This week brings more new releases to the shelves, and as always, we’ll begin with the whiskeys. First, WhistlePig released its new FarmStock bottling, upping the ante with even more of its own Vermont rye in this year’s release. Next up, MGP Ingredients announced its new proprietary rye brand—Rossville Union—which is releasing two rye whiskeys in its debut.
Moving on, there was a lot of buzz this week about the new Redbreast single cask—with good reason. We’ll fill you in on the details and how to get your hands on a bottle. In Scotch whisky news, The Glenlivet has a cognac-finished single malt, which is a first for the brand. Meanwhile, Highland Park has followed-up its winter release, The Dark, with—what else—The Light.
If you’re in the mood for something with a kick, the latest bottling from George Dickel will be certain to satisfy. Finally, we’ve got a new limited edition release from Absolut that’s sure to be a hit at your next backyard barbecue. You can find all the info on these bottles in the booze news for the week of May 7, 2018!
Available beginning May 2018, Crop No. 002 is the second release in the FarmStock estate release. Each year, it will include a growing percentage of the company’s own “Triple Terroir™ whiskey”, utilizing rye grain, water and oak, locally sourced from the grain-to-glass Vermont farm distillery. For Crop No. 002, that straight rye whiskey comprises 32% of the blend up from 20% in the first batch.
The remainder includes a 6 year-old rye distilled in Indiana (MGP) which is 45% of the blend and a 10 year-old rye distilled in Canada (Alberta Distillers) which is 23% of the blend. The three whiskeys in the blend are clearly presented on the back of the bottle in the spirit of transparency. Bottled at 43% ABV.
Suggested retail price $72.99.
Rossville Union is the first proprietary rye brand to be released by MGP Ingredients, based in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. For its launch, the brand is releasing two products. Availability for both Rossville Union rye whiskeys begins June 2018 in select markets in the Midwest and Southwest US.
This straight rye whiskey is aged at least four years in new, charred American oak and is bottled at 94 proof. It was made from a batch of 159 barrels.
As the name suggests, this is the cask strength version of Rossville Union Master Crafted. It is made from a batch of 83 barrels, noted on the front of the bottle. Aged in new, charred American oak, Barrel Proof is bottled at 112.6 proof.
Suggested retail price for Master Crafted $39.99 and Master Crafted Barrel Proof $69.99.
Rossville Union spirits / Photo Credit: Rossville Union
The Dream Cask is a limited edition single pot still, single cask release. Aged for a total of 32 years, it is the first in a planned series of whiskeys. The whiskey first aged in refill American oak ex-bourbon barrels beginning in 1985. Then the whiskey was recasked into a Spanish oak first-fill oloroso sherry butt in 2011. Hand selected by master blender, Billy Leighton, the whiskey was part of the brand’s 2017 World Whisky Day celebrations which featured the cask being tasted on Facebook LIVE.
Bottled at a cask strength of 46.5% ABV and non-chillfiltered in 500ml sized bottles. This Dream Cask bottling will be available through the brand’s online private members’ club, The Birdhouse, beginning World Whisky Day 2018 (May 19).
Suggested retail price €500/$595.
This single malt is a no-age statement release which first aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. The whisky then finished its maturation for at least six months in French Limousin oak casks which previously held cognac. The name honors Captain William Smith Grant, the great-grandson of the founder of The Glenlivet, who served France during WWI. Available first at the distillery and global travel retail beginning in May 2018 with a global release to follow in the summer months.
Suggested retail price $60-65.
The Light is a 17-year-old single malt aged in American oak, and is a follow up to the brand’s previous release, The Dark. The Light is meant to represent the spring and summer seasons on Orkney, while The Dark represented the fall and winter seasons. The single malt is packaged in a pale green bottle with a serpent dragon design, reflecting Orkney’s Viking roots. Like The Dark, this is bottled at 52.9% ABV and limited to 28,000 bottles worldwide. Availability begins May 2018.
Suggested retail price £190/$255.
To make this product, George Dickel Tennessee Whisky is filled into barrels which aged Tabasco peppers for three years. It is then left to rest there for 30 days. If that weren’t spicy enough for you, TABASCO Brand Pepper Sauce is distilled to make an essence. That essence is then blended into the Tabasco pepper barrel-rested whisky.
Suggested retail price $24.99 for 750ml bottle, but this will also be available in 50ml and liter-sized bottles.
Absolut America is a limited edition bottling painted with red, white and blue colors and is the same winter-wheat-based Absolut Vodka. The brand has partnered with the non-profit organization, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) which celebrates its 65th anniversary in 2018. KAB “strives to end littering, improve recycling and beautify America’s communities”.
From May 1 through September 3, 2018, Absolut will donate $1 for every photo shared, “showing how people party with a purpose,” using the hashtag #AbsolutAmerica and #Promotion. You can find more details here. Availability begins May 1, 2018.
Suggested retail price $19.99 (750mL), $25.99 (1L) and $29.99 (1.75mL).