Hudson Whiskey Relaunch & More New Releases

Lots of new whiskies are coming out this week, but first, some quick updates on existing brands: Fistful of Bourbon, the blend of straight bourbons produced by William Grant & Sons master blender Brian Kinsman and blender Kelsey McKechnie, is now available nationwide. It launched two years ago and up to now was limited to Texas.

George Remus bourbon, which is made by MGP, is now offering a single-barrel program for retailers. There’s a list of participating stores if you’d like to find one near you.

O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro, Kentucky has rebranded as Green River Distilling Co., the historic name connected with the company’s DSP (distilled spirits permit). When the distillery launches its own-make whiskeys at 4 years old, they’ll bear the Green River name.

On to this week’s new releases. First up, Hudson Whiskey has rebranded its core lineup and launched new packaging, and a new finished rye. Prices are lower than they used to be, and the liquid is apparently more consistent. The range now includes Bright Lights, Big Bourbon ($40), Do The Rye Thing ($40), Short Stack ($55), and Back Room Deal ($55). Look for the new bottles in New York’s tri-state area starting now, and nationwide in 2021.

Templeton is adding a rum-finished rye as part of its Barrel Finish series. Templeton Caribbean Rum Cask-Finished is priced at $50, with 21,000 bottles available in the U.S.

Stranahan’s has debuted its oldest whiskey to date, a 10 year old single malt. There are less than 500 bottles of Stranahan’s 10 year old Mountain Angel available, priced at $130.

St. George Spirits is rolling out the 20th release of its single malt. Priced at $100, the whiskey—which is always a different makeup of barrels and ages—is available in limited amounts.

A new bourbon created by Wolf Spirit Distillery from a combination of 4-6 year old Kentucky straight bourbons, is hitting shelves now. Puncher’s Chance is priced at $35 and for sale in several states.

Garrison Brothers Distillery is releasing its 2020 Cowboy bourbon. Just under 6,800 bottles are available, priced at $199.

Gold Bar Spirits Co. has a new bourbon finished with French oak staves. Rickhouse Cask-Strength is priced at $35 and available in three states and online.

Four Gate Whiskey Co. is launching a new cask-finished bourbon. Four Gate Andalusia Key has two finishes—in rum and sherry barrels—and is priced at $199, with around 1,300 bottles available.

Valentine Distilling has introduced single-barrel bourbon and rye in its Mayor Pingree lineup. The whiskeys are priced at $66 and available in limited amounts.

Finally, Scotland’s Nc’nean Distillery is debuting its first single malt. The organic whisky is priced at £48; sadly, it’s not for sale in the U.S.

Read on for full details.

Hudson Whiskey Bright Lights, Big Bourbon

Hudson Whiskey Bright Lights, Big Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: New York
Age: 3 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $40
Release: September 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Distilled from 95% New York-grown corn and 5% malted barley, this was formerly known as Hudson Baby Bourbon. It’s available in both 750 ml and 375 ml bottles ($25).

Hudson Whiskey Do The Rye Thing

Hudson Whiskey Do The Rye Thing

Style: Straight rye
Origin: New York
Age: 3 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $40
Release: September 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Formerly called Manhattan rye, this whiskey is made with 95% rye and 5% malted barley and aged at least three years. It’s available in both 750 ml and 375 ml bottles ($25).

Hudson Whiskey Short Stack

Hudson Whiskey Short Stack

Style: Finished rye
Origin: New York
Age: 3 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $55
Release: September 2020
Availability: Annual limited edition; 3,000 bottles in 2020

Need to know:

This whiskey starts off as straight rye and is then finished in Vermont maple syrup barrels. It was formerly known as Hudson Maple Cask.

Hudson Whiskey Back Room Deal

Hudson Whiskey Back Room Deal

Style: Finished rye
Origin: New York
Age: 3 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $55
Release: September 2020
Availability: 1,140 bottles

Need to know:

A new whiskey, this is Hudson’s rye finished in peated single malt scotch casks. In fact, the casks started off as new charred oak barrels aging Hudson’s bourbon, then were shipped to Scotland to age the peated whisky, and returned to New York for this rye. Back Room is a one-time-only release.

