Celebrating the 60th anniversary of a Parisian retailer, this represents the most mature Redbreast of the modern era. Rich dark prunes, papaya, and the aroma of polished antique furniture. Treacle, oily and weighty, baked apple, Black Forest gateaux, char, and sizzling spices, with new flavors appearing minute by minute. Water encourages cherry to the nose and pomegranate to the taste buds. The faithful will respond to the call. (540 bottles, La Maison du Whisky only) €490
Captivating, enticing, and wonderfully charming, this first blended malt from Chivas Regal contains selections of five Speyside malts: Strathisla, Longmorn, Tormore, Allt-a-Bhainne, and Braeval. Red apple, cherry, raspberry fudge, peach and mango fruit salad, dusting of cinnamon, and dry heather sprigs. In essence, it’s rich and satisfying, with dark vanilla, apricot, Bourneville-covered Brazil nuts, and tangerine, smoothed over by caramel and wood spices, maltiness, and gingersnap biscuits. Quite heavenly. Editor's Choice
This 100% rye-grain whisky is distilled in Alberta, then shipped to Sonoma, California for final touches. Finished in new American oak, batch PSA3 is one of the tastiest U.S. bottlings of Canadian rye ever. Soft caramels cushion ethereal honeysuckle, blackened firewood, and lusty rye spices on a framework of pulling oak tannins. Hugely complex, with new rewards in every sip.
Floor 5 of the Kavalan warehouse is packed with their best sherry casks. The story begins with sultana, Brazil nut, vanilla pod, dates, and chocolate macaroons. The palate has ripe fruit, cherry, date, coffee, candied orange, chocolate, mocha, fruit pastilles, and some pepper, ending with bitter coffee notes. Cutting the strength provokes more citrus, though it reverts back to mocha eventually. Outstanding whisky and definitely the best of the bunch. (499 bottles)
A blend of three rye and three bourbon barrels ranging from 10 to 33 years old. Powerful and mouth-coating. Initially, a French bakery, with caramel, vanilla, and torched brown sugar dominating. Then, more complex notes, such as cinnamon roll, coconut, chocolate, slight hints of oak, allspice, hints of smoked paprika, chipotle, roasted almond, and Polish sweet bread. A long finish offers fruit and nutmeg. Tasty sipper at the perfect proof.
Jaw-dropping: Aberlour 1973, Bunnahabhain 1968 and 1969, Bowmore 1968, Caperdonich 1972, Glen Grant 1974, Glenfarclas 1966, Glenlivet 1968 and 1970, Highland Park 1967 and 1970, and Macallan 1969. It includes a 14% grain content from Caledonian 1974, Carsebridge 1970, Girvan 1974, Invergordon 1972, Lochside 1966, North of Scotland 1974, and Port Dundas 1973. An elegant, refined mélange of peach, pear, soft oak, and rose cream florals, with dark fruit, chocolate, and fine pepper. Outstanding.
Masterson’s bottles singular rye whisky. Yes, this 100% rye-grain whisky is sourced, but finishing by 3 Badge Beverage in French oak casks makes it their own. Booming, gingery spices cavort on a creamy, leathery, almost oily palate. Snappy sour pickles and vague herbal notes contrast pointedly with sweet vanilla and hints of milk chocolate, dried black fruit, and aromatic pipe tobacco.
This dark dram is distilled from malted and unmalted rice along the Kuma river in Hitoyoshi. The nose is redolent of stewed prunes, raisins, plum wine, and walnut, with a palate of treacle, molasses, burnt sugar, licorice, prune, dark fruits, mocha, praline, and nuttier elements. Skillfully, it never veers into bitterness. This should rock the boat for those who love a huge sherried-style whisky. (506 bottles)
There has been an excellent streak of Islay blended malts recently, and here is another worthy contender from the Spencerfield Spirit Company. This one offers the sizzle of bacon fat, thick clods of peat, cocoa, and breezy smoke. The rounded palate has sweet satsuma, spice, generous malty notes, and burnt caramel. The wafting smoke builds until it engulfs the back of the palate. You will be wanting one of these.
