Benromach 50, Ardbeg Supernova & More New Whisky

Jack Daniel’s announced the launch of Tennessee Apple this week, if you like flavored whiskey—but if you prefer the unadulterated stuff, there are plenty of great options from Scotland, Kentucky, and elsewhere, all rolling out now.

First up, there’s a half-century scotch at a remarkably fair price, all things considered. There are 125 decanters of Benromach 50 year old available, priced at $10,000 each.

Much more affordable, but no less exciting, Ardbeg is bringing back its super-peaty Supernova for the fifth time. Limited quantities are available at $180; expect it to sell fast.

More limited-edition peaty goodness is coming from Bruichladdich, which is releasing the tenth Octomore series. Four different Octomores of varying ages and availabilities are hitting shelves, priced at $190 to $250.

Booker’s is rolling out its third release for this year. Booker’s 2019-03 “Country Ham” is, as always, available in limited amounts, with a recommended price of $80.

Sagamore Spirit has a cognac cask-finished rye hitting shelves. The limited-edition whiskey is priced at $70.

Chicago’s FEW Spirits is launching a bourbon finished in tequila casks and named in honor of Alice in Chains. Priced at $75, there are 900 bottles of FEW Alice in Chains All Secrets Known for sale.

Blanco, Texas-based Ben Milam Distillery has debuted its new flagship brand, Milam & Greene, launching two whiskeys to start: a blend of straight bourbons ($43) and a port cask-finished rye ($48). Both whiskeys are available in Texas, with expansion planned.

Another Texas distillery, Lewisville’s Bendt (formerly Witherspoon), is releasing a blend that includes bourbon, rye, wheat, malt, and light whiskeys. Priced at $25, Bendt No. 5 is initially available in Texas, with expansion planned.

Bardstown Bourbon Co. is offering three new, very limited whiskeys as part of its Collaborative series. Priced from $125 to $350, the bourbons each have a unique finish.

Germany’s Eifel Distillery is releasing a 7 year old peated single malt in the U.S. market. There are 1,200 bottles available at $75 apiece.

Read on for full details.

Benromach 50 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 50 years old
Proof: 44.6% ABV
Price: $10,000
Release: October 2019
Availability: 125 bottles, including a portion for the U.S.

Need to know:

Distilled in 1969, this whisky matured in a single sherry hogshead for half a century. It’s packaged in a custom decanter.

Whisky Advocate says:

Yes, $10,000 is a lot to spend on a whisky, but it’s a deal if you’re buying 50 year old scotch. Glenlivet 50 year old had an asking price of $25,000, as did Black Bowmore 1964; Macallan 50 year old set its price at $35,000, while Balvenie 50 year old was at $38,000. Sure, just a few people are going to shell out for anything this expensive, but who doesn’t love a bargain?

Ardbeg Supernova (2019 Release)

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 53.8% ABV
Price: $180
Release: October 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Ardbeg is bringing back its peatiest whisky, Supernova, for a fifth time. The barley is usually peated to over 100 ppm, but Ardbeg won’t confirm those details..

Whisky Advocate says:

In addition to not releasing details about cask or peating program, Ardbeg isn’t saying how many bottles of Supernova are available, but expect this whisky to get snatched up quickly by fans of the past releases, and anyone who loves peat bombs. The 2015 Supernova scored 91 points in the Buying Guide, while previous releases scored 91 (2014) , 90 (2010), and 89 (2009).

Bruichladdich Octomore 10.1

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 59.8% ABV
Price: $190
Release: October 2019
Availability: 42,000 bottles

Need to know:

Bruichladdich Distillery is rolling out its tenth batch of the heavily peated Octomore series. This is the “benchmark” Octomore 10, distilled in 2013 from Scottish barley peated to 107 ppm and matured for 5 years in American whiskey casks.

Bruichladdich Octomore 10.2

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 8 years old
Proof: 56.9% ABV
Price: $211
Release: October 2019
Availability: 24,000; for sale at global travel retail only

Need to know:

Distilled in 2010 from barley peated to a precise 96.9 ppm, this whisky spent 4 years in first-fill American whiskey casks and another 4 years in third-fill sauternes casks.

