Glenlivet Enigma, Heaven Hill Bottled in Bond Bourbon & More New Whisky

New distillery visitors centers are springing up all over: Last week it was Woodford Reserve, and this week, Bulleit opened the doors to a new experience at its Shelbyville distillery. Plus, Lagg Distillery on Scotland’s Isle of Arran is also now welcoming visitors and churning out heavily peated spirit. In a few years, it will be mature enough to call whisky.

There’s plenty of already-mature whisky now though. Maker’s Mark has expanded availability of its 101 expression. Previously for sale at travel retail only, Maker’s 101 is now available at the distillery and select Kentucky retailers, priced at $50 for a 1-liter bottle.

Glenlivet has unveiled its latest mystery malt; called Enigma, the whisky’s details are deliberately being withheld so that drinkers can make up their own minds about the flavor. Available in the U.S. only, Enigma costs $119.

Meanwhile, there’s a lot going on in bourbon country. Heaven Hill is launching a 7 year old bottled in bond bourbon this fall. While the distillery previously sold a 6 year old bonded bourbon for $15, available mainly in Kentucky, this new version is $40 and will be much more widely distributed.

Barton Distillery is releasing a limited edition version of its Small Batch bourbon that’s been aged for 12 years. 1792 12 year old Small Batch will come out annually, priced at $50.

Brown-Forman’s King of Kentucky, which debuted last year with a 14 year old bourbon, is returning. This time, the bourbon is 15 years old, and it is still barrel proof. Just 2,000 bottles, priced at $250 each, are for sale in Kentucky only.

Michter’s is rolling out the latest release of its 10 year old single barrel rye. Priced at $160, the rye is available in limited amounts.

Dogfish Head is releasing its second whiskey, a single malt aged in lightly charred barrels. The whiskey is currently available in Delaware for $40, with expansion planned.

Australia’s Starward Distillery has launched its first blend, a combination of wheat and malt whiskies. Currently available in test markets, it will eventually roll out nationwide, priced at $33.

Wyoming Whiskey has a new bourbon for its home state only. Called Statesman, the whiskey honors distillery co-founder Brad Mead’s grandfather, a former governor and senator. Wyoming Statesman is priced at $50.

Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville is releasing its newest limited-edition Belle Meade bourbon, finished in stout casks. Just under 400 bottles are for sale, priced at $100, at the distillery only.

Finally, Distillery 291 in Colorado is launching its latest experimental whiskey, a bourbon finished in cherry and peach wine casks. Available in Colorado only, the whiskey costs $115.

Read on for full details.

Glenlivet Enigma

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 48% ABV
Price: $119
Release: June 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

There’s very little information available about this whisky, and that’s by design: It’s part of Glenlivet’s mystery series. The idea is for people to taste the whisky and form their own impressions before being given details, such as age and cask types used for maturation. So all we know about this—for now—is that it’s 48% ABV.

Whisky Advocate says:

Glenlivet has previously released three whiskies in the mystery series: Alpha, Cipher, and Code, which was the only one available in the U.S. Enigma is a U.S.-only release as well. If you want to unlock some “tasting cues,” you can solve a crossword puzzle on the brand’s website. The inspiration for the whisky, as well as tasting notes and information about the distilling and aging process, will be revealed at the end of this year.

Heaven Hill 7 year old Bottled in Bond

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 7 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $40
Release: October 2019
Availability: CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, NY, SC, and TX, with expansion planned

Need to know:

This is Kentucky straight bourbon distilled at Heaven Hill’s Bernheim Distillery and produced according to the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897—although at 7 years old, it exceeds the minimum age requirement for bonded spirits by three years.

Whisky Advocate says:

Heaven Hill previously sold a 6 year old bottled in bond bourbon for about $15—a steal of a whiskey, although it was hard to find outside of Kentucky. The company clearly recognized that the bourbon was underpriced for its quality and quietly discontinued it last year. It’s no surprise to see them bring back a bonded bourbon under the Heaven Hill name at a higher price, although many fans of the old iteration are surely disappointed that the price has nearly tripled with only one extra year of age.

1792 12 year old Small Batch

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 48.3% ABV
Price: $50
Release: July 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Made with the same high-rye mashbill as 1792 Small Batch, this bourbon is aged for 12 years. It will be released annually as a limited-edition product.

Whisky Advocate says:

Owned by Sazerac, which also owns Buffalo Trace Distillery, Barton Distillery makes many brands, but 1792 is its flagship. The core Small Batch bourbon is a 90-point whiskey at a very fair price, and the limited-edition Bottled in Bond bourbon (92 points) was named No. 9 in the 2018 Top 20.

