New Spirits Roundup – December 3, 2021By Amanda Schuster
Happy December, spirits enthusiasts!
Fittingly, as we are in the final stretch of Hanukkah, we happen to have eight new spirits announcements to share with you to begin the gifting season.
We begin our coverage in Utah, where High West High Country Single Malt gets a nationwide release.
Another high profile, high altitude production is also at the ready. This year, to make up for its absence last year because of the pandemic, Stranahan’s is releasing two Snowflake single malts — Sunshine Peak and Mount Eolus.
And the new Woodford Reserve Winter 2021 Master’s Collection Five-Malt Stouted Mash is meant to taste like beer.
More details on those whiskeys and the other whiskey, tequila, cognac and rum releases to share below. So flip that sizzling latke and read on!
Nationwide Release for High West High Country Single Malt
This week it was announced that this year’s High West High Country would be available across the US rather than being limited to Utah. First released in 2019, High Country is an unfiltered American single malt whiskey made from 100% of High West’s own distillate. This year’s batch is finished in part in oloroso sherry barrels. However, unlike the previous two releases in 2019 and 2020, there is no peated whiskey in the bottling.
Additionally, the bottling for this year also features a new label depicting the western landscape. High West High Country is being rolled out nationwide as of today so no need to make a special trip to Utah this time. But if you like to mix your whiskey with a bit of skiing, a visit to the High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City, Utah is a must. High West High Country Single Malt has an SRP of $79.99.
Woodford Reserve Releases Winter 2021 Master’s Collection: Five-Malt Stouted Mash
Woodford Reserve has announced the Winter 2021 Master’s Collection release — Woodford Reserve Five-Malt Stouted Mash. For this limited-edition release, Master Distiller Chris Morris and Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall drew on a bit of whiskey geekery to present an expression with beer-like undertones.
Fermented grain mash is sometimes referred to as “distiller’s beer.” The act of distillation and maturation converts this “beer” into whiskey. This whiskey is made with 5 malted grains to mimic the taste of dark beer.
“Five-Malt Stouted Mash is an expression unlike any other we’ve released before,” Morris said. “The rich, roasted malty stout flavors mingle with bright touches of baked fruit, crisp spices, and orange zest for a unique Woodford Reserve experience.”
Five-Malt Stouted Mash is the 17th release of the Master’s Collection. This limited-edition is bottled at 90.4 proof. It’s available beginning this month in select US and global markets with an SRP of $129.99.
Stranahan’s Annual Snowflake Release — This Year There Are Two!
Like most things in 2020, Stranahan’s coveted Snowflake whiskey went on hiatus. But this year it’s back! And for the first time ever, Stranahan’s is releasing two bottles — Sunshine Peak (that’s the 2020 batch that went unreleased), and Mount Eolus, the 2021 batch. Significantly, this year the one day release event has been moved from the distillery to Red Rocks Parks & Amphitheatre.
For each Snowflake expression, Stranahan’s begins with its American single malts which are aged between four and eight years in new white American oak barrels with a #3 char. Then the distiller transfers the liquid to a variety of wine, sherry, cognac, rum and/or tequila barrels sourced from around the world. The duration of the finishing period in the different barrels varies each year.
Just As In Nature, No Two Stranahan’s Snowflakes Are Alike
Batch 23 (the one from 2020) is named Sunshine Peak after a Colorado mountain peak that’s over 14,000 feet high. The finishing casks include a variety of used apple brandy barrels (Calvados and applejack) as well as Moscatel and Cabernet wine casks.
For this year’s 24th Batch, Stranahan’s went for a tribute to Mount Eolus, the Greek God of Wind. This single malt was finished in rye barrels; reposado and extra añejo tequila barrels; tawny port casks; French oak casks; and lightly-peated casks.
