Distiller’s Friday Roundup – July 12th, 2019

July 12, 2019

If last week was light on new release news due to the 4th of July, this week was the opposite. First, Johnnie Walker is back with a new Ghost and Rare bottle. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal hits shelves later this year. Next, Buffalo Trace shared news of a new Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. release. We received word of a new celebrity spirit brand, because we all know there just aren’t enough of those out there. Finally we’ve got new tequila, rums and even travel retail Irish whiskeys. What a week!

Jim Beam Spill Kills Huge Number Of Fish On Way To Ohio River

Last Tuesday, July 2nd, one of Jim Beam’s warehouses in Versailles, KY caught fire and roughly 45,000 barrels of new bourbon were lost. Not all of it was destroyed in the fire, however. A substantial amount of the bourbon made its way into Glenns Creek where it has begun traveling downstream. It first made its way to the Kentucky River where significant amounts of fish have died and washed up along the banks. The “alcohol plume” is roughly 23 miles in length, and as of Monday morning has reached the Ohio River. The belief is that once the plume is fully within the Ohio River it will dissipate quickly.

The Jim Beam “alcohol plume” makes its way down the river / Photo Credit: Local 12

Officials are attempting to assess wildlife impacts and fish kill counts, but believe that it could take days to get an accurate estimate of how many fish have died as a result of the spill. The cleanup is expected to take weeks, as authorities also attempt to oxygenate the water to save the remaining fish.

“This is a significant fish kill. It’s something that we wish never happened, but everyone is dealing the best they can,” said John Mura, with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

Johnnie Walker Announces Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal

The third in the limited edition series known as Ghost and Rare is Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal. The Ghost and Rare series uses whiskies from shuttered distilleries as part of its blends. For this release, Johnnie Walker used whisky from Glenury Royal, which closed in 1985.

The distillery was founded in 1825 by Captain Robert Barclay, a Member of the British Parliament. Over time it became one of only three Scottish distilleries to receive a royal title.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal / Photo Credit: Diageo

In addition to the whisky from Glenury Royal, Johnnie Walker Master Blender Jim Beveridge also used rare whiskies from closed distilleries Cambus and Pittyvaich. Whiskies from Glen Elgin, Inchgower, Glenlossie, Cameronbridge and Glenkinchie are also part of the blend.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal is bottled at 43.8% ABV and is available globally starting in October 2019. It has a suggested retail price of $310 per hand-numbered 700ml bottle.

Buffalo Trace Debuts Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Amaranth Bourbon Bottled In Bond

Bringing the Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. collection from Buffalo Trace to an even 10 is Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Amaranth Bourbon Bottled In Bond. This bonded bourbon uses Amaranth instead of rye as the flavoring grain in addition to corn and malted barley. Amaranth was considered sacred by the Aztec people and was known as the “grain of the Gods.”

Like many of the previous Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. releases, Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Amaranth Bourbon Bottled In Bond is a one-time bottling and is very limited. It is bottled at 50% ABV and has a suggested retail price of $69.99 per 750ml bottle. Availability is expected to begin in late July 2019.

Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Amaranth Bourbon Bottled In Bond

Breaking Bad Stars Announce Dos Hombres Mezcal

After several weeks of posting teasers on social media Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, the stars of AMC’s Breaking Bad, announced a new mezcal collaboration. Named Dos Hombres Espadin Mezcal, it is sourced from San Luis del Rio in Oaxaca. The mezcal uses Espadin agave, the most commonly used agave in mezcal production.

Details about the mezcal production are limited, but the brand claims to use traditional methods including cooking the agave in an earthen pit and using a tahona to crush the cooked agaves. It is bottled at 42% ABV and has a price of $58 per bottle.

Breaking Bad was well known for showcasing various spirits brands including Dimple Pinch and Whistle Pig.

Bryan Cranston (L) and Aaron Paul (R): Co-founders of Dos Hombres Mezcal

Laws Whiskey House Releasing Bonded Wheat Whiskey

Colorado distillery Laws Whiskey House announced their newest whiskey this week. Laws Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey Bottled in Bond is made with 100% Colorado-grown soft white Centennial Spring Wheat. The brand claims it is the first ever bonded wheat whiskey released in the United States. This is the fifth bonded whiskey that Laws has produced, after Four Grain Straight Bourbon, Secale Straight Rye, Straight Corn Whiskey and Two Grain Straight Bourbon.

