More Macallan Double Cask, Award-Winning Islay Scotch & More New Whisky

After a few weeks of mainly new American whiskeys rolling out, it’s Scotland’s turn to debut some exciting bottles.

First up, Macallan has unveiled two new Double Cask whiskies at 15 and 18 years old. They join the existing 12 year old Double Cask, priced at $135 for the 15 year old and $330 for its elder sibling. Both are widely available.

Laphroaig’s 2020 edition of Càirdeas is hitting shelves, matured in bourbon and ruby port casks and finished in red wine casks. The limited-edition single malt is priced at $100.

The latest batch of Kilchoman Loch Gorm is rolling out now. There are just over 1,900 bottles of the sherry cask-matured Islay single malt available in the U.S., priced at $120.

Independent bottler The Last Drop is launching a 49 year old Glenrothes, distilled in 1970. The whisky is priced at $6,250, with just 286 bottles available.

Veteran-owned company Hooten Young is debuting a 12 year old American whiskey. Priced at $90, the whiskey is available in Florida and online.

Westward Whiskey is releasing a single cask single malt to raise money for Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon. The distillery is partnering with the nonprofit on a mentorship program, and committing all proceeds from the 270 bottles of this whiskey ($100) to the cause.

Finally, Loch Lomond Distillery is releasing a limited-edition 12 year old single malt in honor of the 149th Open, even though the golf tournament has been postponed until 2021. There are 3,000 bottles of the whisky available for £50 (around $62), though it will not be for sale in the U.S.

Read on for full details.

7/24/2020: This article was updated with new information about Hooten Young’s mashbill and production process.

Macallan 15 year old Double Cask

Macallan 15 year old Double Cask

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland
Age: 15 years old
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $135
Release: July 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Much like its younger sibling, Macallan 12 year old Double Cask, this whisky is matured in both European and American oak casks that were seasoned with oloroso sherry.

Macallan 18 year old Double Cask

Macallan 18 year old Double Cask

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland
Age: 18 years old
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $330
Release: July 2020
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Undergoing the same maturation program as the 12 and 15 year old Double Cask whiskies, this single malt is aged for 18 years.

Whisky Advocate says:

The type of oak used for a cask can have a profound impact on the whisky’s final flavor, though Macallan always uses sherry casks, so certain characteristics—dried fruit, caramel, spice—stay consistent.

Macallan 12 year old Double Cask was No. 17 in the 2017 Top 20, and remains a widely enjoyed offering from the Speyside distillery. But it’s also $65—less than half the asking price for the new 15 year old, and a fraction of the 18 year old’s price tag. The bump in quality may justify those differences, or not—that’s for each drinker to determine for themselves.

Laphroaig Càirdeas Port & Wine Casks (2020 Release)

Laphroaig Càirdeas Port & Wine Casks (2020 Release)

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 52% ABV
Price: $100
Release: July 2020
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

This year’s limited-edition Càirdeas includes whiskies matured separately in bourbon and second-fill ruby port casks, then blended together and finished in bordeaux red wine casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

The port casks this whisky partly matured in were first used in Laphroaig’s 2013 Càirdeas release.

Fun fact! If the Càirdeas release is not bottled at cask strength, its last two digits correspond to the year it was released. For example, 2018’s Càirdeas Fino Cask was 51.8% ABV, and this year’s release is 52.0% ABV. The 2019 Càirdeas, No. 12 in the Top 20, was at cask strength, 59.5% ABV.

Laphroaig master distiller John Campbell explained more about his decision to bottle at cask strength, or not, in a recent article.

Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2020 Release)

Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2020 Release)

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $120
Release: June 2020
Availability: 15,500 bottles, including 1,920 for the U.S.

Need to know:

The annually released Kilchoman Loch Gorm is always matured in sherry casks. This year’s bottling comes from a vatting of 21 oloroso sherry butts, filled in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011.

Whisky Advocate says:

According to Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills, the 2020 Loch Gorm is more fruit-forward than last year’s release, which scored 91 points, although otherwise they share much in common. The 2018 Loch Gorm scored 91 points as well and was ranked as No. 15 in the Top 20.

The Last Drop Glenrothes 49 year old 1970

The Last Drop Glenrothes 49 year old 1970

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 49 years old
Proof: Varies by cask
Price: $6,250
Release: July 2020
Availability: 286 bottles

Need to know:

The Last Drop bottled three single refill bourbon casks for this release, all filled on December 6, 1970 and bottled in January 2020.

  • Cask No. 10586—45.3% ABV, 103 bottles
  • Cask No. 16207—44.1% ABV, 87 bottles
  • Cask No. 10589—45% ABV, 96 bottles

Whisky Advocate says:

The Last Drop released 1968 and 1969 single casks of Glenrothes in the last two years; these 1970 whiskies round out the trilogy. If you’ve purchased the previous two, might as well go for this one to have a full set. The Last Drop’s rare whiskies and spirits are targeted at collectors, and likely to appreciate in value.

Hooten Young 12 year old American Whiskey

Hooten Young 12 year old American Whiskey

Style: Light whiskey
Origin: Indiana
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $90
Release: June 2020
Availability: For sale in Florida and online

Need to know:

Made at MGP Distillery from a mashbill of 99% corn and 1% malted barley, this whiskey was distilled to 94.5% ABV, proofed down to 80% ABV for filling, and matured in second-fill American oak barrels. It was selected for Hooten Young by master sommelier George Miliotes, who offers the whiskey at his bar, Wine Bar George. It’s also for sale at retail in Florida and online.

Whisky Advocate says:

Though it isn’t labeled as such, because of its high distillation proof and maturation in used barrels, this is a light whiskey.

Hooten Young was created by former special operations soldier Master Sgt. Norm Hooten (as portrayed by Eric Bana in “Black Hawk Down”) and his friend Tim Young. The company, which also offers cigars, has committed to giving 10% of profits to veterans’ charities.

7/24/2020: This section has been updated to reflect new information about Hooten Young’s mashbill and production process.

Westward MESO Single Barrel

Westward MESO Single Barrel

Style: Single malt
Origin: Oregon
Age: Not stated
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $100
Release: July 2020
Availability: 270 bottles; for sale in Oregon only

Need to know:

From the thousandth barrel that Westward filled, this whiskey’s proceeds will support Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO). Westward is partnering with the group to launch a mentorship program for Black- and minority-owned small businesses.

Whisky Advocate says:

As anti-racism protests have swept the country, many companies have publicly stated their positions against discrimination and for equality; though it took most of the whiskey industry longer than others, many distilleries have now stepped forward to respond, not only with statements but also financial commitments and efforts like the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative. While Westward’s partnership with MESO isn’t limited to whisky makers, it’s still a meaningful endeavor for Portland’s small business community.

Loch Lomond 12 Year Old The Open Special Edition 2020

Loch Lomond 12 Year Old The Open Special Edition 2020

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: £50 (around $62)
Release: July 2020
Availability: 3,000 bottles; not for sale in the U.S.

Need to know:

This whisky was fermented with chardonnay yeast and distilled on Loch Lomond’s straight-necked pot stills, which yields a lively, floral character. It was originally created for the 149th Open, which has been postponed until 2021—but there will be another special release next year. Unfortunately, this whisky will not be available in the U.S.

Whisky Advocate says:

Loch Lomond has partnered with The Open since 2018, and has worked with several golfers to create limited-edition whiskies. Cristie Kerr, who owns Kerr Cellars in California, collaborated with the distillery on a pinot noir cask-finished single malt that was one of my favorite whiskies of 2019, scoring 94 points in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide.

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