Johnnie Walker Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal Edition, 43.8%
Blended Scotch Whisky | $350
This presents a mellow bouquet of rich dried fruits, peat smoke, baked sugar on puff pastry, and almond butter cups. The chocolate-orange signature note ebbs and flows, mingling with spices and clove, nuts, dried apricot, caramel, vanilla, and baked apple, ending with a frisson of spice and mild smoke. Understated elegance: this whisky is polished smooth as glass.
King of Kentucky 15 year old Straight Bourbon (2019 Release, Barrel 8), 65.5%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $250
Walnuts in maple syrup, grape jelly, cooked cherries, peanuts in Coke, ginger syrup, iced tea, and varnish on the nose. Adding water first reveals sweeter notes, then fully opens up the tightly wound palate, unfurling bittersweet chocolate, pipe tobacco, cherry pie, blackberry preserves, roasted spices, and sweet nuttiness. The lengthy finish is nutty and rich, with generous spice, chocolate, oak, and cola. Collectibles
Four Gate 11 year old Sherry-Rum Cask-Finished Bourbon (Batch 1), 61.7%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $200
Peanuts in the shell, PayDay bars, toasted grain, caramel, butterscotch, purple plums, ginger root, black tea, and layers of spice on the nose. The palate is rich and deep, with dark chocolate, roasted peanuts, blueberry pie, concord grapes, Cherry Coke, ginger, black pepper, and lush chai spices. It finishes velvety and full, with persistent dark fruits, roasted nuts, and dark chocolate. At barrel proof, this is a whiskey to explore: the more water you add, the more depths you plumb.
A delightfully complex nose of vanilla, hot cross buns and bakery shop, cherries, coconut, raisins, figs, licorice, old leather, and hay barn. A smooth, viscous palate offers lemon honey, fragrant oak, cigar ash, dark berries, and more coconut. Spicier notes emerge with water, while the finish offers rich smoothness, with spiciness, chocolate-covered coconut, tobacco, and bitter herbs. Lots of depth and complexity. A great whiskey to enjoy with a cigar.
Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1954 (distilled at Glenlivet), 41%
Single Malt Scotch | $15,000
The nose yields baked apples, cherry blossom, marzipan, then blackcurrant cordial and a hint of coal smoke. The palate features cocktail cherries, sponge cake, faint sherry, plus prunes and raisins. The finish is very long; tannic, with musty black pepper. (50 Bottles in U.S.)
The nose offers fragrant orange, tea leaves, honey blossom, dried flowers, strawberry laces, and powdered sugar. The palate is surprisingly delicate, with notes of cigar ash, leather, blackberry preserves, vanilla milkshake, and balanced oak. The finish is long and rich, with dark fruit, cherry, strawberry, allspice, tobacco leaf, and polished oak. Water brings out toasty notes, cinnamon, clove, and strawberry preserves. Great depth, richness, and heat; stunningly formed.
This was distilled in 2012 and matured in 43 red wine casks that had been shaved, toasted, and recharred, hence ‘STR.’ The nose offers rich, creamy, medicinal peat, sea salt, vanilla, and loganberries. Sweet berry notes and caramel on the slick palate, then peat gathers momentum, with cinnamon and tangy citrus fruits. The finish features barbecue smoke, chili, and black pepper. (1,920 bottles for the U.S.)
Old Bones 10 year old Reserve Straight Bourbon (Batch 5), 55%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $110
A soft, sweet nose of vanilla, peanuts, licorice, molasses, cherries, bubble gum, warehouse floor earthiness, oak, cedar, and spice. The palate is chewy, dense, and mouth-filling, with notes of cherry, blackberry jam, vanilla fudge, almond, tobacco leaf, and soft oak. The long, rich finish is the crowning moment, ending the ride with chocolate cream pie, almond, a ring of tobacco leaf, and a balanced oak influence. Holds its power superbly.
