Award-Winning Indian Whisky, New Bourbon, Scotch, and More

When we gave Amrut Spectrum our World Whisky of the Year award in 2016, the Indian single malt wasn’t yet available in the U.S. But as of this month, that’s no longer the case—though the limited-edition whisky will still be tough to find. There are plenty of other new whiskies to try though: a brace of unique ryes from Woodford Reserve (available at the distillery only), bourbons from Redemption and George Remus (both made at MGP Distillery), single-cask scotches from the Exclusive Malts, and two bottled in bond whiskeys made by Laws Whiskey House.

Amrut Spectrum 004

Style: Single malt
Origin: India
Age: Not stated
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $160
Release: June 2017
Availability: 1,800 bottles for the world, including 600 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This Indian single malt whisky was matured in a cask made with four different types of staves: new American oak with a No.3 char level, lightly toasted new French oak, and ex-oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry. The 004 is latest batch of Spectrum, and the first to hit the U.S. market. (Read about the previous release, which used five different oak types, here.)

Whisky Advocate says:

When we honored Amrut Spectrum as World Whisky of the Year in 2016, Jonny McCormick wrote this tasting note: “The beguiling chocolate and coffee aromas mingle with new oak, wood spices, fresh walnuts, treacle, and mango peel. A velvety palate of lush red fruits, Gianduja chocolate, coffee, nut oils, and oak tannins develops, leaving dry spices and ground coffee on the finish.” While this whisky might have some variance due to batching and the use of four different stave types, rather than five, expect it to maintain a consistent flavor profile. (The Spanish oak stave wasn’t used for this batch, as its influence was determined to be minimal.)

Woodford Reserve Blended Rye

Style: Blended rye
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 45.2% ABV
Price: $50 (375-ml.)
Release: June 2017
Availability: Distillery and select Kentucky retailers only

Need to know:

This is a limited-edition blend of two Woodford Reserve whiskeys, available mainly at the distillery.

Whisky Advocate says:

Back in 2004, Woodford Reserve made a 100% rye whiskey that it aged in its own used bourbon barrels. This whiskey became its Master’s Collection Aged Cask rye. Some of it was held back until this year, when it was blended with Woodford’s Distiller’s Select straight rye (mash bill: 53% rye, 33% corn, and 14% malted barley) to create this unique blended rye.

Woodford Reserve Toasted Oak Rye

Style: Rye mash whiskey
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 45.2% ABV
Price: $50 (375-ml.)
Release: June 2017
Availability: Distillery and select Kentucky retailers only

Need to know:

Another distillery-only release, this rye mash whiskey was matured in used Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels and finished in Woodford Reserve Double Oaked barrels for two years.

Whisky Advocate says:

Since it was aged in used barrels, this is technically a rye mash whiskey. Rye whiskey can only be aged in new charred oak barrels. The TTB’s rules for “whisky distilled from rye mash” are as follows:

Produced in the U.S. at not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (160 proof) from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent rye and stored in used oak containers

Redemption Wheated Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Indiana
Age: 4 years old
Proof: 48% ABV
Price: $46
Release: June 2017
Availability: 7,200 bottles

Need to know:

This is a limited-edition bourbon from Redemption, which sources its whiskey (both bourbon and rye) from MGP Distillery in Indiana. The mash bill is 51% corn, 45% winter wheat, and 4% malted barley.

Whisky Advocate says:

The whiskey is available in limited quantities, but will return every year. This year it’s 4 years old, next year it will be 5, and the following year it’ll hit 6 years. The amount released will be roughly the same each year.

George Remus Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Indiana
Age: 4 years old
Proof: 47% ABV
Price: $45
Release: June 2017
Availability: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Minnesota

Need to know:

Named for an infamous Prohibition-era Cincinnati bootlegger, George Remus Bourbon is a high-rye blend of bourbons all aged for at least four years. It’s made at MGP Distillery in Indiana.

Whisky Advocate says:

MGP acquired the George Remus brand from Cincinnati-based Queen City Whiskey Co. last year. The distillery had been supplying Queen City with whiskey for the brand, but has changed the recipe to include older, more complex high-rye bourbons.

A previous version of this post stated that the whiskey used in the George Remus brand had not changed with the sale to MGP. The post has been updated to reflect new information about the bourbon.

Exclusive Regions Islay

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $55
Release: June 2017
Availability: 294 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This is a non-chill filtered, uncolored single cask whisky from an undisclosed distillery on Islay.

Exclusive Regions Speyside

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 8 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $55
Release: June 2017
Availability: 528 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This is a non-chill filtered, uncolored single cask whisky from a Speyside distillery.

Exclusive Regions Peated Highland

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 8 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $55
Release: June 2017
Availability: 264 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

The peat used in this 8 year old single cask whisky is characterized as less aggressive than its Islay cousin above.

Exclusive Regions Lowland Single Grain

Style: Single grain
Origin: Scotland (Lowlands)
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $55
Release: June 2017
Availability: 360 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This single grain whisky from a distillery in the Scottish Lowlands is made from wheat in a column still.

Whisky Advocate says:

The Creative Whisky Co.’s Exclusive Regions collection is a new series of whiskies that aims to introduce newbies to different styles and regions of scotch through single cask expressions while keeping the price affordable. The whiskies will be available on a constant basis, though there will be some variance since these are all single casks. The distilleries are undisclosed, but each bottle includes a distillery reference: GT on the Speyside stands for Glentauchers, PD on the single grain is for Port Dundas, AM on the Peated Highland is Ardmore, and KD on the Islay refers to the major water source of Laphroaig called Kilbride.

Right now, the Creative Whisky Co. is also launching single cask grain and malt whiskies in its Exclusive Malts range, including a 21 year old Clynelish (distilled in 1995; $265), a 20 year old Benrinnes (distilled in 1995; $170), a 21 year old Glen Elgin (distilled in 1995; $160), a 9 year old Glen Moray (distilled in 2007; $85), a 25 year old Highland Park (distilled in 1992; $345), a 43 year old Invergordon (distilled in 1972; $260), and a 33 year old Cameronbridge (distilled in 1984; $225), as well as 23 year old (distilled in 1993; $145) and 35 year old (distilled in 1980; $190) versions of the Exclusive Blend.

A.D. Laws Bottled in Bond Straight Corn Whiskey

Style: Corn whiskey
Origin: Colorado
Age: 4 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $55
Release: June 2014
Availability: 1,200 bottles at the distillery only

Need to know:

This whiskey’s mash bill consists of 86% corn and 14% malted barley. It was aged in used full size barrels for over four years in bonded warehouses at Laws Whiskey House in Denver.

Whisky Advocate says:

It’s unusual to see a bonded corn whiskey, especially from a craft distiller, so this should be an interesting one to try if you visit the distillery.

A.D. Laws Bottled in Bond Two Grain Straight Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Colorado
Age: 4 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $55
Release: June 2014
Availability: 2,400 bottles in Colorado only

Need to know:

Like the corn whiskey, this bourbon also has an 86% corn-14% malted barley mash bill. But because it’s bourbon, it was aged in new charred oak barrels, rather than used ones.

Whisky Advocate says:

Both this bourbon and the corn whiskey have the same mash bill and are aged for the same length of time. The main difference is the barrel type: new charred oak for the bourbon, and used for the corn whiskey (which by law can only be matured in new, uncharred barrels or used barrels). Tasting them side by side would be a fun way to explore the impact barrel type has on the finished whiskey.

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