Prepare for sensory overload. Aromas of peanut butter blossom cookies, molasses, creamed corn, iced tea, cassis, and marmalade hint at the decadence of the palate, which is mouth-filling and chewy. Its flavors hit all the high points of outstanding bourbon: big and bold grain, chocolate, wet walnuts, orange and cherry Jello, nutmeg, cinnamon, white pepper, tobacco leaf, and waves of oak. Nuts, nuts, and more nuts on the finish, with espresso, chocolate, and drying oak. Sourced from an undisclosed Tennessee distillery. 186 bottles; Doc’s Wine, Spirits & More exclusive
WhistlePig The Boss Hog V: The Spirit of Mauve, 59.5%
Rye Whiskey | $500
Rich and mature with its deep flavors of spiced oak, figgy fruit, and varnish, turning to candy apple, dried flowers, hazelnut, torched sugar, and cracked black pepper. The palate is explosive at full proof, as sweet stone fruit gives way to earthy oak and tobacco. The calvados barrel maturation really sings on the finish, where sweet apple candies and pecan pie meet big cinnamon and ginger spices. Incredibly drinkable at this proof with well-balanced oak.
A defiant creation containing 1% 1 year old Girvan grain spirit and 99% malt whisky from Glenlossie, Glen Elgin, and Linkwood, this collaboration celebrates a decade of idiosyncratic and unconventional whisky label designs. It’s warm and effusive, with brown sugar on baked apple pie, Scottish tablet, plus orange and lemon peel. Barley sugar, kiwi, lime, brown sugar cookies, pepper, clove, and a smooth finish of sugar and spice. (4,802 bottles)
Each release of the limited-edition Reverie series will be different from the last, as Westland explores the boundaries of single malt blending. Spice and fragrant oak on the nose, delicately floral, with light fruitiness on the palate and a hint of peat. A spicy, white pepper note precedes a lengthy finish of apricot, honeycomb, and then more spiciness. This whiskey floats like a butterfly, but has plenty of heft, depth, and balance. (900 bottles; distillery only)
Duncan Taylor Rare Auld Grain (distilled at Strathclyde) 1990 28 year old, 51.2%
Single Grain Scotch | $170
Baked lemons, light caramel, throat lozenges, and a butteriness to the nose, the grain character complemented by sweetness and warmer fruits. Light red fruits, butterscotch, Scottish tablet, with a nippy herbal bite to the palate and a deep, persistent burn of cracked black pepper spiciness that glows long into the finish. Strathclyde showing lots of enjoyable distillery character here.
Writers’ Tears Copper Pot Deau XO Cognac Cask Finish, 46%
Blended Irish Whiskey | $60
Toffee apple, nutmeg, sanded oak, and plenty of feisty spices behind the nose. The flavor is more refined with greater complexity; not overly sweet or fruity, but a smooth-as-satin mouthfeel with shades of pear, caramel covered in white chocolate, nuts, pleasant pot still spiciness, rich toffee, cocoa, and red chili. The cognac cask influence is gentle and works well, and it concludes with a hazelnut butter finish.
To create Fired Oak, Glen Moray spirit has been matured in bourbon casks for almost a decade, before a 10 month finish in heavily charred virgin American oak casks. Canned pineapple, honey, and vanilla on the nose, with a hint of lemon. An initial citric zest on the palate, then soft toffee, newly sawn timber, cloves, and cinnamon. Licorice, lively spices, and slightly smoky oak in the medium-length finish. £40
Virginia Distillery Co. Journey Cask Collection Hibernia 11 year old, 57%
Irish Single Malt | $125
It’s all about the candied fruit in this single malt sourced from an undisclosed Irish distillery: Skittles, grapefruit peel, gummy orange wedges, green apple candy, and Trix cereal on the nose, along with white pepper and ginger. A very sweet palate is well-served by its cask strength, showing clementine, grapefruit, guava, white pepper, and toasted grain. The finish holds nothing back, mixing salted pecans, leathery oak, and white pepper with citrus and grain. 216 bottles
Spirit Hound Single Barrel Straight Malt (Barrel 66), 45%
American Malt Whiskey | $55
Floral with some hoppy aromas to start, as well as lemon curd, vanilla, banana Runts, ripe pears, and amaretto. On the palate, gentle oakiness underpins banana pudding, whipped cream, spiced plum, amaretto, ginger candy, peaches, and chai spices of cardamom, clove, and cinnamon. Well-structured and delicate—add water sparingly.
