Breaker comes to us (by way of some place in Kentucky, where they actually distill bourbon) from Santa Barbara county, and the name and bottle labels are inspired by the wave ‘breakers’ on the nearby California central coast. … small batches from actually small batches of 8 sourced barrels of high-rye bourbon, each at least 5 years of age, and bottles at 45% ABV.
We have here an 8 year-old Lagavulin bottled at 48% ABV, and so pale that it’s almost clear. This was originally released as the distillery’s 200th (bicentenary) anniversary limited edition, but has since been added to the core range. With that, the information available online dries up. To my palate, this seems to be missing the sherry portion found in the 16-year. Like the 12-year, I would guess this is entirely from ex-bourbon casks.
Here, we have something different. This is not actually a bourbon (nor a Tennessee Whiskey), but rather a MGP-distilled (that would be in Indiana) 95% rye whiskey that has been subjected to the above charcoal chill-filtration process. I am now obliged to point out the bald-faced hypocrisy of a label that…
Unlike the other animal references, which are slang phrases that evolved from whiskeymaking, Pig’s Nose refers to the whisky being as “smooth as a pig’s nose”. I’ll have to take that one on faith, having never personally felt the nose of a pig. The blend contains 5 year-old grain whisky from Invergordon as well as 5 single malts…
All Balcones whiskeys are pot distilled in batches and bottled without chill-filtration or added coloring. This particular bottle (which sounds downright placid next to siblings like Blue Corn Whiskey and Texas Single Malt) is distilled from a mash bill of 100% rye, including Elbon Rye from Northwest Texas and crystal, chocolate and roasted rye malts.
There is still independent whisky to be bottled, even if the pickings are slimmer, and some tempting things show up on shelves. Here, a Mortlach (one of my favorite distilleries, but hard to find) was distilled in September 1997 and spent some number of years in ex-bourbon before being transitioned to a Pedro Ximénez sherry butt to finish, for a total of 18 years in cask.
The Small Batch is bottled in bond and (therefore) is 50% ABV and at least 4 years old. It’s appropriate that this whiskey is bottled in bond, because its namesake Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. was one of the first proponents of the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which protected American bourbon from unscrupulous retailers and counterfeiters.
Dufftown is, in fact, a small distillery in the town of Dufftown, with the official name of “Dufftown-Glenlivet Distillery” which does nothing to alleviate the confusion (it refers to the valley – glen – of the river Livet, not the Glenlivet Distillery). The Diageo-owned distillery has six stills and was established in the 1890s. …
Double Rye! is a blend of straight ryes. This means the bottle, itself, cannot be called a straight rye. Aren’t legal definitions fun? The ryes in question are a 95% rye (5% malted barley) mash bill from MGP, and an 80% rye (20% malted rye) distilled by High West themselves at their new-ish distillery in Park City, Utah.
The whisky is aged in some inscrutable combination of European and American oak casks, some of which held sherry at one time. The “two types” of American Oak used could refer refill and first-fill, or it could mean ex-bourbon American oak casks that have been “seasoned” by sloshing some re-used sherry around in them. The whisky is bottled without added coloring or chill filtration.