Penderyn 12 year old Portwood Cask-Matured Single Cask (No. PT113), 60.4%
Welsh Whisky | $140
Rosy red apples, damson jam, quince jelly, piquant spices, pomegranate juice, and cracked black pepper on the nose. The palate dutifully follows suit with cherry, red apple, cranberry, blackberry, and raspberry until overwhelmed by high-strength alcohol, bristling with clove, pepper, and ginger spices. Lastly, a vanilla-cupcake sweetness is enhanced by cooked apple, while water conjures up a delicious watermelon note, with a finish of overbaked deep-dish apple pie. (251 bottles)
Virginia Distillery Co. 8 year old Journey Cask Collection Britannia Single Malt, 64.6%
Single Malt English Whisky | $125
Smoked almonds, marzipan, fig-studded chocolate, vanilla sugar, and flan on the nose—quite sweet and dessert-like, but grounded in earthy char. Robust, full-bodied, and almost juicy with flavor, it shows red fruit, almonds, figs, dark chocolate, flan, black pepper, and cigar ash on the palate, finishing with more ash, oak, and dark fruit—so carefully structured it might well have been designed on a blueprint. Distilled by The English Whisky Co. and bottled by Virginia Distillery Co. (243 bottles)
Redbreast Small Batch Cask Strength (Batch A), 58.6%
Irish Single Pot Still | $100
Prominent red apple, tropical fruits, pot still spices, and oloroso sherry notes; this shows great balance. The spices are powerful, with a roasted aroma like a crooked burnt match. The palate is gripped by the high alcohol as pepper and clove break open over the tongue into a bed of red apple, baked citrus, and caramel. Unquenchable layers of flavor usher in a likable, bubble gum finish. (252 bottles)
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac 6 year old Kentucky Straight Rye (2019 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection), 62.85%
Rye Whiskey | $99
Sweet and spicy on the nose, this offers peppermint candy cane, root beer barrel candies, plenty of citrus, and some raspberry notes. However, it’s the wet earth and funky mushroom tones that make this the most peculiar of the family. There’s great breadth of flavors on the palate, as a mélange of spices—allspice, clove, and cinnamon—ride along on a wave of persistent sweetness, laced with anise and cola.
Old Line 8 year old Golden Edition American Single Malt, 50%
Single Malt American Whiskey | $95
Bitter and dry with a hint of charred oak on the nose, along with dried apricots, lemon iced tea, and candied orange slices. The palate starts with drying oak tannins but is balanced, offering black cherry pie, mint, cloves, baked apple, spiced chocolate, and cinnamon. The finish has hints of oak char, chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, and a burst of baking spice at the end. A delicious sipping whiskey. (200 bottles)
Barrell Cask-Strength Blend of Straight Bourbons (Batch 023), 53.89%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $90
This is heaped with toasty oak, notes of wood shavings, and nutty-sweet butter pecan ice cream. There’s a touch of herbal antiseptic and tarragon, but it’s kept in check, letting the caramel sweetness and baked marshmallow permeate the palate. Water unleashes dark cherry and candied peanuts. A really well-balanced whiskey, with sweetness, spice, and fruit working in harmony.
Fragrant oak on the nose, along with powdered sugar, vanilla fudge, cherry pie, and accents of orange peel and leather. The palate offers notes of orange Creamsicle, pepper, dried oranges, and cigar wrapper. The finish is a long ride of spice and chocolate-covered almonds, melding with cooked fruit notes of orange and black cherry, as well as cracked pepper. A robust whiskey that carries its heft gracefully, and offers balanced complexity.
Formerly known as Darkest, this expression was given a secondary maturation for 3 years in oloroso sherry casks. The nose features smoky caramel, dates, citrus fruits, and quite dry sherry. Dark chocolate and cocktail cherries on the rich malty palate, with peat smoke and a hint of dry oak balancing the sweet fruitiness. Sherry, brine, soft peat, oak, and allspice in the lingering finish.
Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve Small Batch (Lot 1867 L), 40%
Canadian | $65
A complex nose with citrus fruits, hints of sultanas, barrel tones, mild vanilla, butterscotch, and manuka honey. The sweetish palate is rich in stone fruits—peaches and apricots that merge into a vaguely pithy nuttiness, then dried Mediterranean fruits: dates and figs. Classic slippery corn sweetness complements hot, sweet rye spices. Ends in a medium, vaguely oaky, smoky finish.