St. George’s Distillery master distiller David Fitt makes scrumptious grain whiskies as well as The English whiskies, and this one has a beautiful balance of malt and spiciness, with crisp barley notes, cornbread, rye spice, peppercorn, light honey, green fruits, and some classic grain characteristics. Zested orange, lime, toasted cereal, caramel, and lovely rye notes on show, though the spiciness is a little tame. (1,962 bottles) £48
This was aged in new American oak and selected for its faint smokiness, believed to have been picked up from a previous peated spirit run. Pears, white pepper, and faint cigarette smoke on the nose. Full-bodied, with lots of tropical fruit, vanilla, honey, and a slightly antiseptic note. Long and peppery in the finish, with more medicinal flavor. £500
Driftless Glen Distillery’s third rye expression, named for its 51% rye mash (compared to 74% in their core rye) as well as its 51% ABV. The nose has notes of orange peel, apricot, fragrant oak, bitter chocolate, burnt sugar, ginger, mint, and citrus oil. A rich, spicy palate offers more chocolate, as well as chili powder, tarragon, and cigar ash. A long finish of tobacco leaf, chocolate custard, and cinnamon.
Rose petal and grapefruit meet clove-like spice, but it’s the soapy floral sachet and dill notes that distinguish this rye. While it seems somewhat young, the generous cinnamon candies, spiced cherry, and red berry fruit pour lively and vibrant, with drying tannins, peppery spice, and green apple on the finish.
Rye at its prettiest and most delicate: bouquets of flowers, with boxed pistachio pudding, Apple Jacks, honey cough drops, licorice, and anise on the nose. Though it shows plenty of barrel influence, the palate is more spirit-driven and provocative, with peonies, lilacs, rose petals, pistachios, and nougat, lengthened by cocoa powder on the finish.
Dedicated to Dr. Jim Swan, who encouraged Cotswolds Distillery to shave, toast, and re-char red wine barriques, this has developed aromas of cherry, dried goji berries, rose petal, vanilla cake mix, butterscotch, and muted spices. It still feels young at this mighty strength. Warm red fruits of cherry and strawberry slam into a distortion of allspice, clove, and tongue-searing alcohols, which are quelled eventually by sweet notes of creamy toffee and mint. (3,000 bottles) £65
Creamy lemon truffles, cereal notes, vanilla sponge, dry oak, with peppered steak seasoning. Creamy, sweet, buttery, soft honeydew melon, peach notes, and orange zest, with a soft late spiciness, though the impression is much more tame than the nose suggests. Buttery, mouth-coating finish with gentle spices on the core whisky from this Tasmanian distillery.
Duncan Taylor Dimensions (distilled at Caledonian) 1987 31 year old, 52.9%
Single Grain Scotch | $300
Produced the year before the distillery closed, this has lemon butter, popcorn, bouquet garni, garlic shoots, and chopped cilantro ensuring the imbiber knows this is grain, not one masquerading as a single malt. Light green fruits reminiscent of melon, apple, and nectarine on the palate, with caramel, vanilla, a little oak, and a ripple of spice, notably coriander seed and pepper, before a finish of pears in golden syrup.
Clan Denny (distilled at Port Dundas) 14 year old, 46%
Single Grain Scotch | $55
Red apple skin, sharp citrus zest, peach stone, and shortcake biscuit greet the nose, though there is abundant grain character, with lemongrass and coriander seeds too. A muscular dram from a closed distillery, this reveals sweet cereals, honey, a spectrum of citrus notes, sherbet sweetness, pepper, clove, and herbal notes. Sweetness remains with the pepper in the finish, though clove reigns supreme when water is added.
Spirits of French Lick The Wheater Straight Bourbon, 45%
Bourbon/Tennessee | $45
A blend of two straight bourbons—a pot still expression from Spirits of French Lick, double distilled and aged 2 years, and a pot-and-column still bourbon sourced from a Wyoming distillery, aged 7 years. A youthful nose is grain-forward and restrained, with notes of dried leaves, crushed juniper berries, and licorice. A palate of bitter orange and black tea, finishing with clove, baking spices, bitter chocolate, and baked apple.