Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon (Revisited)

Blanton’s is a storied bourbon named after former distillery president Colonel Albert B. Blanton. The brand was created by legendary master distiller Elmer T. Lee in 1984 when he selected so-called “honey barrels” from Warehouse H and created (purportedly) the first single-barrel bourbon label. Obviously the idea of bottling bourbon from a single barrel was not a new concept at the time, but marketing a brand around the idea was…

New Riff Rye

New Riff was founded in 2014 and already has a massive following. All of its flagship bottlings – rye and bourbon – are bottled-in-bond and also bottled without chill filtration. This rye is 100% rye (95% rye, 5% malted rye for enzymes), which is unusual although not unique. It’s aged for…

Timorous Beastie (10 year)

Timorous Beastie (named after a Robert Burns poem) is a line of blended malts that uses malts from the Highland region of Scotland, including (but not limited to) Glen Garioch, Dalmore and Glengoyne. The range has a non-age-stated bottling for about $35, this 10 year-old, and a number of special editions. This one is bottled at 46.8% ABV without chill filtration or added coloring. “Blended Malt” means all of the ingredients are…

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon

Contradiction is a blend of the sourced bourbons, similar to those that go into Old Scout blended with the wheated bourbon made at Smooth Ambler’s distilling facility in West Virginia, which is what goes into Big Level. The sourced components are both straight bourbons: a high-rye (21%) MGP bourbon and a low-rye (8%) Tennessee-distilled bourbon (not a Tennessee whiskey!) from…

Compass Box – Orchard House

The new 2021 release of Orchard House saw a bit of a return to Glaser’s roots. It’s light, fruity, refreshing, and priced at the midrange of the market ($50 here). The whisky is drawn from 39% Linkwood, 29% Clynelish, and 20% Benrinnes barrels, all first-fill ex-bourbon. This leads to a lot of “orchard fruit” notes and a relatively small amount of the heavier fruit notes associated with ex-sherry casks which are usually present in Compass Box blends. The remaining…

Benromach Triple Distilled

This Benromach can still be found on shelves (and, sometimes, on sale!). It was distilled from partially-peated malted barley in 2011 and bottled in 2019, making it 7 years of age. No, I’m not bad at math, it’s just that the month of bottling means the whisky was under 8 years which by law means any age statement must be “7 years”. It’s bottled at a robust 50% ABV, higher than Benromach’s usual 46%. This might be an intentional choice to combat the reduced concentration of flavor from…

Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon

Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon is a blend of sourced straight bourbons, with the youngest aged 5 years. As for the mash bill, Old Elk is once again an outlier: A whopping 34% malted barley, 51% corn, and 15% rye. I’ve never seen that much barley used in a bourbon before. They say it makes the whiskey extra smooth. The bourbon is bottled at an acceptable…