Highland Park The Dark, Macallan 40 Year Old & Wyoming Whiskey

It may be too late to add more whisky to your Christmas list, but even so, there are new bottles to look forward to long after the wrapping paper has been discarded.

Just in time for the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year, Highland Park has a new 17 year old called The Dark. Aged entirely in first-fill, sherry-seasoned European oak, the whisky’s name refers to the fall and winter months on Orkney, Highland Park’s home, when there is very little daylight.

Highland Park’s sister distillery, Macallan, has released a new crop of 40 year old single malt in the Sherry Oak range. There are just 70 bottles destined for the U.S., priced at $9,000 each.

Wyoming Whiskey is rolling out its 2017 batches of Single Barrel and Double Cask bourbons. There is a larger amount of Double Cask this year, so the whiskey will be available in several states: Wyoming, Colorado, California, New Jersey, and New York.

Read on for full details.

Highland Park The Dark

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islands)
Age: 17 years old
Proof: 52.9% ABV
Price: $300
Release: December 2017
Availability: 28,000 bottles for the world; 4,560 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This single malt aged for 17 years in a first-fill, sherry-seasoned, European oak cask. It will be joined by a companion whisky called The Light in spring 2018.

Whisky Advocate says:

“The Dark” refers to the fall and winter seasons on Orkney, where Highland Park Distillery is located. The Orkney Islands’ latitude is 58.9809° N, and during the colder parts of the year, daylight hours are quite limited. Conversely, in the summer, the sun barely sets. It seems logical that if The Dark is a heavily sherried whisky, its counterpart The Light will be all bourbon cask-matured. Stay tuned: when Highland Park releases details on that whisky, we’ll let you know.

Macallan Sherry Oak 40 year old 2017 Release

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 40 years old
Proof: 44% ABV
Price: $9,000
Release: December 2017
Availability: 465 bottles for the world; 70 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

Macallan has only released a 40 year old Sherry Oak single malt twice before: in 2006 as a travel retail-only bottling, and in 2016 as part of the regular lineup. This is a new batch for 2017, with just 70 bottles coming to the U.S.

Whisky Advocate says:

Macallan is one of the most collectible whisky brands, regularly commanding auction prices far beyond the original SRP. It’s likely that most people willing to drop $9,000 on this bottle will not be opening it to drink on a chilly winter’s night. But if anyone does—tell us how it tastes.

Wyoming Whiskey Single Barrel Bourbon 2017 Release

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Wyoming
Age: 5 and half years old
Proof: 48% ABV
Price: $60
Release: December 2017
Availability: 1,530 bottles for WY, CA, CO, IL, NJ, and NY

Need to know:

Wyoming Whiskey’s annual single barrel release is limited to only 1% of the barrels sampled each year, so it typically sells out quickly.

Wyoming Whiskey Double Cask Bourbon 2017 Batch

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Wyoming
Age: 5 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $70
Release: December 2017
Availability: 300 bottles for WY, CA, CO, NJ, and NY

Need to know:

This is bourbon that matures for 5 years in new charred oak barrels, then undergoes a 3-5 week finishing period in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Neither of these whiskeys is a new release. Wyoming’s Single Barrel comes out annually, while Double Cask first debuted in January 2017. But the distillery is expanding distribution of the latter whiskey to more states, including New York, New Jersey, and Colorado.

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