Talisker (8 year) Special Release 2021

Instead of an innovative cask finish (like last year’s funky rum), this year Talisker simply selected the 8 year-old warehouse casks that were in refill (re-used) casks and which showed the heaviest peat character. Diageo would like you to think of this as maturing in “ex-Talisker” casks, or perhaps as a “Talisker finished in Talisker”, but refill casks are hardly new, and honestly that sounds a bit…

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

Rare Breed is Wild Turkey’s approach to the fairly-standard “Small Batch, Cask Strength” expression that you’ll find in most distillery lineups. Rare Breed is made from a batch of Wild Turkey Kentucky straight bourbon aged in number 4 char bourbon barrels for 6, 8, and 12 years and bottled at cask strength. While a lot of bourbon distillers these days (especially the trendy ones) are marking up their cask strength bottles to portray them as…

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.3

Sherry aging is uncommon at Bruichladdich unlike other distilleries, and it was refreshing for me to hear the reason out loud from head distiller Adam Hannett on our group call for the Octomore Twelve campaign. He said that Bruichladdich decided to discontinue sherry aging years ago when they found they couldn’t get any true sherry casks from the open market. Everything they received was sherry “seasoned” (meaning some sherry-like liquid was…

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.2

This is not the first Octomore finished in Sauternes: The famed “Octomore 4.2 Comus” release was finished in valuable Chateau d’Yquem casks. Also like 4.2, this year’s 12.2 will be available in regular retail outlets in the United States. The last 7 editions of X.2 were only available in Travel Retail (‘duty free’). … The whisky was vatted together and transferred into first-fill French Sauternes casks for an additional 2 years (total age: 5). Although it is cask strength, Bruichladdich mixes in a “just a drop” of spring water from Octomore Farm’s natural spring, which

Bruichladdich Octomore 12.1

12.1 this year was distilled in 2015 from the 2014 harvest of Scottish-grown (not on Islay) Concerto barley. The barley was malted by Bairds in Inverness to 130.8 ppm and was aged for 5 years in first-fill ex-bourbon American oak casks from a variety of bourbon distilleries. Although it is cask strength, Bruichladdich mixes in a “just a drop” of spring water from Octomore Farm’s natural spring, which does not…

Larceny Barrel Proof Bourbon (Batch B520)

This “Barrel Proof” edition is a small batch release (just like Larceny’s non-cask-strength bottling) of Kentucky straight bourbon bottled at a whopping 61.1% ABV from casks aged between 6 and 8 years. The producers did not use chill filtration, according to the back of the bottle, which is rare to see on an American whiskey label. Heaven Hill releases a new batch of Larceny Barrel Proof…

Broken Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon

So here we are, today, once again taking a look at a well-marketed bourbon without the faintest clue to where the liquid is actually distilled. At least Infuse Spirits, makers of the Broken Barrel brand as well as a slew of – hah – infused spirits, is trying to do something innovative. They are doing something similar to what John Glaser of Compass Box wanted to do with the original Spice Tree…

Talisker (8 year) Special Release 2020

Talisker 8 is a very limited edition cask-strength (57.9% ABV) batch of the familiar Talisker 10 except at 8 years, which is a bit of a reference to earlier 1980s bottlings of Talisker that were released at that age (although not at that strength). The whisky for this year’s release was distilled in 2011 and This time, the distillery broke new ground (for Talisker) by finishing the whisky in a funky pot-still rum cask from Jamaica.

Sagamore Spirit Cask Strength Rye

This is a blend of MGP-distilled straight rye whiskies from two different mash bills at 4 years old. Because these are contract distillations they aren’t just blending tanks of already-aged standard MGP rye, but rather specifying the mash bill and barrel entry proof and waiting for the rye to hit target ages before blending them. … The result is bottled at cask strength, or close to it (they add a “splash” of Maryland spring water to bring the batch to 56.1% ABV, presumably for consistency).

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 year (4th edition)

The idea behind the 10 year-old editions of Octomore is for Bruichladdich to examine the effects of longer aging on the somewhat-well-understood young (typically 5 year-old) Octomore. As Head Distiller Adam Hannett said in our interview session for the Octomore 11 campaign, “we just don’t know everything,” and “there are so many infinite variables in the creation of single malt whisky, so we try to isolate one variable at a time to see how it improves the whisky, or doesn’t.”