Dram Hunters 7 year old Southern Coast Distillers Single Cask Single Malt (Cask No. 112), 63.6%
Australian Whisky | $250
Without water, this oddball is deeply herbaceous and spiced with aniseed, coriander, hardwood smoke, brown sugar, and powerful oak throughout the nose and palate. Add some water, and suddenly the sunbeam breaks through the crack in the curtain. There are still plenty of herbal and spice notes, but now more dimension emerges—orange, forest fruits, semi-sweet chocolate, coffee ice cream, and sweet woodsmoke, fully relaxed in its integration. The finish is savory, then sweet—clean and rich, a revelation. (150 bottles; U.S. exclusive)
Three Chord 12 year old Twelve Bar Reserve Barrel-Proof Straight Bourbon (Batch 0007), 53.5%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $70
Butter pecan ice cream, peanuts in the shell, oily grain, milk chocolate, cooked orange, cherry tart, and blueberries on the nose. The palate is spiced, nutty, and chewy, with milk chocolate, orange soda, cherry cough drop, baking spice, brown sugar, a hint of eucalyptus, and loads of peanuts. More rich spice, chocolate, and fruit on the finish, along with peanut butter, spearmint, and generous oak. Not a hair out of place.
An herbal nose featuring menthol, eucalyptus, and horehound is endowed with plenty of earthy oak, evoking sawmill, empty wine casks, and dusty floorboards. Generous oak courses through the palate, the drying tannins reining in the dense sweetness as the whiskey brandishes bold spices, including allspice, pepper, and clove. Water gives this bourbon much needed room to run, revealing greater polish and rich layers of flavor.
Stagg Jr. Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon (13th Edition), 64.2%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $50
This kicks off with a bounty of dark fruit—dark berries, cherry cough drops, and currants—coupled with heaps of vanilla, mocha, and rich oaky notes. Big and brawny on the palate, it pours bold and viscous, the blueberry and blackberry fruit balanced with the sweet-bitter notes of burnt sugar and pipe tobacco. The flavors harmonize beautifully, culminating in a finish of dark jam, coffee, and semi-sweet chocolate.
Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter One, 51.2%
Irish Single Malt | $35,000
Powerfully smoky for 45 years old, with charcoal, burnt turf, smoked venison, dark chocolate, Brazil-nut dark toffee, roasted chestnut, and a hint of smoked haddock. Thick golden syrup, peppery spice, and vanilla caramel; the peat smoke is heavier initially, then fades and darts between other flavors. Toasted oak, dark sugars, cocoa, and smoke finish an incredible sip of Irish whiskey liquid history. (48 bottles) Collectible
Midleton Dair Ghaelach Knockrath Forest (Tree 5), 56.5%
Irish Single Pot Still | $320
A superbly balanced whiskey with huge spices meeting vanilla head on: a perfect complement between the American and Irish oak contributions. It has a softer body, with lemon, vanilla, and meringue in creamy custard sauce, but then the spices go off like a rocket, and as they glitter across the palate, there are glimpses of chocolate, coffee, and singed oak.
A blend of different bourbons aged 15, 14, 12, 7, and 6 years. A bakery shop nose offers confectioners’ sugar and warm cherry pie. On the palate, wild strawberry and cooked fruit notes of baked apples and raspberry tart meld with tiramisu and black pepper, all well-balanced against leather and oak. The finish offers chocolate spice, raspberry, cinnamon, bitter almond, and lightly roasted coffee beans. Powerful but balanced, and superbly well-integrated. (10,314 bottles)
Single Malts of Scotland 23 year old Ben Nevis 1996 Single Cask (Cask No. 1479), 52.7%
Single Malt Scotch | $260
Thick with sherry fruit on the nose: cooked dark berries, raisins, and dried figs, though the fruit becomes more jammy when water is added. There’s also dark chocolate, hazelnuts, and leather. The palate is equally thick and chewy, offering figs, raisins, dark chocolate, coffee bean, and raspberry cake filling, as well as green apple and guava candy showing this whisky’s maturity. It finishes with coffee, chocolate, dark berries, white pepper, orange pith, and oak that verges on bitterness, but never tips over the edge. Stately and dignified. (405 bottles; U.S. exclusive)
Single Malts of Scotland 21 year old Ardmore 1998 Single Cask (Cask No. 750753), 50.2%
Single Malt Scotch | $240
Exhibit A for never judging a whisky by its color: This straw-pale malt shows depth and complexity many sherry-dark whiskies would envy. The nose is briny and smoky, with a seaweed character; lemon poppyseed muffin and almond cake are present without water. Add a few drops, however, and fresh orchard fruit emerges, sweet and clean, and carries into the rounded, silky palate where it mingles with salt water, black pepper, a squeeze of lemon, and smoky peat. Good length on the finish, which has oak, nuts, and cigar wrapper. A paragon of balance. (240 bottles)
