New Spirits Roundup – February 4, 2022By Amanda Schuster
Happy Friday, spirits fans!
As we celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Tiger, there are some exciting new spirits roaring onto the scene.
For those of you who are Ardbeg Committee members (and it’s free to join if you aren’t one yet), the long-awaited Ardbeg Fermutation is finally here. But even if long-fermented smoky whisky isn’t your thing, your flavor stripes might match some of the other spirits announced this week.
But first, we head to Tennessee where Uncle Nearest is gearing up for a big year of much-anticipated whiskey releases.
Uncle Nearest is building on its impressive momentum by announcing that the brand will begin to release whiskeys that are entirely distilled, aged and bottled by Uncle Nearest. The 2022 expressions use four different recipes. Nearest Green Distillery says it will release Uncle Nearest Rye, Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Rye and a new, more widely available Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Whiskey.
“Since the inception of our brand, everything in our bottles was blended to perfection by our master blender, Victoria Eady Butler, but the whiskey was sourced. Our own whiskey began fully maturing last year, and what we have in our bottles now is what we believe is the best whiskey we’ve ever released,” said Fawn Weaver, founder and CEO.
New Whiskey Also Comes With a New Look
In concert with the new releases, the label is changing. Previously, a sketch of the property where Nearest originally distilled adorned the bottle. Now the bottle bears a custom insignia of Nearest Green Distillery — a dram of whiskey surrounded by a horseshoe, signifying its iron Tennessee roots, as well as Eady Butler’s signature.
All seven expressions will first be released at the Nearest Green Distillery in Shelbyville, Tennessee, starting with the 1884 Small Batch Whiskey and Master Blend Edition. The rollout will continue throughout 2022.
Ardbeg has announced the imminent launch of its new Committee-only limited-edition, Ardbeg Fermutation. This 13-year-old whisky is the manifestation of an unplanned experiment involving the longest fermentation period in Ardbeg’s history.
According to the distillery, in November 2007, a broken boiler couldn’t be revived again, despite the team’s best efforts. As a result, there was a threat of ruining six washbacks full of liquid. Dr. Bill Lumsden, Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation, apparently saw an opportunity to experiment. What was there left to do but throw open the washback lids and expose the liquid to the Islay air and see what happens? That’s how the spirit ended up with a three-week-long fermentation – the longest in Ardbeg’s history.
“I’ve always wanted to experiment with longer fermentations, so I think an unintentional boiler breakdown was the best thing that could have happened,” said Lumsden. “For context, most Ardbeg is only fermented for 72 hours, making three weeks uncharted territory for us.”
Being a Committee exclusive, Ardbeg Fermutation is only available to members of The Ardbeg Committee. You can join The Committee by signing up at their website here. Membership is free and all Ardbeg fans are welcome.
Tres Generaciones Tequila (the name is a reference to the legacy of the Sauza family), has launched an Añejo Cristalino expression.
The new offering is produced at La Perseverancia Distillery in Tequila, Jalisco. It is made from 100% blue weber agave that is triple-distilled, then rested in American white oak barrels for at least 12 months. Then, according to the distillery, it’s “rock-filtered to gently extract color”.
“Though the liquid is absolutely crystal clear, our filtration process allows us to retain the tequila’s unique complexity,” said Luis Navarro, senior national brand ambassador for Tres Generaciones. “The result is a pristine, incredibly smooth tequila balancing light wood notes with a sweet and creamy taste that is best enjoyed neat, over ice or in a craft cocktail.”
It’s bottled at 40% ABV, with an SRP of $64.99.
More New Releases
Let’s take a quick look to see what else is hitting shelves this month.
Johnnie Walker has launched an exclusive Johnnie Walker Blue Label Lunar New Year limited edition. The 2022 design was created by Chinese artist Shan Jiang to celebrate the year of the Tiger.
This limited-edition design is available in select global markets while supplies last. According to the press release, we can expect more limited editions of Diageo’s premium whiskies with Shan Jiang package designs in the coming months.
Chattanooga Whiskey has announced the second release of its Barrel Finishing Series: Islay Scotch Cask Finish. The limited-edition series uses Chattanooga Whiskey’s Tennessee High Malt whiskey made from a combination of unique bourbon mash bills, all containing over 25% specialty malt.
Islay Scotch Cask Finish is made using what the distillery describes as a “Scottish style bourbon” recipe containing peated malt, naked oat malt, and honey malt. Each batch is made from a blend of three finishing casks, sourced from three different distilleries on Islay.
Islay Scotch Cask Finish is aged for over 4 years, including 3 months in 250 liter Islay Scotch hogsheads. It is bottled at 95 proof with an SRP of $49.99.
Introducing Two New Limited-Release Luxury Single Malt Scotch Whiskies From The Singleton and Talisker
Here is some exciting news for collectors of super rare Scotch whisky! Diageo has released The Singleton 39 Year from the Glen Ord Distillery and Talisker 30 Year.
The Singleton of Glen Ord consists of 12-year-old malts that were originally selected by Master of Malt Maureen Robinson. She then transferred them to a combination of European oak casks which had previously held port wine, red wine, and a blend of Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherries. After 27 years, the casks were married together in ex-Bordeaux wine casks. Bottled at 46.2% ABV, only 1,695 bottles are available worldwide, 198 of them in the US. It has an SRP of $2,700.
Talisker 30 Year is available for the first time since 2018. It is fully matured in American oak, and bottled at 48.5% ABV. The release is limited to 3,216 bottles globally, 498 in the US. It has an SRP of $999.99.
Ready to grab a bottle of Ardbeg Fermutation?
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