Distiller’s Friday Roundup – August 27, 2021By Amanda Schuster
Despite persistent heat and humidity, some might be lamenting that we’ve reached the final days of summer. However, there are going to be so many interesting new spirits to try this fall — especially if this week alone is any indication.
There’s a ton of whiskey news. Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole Distillery continues to explore the possibilities of American whiskey with the latest Raceking Founders Collection, featuring chocolate malt grains.
In Scotch whisky news, Ardbeg has announced the third Ardbeg 19 Years Old Traigh Bahn. Meanwhile, Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 2 is on the horizon, as well as 2 expressions from Tullibardine — Tullibardine Artisan and Tullibardine 12 Year — exclusively for the US Market.
Back to Kentucky, Bardstown Bourbon Co.’s fall releases—Fusion Series #6, Discovery Series #6, and Collaborative Series with Cognac Ferrand—are coming up. And if you’re frustrated by the limited availability of some of the Beam releases, you might want to look into the James B. Beam Distilling Co. Barrel & Boxed program.
Are you a tennis fan? Well, get set for year 15 of the Grey Goose Honey Deuce U.S. Open cocktail, now available as a make-at-home kit!
Speaking of home (or on-the-go) imbibing, Novo Fogo Brazilian Old Fashioned RTD, the first made with its aged Chameleon cachaça, is out.
Plus, if you are a Plantation Rum fan/collector, there’s a new Plantation Birds of Paradise Collection, with SIX vintage dated releases with rums from around the world. More on that here.
But first, we have the details on Jack Daniel’s 10 Year Tennessee Whiskey, which is the brand’s first age statement whiskey release since before Prohibition.
Polish those sipping glasses and read on!
Jack Daniel’s 10 Year Tennessee Whiskey Launches; First Age-Stated Whiskey In Over 100 Years
The Jack Daniel Distillery has announced the release of Jack Daniel’s 10 Year Tennessee Whiskey, the brand’s first aged-stated whiskey in more than 100 years. According to the press release, this is a limited-edition product which will become an annual release. It is intended as a way to present modern whiskey-making at the Jack Daniel Distillery while paying tribute to the brand’s past.
“Over the last decade, we’ve been experimenting to craft a product that would properly honor the whiskey Jack Daniel was bottling at the end of the 1800s,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Chris Fletcher. “All of us at the Jack Daniel Distillery are thrilled to release an age-stated whiskey for the first time in over 100 years to be enjoyed by all. This product has been hand-crafted by our distillery team in Lynchburg over the last 10 summers all while keeping up with the growing demand for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey around the world. This 10-year-old whiskey celebrates our modern-day whiskey making, while also paying tribute to our founder and history, and is a special time for us all.”
To make Jack Daniel’s 10 Year, Fletcher matured Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey in oak barrels that were relocated throughout the barrelhouse to extend the aging process over 10 years’ time. Moreover, it is bottled at 97 proof, which is a first for the Jack Daniel Distillery.
Jack Daniel’s 10 Year Tennessee Whiskey retails for $70 and will begin to hit shelves in limited quantities in early September across the US.
Rabbit Hole to Premiere Raceking Founder’s Collection, Exploring the Art of Malting
Kaveh Zamanian, founder and whiskey maker of Rabbit Hole, has announced the new Raceking Founder’s Collection — a five-grain, double-chocolate malt bourbon. Raceking is the third expression of the Rabbit Hole Founder’s Collection series. Its mash bill consists of 70% corn, 13% rye, 10% malted rye, 4% chocolate malted wheat and 3% chocolate malted barley.
Raceking was named in honor of revered Kentucky horse racing traditions. Additionally, the name is a nod to Rabbit Hole’s continuing commitment to innovation in American whiskey.
With its unique mash bill, Raceking explores the impact of malting on whiskey flavor profiles. Through proprietary malting processes, a chocolate wheat from Germany and a chocolate barley from the UK were used to create the essence of chocolate. In keeping with the previous Founder’s Collection releases, Raceking is bottled at cask strength, in this instance, 109.2 proof/54.6% ABV.
Why “Raceking” and Why Chocolate Malt?
The genesis of Raceking came as Kaveh expanded his exploration of grains and their impact on flavor. According to the press release, for him, it became a matter of “translation.”
Kaveh said, “Malting, like whiskey, is a part art, part science. Each malting house has standard techniques, along with individual master maltsters who bring their own creativity to the process. I tasted the chocolate grains from two malting houses, was impressed by the flavors, and immediately knew I wanted to translate those unique qualities to our whiskey. Of course, there’s always an element of uncertainty but the potential reward is worth the risk. So we made the whiskey, laid down barrels, and waited to see how it turned out I have to say four years later, it is a truly unique and simply outstanding expression. I’m especially proud with Raceking because it represents our passion for creativity and innovation, and our commitment to redefining the standard of American whiskey.”
“Ultimately, I hope that Raceking, like our other whiskies, invokes curiosity and sparks conversation about what whiskey is and what it can be,” said Kaveh.
Rabbit Hole Raceking Founder’s Collection will be available beginning in September, and is limited to 1,365 sequentially-numbered bottles for a suggested retail price of $295 per bottle.
