… what we have here is no-name bourbon from somewhere. Where? The back of the bottle says “Distilled in Virginia and Indiana”, so if we take this at face value it’s probably MGP bourbon with some of the distillery’s own (very young) output mixed in? There are a number of other distilleries in Virginia, so it could be sourced from any of them. The website suggests that this “less than four year old” (uhh… so two year-old, the legal minimum) straight bourbon is from a mixture of old and young casks with an average age of 4-6 years. …
Glencadam’s 15 year-old expression, like most of its releases, is aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks to retain the distillery character. The whisky is not chill-filtered and has no added coloring, and is bottled (now) at 46% ABV. It was named Whisky of the Year by Ralfy in 2017, which caused a supply crunch.
This is the kind of thing I like to cover. Sourced whiskey, yes, but from an actual startup distillery with an actual still that is now producing its own actual distilled whiskey. Nelson’s Green Brier distillery in Nashville, Tennessee was a pre-prohibition powerhouse in the Tennessee Whiskey scene…
… I deluded myself into thinking maybe a sample of the 12 year-old would go over better. I mean, half of the problem with inexpensive blended scotches is that they routinely use a high proportion of bottom-dollar (and minimum legal age at 3 years of maturation) grain whisky. So, the theory goes, if you restrict the blend to only 12 year-and-up components, that eliminates the problem, right?
The 2017 “Lot 17” bottling was composed of barrels of St. George single malt aged 6 to 8 years, and matured or finished in an assortment of casks including ex-bourbon casks from the company’s sourced Breaking & Entering bourbon and dessert wine American and French oak casks. The malt is bottled at 43% ABV.
GlenDronach’s 21 year-old bottling from the official distillery lineup is aged in a combination of PX (Pedro Ximenez) and oloroso sherry casks. (Note that is “aged” not “finished” – this whisky sat for a full 21 years in barrels previously containing sherry.) Hilariously enough in the current political climate, this whisky is not in fact named after the British Parliament, but rather for the “parliament” of rooks that nest in the trees overlooking the distillery. It is bottled at 48% ABV and without chill filtration or added coloring.
… None of that matters yet, because what we have here is no-name rye from somewhere (MGP? Who knows, there’s no hint on the bottle). The twist, though, is that this two year-old rye (a 90% rye / 10% malted barley mash bill) is finished for an additional two years in “white wine seasoned” French Oak barrels.
Glen Scotia makes a small amount of heavily-peated malt, but most of its products are very lightly peated at around 15 ppm. This 15 year-old is aged in ex-bourbon casks, and bottled at 46% ABV without chill filtration (but possibly with added coloring). The Glen Scotia product line was revamped and relaunched in 2015.
The rye has a bit higher ABV at 50%, and an actual age statement at a resounding 10 years. That’s pretty high for rye in the current market. A bit of digging revealed that this rye is from the Schenley distillery, at a mashbill of 53% rye, 39% corn and 8% barley. I spent a little too much time researching this, as the name Schenley is both a storied name in American whiskey and also awash with confusion…
Dailuaine is known as a component in Johnnie Walker blends, which is where the vast majority of the output from the distillery’s three wash and three spirit stills goes. This particular 16 year-old was matured in ex-sherry casks, although I can’t find any details (Full-term maturation? Finish?). Diageo is, as usual, tight-lipped about production details. Bottled at 43% ABV, probably chill-filtered, and likely colored.