Whisky Advocate

Some new whiskies heading your way, and my thoughts on them

March 7th, 2012

I’m back from vacation and getting caught up. A bunch of new whiskies came in while I was gone and I started tasting my way through them. Here are five that will be coming soon to the U.S. These are my informal thoughts. (I don’t have prices and availability right now, but will post the info up when I get it.)

I was really impressed with the new Aberlour 12 year old. It’s not chill-filtered and bottled at 48% . Nicely balanced, well-rounded, good subtle complexity and very easy-drinking. It should be a regular stock item in your drinks cabinet.

The Dalmore Castle Leod will be available in the U.S. in very limited quantities.  It’s a 1995 Vintage and bottled at 46%. There’s plenty of Dalmore lush fruit and spice, with good resinous grip on the finish. Lots of character here.

Isle of Jura 1976 Vintage is one of the oldest vintages of Jura I’ve seen here in the U.S. There’s a good dose of oak in this one–it’s age is obvious–but not unpleasantly so. It’s more of a juicy oak, rather than dry and harsh like some older whiskies I’ve tasted. And it’s soft and mellow. I enjoy it. There’s no dominant smoke or sherry like some of the past Jura whiskies, and it’s smartly bottled at 46%.

I like Glenmorangie, and I like Sassicaia Super Tuscan wine. The new Glenmorangie Artein combines both, by having the Glenmorangie whisky finished in Sassicaia wine barrels. The two work well together. It’s a Glenmo with loads of character and not dominated by the wine. Again it’s bottled at 46%. Hey guys, how about a three-pack?: one bottle of Glenmorangie Astar, one bottle of Glenmorangie Artein, and one bottle of Sassicaia? A guy can dream…

Finishing up: Knob Creek Rye. I really like the standard Knob Creek and thoroughly enjoy the Single Barrel Reserve (both aged 9 years). How’s this 100 proof rye? Bold and spicy, like you would expect a rye whiskey to be. My take on this whiskey is that it’s just mature enough to drink neat (there’s no age statement, but tastes a few years younger than the other Knob Creeks), and it’s youthful and vibrant enough to mix well in cocktails. It’s very versatile in this regard (as I am sure it was intended to be), but I would like to have seen it bottled at 9 years old like the other Know Creek offerings.

My general take on the whiskies above is that they’re all pretty good. No duds here to warn you about. And I hope the general comments give you a feel for what you’ll be getting into if you buy a bottle.

One thing I did notice from these whiskies is the higher proof and lack of chill-filtering. More of this, please!

I have more whiskies here to waiting for me to taste and review, including a few older Glenfarclas Family Cask whiskies (from three different decades) and a couple of older Glenglassaugh whiskies.  I’ll get to those soon and share my thoughts.

No Responses to “Some new whiskies heading your way, and my thoughts on them”

  1. lawschooldrunk says:

    Really looking forward to the aberlour 12.

    Of course, I have to add, that I hope the price stays the same 🙂

  2. Jordan says:


    Sadly, the one place I’ve seen so far carrying the new Aberlour 12 has it priced basically the same as the A’Bunadh. And at that point, I’m pretty sure the A’Bunadh is going to be the better choice. But yeah, it’d be awesome if it stayed a $40-ish single malt. That’d be a heck of a deal.

    Definitely excited about a lot of these. Looking forward to trying the Knob Creek Rye (more rye is more better!), though I’ll agree with you that a 9 year old would have been great. It’d be nice to see more middle aged (8-12 year old) ryes on the market.

  3. Tom D says:

    Looking forward to the Knob Creek Rye…. Good timng for the release… always seem to go heavy on American goods (Bourbon/Rye) once the weather heats up…

  4. Vince says:

    Looking forward to the Knob Creek Rye and the Aberlour, but I agree with Jordan, if it is priced similar to the A’Bunadh it would be difficult to pick the 12 year old. Great Stuff!

  5. JoshK says:

    Very interested in the Knob Creek Rye, but I’m wondering what makes it part of the Knob Creek line if it doesn’t have the 9 year old connection. I hope it’s not just (ri)1 rebranded, that would be an injustice.

  6. Mike Dereszynski says:

    As long as we are dreaming,how about a six- pack of Single Malt Scotch w Sassicaia.
    Arran,Benromach,Bruichladdich,Edradour,Glenmorangie and ??? Can’t remember a sixth,maybe Rachel at Bowmore could whip one up or Richard Patterson has one hidden away in some warehouse.

  7. Tom D says:

    Saw that knob creek rye is to be priced at $36 in a few states this March with a national release in July. I can’t independently verify that information but thought it might be of interest.

    • Jordan says:

      I’d consider it at that price if it was 9 years old. If it really is significantly younger than that, I’d have a much harder time justifying it vs. Sazerac 6 Year or Jefferson’s 10 Year Rye.

  8. I was already interested in the Knob Creek, but after reading your review, am even more so.

  9. Mark says:

    Aberlour 10 yr was the first scotch I ever bought so I’ve always been a fan of their whiskies. The new 12 yr almost sounds like a cross between past 12 yr old bottling’s and A’bunadh, with it being non-chill filtered and bottled at a higher abv. Is this a fair assumption John?

    • John Hansell says:

      The one difference is that A’bunadh is very sherried, while the 12 doesn’t seem as intensly so.

      • Mark says:

        I’ve found the 12 yr getting steadily less sherried over the past couple releases. Maybe it’s just the new label throwing me off. In any case, I’m looking forward to this new release.
        Sorry to get off topic but what are your, or anyone else’s thoughts on Greenspot?

  10. John Hansell says:

    Castle Leod is $175 and 200 cases are coming to the U.S.

  11. B.J. Reed says:

    The new versions of Dalmore are excellent – I find in interesting that Castle Leod is coming but not its siblings and it is always good to see another limited edition Glenmorangie.

  12. Joshua says:

    Do you know when it’s supposed to get here?

  13. mongo says:

    ah, dalmore! a 16yo whisky at 46% for $175. if people are willing to buy it, i guess….

  14. BFitz says:

    I heard Knob Creek Rye was (ri) in a new bottle. Anyone else hear that?

  15. FriscoE says:

    I just saw the Aberlour 12 non-chill filtered here in Texas. Very tempting, but at the asking price of $69.99 seemed a bit much. Abunadah Batch 38 next to it was $58.99. A much better value I think.
    I ended up picking up the last 2 bottles of Highland Park 12 instead – at the extra-special sale price of $29.99.

  16. Bob Siddoway says:

    Like many others, I’m also excited and interested in the new Knob. I’ve been loving a lot of the recent rye releases (ie. Bulleit, etc.). Always been a big fan of Knob, too bad there are no new versions of Bookers… yet.

  17. Genaro says:

    Knob Creek Rye? I.M.O it should it be Basil Hayden 100 proof version.

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