Distiller’s Friday Roundup – May 28, 2021

May 28, 2021

We’ve made it to the first long weekend of warmer weather! It’s finally time to catch our breaths and relax with a favorite spirit, and possibly mix up some cocktails.

But if you’re a spirits collector, you might want to mark your calendar first. This week’s newsletter introduces a few limited-edition whiskies — and an ultra rare gin — that are sure to be popular. The newest Orphan Barrel, Copper Tongue 16 Year  Straight Bourbon, is the second from Cascade Hollow, and the first selected by star Master Blender Nicole Austin. From Bonded Warehouse No. 1 in the Scottish Highlands, we introduce the new 23-year-old Glenmorangie Grand Malt 1997. In other Scotch whisky news, The Glenlivet has an “Illicit” release to share with the US.

Also, we have the deets on limited-edition labels for TX Whiskey and Cedar Ridge. If you’re a gin fan, get ready for the Botanist Islay Aged Gin to celebrate the brand’s 10th birthday. There’s also a new proof and packaging for Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch Bourbon, and new Equiano Light rum. And to bring to the beach (or porch, or heck, your living room, we don’t judge) Bacardí has new flavors for its canned rum cocktails.

That’s all the booze news for now. Enjoy the long weekend, spirits enthusiasts! And as we head into Memorial Day, a big thanks from all of us as we raise a glass to our troops, past and present.

Orphan Barrel Introduces Copper Tongue 16 Year Straight Bourbon From Cascade Hollow Distillery

Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co. is known for finding forgotten barrels of rare whiskey and giving them a home in its portfolio. The latest release is Copper Tongue 16 Year Bourbon, from Cascade Hollow Distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee. It is a cask strength 16-year-old straight bourbon from a barrel discovered by Master Blender Nicole Austin at Cascade Hollow Distillery. The single-story design of the warehouses from where the whiskey was selected is said to be inspired by those found in Scotland.

Copper Tongue 16 Year Bourbon is the second Orphan Barrel release from Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. (following the 2016 release of Whoop & Holler 28 Year), but it’s Austin’s first selection for the program.

“Since joining the team at Cascade Hollow Distilling Co., I’ve loved getting to explore all the incredible whiskies produced at the distillery,” said Austin. “In that process, I’ve been excited to have found such an amazing whiskey to give a home to. Orphan Barrel Copper Tongue brings together traditions from both American and Scotch whiskeys, and the result is a sophisticated straight bourbon that’s surprisingly delicate. With this release, I can’t wait to share this rare whiskey with the world and showcase a bit of the magic that can come from Cascade Hollow.”

Copper Tongue 16 Year Bourbon is bottled at 89.8 proof (44.9%) and will begin rolling out in select markets across the nation for consumers to purchase with a suggested retail price (SRP) of $100.

Copper Tongue 16 Year Straight Bourbon /Photo Credit: Cascade Hollow

Glenmorangie Releases Grand Vintage Malt 1997

According to the press release, Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1997 is the one of the ultimate Scotch concepts from the mind of Dr. Bill Lumsden, the distillery’s director of whisky creation.

“When Dr. Bill came to the Distillery in 1995, he had a vision to restyle the single malt, for even more wondrous results,” says the release. “By 1997, when Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1997 was distilled, he had already magnified its fruity finesse by altering the moment that spirit is taken from the Distillery’s giraffe-high stills (their height allows more space for taste and aroma). And captivated by the flavours the art of wood finishing promised, he had started exploring how rare wine casks could shape Glenmorangie’s taste.”

The whisky spent almost a decade in bourbon casks. Then he transferred a portion of it to a few sought-after Château Montrose red wine casks, from the Saint-Estèphe appellation of Bordeaux. It’s apparently a finish never attempted before or since at Glenmorangie, seeking out the soft fruit notes of the wine casks.

After 13 years, the single malt underwent additional aging in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks for a total maturation period of 23 years.

Grand Vintage Malt is one of the whiskies in the Bond House No. 1 vintage series, created from some of Glenmorangie’s most prized parcels of aged whisky. The series is named after the largest of Glenmorangie’s 19th century Bonded Warehouses. For generations, Warehouse No. 1 was home to casks of maturing spirit until in 1990, it was transformed into a new still house.

The whisky is bottled at 43% ABV and will retail for $900, available on Reserve Bar starting June 1.

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1997 /Photo Credit: Glenmorangie

The Glenlivet Honors Its Illicit Past with a new 12-Year-Old Limited Edition

Bottled at a higher strength than the original The Glenlivet 12 Year, Illicit Still draws inspiration from the distillery’s illicit past. Before founding The Glenlivet, George Smith was said to have been illegally distilling whisky in hand-crafted, small copper stills in a hidden away bothy in the remote Glenlivet valley.

The design for The Glenlivet 12 Year Illicit Still is inspired by the oldest bottle in the brand’s archives. Additionally the bottle features copper highlights that represent the hand-crafted stills used to illicitly produce the whisky in the 1800s. It is non-chill-filtered and has a higher than average alcohol content of 48% ABV, inspired by the traditional methods of the time.

The Glenlivet Illicit 12 Year has an SRP of $69 and is available for pre-order via ReserveBar.com in select markets.

The Glenlivet 12 Year Illicit Still /Photo Credit: The Glenlivet

The World’s First African And Caribbean Rum Launch Its Next Expression, Equiano Light Rum

The team behind Equiano Rum Co. have announced the brand’s second African & Caribbean blend, Equiano Light Rum. According to the press release, this is a continuation of the brand’s mission “to redefine a four-century-old industry by offering never-before-seen blends that are inspired by Nigerian-born writer, entrepreneur, abolitionist and freedom fighter Olaudah Equiano.”