Amrut 6 year old Aatma Single Cask Single Malt (Cask No. 4675), 57.1%
Indian Whisky | $215
Sweet saline peat on the nose, along with red berries, milk chocolate, hazelnuts, dates, and nougat. It’s lush and rich, qualities that extend to the palate’s oily, dense character, which is floral and soapy before shifting into plummy red berry fruit, dark chocolate, roasted hazelnuts, and a panoply of spices. The finish is ashy, peppery, sweet, and mouthwatering, with long, lingering smokiness. Water is a must to showcase the rounded, powerfully flavorful balance of this whisky. (360 bottles; U.S. exclusive)
Single Malts of Scotland 21 year old Glenburgie 1998 Single Cask (Cask No. 900896), 55.2%
Single Malt Scotch | $200
Powerfully tropical on the nose, with guava, jackfruit, mango, and papaya in spades; hibiscus, blueberry-pomegranate juice, almond, and a hint of caramel drizzle as well. The palate delivers on that aromatic promise, bursting with guava and papaya, as well as mouth-puckering citrus and almond pastry. The lengthy finish is still fruity but leans into dryness, with almond and clean cereal notes and, at the last, a wisp of cigar. Don’t be afraid to add water if you wish to reduce the alcohol; the intense flavors remain. (251 bottles; U.S. exclusive)
Lovely lavender-like florals and sweet Bit-O-Honey candies introduce this whiskey, with secondary aromas that suggest the vivid spice and earthy leather that lurk on the palate. Pleasantly sweet pineapple and citrus keep things bright on the palate, along with flavors of chocolate-covered banana. The final show of dusty oak tannins is laced with bitter espresso, then cocoa powder, ending with hints of furniture polish. An intense volley of flavors, skillfully integrated.
Penderyn 10 year old Madeira Cask-Finished Single Cask Single Malt (No. 047-3), 58.1%
Welsh Whisky | $110
When you feel you’ve earned a treat, pour a dram of this bottled candy. The nose is a tropical fruit basket, with papaya, guava, mango, jackfruit, and dried kiwi; extra goodies come in the form of Jordan almonds and vanilla sandwich cookies. Consistent tropical flavors on the silky palate. Nuttiness, gentle spice, milk chocolate, and coffee bean emerge with water. Intensely satisfying on the finish, with persistent fruit, integrated oak, almonds, and grapefruit peel. (243 bottles; U.S. exclusive)
Barrell 4 year old Cask-Strength Blend of Straight Ryes (Batch 003), 58.35%
Rye Whiskey | $90
There’s much to discover in the depths of this glass, which continues to develop over time. Dark fruit, tobacco, orange pekoe tea, white pepper, leather, dry-roasted peanuts, and varnish unfold on the nose, while the palate is fruity with blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, and orange; it also has dry oak, nuts, tobacco, and a lot of black pepper spice. The finish is leathery and peppery, with cigar and persistent dark berry flavors. A dense, decadent whiskey that makes it all seem effortless. (12,000 bottles)
A sack of dried corn and a basket of roasted peanuts go hand in hand with iced tea, Coca-Cola, dark berries, caramel, and earthy clay barn floor. Unsurprisingly brawny and chewy in the mouth, it’s packed with dark chocolate-covered peanuts, cola, cooked cherries, chocolate tart, and tingling spice that carries well into the finish, which also keeps up the dark fruit and peanut flavors.
Breuckelen 6 year old Brownstone Malt (Batch 1), 50%
Single Malt American Whiskey | $75
A peculiar nose of cucumber, cinnamon Red Hots, cedar shavings, fresh melon, jasmine tea, and tobacco barn, and somehow it all works. There’s much complexity to be explored here, with a whole spice cabinet tumbling out on the palate, dusting black tea, Cherry Coke, pecans, espresso, and taut oak with its clouds of blooming flavor. The finish expresses lovely barrel char, red chiles, coffee beans, herbaceous pops of licorice, and a lingering incense quality. Enchanting. (1,000 bottles)
Scan the dessert case and choose your favorite, because they’re all here in abundance: cake donuts, sticky buns, pralines, cocoa-dusted truffles, and strawberry tarts on the nose. Espresso, tea, and spice notes add some gravitas to the palate, which is chewy and oak forward, but dark fruit, milk chocolate, and sweet pecans and peanuts maintain balance. The finish is a dream, lengthy and well-developed, with nutmeg, chai spice, toasted oak, tea leaf, milk chocolate, and boysenberry.
Royal Salute 29 year old Pedro Ximénez Sherry Cask-Finished, 40%
Blended Scotch Whisky | $549
This second release in the Flask Collection epitomizes deft management of PX finishing to produce an opulent treat. Honey and sherry notes, chunks of fruit-and-nut chocolate, melting caramel, plummy fruit, chocolate-covered raisins, refined dry spices, and stimulating peppercorn notes as the whisky warms. Thick and luxurious texture with vanilla, caramel, Seville orange, plum pudding, crème caramel, crystallized citrus, and melted chocolate, with a lightly spicy, sweet caramel finish.