace Distillery expansion /Photo Credit: Buffalo Trace
Código 1530 Unveils a Limited 13-Year Añejo Tequila Finished in French Cognac Casks
Código 1530 is releasing an exclusive and extremely limited 13-year-old añejo tequila. Significantly, only 350 bottles are in the release, making it one of the rarest tequilas on the scene.
The name itself (los códigos) refers to the code of standards surrounding the production of 100% agave tequila. According to the press release, Código 1530 only uses fully ripened agave, rock-filtered water and adds no other sugars, colors, flavorings or other additives.
Co-Founder/Co-CEO Federico “Fede” Vaughan says, “Our 13-year Añejo is in its own category. We are taking our already beautifully aged Extra Añejo, and finishing it in French Cognac casks for another 6 months, which gives it a truly unique and distinguished taste.”
The liquid comes in a cut crystal glass bottle and custom-made wooden box made using sustainably sourced local wood. It is bottled at 40% ABV with an SRP of $3,300 per bottle at select retail outlets.
El Mayor Tequila Debuts Limited-Edition Extra Añejo Sherry Cask Aged Expression
El Mayor Extra Añejo Sherry Cask Aged is a tequila aged 38 months in casks that once held (an unspecified style of) sherry.
“The sherry cask enhances the full-body extra añejo, producing a liquid that is beautifully complex and elegant,” said Graciela González, fourth-generation distiller and daughter of Rodolfo González, master distiller at Destiladora González Lux. “From the dried-fruit-and-spice nose to the smooth finish of vanilla and cooked agave, this is an outstanding tequila that is sure to please even the most discriminating of tastes.”
As with every release of El Mayor, this tequila is made with 100% estate-grown, blue agave from Jalisco, Mexico. The distillery says for this release, the agave is hand-selected and produced according to the “Jica Jima” process.
Approximately 5,000 bottles of El Mayor Extra Añejo Sherry Cask Aged will be available on an allocated basis. It has an SRP of $129.99 per 750 mL beginning in September.
Mount Gay Releases National Rum Day Cocktail Courier Kit In Time For National Rum Day
Celebrate National Rum Day and help protect the ocean while you do! Mount Gay Rum is releasing a limited-edition National Rum Day cocktail kit, featuring the ingredients for making Black Barrel Classic Daiquiris and other goodies — all to benefit oceanic conservation.
The extras include:
– An exclusive oceanic print by celebrated oceanic photographer Karim Iliya
– An exclusive Mount Gay x 4ocean red bracelet made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials, representing 1lb of trash removed from the ocean
– Reusable tumblers and straws to enjoy cocktails without additional waste
In its 300-year history, Mount Gay has had a deep connection to the ocean surrounding its home island of Barbados — its waters are even filtered and used to proof the rums. Protecting the ocean has long been a priority for the brand.
This year, Mount Gay announced a long term partnership with conservation company 4ocean. According to the press release, Mount Gay has aided in removing 20,000 pounds of plastic from the ocean (that amounts to 21.6 million straws!).
Mount Gay National Rum Day Cocktail Courier Kit /Photo Credit: Mount Gay
Tidbits From Around the Spirits World
Let’s take a quick look at what else is going on around the world this week…
Barrell Craft Spirits Releases Barrell Bourbon Batch 30
The latest release from these American independent bottlers is a blend of straight bourbons. Initially, 5-year-old barrels from Indiana were mingled with 10-year-old high rye bourbon from Tennessee, along with 6, 9, 11 and 15-year-old bourbons. Added to this were wheated bourbons from Kentucky and Wyoming.
The blend was bottled in Kentucky at 117.32 proof, with an SRP of $90.
Stranahan’s To Release Caribbean Rum Cask Single Malt for National Rum Day
This rum-cask-finished single malt is part of what Stranahan’s says it’s planning as a series of distillery exclusives.
The bottling is made with 100% malted barley whiskeys aged for 5 and 9 years in virgin American oak (#3 char). Then it’s finished in Caribbean rum casks for up to 3 years. It is cut to proof with Rocky Mountain spring water from Eldorado Springs and chill filtered.
Stranahan’s Caribbean Rum Cask is bottled at 45% ABV and will only be available at the Denver, Colorado distillery for $69.99 per 750 mL bottle.
Andalusia Whiskey Co. Releases Palo Duro Whiskey
Andalusia Whiskey Co. is releasing its first whiskey made with Texas-grown barley from the Texas High Plains. The barley is malted by TexMalt in Fort Worth where it is smoked with peachwood from Blanco-based Pink Tractor Farms. It was mashed and distilled in 2018, then aged 3 years in new #4 char American oak barrels. The whiskey is bottled at 100 proof and sold for an SRP of $65 per 750 mL.
Palo Duro Texas Single Malt Whiskey is being planned as an annual release made with 100% Texas-grown and malted barley. Each subsequent annual release will showcase a different Texas malster and whiskey style.
Motörhead Releases Ace of Spades Straight Bourbon Whiskey In Collaboration With Brew Pipeline, Proof Artisan Distillers and Global Merchandising Services
Brew Pipeline announced the launch of Motörhead Ace of Spades Bourbon in collaboration with surviving members of British metal band Motörhead.
Brew Pipeline is now accepting orders for the high rye bourbon, which will be available across the U.S. in September. The SRP for Ace of Spades Bourbon is around $45 for a 750 ml bottle. It is bottled at 45% ABV.
The Motörhead-approved bourbon is produced and bottled at Proof Artisan Distillers in Fargo, ND. Matured four years in charred oak barrels, the bourbon is made from 60% corn, 36% rye and 4% barley.
The bourbon follows last fall’s successful Motörhead Röad Crew, an American pale ale released by Brew Pipeline last fall. According to the press release, “band members Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell contributed to the development of the bourbon’s flavor profile with frequent tastings throughout the process.” The bourbon is named for the explosive hit album of the same name. Furthermore, the bottle features artwork from the album cover along with signatures from the late Lemmy Kilmister, as well as Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee.
Brew Pipeline says Motörhead Bourbon is planned for year-round distribution.
Baltimore Spirits Company Releases New Addition to Baltamaro Line
Baltimore Spirits Company (BSC) announced the release of Baltamaro Volume 4: Chamomile Bitter. It will be officially released Friday, August 13th at noon in the newly-opened
distillery cocktail bar and tasting room in Medfield’s Union Collective.
This addition to the Baltamaro series is the first to be added since it was first introduced in 2017. Volume 4 is macerated with 18 different botanicals, including long pepper,
chamomile, grapefruit, and gentian root, in the bitter aperitif style. It gets a rosy hue from carmine powder from cochineal insect shells, a classic ingredient in making bitters and amaros.
Baltamaro Volume 4 (60 proof, 30% ABV) will be available starting this Friday at the BSC distillery for $29.99. Then it will be released for wider distribution in the coming weeks.
Ready to grab a bottle of Parker’s Heritage Heavy Char Wheat Whiskey?
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