Ardbeg Wee Beastie, Blood Oath Pact No. 6 & More New Whiskey

It’s been another week of ever-increasing changes due to the spread of COVID-19. Dozens of distilleries stepped up to produce hand sanitizer instead of whiskey, scrambling to get all the necessary supplies. Others have begun hosting virtual tours, giving fans entry even when visitor centers are closed. Legendary Washington, D.C. whisky bar Jack Rose is selling off its entire collection to pay its staff, and I hear other venues are following suit.

Even in this week of immense upheaval, new releases march on. First up, Ardbeg is debuting a new, permanent addition to its range. Ardbeg 5 year old Wee Beastie is priced at $47 and widely available.

The 2020 release of Blood Oath bourbon is rolling out. There are 51,000 bottles of Blood Oath Pact No. 6 available, priced at $100.

Finally, Old Elk is launching three new whiskeys, all part of its core range, as detailed earlier this week: straight rye ($90), straight wheat whiskey ($65), and a straight wheated bourbon ($65). All three whiskeys are available nationwide.

Read on for full details.

5/12/2020: This post was updated to reflect new pricing information for Ardbeg Wee Beastie.

Ardbeg 5 year old Wee Beastie

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 47.4% ABV
Price: $47
Release: April 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

A permanent addition to Ardbeg’s core range, this 5 year old whisky was matured in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

The most recent addition to Ardbeg’s range was An Oa in 2017, a whisky that ranked No. 6 on that year’s Whisky Advocate Top 20. Will Wee Beastie achieve such glories in 2020? Only time will tell. Stay tuned for a review in an upcoming Buying Guide!

Blood Oath Pact No. 6

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 49.3% ABV
Price: $100
Release: Spring 2020
Availability: 51,000 bottles

Need to know:

The sixth release in Lux Row’s Blood Oath series, this is a combination of three different bourbons, blended by head distiller and master blender John Rempe: a 14 year old ryed straight bourbon, 8 year old ryed straight bourbon, and 7 year old bourbon finished in cognac casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Each release of Blood Oath is deliberately different, allowing Rempe to play with various styles of bourbon and cask finishes. Pact No. 5 blended a wheater with two ryed bourbons, including one finished in a Caribbean rum cask, while 2018’s Pact No. 4 combined three bourbons, including one finished in a toasted oak barrel. With cognac finishing in play here, Pact No. 6 is sure to display some silky sweetness.

Old Elk Straight Rye

Style: Straight rye
Origin: Indiana
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $90
Release: April 2020
Availability: 10,200 bottles for 2020

Need to know:

The first permanently available rye in Old Elk’s lineup, this whiskey was distilled at Indiana’s MGP and uses its familiar 95% rye, 5% malted barley mashbill.

Old Elk Straight Wheat

Style: Straight wheat whiskey
Origin: Indiana
Age: 6 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $65
Release: April 2020
Availability: 48,000 bottles in 2020

Need to know:

Made with 95% soft red winter wheat and 5% malted barley, this whiskey aged at least six years. The profile of wheat whiskey is more delicate than bourbon or rye, and it needs more time in the barrel to take on robust flavors.

 

Old Elk Wheated Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Indiana
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 47% ABV
Price: $65
Release: April 2020
Availability: 35,000 bottles in 2020

Need to know:

Made with 51% corn, 45% wheat, and 4% malted barley, this is a high-wheat bourbon—quite unusual for the style. It differs from Old Elk’s core bourbon, which is made with 34% malted barley and 15% rye.

Whisky Advocate says:

Old Elk master distiller Greg Metze gave Whisky Advocate the exclusive details on each of these new whiskeys—including why he thinks wheat whiskey is the next big thing—in an article published earlier this week.

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