There will be no shortage of drams at WhiskyFest New York—over 480 different whiskies will be poured (download the app to have the full list at your fingertips). We have guides to the can’t-miss scotch, bourbon, and craft whiskey picks at the event—plus a guide for planning how to make the most of your evening and tips for picking the right seminar for you.
If your goal is to try the newest whisky releases, we can help you there too. Many brands bring their latest and greatest releases to WhiskyFest New York, and some even make their first public appearance at the show—after all, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Check out these seven top picks, all available during general admission. Still need to buy your tickets? There are a few left.
Redemption 18 year old Rye
Just launched last week, this super-aged rye is making its public debut at WhiskyFest New York. It costs $450 a bottle, so consider this the perfect opportunity to sample before deciding whether or not to buy the whole thing.
John & Allisa’s
John Lunn and Allisa Henley are making the next great Tennessee whiskey—but it’s so new, it doesn’t even have a name yet. Nevertheless, they’re eager to share it with the world, and WhiskyFest attendees will have the rare privilege of tasting this young distillate three ways: unaged before and after it goes through the Lincoln County Process, and after spending just three months in the barrel. Grab a pour of each and someday, you’ll be able to say, “I knew them when….”
This underappreciated Lowlands distillery just started making whisky again over the summer, after several silent periods in the last two decades. Its single malts and Pure Scot blend will be poured at WhiskyFest, and all are well worth tasting, especially the Talia 25 year old.
Highland Park Magnus and Valkyrie
When Highland Park redid its packaging earlier this year, it also announced several new whiskies, and all are available at WhiskyFest. Magnus is a permanent addition to the Highland Park line, while Valkyrie is the first release in the three-part Viking Legends series. VIP ticket holders can also sample Highland Park Full Volume, a rock-and-roll-inspired whisky distilled in 1999.
This blended malt whisky scored 90 points in our 2017 Fall Buying Guide. But not only is it a delicious dram, it has a great story to boot. Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton was forced to abandon several bottles of scotch during a failed bid to reach the South Pole in 1907. When those bottles were rediscovered a century later, it made perfect sense to try and create a new blend in homage to Shackleton and his legacy. Try it at WhiskyFest and be grateful you don’t have to slog through sub-zero temperatures to enjoy it.
The most famous whisky made in the UK is, of course, scotch—but did you know that Scotland’s southern neighbor also has single malt distilleries? England’s Cotswolds Distillery opened in 2014, so its first whisky is just now aged enough to be released. Cotswolds single malt rolled out in the UK in September, and WhiskyFest New York will be its first U.S. appearance.
Kilbeggan Single Grain
Ireland’s Kilbeggan Distillery launched a single grain whiskey this past summer—a departure, style-wise, from the brand’s traditional blended whiskey. Made of 94% corn and 6% malted barley (the malt helps kick-start fermentation), it’s a light and sweet whisky that’s aged in ex-bourbon barrels, then married in ex-bourbon and ex-fortified wine barrels.