We have arrived at the last Friday in January…which also happens to be Robert Burns’ birthday. With a weekend free from the NFL playoffs, you’ll have plenty of time to recite poetry whilst drinking drams of scotch. But perhaps you don’t like the taste of whisky—we don’t understand that feeling, but it could happen. Scotland also makes some fine gins, including some classic brands and plenty of newcomers. If gin isn’t your cup of tea, then Scottish vodka may be more up your alley. Or have a glass of Drambuie and be done with it.
Moving onto the whiskey news for the week, Michter’s new distillery in Kentucky is opening up right across the street from Louisville Slugger Museum. Also, Buffalo Trace is bringing a 136-year-old fermenter back to life. While you’re visiting Kentucky, swing by Woodford Reserve for the latest Distillery Series release. And if you’re in the ultra-old and rare market, Gordon & Macphail has a little something for you from the Speyside.
One more thing to note: word on the street is that a certain Highland scotch distillery has a new product in the works. Keep posted to our social media channels as we make the announcement next week with a review to follow shortly thereafter.
Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery Opening Next Week
A grand celebration is planned next week as Michter’s opens up the newly renovated Fort Nelson Distillery in Louisville. First built in 1890, Michter’s purchased the building in 2012 and saved the historic site through extensive work.
Inside Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery / Photo Credit: Michter’s
“It’s only fitting that a once abandoned, great American brand found its home in a once abandoned, great American building,” says Michter’s President Joseph J. Magliocco. “The Fort Nelson Building is an architectural gem, and our team is so fortunate to have had the opportunity to bring it back to life and make it a special place for everyone to visit.”
Fort Nelson Distillery will include tours, tastings and a gift shop. Whiskey production will take place on a pot still and cypress wood fermenter system, brought in from Michter’s historic Pennsylvania Distillery. Additionally, the distillery will house a bar on the second floor. Tours begin on February 2, 2019. The Fort Nelson Distillery joins Michter’s Shively distillery, the brand’s 78,000 square foot production and bottling facility also in Louisville.
1883 FERMENTER FILLED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 100 YEARS AT BUFFALO TRACE
Back in 2016, Buffalo Trace began work on the O.F.C. Building with plans to turn it into an event space. Instead, Col. E.H. Taylor, Jr.’s intact fermenting vats, dating to 1883, were uncovered. As a result, Buffalo Trace stopped its plans and now the space is famously referred to by the nickname “Bourbon Pompeii”.
The discovered fermenter was recently lined with bricks that were uncovered in the excavation (cleaned, of course). Additionally, it has been relined with copper. On January 10, 2019 it was filled with mash for the first time in 100 years. Buffalo Trace plans to make Old Fashioned Sour Mash just as Taylor did 150 years ago.
FIRST WOODFORD RESERVE DISTILLERY SERIES BOTTLING FOR 2019 ANNOUNCED
This Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked is the first Distillery Series bottling for 2019. The original bottling debuted in 2015 and has since inspired re-releases. The bottling begins with standard Woodford Reserve Bourbon, which itself is aged in new, charred oak barrels. Then the bourbon is finished in heavily-toasted and lightly charred barrels for two years. In comparison, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked ages for just one year in the finishing barrels.
Bottled in late 2018 in 375ml sized bottles, this comes in at 90.4 proof and is sold exclusively at Woodford Reserve Distillery. ($49.99)
Oldest Glen Grant Bottling Released to Date
This bottling of Glen Grant was distilled in 1948. It was placed into a first-fill sherry butt on the 11th of June that year. After aging for 70 years, it was bottled in 2018 at a cask strength of 48.6% ABV. This marks the oldest expression ever bottled for Glen Grant Distillery to date.
The Private Collection from independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail is a series of greatly aged single malts from celebrated, little known or closed distilleries selected by members of the Urquhart family. This Glen Grant has had four generations of the family overseeing the cask. Only 210 decanters were produced with worldwide availability. (£17500/~$23000)