Equiano Light is a unique blend of lightly-aged molasses rum from the Caribbean, married with fresh sugar cane juice style rum from Africa. The idea behind the blend was to create a lightly aged rum that harkens back to a flavor profile that was the basis for classic rum cocktails such as The Daiquiri, as well as a new class of highballs that use various premium tonics and sodas.

Equiano Light consists of molasses rum distilled in copper pot stills at Foursquare Distillery in Barbados that is then blended and aged in ex-bourbon barrels for a minimum of 3 years. That rum is then blended with unaged rum made from fresh sugarcane juice from Africa. This “cane juice” rum is distilled in a single column still to produce a lighter, more refreshing style of rum.

The rum is bottled at 43% ABV and is available as of May 20th at www.equianorum.com for $45.99. Additionally, $2 of every bottle sold through equianorum.com goes towards Equiano Rum Co.’s charitable grant, helping abolish modern slavery in all its forms around the world through their 2021 recipient, Anti-Slavery International.

Equiano Light Rum /Photo Credit: Equiano Rum

The Botanist Gin Celebrates Its 10th Birthday With a Limited Edition Islay Aged Gin

The Botanist has announced an exclusive bottling of 2011 Single Cask Islay Aged Gin. This gin has been maturing in Bruichladdich Distillery’s warehouse on Islay since the year that The Botanist was launched.

Under the care of Head Distiller Adam Hannett, the gin has been matured in a premium red wine cask, which lends both color and oak barrel flavors, while also soaking up the marine influence of the Islay sea air.

The catch: there is just one cask available, with only 418 of 350 mL bottles available.

Says Hannett: “It’s something special to have a single cask of The Botanist, matured from the first year that we realized it out into the world. We describe The Botanist as the unique expression of the heart and soul of Islay but obviously the island is best known for whisky. Curiosity and patience led us to this unique experiment. We think it’s been worth the wait.”

The Botanist is releasing this limited-edition bottling as part of Bruichladdich Distillery’s Fèis Ìle 2021 celebrations. This virtual event will take place on May 30th, and will only be on sale from that date via ballot. Register to buy here.

The Botanist 2011 Single Cask Islay Aged Gin /Photo Credit: The Botanist

Tidbits from Around the World

Let’s take a quick look at what else is going on around the world this week…

Evan Williams Bourbon Announces Major Redesign of Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch

Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bourbon has released Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch with an updated proof and in all new packaging. The brand is named after the year Evan Williams first opened his distillery on the banks of the Ohio River, and the update celebrates the year the bourbon first got its license. The bottling is a return to its original 90 proof, with other details on the bottle reflecting its Kentucky origin story.

Evan Williams 1783 is made with Heaven Hill Distillery’s traditional bourbon mash bill of 78% corn, 12% malted barley and 10% rye. Barrels aged six to eight years comprise the blend. It is available nationwide for an SRP of $19.99.

Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch /Photo Credit: Evan Williams

TX Whiskey Announces Specialized Bottles In Support of the Military

The teams behind TX Blended Whiskey and TX Straight Bourbon have announced the continuation of a partnership with Boot Campaign with the limited release of TX Blended Whiskey Stars & Stripes bottle. The Stars & Stripes bottle is available exclusively at military bases, Texas retailers and at Whiskey Ranch for $35.99.

In addition, TX Whiskey says it will donate a portion of the Stars & Stripes bottle sales, up to $72,000, to Boot Campaign to aid veterans and military families. Co-branded apparel and accessories will be available at Whiskey Ranch, with a $1 donation to Boot Campaign per item.

TX Blended Whiskey Stars & Stripes /Photo Credit: TX Whiskey

Cedar Ridge Launches Commemorative Fourth of July Bourbon Label

Cedar Ridge has announced it will release its Iowa bourbon with a commemorative label to honor the Fourth of July holiday. The 2021 Heartland’s Bourbon with the themed label will replace the brand’s original design with the red tape and flag. As a nod to whiskey collectors, the brand says that following this limited edition label, it plans to release a new label design each year.

“As a brand born in America’s Heartland, there’s no better holiday season for us to own,” said Jamie Siefken, general manager and executive vice president at Cedar Ridge. “With close ties to our annual Bourbon and Blues Festival and Bottled-In-Bond release, this commemorative Fourth of July label will give whiskey drinkers even more reasons to choose Cedar Ridge.”

Look out for the bottle in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska beginning June 2021 for an SRP of $34.99.

Cedar Ridge Iowa Straight Bourbon /Photo Credit: Cedar Ridge

Bacardí Rum Canned Cocktails Expands Range With Three New Flavors

Bacardí Rum is expanding its range of canned cocktails with three new flavors and a new variety pack to kick off summer. The new flavors are Bahama Mama, Mojito and Sunset Punch (the latter will be exclusively available as part of the new variety pack).

Bacardí Bahama Mama and Bacardí Mojito Real Rum Cocktails are available in four packs of 355mL cans with a 5.9% ABV. The SRP for the packs is $12.99 and is available in select markets nationwide. The variety pack which includes Bacardí Sunset Punch is available in select markets in packs of six 355 mL cans for an SRP of $16.99.

Bacardí Canned Cocktails /Photo Credit: Bacardí

Ready to grab a bottle of Copper Tongue 16 Year Straight Bourbon?

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