Oak-aged spirits are the theme for these new releases.
BOURBON, RYE & AMERICAN WHISKEY
Barrell is a negociant label which sources special barrels, then blends whiskeys, ages them further in cask, then bottles them at cask strength. The recent batch of cask strength Bourbon, aged an average of 9.5 years, is strong and sweet. At 104.4% proof, there is a lot of heat, but wonderful flavor which makes this whiskey compelling.
$84.99 per bottle
A Bourbon/Rye blend using 10 year old whiskey from Indiana finished in Dunn Cabernet barrels, and 11 year old Tennessee Bourbon finished in blackstrap rum and LBV port pipes, this whiskey is a lot more subtle than one thinks. There is an ethereal nose and a ghost-like flavor, offering essences that are both interesting and attractive.
$84.99 per bottle
Whistlepig has emerged as the Bentley of rye whiskies. The Farmstock bottling, a limited annual release, is a three-age blend in an effort to produce a more mixologist-friendly rye. The final blend is composed of 32% 2 year aged rye with water and wood from the WhistlePig farm, 45% 6 year aged whiskey from Indiana and 23% 10 year aged whiskey from Canada, blending the boldness of the young estate rye with the richness and complexity of the aged ryes. The result is a whiskey that is easy drinking, smooth textured and immensely pleasurable.
$69.99 per bottle
A new product from the revived Four Roses distillery, Small Batch Select is a blend of six to seven year old whiskies bottled at a much higher proof (52% alcohol). I sampled this side-by-side with the firm's "Small Batch" bottling and I found the Select smoother with a bit more heat in the finish, as expected.
$59.99 per bottle
Frapin, which remains a single-family estate, has issued this 6-8 year old blend in a gorgeous, elegant bottle. It is an estate-grown cognac--the grapes are all grown on the Frapin estate before being fermented and distilled--and the resulting brandy is as distinctive as the bottle. The deep, natural mahogany color is rich and inviting, as is the woodsy aroma. There are some bright peachy flavors with some spice in the finish.
$52.99 per bottle