Distiller’s Friday Roundup – May 14, 2021By Amanda Schuster
This week’s roundup presents an interesting juxtaposition of current spirits trends. With the rise of craft bartending and a general consumer preference for higher proof whiskeys, the majority of this week’s whiskey news is mostly a barrel strength, or at least high proof affair. Yet on the flipside, we’re also discussing a summery vodka flavor that oddly doesn’t already exist. Furthermore, there are interesting additions to the cream liqueur category, which would suggest there are demands for those things again.
Also new this week, Nick Offerman has teamed up with his dad Ric and a certain Irish brewery for a best-of-both-worlds Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish. We’re also excited to give you the deets on the latest, much anticipated George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond 13 Year old release. Then there’s a whole slew of cask strength/high proof news from Blue Run Spirits, Templeton Distillery, WhistlePig, Buffalo Trace Weller Full Proof and Big Peat. And, though it’s been out a while, it will now be much easier to obtain that Old Overholt 114 proof!
On the lighter spectrum, SVEDKA Vodka Cherry Limeade debuts. There’s also a new vegan Licor 43 Horchata cream liqueur. And Tia Maria not only switches up coffee for tea, but starts off with Tia Maria Matcha Cream!
So pull up a glass… and maybe make some ice while you’re at it!
Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish
Just in time for Father’s Day, and to the delight of Scotch drinkers of any persuasion, longtime partners Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Nick Offerman, along with his dad Ric (!) are introducing Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish.
Apparently the collaboration was born from a father-son ritual of kicking back after a long work day with a dram of Lagavulin or a pint of Guinness. This year Offerman decided to present a product that is “that is right up their workbench.”
The new, limited edition Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish starts as an 11 year-old Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Then it’s finished for four months in barrels that previously held Guinness Beer at the Open Gate Brewery in Maryland. It is bottled at 46% ABV with an SRP of $79.99.
The making of this new single malt is brought to life in the newest video in the ongoing Lagavulin: My Tales of Whisky series, ‘Nick Offerman’s Father’s Day Part Five.’
“The adventurous tale reveals the lengths to which Nick went to create the whisky for his dad,” according to the press release. “Now, Nick, Ric and Lagavulin are proud to announce their new dram of choice after a hard day’s work, which they recommend enjoying neat or on ice – but always over tales of whisky.”
Enter Distiller’s World Whisky Day Giveaway
To enter, write a whisky tasting note in the Distiller app or on distiller.com and include the hashtag #WWD. Three entrants will be chosen to win a Distiller prize pack including an engraved Distiller Glencairn. The giveaway ends Sunday May 16th at 11:59 PM PST. The winners will be notified via the email attached to their Distiller account. If you don’t already have a Distiller account, click here to sign up.
Look Out For a New Edition of George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond Distilled in Spring of 2007
This May, Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. returns to the Bottled-in-Bond category with George Dickel Bottled in Bond Distilling Season Spring 2007, a limited-offering 13-year-old whisky. Following the releases of the brand’s successful Fall 2005 and Fall 2008 whiskies, the third release in the series marks the first offering from a spring distilling season.
“As the Bottled in Bond category continues to grow and more distilleries are experimenting with the style, I’m excited to add our first Spring vintage to the George Dickel’s Bottled in Bond series,” said Master Blender Nicole Austin. “Like the previous two releases, this spirit shares the hallmarks of George Dickel’s nutty and waxy fruity characteristics, with this year’s release also featuring unique notes of cherry. We’re proud whisky drinkers can enjoy this rare, 13-year-old high proof liquid for a great price.”
This year’s George Dickel Bottled in Bond has a mash bill of 84% corn, 8% rye and 8% malted barley. Of course it’s “chill charcoal mellowed” and bottled at 50% ABV (100 proof).
Beginning this month, the new whisky will begin rolling out in select markets with an SRP of $44.99. Following the product’s initial launch in May, it will continue to hit shelves in markets throughout the summer so keep an eye out for the offering at local liquor stores in available markets.
Blue Run Spirits 13.5 Year-Old Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon Now Available
Blue Run 13.5-Year-Old Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon launches this week as ten separate limited-edition bottlings from ten different barrels. Each one is hand numbered to denote the proof, barrel number and bottling date. Furthermore, each bottle comes in a custom, handmade black lacquered wooden box, adding to the collectability.