This single grain whiskey will only be available at the Laws Whiskey House tasting room in Denver, CO and at various liquor stores across Colorado. While the brand hasn’t released the total number of bottles created, supplies are definitely limited. It is bottled at 50% ABV.

Laws Whiskey House Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey Bonded / Photo Credit: Laws Whiskey House

Don Julio Introduces New Double Cask Tequila

Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Lagavulin Finish is the second limited-edition release in their Double Cask series. It follows Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Buchanan’s Finish which debuted in summer of 2018. Don Julio master distiller Enrique de Colsa worked directly with Lagavulin distillery manager Colin Gordon to create this release. It takes Don Julio Reposado Tequila, then finishes it in casks that previously held Lagavulin Scotch whisky.

Master distiller Enrique de Colsa commented, “Working in collaboration with Colin Gordon at the Lagavulin Distillery allowed me to perfect this variant, using our expertise to ensure that both spirits authentically complemented each other and balanced the core flavor of Tequila Don Julio as well as the signature flavor of Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky. After two years of working on this variant, I’m proud to introduce it to the U.S. as a limited-edition variant.”

This limited-edition tequila will hit shelves in summer of 2019. It is bottled at 40% ABV and has a suggested price of $64.99.

Don Julio Reposado Double Cask Lagavulin Finish

Ten to One Caribbean Rums Debut in United States

Launching in New York in summer of 2019 is a new rum brand called Ten to One. This Caribbean rum brand was founded by Marc Farrell, who was born and raised in Trinidad. The range is made up of two rums: a silver rum and a dark rum. The rums do not contain any added sugar, flavors or colors.

Ten to One Caribbean White Rum

This is a blended rum made from Dominican column still rum and Jamaican pot still rum. After blending, the rums are finished in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. It is bottled at 45% ABV with a suggested price of $29 per 750ml bottle.

Ten to One Caribbean Dark Rum

This dark rum is a blend of column still rums from the Dominican Republic, Barbados and Trinidad, as well as pot still rums from Jamaica. The rums are finished in American oak ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at 40% ABV. It carries a price of $42 per 750ml bottle.

Ten to One Caribbean Rums

Cruzan Launches Limited-Edition Watermelon Rum

Cruzan Watermelon Rum is a limited-edition flavored rum hitting shelves nationally starting in summer of 2019. Back in 2017, Hurricane Maria tore through Cruzan’s home island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. The brand responded by launching the Island Spirit fund, which provides relief to communities across the US and its territories after storms of all kinds. $1 from every case of Cruzan Watermelon Rum sold goes to the Island Spirit Fund. It is bottled at 21% ABV and has a suggested price of $11.99 per 750ml bottle.

Cruzan Watermelon Rum

Teeling Whiskey Introduces First Ever Travel Retail Exclusive Whiskey

While Irish whiskey brand Teeling has been pumping out release after release over the past few years, until now their range has never included a travel retail exclusive whiskey. Now, Teeling Explorers Edition 12 Year is here, and is made with a blend of 12 year malt and grain Irish whiskeys. After the two whiskeys were blended, they were finished in ex-cognac casks.

Only 6,000 bottles of the whiskey are available from World Duty Free stores in the UK in a 700ml gift pack. It is bottled at 46% ABV, is non-chill filtered, and is priced at £81.50 ($102 USD).

Teeling Explorers Edition 12 Year

New Jameson Travel Retail Exclusive: Jameson Triple Triple

Jameson Triple Triple is a brand new travel retail exclusive from Irish Distillers. Launching in July 2019, it is a triple distilled Irish whiskey made up of a blend of whiskeys aged in ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and fortified wine casks from Malaga in Spain. Jameson Triple Triple is bottled at 40% ABV and is priced at €32 ($36 USD) per 1L bottle. 

Jameson Triple Triple

Will you be on the hunt for Johnnie Walker Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal? Perhaps Dos Hermanos from the stars of Breaking Bad? We’ve got you covered!

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