Bruichladdich Octomore 10.3

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 6 years old
Proof: 61.3% ABV
Price: $250
Release: October 2019
Availability: 24,000 bottles

Need to know:

Distilled from Islay barley grown in a single field by farmer James Brown and peated to 114 ppm, this whisky matured for 6 years in first-fill American whiskey casks.

Bruichladdich Octomore 10.4

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 3 years old
Proof: 63.5% ABV
Price: $235
Release: January 2020
Availability: 12,000 bottles

Need to know:

The youngest Octomore ever released, this whisky is a scant 3 years old, distilled in 2016 from barley peated to 88 ppm and matured in 28 heavily toasted virgin Limousin oak casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Bruichladdich’s Octomore range isn’t for the faint of heart, being heavily peated up to 309 ppm for Octomore 8.3—but this time, the distillery is emphasizing “softer smoke” in the whiskies. The lowest peat level of the four, however, is 88 ppm—which still puts it squarely in the heavily peated camp. (This scale of peated single malt scotch helps put peat and ppm into perspective.)

Booker's 2019-03 "Country Ham"

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 6 years, 4 months, and 2 days
Proof: 62.35% ABV
Price: $80
Release: October 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The third release of Booker’s this year celebrates Booker Noe’s hobby of smoking and curing country hams. Like all bottlings of Booker’s, this bourbon is at barrel proof, uncut and unfiltered.

Whisky Advocate says:

Yes, country ham and bourbon make a killer pairing, but they have even more in common. Just like bourbon, the best country hams have to “mature” (called curing); apparently Booker Noe would smoke his hams for a few days, then cure them for 12-18 months.

Sagamore Spirit Cognac Cask-Finished Rye

Style: Rye
Origin: Indiana
Age: Not stated
Proof: 50.5% ABV
Price: $70
Release: September 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Aged for four years in new charred oak barrels, this whiskey was then finished for 8 months in cognac casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Cognac cask-finishing is becoming more popular, with distilleries from Woodford Reserve to Glenlivet recently releasing their own variants on the theme. This is Sagamore’s first foray into the arena; if it’s as good as their port cask-finished rye (88 points), it’ll be worth seeking out.

FEW Alice in Chains All Secrets Known Tequila Cask-Finished Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: IL
Age: Not stated
Proof: 50.5% ABV
Price: $75
Release: October 2019
Availability: 900 bottles

Need to know:

This is FEW Spirits’ bourbon finished for 6 months in Tequila casks, made in honor of Alice in Chains.

Whisky Advocate says:

FEW founder Paul Hletko is a big rock fan, and this isn’t the distillery’s first whiskey released in honor of a favorite band; FEW made Flaming Lips Brainville rye a couple of years back, and Bloodshot bourbon—in honor of Chicago-area label Bloodshot Records—a year before that. Look for bottles to pop up in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, New York, Washington, and Washington, D.C., as well as at the distillery.

Milam & Greene Triple Cask Blended Straight Bourbon

Style: Blend of straight bourbons
Origin: TN and TX
Age: Not stated
Proof: 47% ABV
Price: $43
Release: September 2019
Availability: Around 5,000 bottles for sale Texas, with expansion planned

Need to know:

This whiskey marries three straight bourbons: a 2 year old made at Ben Milam Distillery with two Tennessee bourbons, one aged 3-4 years and the other 10-11 years. The Texas whiskey has a mashbill of 70% Texas corn, 22% malted rye from Oregon and Washington, and 8% Wyoming barley, and was fermented using a proprietary yeast.

Milam & Greene Port Wine Cask-Finished Rye

Style: Rye
Origin: IN
Age: Not stated
Proof: 47% ABV
Price: $48
Release: September 2019
Availability: Around 4,000 bottles for sale in Texas, with expansion planned

Need to know:

Distilled in Indiana, this rye is finished in port casks in the rickhouse at Ben Milam Distillery.

