A wonderful, sometimes a little strange crop of spring whiskey

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People think of late fall and winter as whiskey-sipping seasons, but spring is the time of year when some of the most exciting releases of the year pop up. This year is no exception, though the offerings are quite exceptional. And there is something for almost every palate, style preference and budget. Plus, if you are looking for Father’s Day, graduation or special events, there is a lot of shopping potential here.

George Dickel bottled in Bond Tennessee Whiskey Spring 2007

50% ABV, $ 45

Follow-up to the madness from the first two releases in this hugely popular bottled in bond series was all the method for Cascade Hollow Master Blender and General Manager Nicole Austin. Speaking to Austin over Zoom, she gave some insights into her selection process. Remember it bottled in bond blends can only consist of whiskey from the same distillery, all of which were distilled and barrel in a single season, she begins by grouping selections from specific seasons according to taste profile. Then when she comes to the final choice for her blend, her main goal aside from taste balance is a whiskey that in some respects resembles the other siblings in the bound series. Still, it still has to stand out. No pressure or anything.

So far, the characteristic differences between the three BIB releases to date – this is the first from a spring season – are actually underestimated. “It’s really different if you’ve a subtle and interested taste of whiskey,” Austin says. “But if you line these up in a group of 100 whiskeys, they have a lot more in common.” While all of the BIB series’ whiskeys share certain tart, fruity and nutty properties, Austin and I both agree that this 13-year-old is by far the “juiciest” seasonal blend. The cherry notes stand out in particular and lend a kind of Dr. Pepper-like quality and more of an almond nutty as opposed to peanuts in the others. All this adds some serious delicacy.

Other notable new bottled in bond issues

  • Laws Bonded Centennial Straight Wheat Whiskey: Here is the third release of this exciting bottled bond issue. Laws uses 100% soft white hundred-year-old wheat grown in its home state of Colorado for this whiskey, which has a delicious, toasted gingerbread flavor. 50% ABV, $ 75
  • Colonel EH Taylor, Jr. Warehouse C Bourbon: The liquid for this 10-year-old BIB matured on the 2nd and 5th floors of a favorite store at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky, built by Colonel Taylor in 1885. Sip on this leathery, spicy beauty as you flip through a memorial literature book on the original distillery concept, which can be purchased here. 50% ABV, $ 70

Milam & Greene The Castle Hill Series Batch 1

54.25% ABV, $ 120.00

This new series from this Austin, TX-based brand is named after a former military outpost, “The Castle”, overlooking the city’s Capitol building. This is where Master Blender and CEO Heather Greene spent a lot of lockdown on tasting whiskey and reflecting on life in general. The premiere of this series is a blend of 13-year-old bourbons, selected from 20 individual barrels, each contributing their “spice” to the final product. Greene maintains that her approach to blending is that it must have intentions, and looks for subtleties within each whiskey’s flavor profile before deciding what percentage of what or something goes into the final product. “I like the moment when it dries a little and you taste the wood and the tannins,” she says. Here you should keep an eye out for dried cherries, figs, almonds, milk chocolate and a little greasy leather. This bottling is quite limited in quantities and can be hard to find, but it is worth a try web pages detail finder.

Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. GWAR Ragnarök Rug

46% ABV, $ 99

This project between the Virginia distillery and the Richmond-based heavy metal monster costume band HUBBUB seemed a bit absurd. Then came the original release date in February and went. Founder Scott Harris attributes the initial delay to, uh, overenthusiastic band members. But the extra time allowed for a cheeky bottle update with a different topper for each band member – Blóthar the Berserker; The jaws of death balsac, Jizmak da Gusha, beef the mighty and Pustulus Maximus. “Normally we have the production process under control, but this time the band members drank everything we distilled and then demanded that we create bottle stoppers using rare metal ore derived from fillings of trolls,” says jokes Harris. Stored in charred new white oak, the liquid then undergoes further aging in sugar maple and cherry wood. The questions are, will it make you cry for your mother, as the song goes, or are you feeling well? If you like a whiskey reminiscent of whole grain crackers cut with grape jelly, then this is your answer.