Whisky Advocate says:

Founded in 2005, Hudson and its distiller, Tuthilltown, were acquired by scotch company William Grant & Sons in 2017. Since then, master blender Brian Kinsman—who’s responsible for single malts like Balvenie and Glenfiddich—and Balvenie malt master David Stewart have worked with Hudson chief distiller Brendan O’Rourke to improve the whiskeys’ quality and consistency, leading to this relaunch.

Now with lower pricing, the lineup’s packaging was inspired by New York City’s subways, and each whiskey is meant to celebrate the spirit of New Yorkers. (The bourbon and rye are both named after movies set in New York.) The new range is hitting New York’s tri-state area now, and will be rolling out to the rest of the country in 2021. Hudson is also launching a single-barrel version of its bourbon called This Is Your Favorite Whiskey, with suggested pricing at $50.

Whisky Advocate recently reviewed Hudson’s Manhattan straight rye (91 points) and Baby bourbon (88 points), and we look forward to revisiting the whiskeys in a future Buying Guide.

Templeton Caribbean Rum Cask-Finished

Templeton Caribbean Rum Cask-Finished

Style: Finished rye
Origin: Indiana
Age: Not stated
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $50
Release: September 2020
Availability: 24,000 bottles, including 21,000 for the U.S.

Need to know:

The 2020 release in Templeton’s Barrel Finish series, this MGP-distilled rye was aged for 5 years in new charred oak and finished for 6 months in first-fill Jamaican rum barrels.

Whisky Advocate says:

Finishing in rum casks can add extra sweetness —check out the tasting notes for eight different rum cask-finished scotch, Irish, and American whiskies. Chances are, however, this Templeton won’t be as sweet as the brand’s 2019 Barrel Finish rye, which spent time in maple syrup casks.

Stranahan's 10 year old Mountain Angel

Stranahan's 10 year old Mountain Angel

Style: Single malt
Origin: Colorado
Age: 10 years old
Proof: 47.3% ABV
Price: $130
Release: September 2020
Availability: Less than 500 bottles for sale in CA, CO, and NY

Need to know:

The oldest release from Stranahan’s to date, this single malt was aged for 10 years in new charred American oak barrels.

Whisky Advocate says:

Stranahan’s is located in Denver, which is at high altitude and has a dry climate, and its barrels often lose a lot of liquid to the angels’ share. In the case of Mountain Angel, some of the evaporative loss was as high as 80%, which the distillery says resulted in concentrated oak flavors in the whiskey.

St. George Single Malt (Lot 20)

St. George Single Malt (Lot 20)

Style: Single malt
Origin: California
Age: Not stated
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $100
Release: October 2020
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The 20th release of single malt whiskey from Alameda’s St. George Spirits, this iteration includes whiskeys ranging from 4½ to 21 years old. The mashbill features a number of specialty malts, including some smoked over beech and alder wood. Barrel types used for maturation include Kentucky bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, American and French oak apple brandy, port, and California sauternes-style wine casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

St. George master distiller Lance Winters joined the distillery in 1996 expressly to make single malt, which he has done since 2000. In recent years, however, Winters has ceded much responsibility to head distiller/blender Dave Smith, and it’s Smith who guided this release. St. George’s range of maturing whiskey has expanded over two decades, and Smith had more options than ever to play with when putting together this single malt.

Wolf Spirit Puncher's Chance

Wolf Spirit Puncher's Chance

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 45% ABV
Price: $35
Release: August 2020
Availability: For sale in FL, KY, IN, MI, MA, MN, RI, IN, TX, and WI

Need to know:

A combination of 4, 5, and 6 year old Kentucky straight bourbons, this whiskey is produced by Wolf Spirit, a spirits company that also makes Blood x Sweat x Tears and Tom of Finland vodkas.