Ardbeg 19 Year Traigh Bhan Emerges From Lockdown… And Into the Light
This September, Ardbeg will launch the third batch of its permanent 19-year-old expression, Ardbeg Traigh Bhan (pronounced TRI VAN). Always produced in small batches and released once annually, this dram draws its inspiration from Islay’s Traigh Bhan beach, known as “the Singing Sands”.
Batch 3 follows in keeping with previous batches, but with slight changes to the cask selection, with the intent to release a spicier dram.
What also makes Ardbeg 19 Years Old Batch 3 different, of course, was that it was bottled in the midst of a global lockdown. It spent longer behind closed doors in the dark warehouse, but now it’s ready to come into the light of day, bottled at 46.2% ABV.
According to the press release, each batch has its own unique code, batch symbol and signature from a famous member of the team. This year it’s Dr. Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation. He said: “It’s an honor to put my name to this whisky. It’s an exciting evolution on previous batches, bottled in exceptional circumstances. This is a part of Ardbeg’s history.”
“To mark the release of Batch 3, I’ll be hosting an exclusive online tasting for Committee Members on 30th September, as part of our Ardbeg General Meeting (AGM),” says Colin Gordon, Ardbeg’s distillery manager. “After spending so long behind locked doors, I can’t wait to dive into Traigh Bhan and shed some light on the finer details of this exceptional dram…”
Highland Park Announces Cask Strength Release No.2
Though it was announced globally late last week, Highland Park Cask Strength Release No.2 will officially be rolling out in the US market at the end of October to early November. This will be the second in the series in the Orkney-based distillery’s cask strength range.
The series is the brainchild of Highland Park Masker Whisky Maker Gordon Motion, and, according to the press release, is designed to encourage exploration of flavor.
“Cask Strength Release No. 2 celebrates the harmonious balance of tastes in the classic Highland Park style,” says Motion. “I want to give everyone who loves Highland Park the chance to experience our single malt whisky in its purest form, its full flavor allows you to discover the taste and strength that appeals to your palate by adding ice or water according to your preference.”
Expect More From the Cask Strength Series
The cask strength series will be a permanent extension of the Highland Park core range. Each batch features different flavor profiles according to cask characteristics.
Highland Park Cask Strength Release No.2 has been matured predominantly in sherry-seasoned European and American oak casks as well as a small quantity of ex-bourbon casks.
The whisky is bottled at 63.9% ABV and will be available to purchase from specialist whisky retailers, and from the Highland Park online shop and distillery for a suggested price of $90.
Two New Tullibardine Single Malt Releases Will Be Exclusive To the U.S. Market
Tullibardine and Prestige Beverage Group have announced the release of two new single malt Scotch whiskies that were created exclusively for the United States market — Tullibardine Artisan and Tullibardine 12 Year.
“We are delighted to introduce these exclusive single malt expressions to the United States, that reflect the outstanding quality and craftsmanship of our whiskies,” said Michael Elliott, general manager at Tullibardine Distillery.
Tullibardine Artisan is matured entirely in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at 40% ABV.
According to the press release, Tullibardine 12 Year will be the “signature single malt for the U.S. market.” It was matured in first-fill ex-bourbon casks for a minimum of 12 years. It is also bottled at 40% ABV.
The 750 mL bottles are rolling out now with an SRP of $29.99 for the Artisan and $44.99 for the 12 Year. They will be available in select markets in the US.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Fall Releases to Debut in September
Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBCo.) has announced the Fusion Series #6 and Discovery Series #6 bourbon releases, as well as a bourbon aged in cognac barrels from France’s Maison Ferrand. In addition, it also announced a bourbon finished in experimental barrel staves from its Loretto, KY neighbor, Independent Stave Co.
Fusion Series #6
BBCo.’s Fusion Series is a bourbon collection that blends Bardstown’s estate-made bourbons with sourced, double-digit aged Kentucky bourbon.
The sixth edition is a blend of three Kentucky straight bourbons aged between three and eleven years, including two BBCo. 3 Year bourbons — each with different mash bills, and 30% of an 11-year sourced bourbon.
Fusion Series #6 is bottled at 97.9 proof with an SRP of $59.99 /750mL.
Discovery Series #6
BBCo.’s Discovery Series blends old and rare bourbons with the idea that it brings drinkers on a flavor journey to discover a new tasting note in each sip.
The sixth release blends three straight bourbons, including 68% 11-year from Kentucky, 16% 17-year bourbon from Tennessee, and 16% 7-year from Indiana.
Only 5,000 cases are in this release and will be sold on allocation.
Discovery Series #6 is bottled at 111.1 proof with an SRP of $129.99/750mL.
Collaborative Series with Ferrand Cognac
The latest in BBCo’s Collaborative Series is a blend of 7 and 11-year-old Kentucky bourbons aged in Maison Ferrand Cognac barrels for eight months.
Collaborative Series Ferrand is bottled at 110 proof with an SRP of $124.99 /750mL.