Good complexity here, with malt, toffee, clementine peel, creamy vanilla, flapjacks, peppercorn, and brown sugar sprinkled over baked apple and pear tarts. Beautiful flavors of sugared nuts, orange fondant cream, then wave after wave of intense spices. It’s wonderful neat, adding lush caramel, marmalade, and nutty flavors toward the end. This is twice as scarce as last year, so get your skates on. (2,580 bottles)
Satisfyingly smoky, with noticeable structure and complexity: grilled fish, burning aromatic grasses, cocoa powder, and jellied and tropical fruit flavors. Soft pulpy fruits to taste, with red apple, nippy ginger and pepper spices, a surge of orange and mango flavors, and a backdraft of smoke. The nostrils still detect a delightful kipperiness. Smoke writhes like a serpent on the finish, sliding off walls dripping with sweet tropical fruits. (3,972 bottles)
Redbreast 12 year old Cask Strength (Batch B1/18), 56.2%
Irish Single Pot Still | $84
This batch heightens the fruitiness of apple, orange peel, dried strawberry, and peach over potent spices on the nose. Strawberry and raspberry flavors revel in the oily richness, then crescendo to a pot still spice storm that rages in the mouth like a swarm of bees. Long, spicy finish with vestiges of fruit and toasted oak. Thrill-seekers’ whiskey, if you dare.
The nose features peat, ozone, malt, sherry, mango, charcuterie, and an herbal note. Overt sherry and rum on the palate, with pineapple, caramel, worn leather, and bonfire smoke. The finish is long and earthy, with chocolate and spicy oak. (160 bottles for U.S.)
Knappogue Castle 12 year old Marco De Bartoli Marsala Cask-Finished, 46%
Irish Single Malt | $80
Aromas of green apples, zested lime, and caramel entice the senses with hints of banana peel and nuts. Succulent green apple, honey, and vanilla, this has a thick, syrupy, mouth-drawing palate. Baked pear and peppery spices continue into the finish. This expression feels recognizably part of the Knappogue Castle family, yet offers a more sophisticated and progressive take on finishing. (1,020 bottles)
Knappogue Castle 12 year old Marchesi di Barolo Wine Cask-Finished, 46%
Irish Single Malt | $80
Baked plum desserts, sweet cherry, star anise, and dark vanilla on the nose, with an enticing freshly toasted spiciness. Caramel, plum, pomegranate, and rawhide shoelaces shift into a concentrated fruitiness as allspice and pepper well up, yielding a sweet core of graham crackers, marshmallows, and creamy vanilla, with hints of chocolate. Bruised fruit and throbbing spices characterize the finish on this laudable example of wine finishing. (1,020 bottles)
Influenced by a final decade spent in oloroso sherry and Burgundy casks. The nose offers orange segments dipped in honey, plus nougat, icing sugar, and more piercing citrus notes. The palate is supple, with milk chocolate and orange juice, joined by damsons and wood spices. A mouth-drying note persists behind juicy fruits, with aniseed and black pepper. The finish yields peaches dipped in salt and spicy oak. Collectibles
This blend of rye, barley, corn, and wheat whiskies starts big on the nose with caramel-donut glaze that dissolves into buckwheat honey, then sweet orange marmalade. Spices are ever-present, but restrained, while a creamy sweet breadiness prevails throughout. Cereal notes on the palate are awash in honey sweetness. A soft yet tightly integrated whisky with depth and complexity. 100 CAD
Complex and complete, the sweet and chewy aromas of maple syrup and crème de marrons meet milk chocolate and Andes Mints. On the palate, the intense layered sweetness of vanilla, crème brûlée, pecan pie, butterscotch, and honey is tempered by chili spice and deep earthy notes of leather and tobacco, before toffee and baking spices carry into the long finish.
Two-row barley grown on the distillery farm yields a glorious dram, with berries instantly on the nose accompanying fragrant dry hay. The sweet fruitiness of the nose becomes clear overtones of wild Vancouver Island blackberries on the palate. This is big whisky, with exotic fruits, hot spices, and nutty, grainy marzipan notes. Restrained oak allows fruits and spices to shine. Slowly, a lingering spicy finish turns sweet and fruity. 85 CAD