Jack Daniel’s Legacy Bottle, George Dickel Bottled In Bond & More New Whisky

Jack Daniel’s Legacy Edition 1

Have you noticed any new Jack Daniel’s packaging lately? You may have seen a green-and-gold bottle on shelves, and soon there will be another special-edition design. Jack Daniel’s Legacy Edition features Old No. 7 Tennessee whiskey bottled at 43% ABV and priced at $30. It’s available for a limited time nationwide.

JD’s Tennessee neighbor, George Dickel, has announced a new product. George Dickel Bottled in Bond 13 year old is just what it says: 13 year old bourbon, made according to the strictures of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897. It’s for sale at Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. starting today, with expansion to California, New York, Texas, and the Southeast starting at the end of the month. And you’re not going to believe the price (keep reading).

Meanwhile, over in Kentucky, Woodford Reserve is releasing the 2019 edition of Batch Proof. The barrel-proof bourbon comes in at 61.6% ABV this year, and is available in limited amounts for $130.

More in barrel-proof bourbon: The latest Booker’s batch is hitting shelves. Booker’s 2019-02 “Shiny Barrels Batch” is 62% ABV and $80.

Don’t put your water away yet: Port Askaig is releasing three new single malt Islay scotches, including one at close to cask strength. Port Askaig 10 year old—bottled for the brand’s 10th anniversary—is 55.85% ABV and comes from the distillery located near Port Askaig on Islay. It costs $100, and there are 1,200 bottles available in the U.S. out of a total 10,000.  Meanwhile, Port Askaig 25 year old is 45.8% ABV; its provenance, beyond being from Islay, isn’t known. There are 3,000 bottles for the U.S. and Canada only, and has a U.S. retail price of $450. Finally, Port Askaig 45 year old was distilled in 1968 at an Islay distillery that starts with B and has a lot of Ns. It’s bottled at the very low cask strength of 40.8% ABV. Just 51 bottles are available in the U.S., priced at $2,000.

Spirit Hound Distillers in Colorado has unveiled a single malt whiskey finished in honey barrels—yes, barrels that held actual honey. The whiskey is priced at $65 and will eventually become a year-round release, available only in Colorado.

Finally, New York’s Hillrock Estate Distillery is releasing a special triple-cask rye for Father’s Day. Initially aged in new charred oak, the whiskey is transferred to a second set of new charred oak barrels, and then finished in a tawny port cask. Priced at $130, there are less than 250 bottles for sale at the distillery only.

Read on for full details.

Jack Daniel's Legacy Edition 2

Style: Tennessee whiskey
Origin: Tennessee
Age: Not stated
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $30
Release: May 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

This is Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 bottled at a higher proof than normal (43% ABV versus 40% ABV) and packaged in a throwback-style bottle. The design is modeled on a bottle from the early 1900s and includes a couple of notable motifs: a rope and anchor to symbolize Jack’s unmoving confidence, and three stars to honor the distillery’s home state of Tennessee. (The original bottle also included the text “for medicinal purposes only,” but that language wouldn’t be allowed on a whiskey bottle today since, you know, alcohol isn’t actually medicine.)

Whisky Advocate says:

Last year, Jack Daniel’s released a special-edition bottle called Legacy Edition 1, featuring Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 at 43% ABV. Legacy Edition 1 had a nifty green-and-gold label that was inspired by a design from the 19th century. The Legacy Edition series will continue with other special-release designs that hearken back to Jack’s long legacy.

George Dickel Bottled in Bond 13 year old Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Tennessee
Age: 13 years old
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $36
Release: May 2019
Availability: KY, CA, NY, TX, and the Southeast

Need to know:

Made from a mashbill of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley, this bourbon aged for 13 years and meets the standards of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897. It’s the first new release from Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. (formerly George Dickel Distillery) under distiller and general Nicole Austin, who joined the company last year.

Whisky Advocate says:

Would you look at that price? This bourbon is 13 years old and costs just $36. Unless it doesn’t taste good (and that’s hard to imagine), this is a strong contender for best bourbon value of 2019. Compare it to the Old Fitzgerald Bottled in Bond 13 year old released in March and priced at $130. I can’t wait to try this new Dickel; look for a review in an upcoming issue of Whisky Advocate.

Woodford Reserve Batch Proof (2019 Release)

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 61.6% ABV
Price: $130
Release: May 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Last year, Woodford Reserve debuted a new bourbon in its Master’s Collection, which releases special-edition whiskeys annually. Batch Proof is a small-batch bourbon with no added water. The 2019 release is a bit lower than last year’s, at 123 proof versus 125.8.

Whisky Advocate says:

If you haven’t tried drinking barrel-proof bourbon, it’s time to start. The experience is fuller, richer, and more powerful (literally) than drinking at 45% or even 50% ABV—plus you can add water and ice to your heart’s content without worrying about diluting the flavor.

