There’s your everyday sippers, then there are the bottles you keep under lock-and-key. All released at the end of 2018 through the first month of the new year, these four whiskeys are the latter. From one of the world’s most covetable Scotch makers to an indie bourbon outlet’s first super-premium bottle, these are some of the most interesting new bottles to seek out right now.
Barrell Craft Spirits Bourbon
Price: $250 SRP
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, rose jam, lychee, Maraschino liqueur and calvados, watermelon, Pink Lady apples, paraffin, candied chili pepper.
Last year, the Infinite Barrell Project was one of our favorite new bottles of anything we tried. Right before year’s end, the whiskey newcomer released a 15-year-old bourbon with whiskeys aged and distilled in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. One of three bottles released in its new Barrell Craft Spirits line, it’s bottled at cask strength and is the brand’s first super-premium offering.
Old Charter Mongolia Oak
Price: $70 SRP
Tasting Notes: Cedar, clove, butterscotch, dark chocolate, black pepper and smoked oak.
Old Charter Oak is Halen Wheatley’s science project. Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery, Wheatley is using the brand as a means to test the power of oak wood in the bourbon-making process. Starting with bourbon made in oak sourced from Mongolia, each subsequent release of Old Charter will be aged in oak of a different sort. Buffalo Trace says to expect a few releases a year with fairly limited distribution and bottle counts, which means that $70 SRP is likely going to be less than it’ll go for.
Booker’s 30th Anniversary Bourbon
Price: $126 SRP
Tasting Notes: Vanilla and oak (lighter than most Booker’s releases)
Booker’s Bourbon is Jim Beam Distillery’s high-proof bourbon of note. Usually, Booker’s abides by a quarterly release schedule (called “batches”), but not when there’s anniversaries to celebrate. The grandson of Jim Beam himself, 30 years have passed since Booker Noe unleashed the the first bottle of Booker’s on the world (and kickstarted the premium bourbon revolution).This bottling, made from barrells handpicked by Booker’s son Fred, is a bit more limited than the usual run of Booker’s.
The Macallan 52-Years-Old
Price: $53,500 SRP
Fruit, dark chocolate, peat smoke, cinnamon, ginger, wood spices, sweet oak, cherry, blackcurrant.
The Macallan’s latest Scotch whisky makes the other bottles on this list seem like everyday finds. Barrelled in Spanish sherry casks for a whopping 52 years, only 250 bottles (42 in the US) of the stuff will exist. Ever. Bottles are going for the price of a fleet of Eames Lounge Chairs; put another way, each shot is worth roughly $3,000.