Rich and intense nose, with paradise cake, honey, dried apple, plum, and crème d’abricot. The mouthfeel is dry, nutty, and fruity, with a silky consistency. The cask strength is more noticeable here, but as it dissipates, there is some late complexity of plum skin and coffee bean with wave after effortless wave of flavor lasting for minutes on end. Finish is hot and nutty, with moist coffee grains. (499 bottles)
A 7 year old single barrel. Fruit and flowers jump out of the glass, with caramel popcorn and dried apricot not far behind. Caramel, berry fruit, and baking spices develop into complex and rounded notes of crème brûlée, blackberries, blueberry pie, burnt brown sugar, coconut, and pumpkin pie with extra nutmeg. Long finish delivers a hint of peach cobbler crust. The perfect example of a below 90-proof whiskey with complexity. (Liquor Barn Springhurst exclusive)
Containing some precious closed distillery stocks, this feels like the height of luxury with its aromas of clove-studded oranges, cinnamon sticks, rich chocolate, and caramels. It’s slick and mouth-coating, emitting flavors of butter toffee, orange, and melted chocolate, with a nibble of ginger sponge, Jaffa cakes, and clove. It’s smooth and impeccably well mannered. (Global Travel Retail only)
Recognizably Spice Tree, but it’s richer, more dapper, traveling in style, and wearing better shoes. Peanut brittle, toasted coconut, and pale, light sherry. Honeyed palate with caramelized sugar, red apple, and red berry fruit before the gingersnaps and clove bite. It revs up with another spicy blast for the finish. A tasty fifth Tenth Anniversary bottling from Compass Box; just don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. (12,240 bottles)
Stalk & Barrel cask strength 100% rye whisky takes rye into innovative new flavor territory. Rye spices, rose water, vanilla, earthy tones, and dark rye bread on first nosing are all typical of rye. However, once it broadens into linen, oilcloth, linseed oil, high fruity esters, malt, and breakfast cereal (Weetabix?) it’s all wonderfully original. A real honey barrel. Dang!
The first Batch Strength expression of Tamdhu appeared in 2015 and was also matured entirely in sherry casks and not chill filtered. Big, sweet sherry notes on the nose, with vanilla, sultanas, maraschino cherries, and Turkish Delight. Rich and full-bodied, with oloroso sherry, milk chocolate, vanilla, dates, ripe cherries, sweet oak, and allspice. The finish is sweet and long, with lingering, lively spices. A very quaffable, well-priced dram for sherry bomb lovers.
High West A Midwinter Nights Dram (Act 4, Scene 5), 49.3%
Rye Whiskey | $80
A blend of straight rye whiskeys finished in French oak and port barrels. Gobs of fruit (red and black raspberry, plum, dried citrus) and crisp mint on a bed of caramel and vanilla. Lingering cinnamon and fruit on the finish. Distinctive and impressive.
Damson jam, herbal undertones, banana leaf, scallions, and clean, fresh oak notes. Burst of red fruit; raspberry, strawberry, rosehip, and sherry with lips tingling from the PX spices, citrus enters the fray, then chewy butter toffees. Wonderful complexity and flavor trajectory, it rounds off on a strawberry note. It is great to find a heavyweight whisky that is perfectly approachable at cask strength. The finish stays juicy, with vibrant spices. (502 bottles)
The first release in Glenmorangie’s new Vintage Collection, named Bond House No.1 after the 19th century warehouse that became the distillery’s new stillhouse in 1990. Matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. Mandarins, honey, and vanilla on the floral nose. Very smooth on the palate, with malt, vanilla, more honey, and milk chocolate orange. Attractive soft oak notes and gentle herbal spice in the medium to long finish.