Booker's 2019-02 "Shiny Barrel Batch"

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 6 years, 5 months, and 1 day old
Proof: 62% ABV
Price: $80
Release: May 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The second Booker’s release of 2019 clocks in at 124 proof. The name is a little cheeky; it refers to the practice, back in the day, of warehouse workers taking a sip from barrels on the sly. When they did so, they’d rub the dust off the barrels, inadvertently revealing their deed. Apparently, master distiller Booker Noe saw “shiny barrels” and inferred that they contained the best of the whiskey, thus setting the stage for launching the Booker’s brand, which features the type of bourbon the man loved best.

Whisky Advocate says:

Drinking straight from the barrel definitely breaks a rule or two, and no responsible distillery worker would attempt it these days. Still, take a look around the next time you’re in a rackhouse; you may see the dust has been wiped off a barrel or two, evidence that samples were recently (legally) taken.

Port Askaig 10 year old (10th Anniversary Edition)

Style: Single malt
Origin: Islay
Age: 10 years old
Proof: 55.85% ABV
Price: $100
Release: June 2019
Availability: 10,000 bottles globally, including 1,200 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

This whisky was made at the distillery located next to Port Askaig on Islay and matured in a combination of bourbon casks and sherry butts. It is almost cask strength, but whisky maker Oliver Chilton decided to add just a bit of water to bring the ABV down to 55.85%—the latitude at which the port sits.

Port Askaig 25 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Islay
Age: 25 years old
Proof: 45.8% ABV
Price: $450
Release: June 2019
Availability: 3,000 bottles for the U.S. and Canada

Need to know:

There is no information about which Islay distillery provided the whisky for this bottling—seriously! Even the importer couldn’t find out, because Port Askaig’s parent company Elixir Distillers doesn’t know. They were offered the casks and decided to bottle them based on the flavor alone.

Port Askaig 45 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Islay
Age: 45 years old
Proof: 40.8% ABV
Price: $2,000
Release: June 2019
Availability: Very limited; 51 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

Bottled at cask strength, this whisky just barely meets the minimum proof for scotch (40% ABV). It was distilled in 1968 at an Islay distillery whose name starts with B and has a lot of Ns in it. The final whisky is a marriage of five sherry casks. Although made with peated malt, the whisky has aged for so long that it barely shows any peat influence.

Whisky Advocate says:

The Port Askaig brand is independently bottled by Elixir Distillers, which has announced plans to build a distillery on Islay. The current bottlings are sourced from numerous Islay distilleries; while Elixir doesn’t explicitly state which ones, it’s usually pretty easy to figure out the identities based on what they are able to share. (The 25 year old is a rare exception.) Recent bottlings of Port Askaig have scored well, with the 14 year old and 15 year old at 90 points and and the 33 year old at 93 points.

Spirit Hound Colorado Honey Malt Whiskey

Style: Single malt
Origin: Colorado
Age: Not stated
Proof: 45% ABV
Price: $65
Release: May 2019
Availability: CO only

Need to know:

This 100% malted barley whiskey aged for over two years in new charred oak barrels, and then was transferred for a 3-month finish to a cask that had previously held honey. The cask was originally from Spirit Hound and was lent to nearby Bee Squared Apiaries, who used it to age their raw honey for 100 days. There are 600 bottles available in this release, but Spirit Hound plans to make it a year-round, Colorado-only offering.

Whisky Advocate says:

Distillers often talk of honey barrels, but they don’t literally mean barrels full of honey—until they do. Spirit Hound isn’t the first distillery to use such a unique finish for their whiskey; Nelson’s Green Brier has finished bourbon in honey barrels. But this is the first American single malt (or single malt of any kind) that I’ve heard of using this type of finish. Spirit Hound says it adds honey notes but doesn’t result in an overly-sweet whiskey. And because no actual honey was added, this isn’t technically a flavored whiskey.

How to Taste Honey Flavors in Whisky

Hillrock Estate Single Barrel Triple Cask Rye

Style: Rye
Origin: New York
Age: Not stated
Proof: 51% ABV
Price: $130
Release: June 2019
Availability: Less than 250 bottles; for sale at the distillery only

Need to know:

The Spring 2019 release in Hillrock Estate’s Open House Series is a rye whiskey distilled on-site, then matured in three types of cask: #3 char new oak barrels, #4 char new oak barrels, and a tawny port cask. It’s being released for Father’s Day, available starting June 15.

Whisky Advocate says:

While you can only get this whiskey by traveling to Hillrock Estate in Ancram, New York, the trip might be worth it: The distillery recently installed an expanded system, with new fermentation tanks, a lauter mash tun (unusual in American distilleries), and a 500-gallon copper pot still. The system was designed by the late Dave Pickerell, who worked extensively with Hillrock during his career.

More From Whisky Weekend