Tag Archives: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection

New U.S. Releases – Nov/Dec 2011

I hate being sick. It seems like my whole family extended out to two removals was sick with one virus or another. My wife, daughter, and I were all sick with different bugs. I was down with a mild head cold that was just annoying enough to not be able to fully enjoy whiskey. So that left me a little behind on several reviews, like the two that were posted yesterday and Sunday. The last thing I needed to get caught up on was the new release roundup. I was out of commission for most of November with my ankle so this edition includes everything from November and December 2011.

Balblair 2001
Release: Now
ABV: 46%
Price: Expect it to be around $50 like the 2000
This is the successor to last year’s 2000 Vintage (review pending along with the 1989). It’s non chill-filtered and includes no artificial coloring. The proof is also a pop from the prior release by 3%.

Balvenie Tun 1401
Release: Now
ABV: 50.6% ABV
Price: $250
This release is a mingling of 10 casks put together in a tun (giant barrel) to marry. The process took three months and casks were from 1967, 1989, and eight from the 70s. Seven are ex- bourbon and three are ex-sherry. It all sounds like a “tun” of Balvenie goodness.

Benriach Solstice & Septendecim
Release: December 2011
ABV: 50%
Price: TBD
This new Solstice release is a 17 year old heavily peated whiskey finished in tawny port casks. It was released December 22, marking the winter solstice. The Setemdecim is another 17 year old peated dram matured only in ex-bourbon casks.

Buffalo Trace Oat & Rice Bourbons
Release: Now
ABV: 45%
Price: $46.35/375ml
These are the latest releases from Buffalo Trace’s Experimental Collection. One of these replaces the typical Buffalo Trace rye content in their bourbon with rice and the other with oats. They are both aged for 9 years, 5 months. The word on the street is to stay away from the oat version but I’ll let you decide for yourselves.

Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1980
Release: Now
ABV: 43.3%
Price: $1,300
There are only 500 bottles of this non chill-filtered release hitting the market. If anyone wants to get me a late Christmas present this would be a good choice.

Grand Traverse Bourbon
Release: Now
ABV:46%
Price: TBD
There was only barrel of this released from the Grand Traverse Distillery because they only made one barrel. The recipe is 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% barley. By the way, if you contact these folks, they will custom make you a barrel of whiskey.

Johnnie Walker Platinum
Release: Not available in the U.S.
ABV: 43%
Price: $80
Okay, so this new 18 year old blend isn’t available here. It’s actually only for the Indian market but I love that they are going “platinum”. 

Laphroaig Triple Wood
Release: Now
ABV: 48%
Price: $60
This release is finally making it stateside with an allocation of 13,500 bottles. According to Laphroaig: “The newly available expression has enjoyed time in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels, 19th Century style quarter casks and European Oak Oloroso sherry casks, revealing a rich blend of subtle sherry sweetness and hints of sea salt.”

McKenzie Pure Pot Still Whiskey
Release: Now
ABV: 40%
Price: $39
The folks at Finger Lakes went off and made an Irish style pot still whiskey in upstate New York. I’m going to have to get me some of that!

Pritchard’s Rye Whiskey
Release: Now
ABV: TBD
Price: TBD
Phil Prichard continues to add to his stable of whiskey offerings. However, preliminary information makes no claim to actually distilling this in Tennessee so it may be more sourced rye from LDI or others.

Red Stag Honey Tea & Spiced
Release: Now
ABV:40%
Price:$17.99
You know, I woke up on Christmas morning and thought “what the world needs now is more Red Stag.” No, not really but we got it any way. One is honey tea flavored and the other is spiced with cinnamon. I don’t really think I need to say anything more about that.

Stranahan Conundrum Peak Snowflake
Release: Now, Distillery Only
ABV: TBD
Price: $99.99
This is the other version of Stranahan’s. It’s a single barrel expression, hence the name Snowflake because no two are alike. It’s only available at the distillery in Colorado. If you’re out that way maybe a bottle of this will keep you warm on the slopes.

I think I’m all caught up on my delinquent content for Whisk(e)y Apostle. I’ve already got reviews queued up for the first part of 2012. Chatham Imports sent over a few bottles of Michter’s so I plan to start 2012 off with reviews of those. I will follow that with Macallan reviews into February. Stay tuned.

Drink wisely my friends,
Richard

New Releases – August ’10

I’m a little late with August this month. Life outside of Whisk(e)y Apostle has been a little hectic. Here’s what we heard about in August.

Parker’s Heritage Collection, 4th Edition
Timeframe: September 2010
ABV: 65.6%
Price: $79.99
This is the newest release in the acclaimed Parker’s Heritage Collection. This year’s release is a 10 year old wheated bourbon. Heaven Hill began distilling wheated bourbon back in 1999 after they acquired the Old Fitzgerald portfolio. 52 barrels totaling 4,800 bottles are being released so get yours while you can.

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection
There are two releases this year, both 15 years old. One was aged in new toasted French oak casks and the other was aged in used charred American oak casks seasoned with toasted oak chips.
Timeframe: Fall 2010
ABV: 45%
Price: $47/375 ml
I should also note a couple of things about these releases. First, these were both fully matured, not just finished in their respective casks. Second, because these weren’t aged in new charred oak casks these can’t actually be called bourbon. However, they still sound tasty to me!

Canadian Mist Black Diamond
Timeframe: Fall 2010
ABV: 43%
Price: $14.99
This is a new release from Canadian Mist that is supposed to be “a richer, more robust blended Canadian whisky.” Is this CM’s answer to Crown Royal Black?

Glendronach Grandeur
Timeframe: Now
ABV: 45.8%
Price: $700
This is a new 31 year old release from Glendronach. Bottled at cask strength, this looks very interesting if you have the means to afford the bottle.

Glendronach 33 Year Old
Timeframe: Now
ABV: 40%
Price: $379.99
This one is another release from Glendronach and is matured in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. I’m not sure why the 31 year old is twice the price of the 33 year old but either way they look to be interesting luxury drams.

The Balvenie Peated Cask 17 Year Old
Timeframe: September 2010
ABV: 43%
Price: $129.99
This is the latest release in Balvenie’s annual 17 year old releases. This one is finished in casks previously containing exceptionally peaty whisky. Didn’t Glenfiddich do this with Caoran?

The Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask
Timeframe: September 2010
ABV: 43%
Price: 59.99
This is a new line extension from Balvenie with their lovely whisky finished in Caribbean rum casks. They’ve had a Golden Rum finished Travel Retail Only bottling at 14 years old for a while. I wonder if this is the same thing released to the masses?

That’s it for August. Balvenie, Glendronach, and Buffalo Trace led the way this month. I also heard about a couple of Benromach releases in their Origins line but no word yet on whether they are coming stateside. As always, if I missed anything please let me know.

Drink wisely my friends,

Richard