The unveiling of this bourbon comes on the heels of Blue Run’s inaugural release in October of 2020, with Jim Rutledge, formerly of Four Roses and J.W. Rutledge Distillery, as “Liquid Advisor.”
According to the press release, “each of the ten barrels comes from the same mash bill, same yeast, same still and same warehouse, but how the liquid reacted to the wood and its position in the warehouse can delicately change the characteristics of the whiskey.”
Between 104 to 150 bottles will be available from each barrel, with the proofs varying from 124 to 132. The hand-numbered label on each bottle provides information about which barrel the bourbon came from, with subtle flavor differences in each one.
Blue Run 13.5-Year-Old Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon will be found in May initially in Kentucky, California, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, DC as well as online. But whiskey collectors beware: no state will receive bottles from all ten barrels, only up to nine for each state. The product will also be available through Seelbachs.com, with bottles from a different barrel made available every few weeks. But again, there are only nine available. Seelbach’s will also offer a very limited number of ten-bottle complete sets.
Blue Run Bourbon will be available at $229.99 SRP.
Templeton Distillery Launches Entrepreneur’s Grant Program and 10 Year Reserve Rye
Templeton Distillery has announced the Templeton Distillery Entrepreneur’s Grant program, which will award three small businesses $10,000 each. The launch of the grant program is timed alongside the debut of Templeton’s new 10 Year Reserve Rye Whiskey.
Winners of the Templeton Distillery Entrepreneur’s Grant program will be selected by a panel of famous Iowans, including Brandon Routh (Superman Returns, Legends Of Tomorrow) and Hill Harper (The Good Doctor). Rounding out the remainder of the panel are Keith Kerkhoff, Templeton Distillery’s co-founder, as well as the founders of local Iowa-based businesses, Christina Moffatt (Crème Cupcake + Dessert) and Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson (BLK & Bold Specialty Beverage). Applications will be accepted from May 10 through July 11, 2021, with winners announced in August.
The newest addition to the core line is the Templeton Rye 10 Year Reserve, aged a full decade in charred new American oak barrels. It will be included in a design refresh of all the brand’s labels.
All US-based businesses are invited to apply for the Templeton Distillery Entrepreneur’s Grant, excluding those that sell alcohol or are owned by anyone under the age of 21. To enter, businesses will submit 250 words about why they should be considered. Entries will be judged on originality (40%), contributions to the local community (40%), and business viability (20%).
The 10 Year Old Reserve Rye is bottled at 104 proof with an SRP of $85 for a 750ml bottle. For additional information on the grant program and Templeton Distillery’s offerings, please visit their website or social media channels.
WhistlePig Whiskey FarmStock ‘Beyond Bonded’ Barrel to Hit Auction Block This Month
To celebrate the launch of their first 100% farm-to-glass bottling, WhistlePig is auctioning off the first barrel at the Mecum Auctions Indianapolis Spring Classic. Proceeds from the winning barrel bid are to be donated by WhistlePig to Farm Aid, supporting America’s farmers. The barrel will be auctioned off LIVE on Saturday May 15th at Mecum’s Spring Classic event in Indianapolis. Portions of the auction will be broadcast on NBC Sports nationwide.
The bid is expected to command a price similar to that of the rare cars sold at Mecum Auctions. The auction lot will include Barrel No. 0001 of WhistlePig Beyond Bonded FarmStock Rye, bottled as two hundred 750ml units. This whiskey is made from 100% Remington rye harvested on the WhistlePig Farm and distilled and proofed with local water. Then it’s aged in Vermont Estate Oak casks for 4 years, 8 months and 14 days. It is bottled at 100.1 proof (slightly over BIB requirements). The winning bidder will also receive the empty barrel and a grain-to-glass experience at the WhistlePig Farm & Distillery in Shoreham, Vermont.
“FarmStock Beyond Bonded is our boldest dream yet. Each individual barrel is an untapped expression of the WhistlePig Farm. We’re thrilled to align with Mecum and Farm Aid, Mecum has the perfect platform to unveil a whiskey of this magnitude and we are so pleased to share that 100% of the proceeds from the winning bid will be donated to Farm Aid, further emphasizing our commitment to supporting sustainable farming and farmers in the United States,” says Emily Harrison, Lead Distiller, WhistlePig Whiskey.
FarmStock Beyond Bonded Rye Whiskey will make its official debut, limited to 40 barrels, later this spring at select retailers. The auction will apparently be the only opportunity to purchase a full barrel.
