Bushmills 28 Year Old, Cask-Strength Highland Park & More New Whisky

When is a whiskey not actually a whiskey? We explored the question in our Spring 2020 issue, and that feature is now online. Take a read if you haven’t already—you’ll be better equipped to understand why we call brands like Angel’s Envy “finished bourbon” and not just “bourbon.”

On to new releases. Bushmills is debuting a 28 year old single malt that spent a very long time in a cognac cask. The first whiskey in its Rare Casks series, it’s priced at $500 with less than 500 bottles available.

Highland Park is launching a cask-strength single malt. Produced in batches, the whisky will be widely available, priced at $90.

The 2020 release of Angel’s Envy Cask Strength hits shelves next month—and this year, it’s available in all 50 states. There are 17,400 bottles to go around, priced at $200.

Bruichladdich is launching all of its annual Octomore whiskies at once: Octomore 11.1 ($200; 30,000 bottles), 11.2 (£140; 8,000 bottles), 11.3 ($260; 18,000 bottles), and 10 year old ($235; 12,000 bottles) are hitting shelves this month, although Octomore 11.2 will not be available in the U.S.

The newest release in the Orphan Barrel lineup is a single grain scotch distilled at Port Dundas. The 24 year old Muckety Muck is priced at $225, available in limited amounts.

There’s a new well-aged bourbon from the Calumet Farm brand. Calumet Farm 14 year old Single Rack Black is priced at $120 and available in limited amounts.

Scotland’s Ardnamurchan Distillery is debuting its first single malt, aged for 6½ years. The whisky will hit U.S. shelves in mid-2021, priced at $65.

Finally, Texas-based Kooper Family Whiskey is launching two single-barrel offerings: a straight bourbon ($46) and a blend of ryes ($60). Both whiskeys are available in Texas only.

Read on for full details.

Bushmills 28 year old Cognac Cask

Bushmills 28 year old Cognac Cask

Style: Single malt
Origin: Ireland
Age: 28 years old
Proof: 46.7% ABV
Price: $500
Release: October 2020
Availability: Less than 500 bottles; for sale only in the U.S.

Need to know:

Triple-distilled in 1992, this whiskey matured for 11 years in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. It was then transferred to cognac casks for the remaining 17 years of maturation. Longtime Bushmills master blender Helen Mulholland put together the final whiskey, which is non-chill filtered and at cask strength.

Whisky Advocate says:

This whiskey marks the launch of a new Bushmills line called The Rare Casks. Fans are invited to participate in selecting next year’s Rare Cask whiskey via a special tasting pack available through Flaviar.

Highland Park Cask Strength (Release No. 1)

Highland Park Cask Strength (Release No. 1)

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islands)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 63.3% ABV
Price: $90
Release: October 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Matured predominantly in sherry-seasoned American oak casks, this Highland Park whisky was bottled with no chill-filtration or added water.

Whisky Advocate says:

Highland Park Cask Strength will be continuously available and produced in batches, so there will be some variation of flavor profile. We’re big fans of cask-strength scotch around here—it’s literally got more flavor, after all—and look forward to reviewing this whisky in an upcoming Buying Guide!

Angel's Envy Cask Strength (2020 Release)

Angel's Envy Cask Strength (2020 Release)

Style: Finished bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 60.2% ABV
Price: $200
Release: November 2020
Availability: 17,400 bottles

Need to know:

This is the barrel-proof version of Angel’s Envy bourbon, which is finished in port casks. This year it clocks in at 120.4 proof.

Whisky Advocate says:

For the first time ever, Angel’s Envy Cask Strength will be available in all 50 states—though with less than 18,000 bottles to go around, it’s still likely to be hard to get. Still, if you manage to find one, you’re in for a great whiskey: the past three releases have scored 93 points, 91 points, and 90 points.

Octomore 11.1

Octomore 11.1

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 59.4% ABV
Price: $200
Release: October 2020
Availability: 30,000 bottles

Need to know:

Bruichladdich distilled this whisky in 2014 from Scottish Concerto and Propino barley peated to 139.6 ppm. It matured for 5 years in first-fill American oak whiskey barrels from Jack Daniel’s. Heaven Hill, and Jim Beam.

Octomore 11.2

Octomore 11.2

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 58.6% ABV
Price: £140 (about $180)
Release: October 2020
Availability: 8,000 bottles

Need to know:

Also distilled from Scottish Concerto and Propino barley peated to 139.6 ppm, this whisky combines two distinct parcels:

  • 25% matured in European oak wine casks from Pauillac in Bordeaux
  • 75% matured in American oak cabernet sauvignon barriques from St. Julien, France

The two liquids spent several months marrying before being bottled.