The James B. Beam Distilling Co. Introduces Barreled & Boxed: A Special Direct-To-Consumer Whiskey Membership
The James B. Beam Distilling Co. (a.k.a. Jim Beam) is introducing Barreled & Boxed, a new membership program that will deliver some of the distilling company’s harder-to-find-in-the-wild releases straight to the doorsteps of consumers in select states. This is the first program of its kind from the distiller, and each seasonal Barreled & Boxed shipment will include two unique bottles ranging from the best of super premium whiskey to limited-time-only releases, and some even never before bottled.
“For generations, our family has enjoyed inviting friends to our home and gathering around the kitchen table to taste the finest whiskies,” said 8th Generation Beam Distiller Freddie Noe. “Today, we like to think of Barreled & Boxed as a modern day version of this Beam family tradition, allowing us to share the best of our distillery directly with our friends and family — from our home to yours.”
Barreled & Boxed #1 /Photo Credit: Beam
KY and DC Whiskey Lovers, Get Ready! (While The Rest of Us Wait A Little Longer)
Starting Wednesday, August 25 at 10am ET, whiskey fans aged 21 years and older can sign up to reserve an exclusive membership to begin receiving quarterly Barreled & Boxed direct-to-consumer shipments. Barreled & Boxed will be launched in very limited quantities, with memberships available to 500 fans in eligible zip codes within Kentucky and Washington D.C.
But don’t worry, expansion of the program is planned for 2022 and in years to come.
Every three months, members will receive two unique whiskeys from the James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s portfolio of special and new-to-market releases. The inaugural Barreled & Boxed experience, which members will receive in September, will include Little Book Chapter 5: The Invitation, as well as some of the very last bottles of Little Book Chapter 1: The Easy, which was originally launched in 2017.
Memberships also include “behind-the-barrel” insights into the featured whiskeys, access to live tastings with Freddie Noe and other serious members-only perks.
For more information about the James B. Beam Distilling Co. and the Barreled & Boxed program, please visit the website here.
Chairman’s Reserve Rum Launches Vintage 2009
Spiribam, known for its Saint Lucian and Martinique premium rums, has announced the stateside arrival of Chairman’s Reserve Vintage 2009 rum. The 2009 vintage is the follow up to the brand’s 2005 vintage rum. Vintage-declared rums are considered rarities from brands, like Chairman’s Reserve, which prides itself on blends. The 2009 vintage is made from pot-distilled and column-distilled rums produced by St. Lucia Distillers in 2009 that were aged individually in their own casks, then blended together in 2021.
“The Chairman’s Reserve portfolio continues to evolve showcasing the fruits from its visionary founder, Laurie Barnard,” exclaimed Ben Jones, Spiribam’s director of North America. “To see the maturity of this brand’s providence with this new limited-edition release of a vintage single blended rum is remarkable and a very welcome addition to what has already been a very exciting development period for Chairman’s Reserve.”
Chairman’s Reserve Vintage 2009 is bottled at 46% ABV and will be available across the U.S. for $69.99.
Celebrate the US Open with its Iconic Signature Cocktail, the Honey Deuce
Tennis fans have flocked to Queens, NY to watch the US Open tennis tournament for over 100 years. The event had to take place without spectators last year due to COVID-19, but this summer, fans are headed back to Arthur Ashe stadium. And while they’re cheering from the stands, many are doing so with the tournament’s signature Honey Deuce cocktail made with Grey Goose Vodka in hand.
This year, the Honey Deuce is celebrating its 15th anniversary as the official cocktail of the tournament, counting more than 1 million cocktails sold amid thousands of grand slams, surprise wins and all-star players that have been commemorated with a toast! The drink is named after an equal 40/40 score and is made with Grey Goose, fresh lemonade and raspberry liqueur, topped with tennis-symbolic honeydew melon balls.
If you’re unable to make it to the stadium this year, bring that courtside feeling home with a DIY Honey Deuce, now available as a 4-cocktail kit for $39.99 here, or using this recipe:
Honey Deuce Cocktail Recipe
– 1.25 oz Grey Goose Vodka
– 3.0 oz fresh lemonade
– 0.5 oz raspberry liqueur such as Chambord
Garnish: frozen honeydew melon ball skewer
Chill the Collins Glass by placing it in a refrigerator/freezer for a few minutes or by filling it with ice water for 5 minutes and discarding. Fill the chilled glass with ice. Add each measured ingredient, starting with the Grey Goose. Garnish with a skewer of one or multiple frozen honeydew melon balls (from an already-frozen, halved honeydew melon).
Novo Fogo Introduces RTD Cocktail Made With Barrel-Aged Cachaça
Novo Fogo Cachaça has announced the release of its first aged-cachaça-based canned cocktail. The new Brazilian Old Fashioned Highball is composed of Novo Fogo Chameleon cachaça (aged one year), vanilla syrup, orange and aromatic bitters, and is lengthened with water and then carbonated. Think of it as a tropical highball!
The Brazilian Old Fashioned Highball RTD cocktails are canned at 9% ABV. According to the press release, the cocktail is served in 200ml cans at a higher alcohol content for an RTD in keeping with an Old Fashioned style cocktail profile. They are available nationwide and online at an SRP of $2.99 per 200ml can and $11.99 for a four-pack.
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