Whisky Advocate says:

These two whiskeys are the first releases for Ben Milam Distillery’s new flagship brand, Milam & Greene; the latter half of the name comes from master blender Heather Greene, a former whisky sommelier and writer who is now working with master distiller Marlene Holmes and chief brewer Jordan Osborne to create the distillery’s whiskeys. The team intends to age its bourbon not only at the distillery in Blanco, Texas, but elsewhere in the country to determine the effects of different climates.

Bendt No. 5 Blended American Whiskey

Style: Whiskey
Origin: TX
Age: Not stated
Proof: 41.5% ABV
Price: $25
Release: October 2019
Availability: 5,833 bottles for sale in Texas, with expansion planned

Need to know:

This whiskey blends five different styles—bourbon, rye, wheat, malt, and light whiskey—all made at Bendt Distillery (formerly Witherspoon Distillery) in Lewisville, Texas.

Whisky Advocate says:

Because legally it can contain up to 80% neutral grain spirit, blended whiskey has gotten a bad rap among whisky aficionados. But many producers are setting the stigma aside to create high-quality blends that are 100% whiskey, like Freddie Noe with the Little Book series and MGP’s Eight & Sand. One thing to keep in mind: Bendt No. 5 contains some unspecified amount of light whiskey, which is, as it sounds, a lighter and less robust style matured in used or uncharred oak containers. Its presence will mean that this blend is, well, lighter than the examples just cited. But that doesn’t tell us anything about the quality, which Whisky Advocate will evaluate—and bring you the results—soon.

Bardstown Bourbon Co. Copper & Kings American Apple Brandy Cask-Finished Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Indiana
Age: 11 years old
Proof: 60.2% ABV
Price: $125
Release: October 2019
Availability: 341 bottles

Need to know:

This whiskey was distilled in Indiana and aged for 11 years in new charred oak barrels. It was then finished for 20 months in apple brandy casks from Louisville’s Copper & Kings American Brandy Co.

Bardstown Bourbon Co. Copper & Kings Double Muscat Mistelle Cask-Finished Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Indiana
Age: 10 years old
Proof: 49.95% ABV
Price: $350
Release: October 2019
Availability: 83 bottles; available at Bardstown Bourbon Co. only

Need to know:

Distilled in Indiana and aged for 10 years in new charred oak, this bourbon was then finished for 18 months in casks that previously held muscat mistelle, a slightly fermented wine that’s fortified with brandy. The whiskey then undergoes a second, 19-month finishing period in new charred oak barrels.

Bardstown Bourbon Co. Goodwood Brewing Co. Honey Ale Cask-Finished Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Indiana
Age: 11 years old
Proof: 55.05% ABV
Price: $125
Release: October 2019
Availability: 104 bottles

Need to know:

This bourbon was distilled in Indiana and aged for 11 years in new charred oak, then finished for 18 months in barrels that previously held Goodwood Brewing Co.’s Brandy Barrel Honey Ale.

Whisky Advocate says:

Bardstown Bourbon Co. is known for its collaborations. The distillery has partnered with Copper & Kings in the past for two similar releases, and earlier this year it launched three new collaboration bourbons whose scores you should definitely look out for in the Fall 2019 issue of Whisky Advocate. Besides releases like these, Bardstown is rightly proud of its collaborative distilling program through which it creates over 40 unique whiskey recipes to serve the needs of its partner brands. The distillery recently opened its visitors center, offering an array of different experiences.

Eifel Peated Single Malt

Style: Single malt
Origin: Germany
Age: 7 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $75
Release: Fall 2019
Availability: 1,200 bottles in the U.S.

Need to know:

Made with peated barley at Eifel Distillery in western Germany, this whisky was aged for 7 years in moscatel casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

The U.S. gets very few German whiskies, but Eifel hit our shores earlier this year and has quickly assumed a place among the innovative leaders in world whisky. Its first two releases—a single malt matured in red wine barriques and finished in sherry casks, and a rye matured with acacia staves—scored 89 points and 90 points, respectively, in the Buying Guide.

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