In booze news this Thanksgiving week there are a couple of Scotch whiskies along with a couple of spirits featuring cold brew coffee to discuss. First up, for those in the market for a 50-year-old scotch, you’re in luck. The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0197, the follow up to last year’s edition, has just been announced. But if that’s a bit out of your price range, perhaps the latest release from Bruichladdich is more your speed. Octomore X4+10 has the highest ABV that the Islay distillery has ever released.
Next, FEW Spirits has released a limited edition bourbon blended with cold brew coffee. And there’s a new Single Origin Colombia release under the Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur line. Fortunately, there are a few bottles destined for the States. So grab a cup of joe, or something stronger if you prefer, as we discuss the new releases this week.
The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0197
The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0197 is the second release in the Marriage series for the Speyside distillery. This follows Marriage 0962 which was released in 2018. This new version also was blended by malt master David Stewart who selected from five American oak casks containing 50-year and older single malts.
“It takes a great deal of patience to create a liquid as unique and delicate as Marriage 0197, but the most challenging tasks are often the most rewarding,” says Stewart. “Marrying whisky stocks of this age is a complex art that not only continues to challenge me after 57 years in the business but also affords me the opportunity to explore and experiment with some of our most precious aged stocks. It has been a real joy to work with some of The Balvenie’s oldest stock once again and it’s an honor to be able to share such a unique whisky with the world.”
Like the previous release, The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0197 comes in a 50 layered wooden tube (48 walnut, 2 brass). It also includes an etched brass certificate and bottle glorifier. The decanters are 100% hand-blown crystal. It is available globally in limited numbers as of November 2019. SRP $38,000.
Octomore X4+10 Concept 0.2/162
Octomore X4+10 is a limited edition release in Bruichladdich’s super heavily-peated range. It’s dubbed X4, as the single malt was distilled four times instead of two, reaching an ABV of 89% after distillation. It was made in 2007 with 100% Scottish-grown barley that was peated to 162ppm. After 10 years of aging, it is bottled at 70% ABV making this the highest ABV whisky release ever to come from the distillery.
The barrels used for maturation were a mix of first-fill American whiskey, oloroso sherry and Rivesaltes vin doux naturel sweet wine casks. Only 3,000 500ml sized bottles are available. It’s sold exclusively on the distillery’s website with a two bottle per person limit. SRP £150 ($195).
FEW Cold Cut Bourbon
FEW Cold Cut Bourbon is a limited edition whiskey made by Illinois-based FEW Spirits. It is made using cask strength FEW Bourbon. Then, when it’s time to “cut” or bring the bourbon to proof, some of the water that would ordinarily be used is replaced with cold brew coffee.
“We’ve seen lots of integrations of coffee and cold brew in the spirits space, from coffee liqueurs to coffee-flavored products,” said FEW Spirits founder and master distiller Paul Hletko. “FEW Cold Cut is completely different. Typically when bourbon comes out of the barrel at cask strength, it’s cut, or ‘proofed’ to bottling strength with water. We wondered what would happen if we swapped out some of that water for cold brew coffee. The answer? Layers upon layers of flavor and nuance that’s absolute magic.”
Only 1000 cases are available nationwide beginning in November 2019. SRP $44.99-51.99.
Mr Black Single Origin Colombia
This is the first in a new limited edition series from the Australian coffee liqueur brand which will highlight a different coffee region in each release. Mr Black Single Origin Colombia is made from 100% Caturra arabica grown in Finca Villa Betulia near Hulia, Colombia. The comes from Luis Aníbal Calderón and his family who together have over 60 years of experience growing coffee. For the past 12 years the family has focused on specialty coffee.
“We’re a 100% natural coffee liqueur with nothing to hide, and the Single Origin series captures the terroir of each of Mr Black’s growing region in a bottle,” said Tom Baker, co-founder of Mr Black. “We’re thrilled for Mr Black to be supporting small-scale farmers and local communities as well as to clear a path for serious coffee lovers to access the world’s finest sustainably grown coffee, combined with our refined neutral grain spirit. Before Mr Black, coffee liqueurs were over-sweetened and full of fake, candy flavors. Our Single Origin puts real, specialty coffee on a pedestal ”
Only 6,000 bottles are available globally with just 600 headed to the States. SRP $49.99.
Ready to add The Balvenie Fifty: Marriage 0197 to your wishlist?