Although G. Rozelieures makes several peated whiskies, this is an unpeated single malt, with notes of honey, sherbet, summer flowers, ears of barley, buttery biscuits, and black peppercorn. Matured in French oak, bourbon, and cognac casks; the balance is superb, with honey, icing sugar, vanilla, apple Danish, and spicy oak, leading to caramel and baked apple in custard. The substantial mouthfeel and serene transition of flavors make this heavenly to drink.
New Riff Kentucky Straight Single Barrel Rye (No. 15-5356), 58.2%
Rye Whiskey | $56
This presents a pleasant nose of fresh-baked muffins, honey-dipped apples, powdered sugar, raisin bread, baking spice, and cooked black cherries. Big and spicy, but smooth on the palate, with flavors of dark fruit and bitter chocolate, grape jam, blackcurrants, herbs, cola, and dark berries. The finish offers richness and length, with vanilla notes, spice, and freshly baked apple pie. This is a big, solid whiskey, beautifully structured, and carries its proof superbly.
New Riff Kentucky Straight Single Barrel Bourbon (No. 15-3150), 56.45%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $50
New Riff is still too, well, new to have established “classic” flavors, but this bourbon certainly shows consistency with the distillery’s bottled in bond version—amped up here at barrel proof. Almonds and berries lead the nose, but it boasts voluminous depth with notes of peanuts, iced tea, orange blossom, tobacco leaf, and baking spice. Dark fruit, textured spice, savory peanuts, dark chocolate, mint oil, orange, almond, and cherry on the palate; adding water is a good idea. The finish extends all the flavors with seemingly boundless length. Every sip is thrilling.
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon (Batch 19-01), 54.4%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $50
The nose offers bold notes of cocoa powder, brown sugar, peanuts, licorice, cherry pie, vanilla ice cream, and baking spice. The palate is creamy, with chocolate fudge, almonds, and shortbread, along with earthier notes of drying oak, old leather, and tobacco leaf. Cracked walnuts on the finish, along with almonds, chocolate, toasted oak, orange, and tea leaves. Lots of sweetness, spice, and nuttiness, all ringed by a hint of black pepper. (12,000 bottles)
The oldest single malt ever released by Glen Scotia was distilled on December 23, 1973 and aged initially in refill bourbon casks, before a final seven years in first-fill bourbon barrels. Oily on the nose, maritime, with burlap, resin, ginger, and a developing fragrant note. Viscous and sweet on the palate, with honey and canned pineapple. The very long finish embraces fruity resin, salt, ginger, and drying oak. (150 bottles) (£3,795)
Glendalough 17 year old Mizunara Cask-Finished, 46%
Irish Single Malt | $299
Beginning with more mature whiskey than Glendalough’s Japanese oak-finished debut, which was 13 years old, this has all the aromatic hallmarks of mizunara, as well as golden pastry, cooked peach, heather honey, light malt, baguette, and white pepper. A honeyed dram of melon, white grape, and clementine peel, with sparkling spices of black pepper and ginger root. It concludes with notes of gingerbread through to a spicy finish, though the sweetness remains a constant. (3,000 bottles for U.S.)
Four Gate Outer Loop Orbit Orange Curaçao-Gin Cask-Finished Bourbon, 60.15%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $200
A pleasantly oily nose, rich with botanical notes, orange peel, black licorice straps, herbs, vanilla frosting, and macaroons. The palate is sweet, with tropical notes of pineapple and mango, grapefruit, dried apricots, and gentle spice. A lengthy finish offers lemon cream pie, vanilla cream, light pepper, and tobacco, ending with a hint of bitter chocolate. A very unusual bourbon, divisive within our tasting panel, but also very unique, balanced, and flavorful.
Intended to showcase the color of Macallan, the fifth annual Edition release has been aged in a variety of American oak casks. The nose is initially reticent and offers dried fruits, salted caramel, sawdust, and ginger. Extremely smooth on the palate, with more dried fruits, ripe plums, milk chocolate, new leather, and black pepper. The finish is medium in length, with leather and dark chocolate.
Redbreast Small Batch Cask Strength (Batch B), 57.2%
Irish Single Pot Still | $100
A bold and expressive single pot still with a nose of fudge, vanilla, plummy sherry notes, bramble, aromatic spices, and dried orange peel. Sweet sherry, nutty, with a slow build-up of spice to a concentrated peak of clove and peppercorns; then there’s red apple, caramel, and vanilla as the spices keep going into the dry finish. This one has a lot to say. (252 bottles)