King of Kentucky 15 year old

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 15 years old
Proof: Varies by barrel
Price: $250
Release: July 2019
Availability: Roughly 2,000 bottles in Kentucky only

Need to know:

Following the inaugural, 14 year old release, Brown-Forman is bringing back King of Kentucky with an extra year of age. This straight bourbon was distilled from a mashbill of 79% corn, 11% rye, and 10% malted barley. It’s bottled as a single barrel at barrel proof (typically between 62.5% and 67.5% ABV) and minimally filtered. Just 27 barrels are being bottled, estimated to produce around 2,000 bottles.

Whisky Advocate says:

The first release of King of Kentucky scored 94 points, one of the top-scoring bourbons of 2018—so expectations are high for this new batch, especially with the additional year of age. Look for a review in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide soon!

Michter's 10 year old Single Barrel Straight Rye (2019 Release)

Style: Straight rye
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 10 years old
Proof: 46.4% ABV
Price: $160
Release: June 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The 2019 release of Michter’s 10 year old rye is, like past releases, quite limited and likely to sell out quickly.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the first Michter’s whiskey released by master distiller Dan McKee, who recently replaced Pamela Heilmann. He and master of maturation Andrea Wilson collaborated to select the barrels for this release. Having gotten a preview a few weeks ago at the distillery in Shively, I can say with confidence that the whiskey will measure up to past releases, which have scored well—most recently at 92 points.

Dogfish Head Straight Whiskey

Style: Single malt
Origin: Delaware
Age: 24 months
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $40
Release: June 2019
Availability: DE, with expansion planned for 2020

Need to know:

Made from 100% malted barley, this whiskey was aged in toasted and lightly charred new oak barrels.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is Dogfish Head’s second whiskey release; the first one, called Alternate Takes: Whiskey Finished in Rum Casks, was a limited edition that scored 90 points in the Buying Guide. We’re looking forward to tasting how this permanently available whiskey measures up.

Starward Two-Fold Double Grain Whisky

Style: Blended whisky
Origin: Australia
Age: Not stated
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $33
Release: June 2019
Availability: CA, IL, NJ, NY, and TX to start, with expansion planned

Need to know:

Made at Starward Distillery in Melbourne, Australia, this is a blend of 60% wheat whisky and 40% single malt, all matured in Australian red wine barrels prior to blending and bottling. The whisky is initially available in a handful of test markets before expanding nationally.

Whisky Advocate says:

Starward recently announced the national rollout of its Nova single malt whisky (88 points), and it’s exciting to see the brand follow up so quickly with a blend—the first from Australia that’s available in the U.S.

Wyoming Statesman Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Wyoming
Age: Not stated
Proof: 48.5% ABV
Price: $50
Release: July 2019
Availability: Limited edition; available in WY only

Need to know:

Made at Wyoming Whiskey, this straight bourbon is named for Clifford Hansen, a former Wyoming governor and U.S. senator who’s also the grandfather of distillery co-founder Brad Mead. It’s for sale in Wyoming only.

Whisky Advocate says:

No word from Old Forester on whether this Wyoming Statesman constitutes a trademark violation, but the flavors of the two bourbons are likely to be quite different. Two Statesmen could be the start of a bourbon legislature. Add in The Senator, maybe The Ambassador…What other whiskies could contribute to our political discourse?

Belle Meade Black Belle Bourbon

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Indiana
Age: Not stated
Proof: 47.5%-48.15% ABV
Price: $100
Release: July 2019
Availability: 371 bottles at the distillery only

Need to know:

This is MGP-made bourbon finished for one year in imperial stout casks at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery. It’s the third release in the limited-edition Craftsman Cask Collection, which also included bourbon finished in mourvèdre and honey casks, and is for sale at the distillery only starting on July 4. There are two single barrels available, one at 47.5% ABV and the other at 48.15% ABV.

Whisky Advocate says:

Finishing in stout casks has become one of the most popular trends among distilleries of all kinds—not just bourbon—perhaps because sharing barrels between distillery and brewery is a logical synergy. The Belle Meade line has been finish-focused from the get-go, but it’s the brand’s cask-strength straight bourbon that we like the most, naming it No. 10 in the 2018 Top 20.

291 E Colorado Whiskey (Batch 6)

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Colorado
Age: Not stated
Proof: 61.3% ABV
Price: $115
Release: July 2019
Availability: Less than 300 bottles for sale in CO only

Need to know:

Part of Distillery 291’s Experimental Series, this is its bourbon finished for seven months in cherry and peach wine barrels. The barrels had originally been used for the distillery’s bourbon, then repurposed by Fowler Wine Co. in Fowler, Colorado for its peach and cherry wines.

Whisky Advocate says:

Cherry and peach wine barrels are definitely a first for bourbon finishes—but the fruit notes from the barrels may enhance some of the natural fruitiness in the whiskey.

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