WhistlePig Whiskey FarmStock ‘Beyond Bonded’ Barrel /Photo Credit: WhistlePig Whiskey
Buffalo Trace Distillery Announces Limited Annual Release of Weller Full Proof and C.Y.P.B.
W.L. Weller Bourbon fans rejoice! Buffalo Trace has announced the annual release of Weller Full Proof and Craft Your Perfect Bourbon (C.Y.P.B.). “Both the Weller Full Proof Bourbon and C.Y.P.B. are big hits with Weller fans, and they can expect the same tasting notes for each in this year’s annual release,” says the press release.
The Weller Full Proof Bourbon, first introduced in 2019, is named thusly because the distillery fills its wheated bourbon barrels at 114 proof. It is also non-chill-filtered and has a SRP of $49.99.
C.Y.P.B. is born of the interactive event known as Craft Your Perfect Bourbon. At that event bourbon drinkers were asked to choose their ideal bourbon. The result is this wheated recipe, aged for eight years and bottled at 95 proof. Its SRP is $49.99.
The Weller Full Proof and C.Y.P.B. will be available later this month but quantities are limited.
Now You Can Finally Get Your Hands on That Old Overholt 114 Proof!
Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey, “the oldest, continually produced and maintained rye whiskey brand in America,” has announced that its 114 Proof Straight Rye Whiskey will now be available nationally. It was previously only available in Ohio and Pennsylvania for historical reasons. The highest proof variant in the core Overholt portfolio is a four-year-old, non-chill filtered straight rye whiskey. It is bottled at 114 proof with an SRP of $32.99 per 750mL.
“The national availability of Old Overholt 114 is a continuation of Old Overholt’s commitment to better serving the rye whiskey community by exploring different nuances such as proof point and filtration methods that celebrate the diversity and depth of flavor that exists across the category,” says the press release.
The proof is a nod to the barrel strength ryes available before Prohibition. Of course the whiskey is also meant to be a cocktail-friendly addition to the bar world.
Tidbits From Around the World
Let’s take a quick look at what else is going on around the world this week…
Big Peat “Peatrichor” Limited Edition Kicks Off New Brand Marketing Activation
Big Peat, owned by Douglas Laing & Co, has unveiled “his” special bottling for Summer 2021: Big Peat “Peatrichor” Limited Edition.
The heavily peated non-chill filtered whisky is bottled at cask strength of 53.8% ABV. The theme of the bottling is meant to be a tribute to the frequent rainfall on Islay. “The word ‘Peatrichor’ (or petrichor) describes the earthy scent produced with rain falls on dry earth/soil,” says the press release.
The packaging depicts the Big Peat character in a yellow rain jacket as the heavens open on his island home of Islay. Peatrichor will be limited to 5,000 bottles and available globally starting this month.
The bottling kicks off a new brand campaign that will include sampling initiatives in Asia and Europe as well as virtual tastings, digital marketing and social media activations with influencers.
SVEDKA Vodka Launches Newest Flavor Cherry Limeade to Kick Off Summer
Timed for the start of summer, SVEDKA Vodka releases its latest flavored vodka: SVEDKA Cherry Limeade.
“Coming out of a long winter of being indoors and over a year socially-distanced from friends and family, we wanted to develop a flavor that embodies the essence of summertime that we have all been looking forward to for so long,” said Jaymie Schoenberg, Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing for SVEDKA Vodka. “SVEDKA Cherry Limeade is just that – a way to transform into the summer mindset in just one sip.”
SVEDKA Cherry Limeade is available nationwide for an SRP of $14.99 (750ml) and $15.99 (1L).
New Licor 43 Horchata Debuts in the US
Licor 43 Horchata is a vegan cream liqueur with “Mediterranean flavors of tiger nut, spice, and citrus.” Debuting in America it’s the first brand extension in the US from the brand.
It’s bottled at 16% ABV and is available for an SRP of $17.99. It’s made from a 100% vegetable base, making it dairy free, gluten free, nut free and completely vegan. Note: tiger nuts are “nuts” in name only, as they are actually roots with a sweet, nutty taste.
Tia Maria Debuts Matcha Cream Liqueur
In other cream liqueur news, Tia Maria, known for its coffee liqueur, has launched Tia Maria Matcha in the US market. A new campaign for Tia Maria Matcha encourages consumers to slow down from busy schedules and “take your matcha time.”
It’s bottled at 17% ABV and will be available nationwide for $24.99 per 750 ML bottles.
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