Black Bourbon Society Maker’s Mark Private Selection 2

55.2% ABV, $ 69

This release was made through Maker’s Mark Private Selection program that gives contestants a chance to “make their own Maker’s” by choosing a custom oak rod finish for a fully matured barrel strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon single barrel. This recipe is a choice of BBS founder Samara Davis (BBS also founded Diversity distilled using Maker’s Mark and Southern Glazer’s) and partner / husband Armond Davis. This selection is the first to include Maker’s Mark’s latest wand variant known as Mendiant. “Armond and I are looking for barrels that speaks to our palates and personalities, and the Maker’s Mark Private Selection program allows us to do just that. Instead of choosing barrels that can complement our palate profiles, with the Private Selection program (and the five wood treatment sticks) we get a chance to customize our own unique blend! You can see in our latest selection that the smooth vanilla and chocolate tones suit Armond’s personality, but the bold caramel and spice tones suit mine. ”(Also mine, Samara!)

Private selection 2 is available in select cities, which and can be purchased via Spiritus network through the end of the year.

Leopold Bros. Bottled in Bond Three Chamber Rye Collector’s Edition

50% ABV, $ 250

Inspired by what he calls ”14. floor readings ”of old distillation documents, the distillery Todd Leopold discovered evidence of three chamber silences, which had been the“ still choice ”for the production of rye before the ban. They became almost extinct due to the inefficiency of operating in three sections. Despite the challenges of learning more about how they work and seeing who used them in the first place, Leopold decided to build one for his distillery.

This carefully produced whiskey (yes, another BIB!) Is the first of its kind in at least 50 years. It’s pretty waxy – tastes a bit like a pretzel if it was made from rye dough – with earthy and spicy notes that round off bitter chocolate, some salt and a chamomile chamomile.

Jefferson’s Straight Rye Cognac Cask Finish

47% ABV, $ 70

Now we have tasted quite a few ries finished in port wine or rum casks, but cognac is an unusual choice. “I would look at rye through a new lens and lift it past the supportive role it is often associated with,” explains Jefferson’s founder Trey Zoeller. He says he specifically set out to make a “sip of rye” as opposed to a cocktail base. It turns out that the French limousine barrel of cognac is a solid match with the spice of the rye grain, while the grapeiness of the cognac adds a tart, fruity whiskey.

Castle & Key Restoration Rye 2021 Batch # 1

50.5% ABV, $ 40

The third release of the resurrected Kentucky distillery rye is slated to be a light sipper during the summer months. The whiskey is 63% rye with 17% corn and 20% ground barley, mixed from 80 barrels. It is grassy, ​​cute and light and perfect for sipping while staring at the star.

Barrell Craft Spirits Barrell Seagrass

59.2% ABV, $ 90

This summery expression from these apostate independent bottlers is a poem to the sea. This blend consists of Canadian and American rye matured separately in Madeira, Martinique rum agricole and apricot brandy dishes. The effect is spicy, tangy and wonderfully tropical. Remember a rock, you might want a mini paper umbrella to decorate your glass.

Port Charlotte PAC: 01 2011

56.1% ABV, $ 130

The latest heavily peat (and they are not messy) Cask Edition single malt from Bruichladdich with Scottish grown barley gets a finish in Bordeaux wine barrels. The incense is all barbecue, and the overall effect is a bit like sipping a splash of liquid version of campfire-roasted s’mores.

Takamine Whiskey 8 years

43% ABV, $ 99

Jokichi Takamine was a Japanese chemist living in Illinois and the first to apply koji fermentation (centuries-old Japanese technique for using naturally occurring grain form to break down starch to convert to sugar) to American whiskey in the 1890s. Fun fact: He is also credited with planting the original DC cherry blossoms! Produced at Shinozaki Distillery, it has a moss bill of 100% pearl 2-row barley, which is 40% koji fermented and 60% steamed. A 2-day koji propagation is followed by a 2-step open fermentation, then a double distillation with pot, before an 8-year maturation in a combination of virgin American oak and ex-bourbon casks with a final proof of 86.7 %. Expect springy flowers on the nose with notes of marzipan, citrus and roasted grains.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B521

59.1% ABV, $ 70

Heaven Hill regularly releases Elijah Craig as an uncut and non-chill-filtered 12-year-old bourbon. Each varies by evidence, and this is 118.2, which is the lowest evidence release to date. It is a large hug of a bourbon with a sweet toastiness that balances the taste of roasted nuts and cocoa.

Stranahans original

47% ABV, $ 55

In celebration of the 15th anniversary, this distillery from Colorado single malt has blended its flagship whiskey with older malt to include 100% malt malt at 4, 5, 6 and 7 years, aged in new oak with a # 3 char. Milk chocolate, cinnamon, fat and hop-like flowers make it both a nice sipper and a fun base for lighter summer cocktails.

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