Glenrothes 50 Year Old, Michter’s 25 Year Old & More New Whisky

There’s a pricey new book about “impossible” whiskies that you might want to peruse if you have a spare grand—but for everyone else, check out the week’s newest releases (even though a couple of these are just as spendy).

Speyside’s Glenrothes Distillery is releasing its oldest single malt ever. Distilled in 1968, Glenrothes 50 year old is priced according to its rarity, with just 50 bottles available at $35,000 each.

Michter’s is bringing back its 25 year old straight bourbon after a three-year absence. The 2020 release is priced at $1,000 and, needless to say, is very limited.

Blackened has launched its first barrel-proof whiskey. Blackened Cask Strength debuts with Batch 106, priced at $55, and available in Florida and Kentucky, with expansion planned.

Barrell Craft Spirits is rolling out the 2020 release of BCS bourbon, a higher-end blend than the core Barrell bourbon expression. There are 12,000 bottles available, priced at $250.

Ireland’s The Shed Distillery is debuting its first whiskey. Drumshanbo single pot still is widely available, priced at $65.

Hinch Irish whiskey is hitting the U.S. for the first time with three expressions: Small Batch Bourbon Cask ($30), 5 year old Double Wood ($40), and 10 year old Sherry Cask ($55). All three whiskeys are widely available.

After debuting with a straight rye in January, Wheel Horse is adding a straight bourbon to its lineup. The new whiskey is priced at $28 and available in over a dozen states.

Leopold Bros. Distillery in Colorado is launching a 5 year old bottled in bond bourbon. The new whiskey is for sale in several states, priced at $60.

Finally, Manassas, Virginia’s KO Distilling also has a new bottled in bond bourbon. The whiskey is priced at $70 and available in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Read on for full details.

1968 Glenrothes 50 year old

1968 Glenrothes 50 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 50 years old
Proof: 48% ABV
Price: $35,000
Release: October 2020
Availability: 50 bottles

Need to know:

Distilled in 1968, this whisky matured in bourbon and sherry casks. There are just 50 crystal decanters available globally, and purchasers will automatically be granted membership into a club called Fifty, whose benefits include a private visit to the Glenrothes estate and distillery, which are normally closed to visitors.

Whisky Advocate says:

Reaching the half-century mark is no mean feat, even for whiskies that age as slowly and gracefully as single malt scotch. There’s more to the creation of a 50 year old whisky than just letting it sit in a cask; it’s a delicate dance to balance wood and spirit with the depredations of evaporative loss. Check out this in-depth study on 50 year old single malts to learn more about why these whiskies are special for more than just their age statement.

Michter's 25 year old

Michter's 25 year old

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 25 years old
Proof: 58.1% ABV
Price: $1,000
Release: October 2020
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

This straight bourbon was made at an undisclosed distillery and aged for 25 years.

Whisky Advocate says:

Michter’s last released a 25 year old bourbon three years ago. It’s not easy to mature a bourbon to such an advanced age; often, the influence of the barrel takes over so that tannic, overly woody, and bitter notes dominate the whiskey’s flavor.

But that’s not likely to be the case here. The 2017 release of Michter’s 25 year old scored 93 points; my expectations for this one are similar.

Blackened Cask Strength (Batch 106)

Blackened Cask Strength (Batch 106)

Style: Blended whiskey
Origin: Multiple
Age: Not stated
Proof: 55.35% ABV
Price: $55
Release: October 2020
Availability: Limited edition; for sale in KY and FL

Need to know:

The first barrel-proof release from Blackened, this whiskey—blended from a number of bourbons and ryes—was finished in brandy barrels via the brand’s “sonic enhancement” process using the “Metallica and San Francisco Symphony: S&M2” album.

Whisky Advocate says:

Since the death of Dave Pickerell, the brand’s co-founder along with Metallica, Blackened has been made by ex-Stranahan’s master distiller Rob Dietrich. This batch is for sale only at certain Kroger stores in Kentucky and Luekens Wine & Spirits in Florida, although Blackened plans to roll out additional batches of Cask Strength later this year and into 2021.

Barrell Craft Spirits BCS Bourbon (Release 003)

Barrell Craft Spirits BCS Bourbon (Release 003)

Style: Blend of straight bourbons
Origin: Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee
Age: 15 years old
Proof: 52.45% ABV
Price: $250
Release: October 2020
Availability: 12,000 bottles

Need to know:

This whiskey blends straight bourbons, all aged at least 15 years, from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Whisky Advocate says:

Barrell regularly releases batches of blended straight bourbon throughout the year, but that’s under the name “Barrell Bourbon.” This release comes under the Barrell Craft Spirits (BCS) name. Founder Joe Beatrice explains the difference:

“We spend all year earmarking, picking, and monitoring barrels for the BCS program. We look for a somewhat specific set of flavor profiles, but most of all, barrels that are deeply concentrated without being aggressively oaky…BCS is about depth and complexity. We are not concerned so much with barrels that are off-profile and intriguing alone, as those go into our single-barrel program. We are also not so concerned with barrels for structure (high oak tannin, extreme sweetness, etc.) as we are only using the crème of the crop. The barrels for the BCS program are ones that show deep dark fruit and a sort of maple or molasses-forward sweetness without being too dominated by wood flavors. This comes only from bourbon that is in especially well-coopered barrels, but aged in temperate parts of the warehouse for long periods of time.” 

