Before our official reviews arrive, we wanted to give you a sneak preview of the new products hitting shelves soon. Woodford Reserve has this year’s Master’s Collection ready. Highland Park cranks the amps up to eleven with their Full Volume single malt. Plus, the Northern Border Collection is finally here. All this and more in the booze news for the week of September 25, 2017!
This bottling marks the 12th release in Woodford Reserve’s Master’s Collection, which was first introduced in 2006. As the name suggests, malted barley is smoked with cherry wood in the kilning process for this Kentucky straight bourbon. This smoked malted barley makes up 30% of the mash bill—much higher than is traditionally used in bourbon production. Bottled at 45.2% ABV, there is no age statement.
“We started this many years ago when we first established a bourbon recipe that contained a high percentage of smoked barley,” said master distiller Chris Morris. “By following our five sources of flavor philosophy, one dramatic change can have a tremendous impact on the flavor. In this case, a bourbon with a high malt recipe that has been smoked with cherry wood results in a bourbon unlike any other.”
Available in select US and international markets beginning November 2017. Suggested retail price $99.99.
SCOTCH SINGLE MALT WHISKY
Fresh off the heels of Highland Park’s Magnus release comes this new limited edition bottling. Available beginning October 2017, this expression was distilled in 1999 and bottled in 2017. The single malt fully matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads, rather than Highland Park’s traditional sherry seasoned ones. Bottled at 47.2% ABV with no added coloring. As for the packaging depicting amps, yes, these bottles do indeed go to eleven. Suggested retail price $100.
Aged entirely in ex-bourbon casks, this Campbeltown single malt release hit shelves beginning September 2017. It comes in at 55.8% ABV and 9,000 bottles are available worldwide. Suggested retail price £55 ($74).
Beginning fall 2017, this vintage limited edition single malt will roll out worldwide. Distilled in 2006, this lightly-peated whisky was aged in first-fill ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry casks. Availability limited to 9000 bottles and sold at 50% ABV. Cù Bòcan is the ghost of a Scottish hound who spooks the residents of the village of Tomatin and has done so for centuries. Note: a branded glass is included in its packaging.
“This year, the added value provided by the unique branded glass adds to the drink-at home experience,” said Jennifer Masson, marketing manager for Tomatin. “The whisky itself is sweet and full with underlying light, earthy smoke and warm winter spice flavours, perfect for enjoying over the winter months and as a festive gift.”
Suggested retail price £52.99 ($72).
NORTHERN BORDER COLLECTION
We gave you a little preview of these whiskies earlier this year, but the wait is nearly over. The Northern Border Collection arrives in October. Here are some details on these ultra-rare, highly collectible (yet incredibly affordable) Canadian whiskies! Limited availability in Canada, with a very limited allocation in Europe and the US. Suggested retail prices listed first are Canadian dollars, with a US dollar conversion following.
Northern Border Collection / Photo Credit: Pernod Ricard
Close to the former Gooderham & Worts distillery is the Little Trinity Anglican Church. William Gooderham built the church in 1843 so his staff wouldn’t have to pay pew fees elsewhere—a cash grab common at the time. This 17-year-old whisky celebrates Gooderham’s selflessness with a trinity blend of corn, rye and wheat whiskies, each composed from a variety of distilling skills and barrel types. $79.95 CAD/$65 USD
This 35-year-old whisky is drawn from some of the oldest Hiram Walker bonds. It’s a traditional Canadian whisky composed of corn whisky aged in ex-bourbon barrels blended with column and pot still rye aged in virgin oak barrels. Bottled at 50% ABV. Suggested retail price $164.95 CAD/$133 USD
The first distillation of this double-distilled 100% rye whisky was passed through a short column-still with the second distillation passing through a copper pot-still. The rye matured in new oak barrels for 12 years. Bottled at 55%, cask strength. Suggested retail price $69.95 CAD/$56
This 21 year-old Canadian whisky finishes its maturation in Speyside single malt whisky casks. It spends from four to six months in these casks before bottling at 45% ABV. Suggested retail price $89.95 CAD/$73 USD.