Chapter 7 Scotch, Horse Soldier Bourbon & More New Whisky

The biggest news of the week comes from the UK, where Diageo reportedly is exploring ways to innovate Scotch whisky that could fall outside the regulated boundaries of the style. Whisky Advocate took an in-depth look at why “scotch infusions” and whisky finished in tequila barrels might not meet the standards set down in the Scotch Whisky Regulations of 2009.

Meanwhile, new whisky releases are headed to shelves from Scotland, the U.S., and Japan. Independent bottler Chapter 7 has two 9 year old single cask single malts from the Allt-á-Bhainne and Aultmore distilleries. (If you’re wondering what independent bottlers are and why you should be buying whisky from them, here’s a good answer for that.)

American Freedom Distillery is launching Horse Soldier, a wheated bourbon made in Columbus, Ohio, and named for the mounted Special Forces unit that entered Afghanistan in the days immediately following September 11th. The bourbon is available in three expressions: the core Wheated Bourbon, (47.5% ABV), Barrel Strength (56.5% ABV), and Commander’s Select (58% ABV).

Three limited-edition whiskies from Suntory’s Yamazaki, Hakushu, and Chita distilleries will roll out in Japan next month. They aren’t coming to the U.S., but are available for purchase online.

Finally, we’re sharing a “new to us” whiskey from Manatawny Still Works in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Keystone is made with four grains—malted barley, wheat, oats, and rye—and is worth checking out. Read on for full details.

Chapter 7 Allt-á-Bhainne 9 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 9 years old
Proof: 60.7% ABV
Price: $65
Release: January 2018
Availability: 321 bottles

Need to know:

This is a single cask whisky, distilled on August 4th, 2008 and barreled in a first-fill bourbon hogshead. It was bottled on September 9th, 2017.

Chapter 7 Aultmore 9 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 9 years old
Proof: 62.2% ABV
Price: $70
Release: January 2018
Availability: 311 bottles

Need to know:

This is a single cask whisky, distilled on April 3rd, 2008 and barreled in a first-fill oloroso sherry cask. It was bottled on September 9th, 2017.

Whisky Advocate says:

Allt-á-Bhainne isn’t commonly seen bottled as a single malt. The distillery is owned by Chivas Brothers and thus most of its output goes into the company’s blends. Aultmore, meanwhile, has also historically been used in blends (notably Dewar’s), but is also available as a single malt from parent company Bacardi. This single cask bottling will likely offer a different take on the standard bottling.

Horse Soldier Wheated Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Ohio
Age: 8 years old
Proof: 47.5% ABV
Price: $60
Release: January 2018
Availability: FL, NY, and NJ

Need to know:

This is a bourbon distilled in Columbus, Ohio, and bottled by American Freedom Distillery in St. Petersburg, Florida. The mashbill is 70% corn, 20%  wheat, and 10% barley.

Horse Soldier Barrel Strength Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Ohio
Age: 8 years old
Proof: 56.5% ABV
Price: $80
Release: January 2018
Availability: FL, NY, and NJ

Need to know:

This is a barrel-proof version of Horse Soldier Wheated Bourbon.

Horse Soldier Commander's Select Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Ohio
Age: 8 years old
Proof: 58% ABV
Price: $595
Release: January 2018
Availability: FL, NY, and NJ

Need to know:

An even higher-proof version of Horse Soldier, this comes packaged in a special box with a military challenge coin and is signed by the Special Forces Commander, Captain Mark Nutsch, and Deputy Commander of Operational Detachment Alpha, Chief Warrant Officer Bob Pennington. The package also includes a signed military dispatch that the Commander sent from the battlefield.

Whisky Advocate says:

American Freedom Distillery was founded by four ex-Green Berets. Currently, they’re building the distillery in St. Petersburg, Florida. For now, Horse Soldier Bourbon is distilled in Columbus, Ohio at an unnamed distillery. The bourbon’s name comes from a mounted Special Forces unit, Operational Detachment Alpha, that deployed to Afghanistan immediately following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. (The movie 12 Strong, released on January 19th, depicts their story, and the event is commemorated in the America’s Response monument located at the National September 11 Memorial in New York City.)

 

Essence of Suntory Collection

Style: Single malt, single grain
Origin: Japan
Age: Varies—not stated to 12 years old
Proof: Varies—49% to 57% ABV
Price: Varies—$180 to $350
Release: February 2018
Availability: Limited; Japan only, though available for online purchase in some areas

Need to know:

This collection of three special-edition whiskies from Suntory includes Yamazaki 12 year old Peated Single Malt ($350), Hakushu Single Grain Rye ($180), and Chita Single Grain 4 year old Wine Cask Finish ($350). The whiskies are sold in 500-ml. bottles and are limited in quantity, available only in Japan. If you live in the U.S. and want to get hold of some, dekanta.com can ship to certain states.

Whisky Advocate says:

These whiskies are being released in Japan only, but the power of e-commerce allows sellers to ship abroad, where legal. Note that the prices quoted come from dekanta.com, an internet retailer specializing in Japanese whisky; you may find lower or higher prices elsewhere.

Manatawny Still Works Keystone Whiskey

Style: American whiskey
Origin: Pennsylvania
Age: 12 to 36 months
Proof: 45% ABV
Price: $40
Release: 2016
Availability: DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA, and Washington, D.C.

Need to know:

First released in May of 2016, Keystone Whiskey started out as a combination of whiskeys aged for 12 to 25 months in new charred American oak barrels. The whiskeys now range in age from 12 to 36 months. The mashbill features four grains—malt (80%), wheat (9%), oats (9%), and rye (2%).

Whisky Advocate says:

This isn’t a new whiskey, but a recent trip to Philadelphia by one of our editors put Manatawny Still Works on our radar. The distillery is in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and has a tasting room in Philly about 40 miles to the southeast. In addition to Keystone, Manatawny makes a Small Batch series of whiskeys that experiments with mashbill, barrel type, finishing barrels, and aging time. The word Manatawny comes from the Lenape language and translates to “the place we meet to drink” or “where we drank liquor.”

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