Per Snowflake tradition, the expressions are only available in-person for one day only on a first-come-first-serve basis. Ordinarily, fans begin the lineup and subsequent Snowflake parties up to several days ahead. But this year all interested buyers are invited to get to Red Rocks no earlier than 7:00 am MT on December 4, 2021 for their chance to snag a bottle or two of both expressions. Only around 1,500 bottles of each expression will be distributed for $119.99 each.
New Barrell Craft Spirits Gold Label and New Year 2022 Bourbons Announced
This week, independent bottler and blender Barrell Craft Spirits has released two new expressions.
First, Gold Label is a limited-edition and ultra-rare blend of 16 and 17-year-old straight bourbon whiskeys. The bourbons were distilled in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. BCS Gold Label is bottled at 113.54 proof (56.77% ABV) with an SRP of $499.99.
Next is New Year Bourbon 2022. This bottling is a blend of straight bourbons aged 5, 6, 7, 9 and 14 years. These bourbons were distilled in TN, IN, KY, OH, WY, NY and TX. New Year 2022 is bottled at 115.34 proof (57.67% ABV) with an SRP of $89.99.
More New Releases
Let’s take a quick look to see what else is hitting shelves this month.
Widow Jane Releases Third Edition of “The Vaults”
Widow Jane Distillery has announced the release of The Vaults 2021, the third edition from its old and rare whiskey collection.
The 2021 release combines 15 and 17-year-old bourbons that have been selected by Widow Jane president and head distiller Lisa Wicker. Just over 3,000 bottles of The Vaults 2021 are being released to the public in select markets.
The Vaults 2021 is bottled at 49.5% ABV with an SRP of $225.
Corazón Tequila Releases Limited Edition Expresiones Using William Larue Weller, George T. Stagg, and Elmer T. Lee Barrels
Corazón Tequila has released the 2021 collection of Expresiones del Corazón. These are limited-edition tequilas were distilled at Casa San Matias Distillery in Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico. Additionally, the aged tequilas are matured in barrels from Buffalo Trace. For this year, a new Elmer T. Lee Reposado joins the lineup. All are bottled at 80 proof.
Elmer T. Lee Reposado was aged for 12 months in Elmer T. Lee barrels and has an SRP of $69.99.
William Larue Weller Añejo was aged for 26 months in William Larue Weller bourbon barrels. Incidentally, this is nearly a year longer than previous releases of this expression. The SRP is $79.99.
George T. Stagg Añejo was aged for 22 months in George T. Stagg barrels and has an SRP of $79.99.
The Artisanal Blanco was held for 60 days in stainless steel and has an SRP of $59.99.
Hine Cognac debuts Cigar Reserve XO In The US
The House of HINE has announced the US release of HINE Cigar Reserve XO. The cognac is the result of a collaboration between the House of HINE and Hunters & Frankau of London, the UK’s exclusive distributor of Havana cigars.
The Cigar Reserve XO is born from a shared love of cognac and cigars, and was first introduced to Europe in 1996. It is now available for the first time in the states.
The cognac is a blend of twenty eaux-de-vie produced using Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, and Fins Bois grapes aged for over 15 years. It is the only expression in the HINE portfolio blended with Fins Bois grapes.
There are just 598 six-bottle cases of HINE Cigar Reserve XO is allocated for sale in the US. It has an SRP of $150.
3 Badge Beverage Corp. Introduces Kirk and Sweeney “Burning Mast” Rum
3 Badge Beverage Corp. has announced the debut of Kirk and Sweeney’s Burning Mast rum from the Dominican Republic.
Kirk and Sweeney Rum is made from Dominican sugarcane that is processed into grade three blackstrap molasses for fermentation and distillation. The rum is then aged in a variety of American and French oak barrels. Burning Mast is made from a blend of 81% Kirk and Sweeney Reserva rum and 19% Kirk and Sweeney Reserva rum — this latter portion was finished in red pepper barrels for 11-19 days.
Kirk and Sweeney Burning Mast is bottled at 40% ABV with an SRP of $49.
Ready to grab a bottle of High West High Country Single Malt?
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