Octomore 11.3

Octomore 11.3

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 61.7% ABV
Price: $260
Release: October 2020
Availability: 18,000 bottles

Need to know:

This whisky was distilled from the 2013 harvest of Concerto barley grown on Octomore Farm and peated to 194 ppm. It matured in first-fill American oak whiskey casks from Buffalo Trace, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, and Heaven Hill.

Octomore 10 year old (2020 Release)

Octomore 10 year old (2020 Release)

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 10 years old
Proof: 54.3% ABV
Price: $235
Release: October 2020
Availability: 12,000 bottles

Need to know:

Distilled in 2009 from Scottish Optic barley peated to 208 ppm, this whisky has a serpentine maturation history. The 77 casks that made up this batch include the following:

  • 46 first-fill American whiskey casks
  • 15 first-fill American whiskey casks whose contents were re-racked in 2015 into second-fill American whiskey casks
  • 16 combination American and virgin oak casks: 20% virgin oak-matured combined with 80% initial first-fill American whiskey cask-matured which had been transferred to second-fill virgin oak. The blend was then re-racked into second-fill American whiskey casks in 2018.

Can’t keep track? Bruichladdich’s website has more information.

Whisky Advocate says:

Octomore bottlings now carry the Greek word “dialogos” on the label, meaning “dialogue,” and Bruichladdich aims to spark conversations with the unconventional ages, production methods, and other characteristics of these heavily peated whiskies. The distillery shares tons of information about them, as explained by head distiller Adam Hannett recently on #TasteWithSpace, but if you’re keen to simply let the liquid do the talking, you’re in for a memorable experience.

Orphan Barrel 24 year old Muckety Muck Single Grain Scotch

Orphan Barrel 24 year old Muckety Muck Single Grain Scotch

Style: Single grain
Origin: Scotland
Age: 24 years old
Proof: 45% ABV
Price: $225
Release: October 2020
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Distilled at the now-closed Port Dundas Distillery, this single grain whisky matured for 24 years in bourbon casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the second scotch bottled under the Orphan Barrel label; the first, Forager’s Keep, was a 26 year old single malt from Pittyvaich. Muckety Muck’s label comes in six variations, all depicting a pig wearing a tartan sash, as once upon a time, Port Dundas Distillery had an on-site piggery; the swine fed on the distillery’s spent grains.

Calumet Farm 14 year old Single Rack Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Calumet Farm 14 year old Single Rack Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 14 years old
Proof: 48.1% ABV
Price: $120
Release: September 2020
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Distilled in March 2006 from a mashbill of 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley, this bourbon aged for 14 years. Just 19 barrels were bottled for this release, though the company plans to release additional batches.

Whisky Advocate says:

A couple of years ago, Calumet Farm came out with a 12 year old under the Single Rack Black label. The company, which bottles but does not distill the whiskey, says the barrels came from “a single, center cut rack from the ideal maturation location and conditions inside the rick house.” That’s not really a meaningful statement, as every location in a warehouse can yield great-tasting bourbon—it’ll just taste different from spot to spot.

Ardnamurchan Single Malt

Ardnamurchan Single Malt

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 6 years old
Proof: 46.8% ABV
Price: $65
Release: September 2020; mid-2021 in the U.S.
Availability: 15,950 bottles

Need to know:

Distilled in 2014, this is the first whisky from Ardnamurchan, a small distillery located in the rugged and remote Western Scottish peninsula of the same name. It’s a combination of the distillery’s unpeated and peated spirits, matured in 65% bourbon and 35% sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

In Scotland, whisky must be aged at least 3 years, and most new distilleries release their first bottlings around that time, to generate much-needed revenue. Ardnamurchan is owned by Adelphi, an independent bottler, so immediate cashflow was less of a concern, and the whisky could mature a bit longer. It will first be released in the UK, and will hit shelves in the U.S. in the middle of next year.

Kooper Family Single Barrel Straight Bourbon

Kooper Family Single Barrel Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: IN
Age: Not stated
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $46
Release: October 2020
Availability: For sale in TX only

Need to know:

Distilled at MGP, this bourbon matured in Texas for 4-5 years.

Kooper Family Barrel Reserve Rye

Kooper Family Barrel Reserve Rye

Style: Blended rye
Origin: IN and TN
Age: Not stated
Proof: 58% ABV
Price: $60
Release: October 2020
Availability: For sale in TX only

Need to know:

This whiskey blends 4 year old 95% rye from MGP with 6 year old 61% rye from Tennessee. The blend is refilled into a used bourbon barrel to marry.

Whisky Advocate says:

Based in Ledbetter, Texas, Kooper Family is primarily a whiskey blender, putting together distillates from Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee for its line of bourbons and ryes. The Barrel Reserve rye is one such blend, but in a departure from the norm, Kooper Family Single Barrel straight bourbon is sourced from a single distillery.

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