Whisky Advocate says:

In addition to this core release, Wolf Spirit is also offering a single-barrel version of Puncher’s Chance to retail stores, including Liquor Barn in Kentucky. The single-barrel bourbon will be bottled at barrel proof and carry a recommended price of $50.

Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon (2020 Release)

Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon (2020 Release)

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Texas
Age: Not stated
Proof: 66.95% ABV
Price: $199
Release: September 2020
Availability: 6,768 bottles

Need to know:

Released annually, this straight bourbon made by Hye, Texas’ Garrison Brothers Distillery came from 100 barrels, all aged at least 5 years. The bourbon is uncut and unfiltered.

Whisky Advocate says:

There will be 1,000 bottles of Cowboy bourbon released at the distillery on Sept. 26, with the remainder allocated among the 35 states where Garrison Brothers is distributed. This whiskey sells out quickly, so good luck if you’re hoping to get a bottle.

Gold Bar Rickhouse Cask-Strength Bourbon

Gold Bar Rickhouse Cask-Strength Bourbon

Style: Finished bourbon
Origin: Texas
Age: Not stated
Proof: 51.5% ABV
Price: $35
Release: September 2020
Availability: For sale in CA, KY, and NV as well as online

Need to know:

Produce by Gold Bar Spirits Co., this bourbon was triple-distilled in a pot still from 80% corn and 20% rye by an undisclosed Texas distillery. After initial aging in new charred oak barrels, the whiskey was transferred to California where it spent time finishing in French oak wine casks filled with toasted French oak staves.

Whisky Advocate says:

Gold Bar has previously produced an eponymous blended whiskey in a shiny gold bottle in the shape of an ingot that has at times been “finished with gold flakes” and “finished in California casks.” This new finished bourbon is a different product altogether and abandons the garish packaging for a more serious look, though there’s still a gold medallion embedded in the bottle.

Four Gate Andalusia Key

Four Gate Andalusia Key

Style: Finished bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 60.6% ABV
Price: $199
Release: September 2020
Availability: 1,309 bottles; for sale in GA, KY, and TN and online

Need to know:

This whiskey is comprised of two parts:

  • A blend of three Kentucky straight bourbons, finished in dark rum casks from the Florida Keys
  • A blend of two Kentucky straight bourbons, finished in oloroso sherry casks from Andalusia, Spain

Whisky Advocate says:

Four Gate is no stranger to multi-part finishes; its first release was a bourbon finished in sherry-rum casks, and it recently added a bourbon finished in cognac and rum casks.

Valentine Distilling Co. Mayor Pingree Single-Barrel Bourbon and Rye

Valentine Distilling Co. Mayor Pingree Single-Barrel Bourbon and Rye

Style: Straight bourbon and straight rye
Origin: Indiana
Age: 5 years old
Proof: Varies (Barrel proof)
Price: $66
Release: Sept. 2020
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

These single-barrel whiskeys—a bourbon and a rye—were distilled at MGP and aged at Valentine Distilling Co. in Ferndale, Michigan. They are 5 years old, and both are bottled at barrel proof.

Whisky Advocate says:

Initially offered to select Michigan retailers, these whiskeys will be available in additional states in the coming months. 

Nc'nean Organic Single Malt

Nc'nean Organic Single Malt

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 3 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: £48
Release: September 2020
Availability: Not for sale in the U.S.

Need to know:

The first release from Scotland’s Nc’nean Distillery, this single malt was distilled from organic Scottish barley and matured in bourbon and STR (shaved, toasted, recharred) red wine casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Founded in 2013 on the remote west coast of Scotland, Nc’nean is focused on making whisky sustainably, with as small a footprint as possible. This single malt is certified organic, the glass bottle is made from recycled materials, and the distillery is powered by 100% renewable energy. The Summer 2020 issue of Whisky Advocate has a feature on Scotland’s newest distilleries, including Nc’nean and its founder, Annabel Thomas.

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