Drumshanbo Single Pot Still

Drumshanbo Single Pot Still

Style: Single pot still whiskey
Origin: Ireland
Age: Not stated
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $65
Release: October 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

The first whiskey release from Ireland’s The Shed Distillery, this was made from malted and unmalted barley and Barra oats. It aged for 5 years in first-fill bourbon and oloroso sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Single pot still whiskey is Ireland’s signature style, although for decades just one distillery—Midleton—was making it. Since the country’s whiskey boom began, however, new distillers are all-in on single pot still; Teeling released its first one earlier this year, as did Kilbeggan, and we’re going to see more and more of these whiskeys as they come of age. The bar has been set pretty high already in terms of quality and flavor. Go out and try some!

Hinch Small Batch Bourbon Cask

Hinch Small Batch Bourbon Cask

Style: Blended whiskey
Origin: Northern Ireland
Age: Not stated
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $30
Release: October 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Matured in bourbon casks, this blend of malt and grain whiskeys was produced by Hinch Distillery Co. in County Down, Northern Ireland.

Hinch 5 year old Double Wood

Hinch 5 year old Double Wood

Style: Blended whiskey
Origin: Northern Ireland
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $40
Release: October 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Initially matured in bourbon casks, this blend spent at least a year finishing in virgin American oak casks.

Hinch 10 year old Sherry Cask-Finished

Hinch 10 year old Sherry Cask-Finished

Style: Blended whiskey
Origin: Northern Ireland
Age: 10 years old
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $55
Release: October 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

After maturing in bourbon casks, this blend of malt and grain whiskeys undergoes a 6-month finish in oloroso sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Hinch’s lineup also includes a single pot still and peated single malt whiskey, which are coming to the U.S. next year. The company is currently in the final stages of construction for its distillery, located near Ballynahinch, south of Belfast.

Wheel Horse Straight Bourbon

Wheel Horse Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 2 years old
Proof: 50.5% ABV
Price: $28
Release: October 2020
Availability: For sale in CA, CO, CT, DE, IL, KY, MD, MA, MN, MO, NJ, NY, RI, and TN

Need to know:

Distilled from 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley, this bourbon is made up of barrels aged 2 to 4 years. It was made at Green River Distilling Co., formerly O.Z. Tyler Distillery, in Owensboro, KY.

Whisky Advocate says:

Wheel Horse launched a straight rye back in January, and although the first batch sold out, the next batch will be available in November. The rye scored 86 points in the Summer 2020 Buying Guide.

Leopold Bros. Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon

Leopold Bros. Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Colorado
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $60
Release: September 2020
Availability: For sale in CA, CO, GA, IL, NJ, NY, TX, and WA

Need to know:

Made with a mashbill of 64% corn, 21% malted barley, 15% heritage Abruzzi rye and fermented with both cultured and indigenous yeast in wooden open-top tanks, this bourbon aged for 5 years in Leopold Bros.’ dunnage-style warehouse.

Whisky Advocate says:

Leopold Bros. incorporates many traditional processes in its whiskey-making, from its use of wild indigenous yeast to its floor maltings to its dunnage warehouses. Co-founder Todd Leopold even commissioned a three-chamber still to make his Monongahela-style rye exactly as it would have been centuries ago. Leopold Bros. whiskeys are often unconventional in flavor, offering a completely novel taste perspective for modern drinkers—though, in a way, they’re also a window to the past.

KO Distilling Distiller's Reserve Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon

KO Distilling Distiller's Reserve Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Virginia
Age: 4 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $70
Release: October 2020
Availability: For sale in MD, VA, and Washington, D.C., as well as online

Need to know:

The first bottled in bond release from Manassas, Virginia’s KO Distilling, this bourbon was made with 70% corn, 20% wheat, and 10% malted barley, all grown in Virginia. It’s certified kosher as well.

Whisky Advocate says:

If it seems like there’s more bottled in bond bourbon than ever nowadays, you aren’t dreaming. The style is in a boom period, with dozens of producers offering a wide range of ages and flavors—though always at 50% ABV and at least 4 years old. Check out some of our favorite bonded bourbons available now.

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