Laphroaig Cairdeas, NAS Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or & More New Whisky

Missouri has joined Kentucky and Tennessee in regulating specific rules for its own style of whiskey—in this case, Missouri bourbon. We spoke to distillers about the measure, which includes an unusual requirement for barrels made of Missouri-grown oak. But for those of you heading to the liquor store (which you should be doing every time you travel, by the way), there are several new whiskies to seek out.

Laphroaig is rolling out the 2019 Cairdeas. This year, it’s a cask-strength (59.5% ABV) version of the distillery’s Triple Wood expression. It’s available in limited amounts for $80.

Shortly after confirming that its Quinta Ruban expression is going from 12 to 14 years old, Glenmorangie has revealed that it’s dropping the age statement for Nectar D’Or, which was previously bottled at 12 years old. The whisky’s price ($77) and availability remain the same.

Loch Lomond Distillery has released a special-edition 2002 vintage single malt in partnership with pro golfer Cristie Kerr, finished in pinot noir casks from her winery, Kerr Cellars. Priced at $200, there are 4,000 bottles available. More details about the whisky and Kerr’s collaboration with Loch Lomond can be found in my in-depth article published earlier this week.

Several new whiskies from the Distell family of scotch distilleries are about to hit shelves in the U.S. There’s a 2006 Deanston finished in cream sherry casks ($105), along with a Deanston that was finished in New Holland Dragon’s Milk stout casks ($70), and a 1988 Bunnahabhain finished in marsala casks. Plus, the Spec’s retail chain is getting the full U.S. allocation of several other single malts, including a 1999 Tobermory ($190), 1997 Ledaig ($221), 2007 Bunnahabhain ($125), 2002 Deanston ($263), and 1997 Deanston ($210). All of the whiskies are available in limited amounts.

Meanwhile, Denver’s Leopold Bros. is launching a straight bourbon at 4 years old, made using heirloom rye and house-malted barley. The bourbon is currently available in Colorado at $50, with expanded distribution to come.

Barrell’s latest batch of bourbon (Batch 020) is rolling out, comprised of bourbons from Tennessee and Kentucky aged 10-14 years. The whiskey is available in limited amounts, priced at $90.

Finally, a new single malt from Finland’s Teerenpeli Distillery is hitting the U.S. Teerenpeli Portti was finished in port casks. It’s available in ten states for $125.

Read on for full details.

Laphroaig Cairdeas Cask-Strength Triple Wood

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 59.5% ABV
Price: $80
Release: July 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The 2019 release of Cairdeas is an amped-up version of Laphroaig Triple Wood: matured first in bourbon casks, then quarter casks, and finally European oak oloroso sherry casks. But rather than being bottled at 48% ABV, this is a cask-strength expression, clocking in at 59.5% ABV.

Whisky Advocate says:

Laphroaig Triple Wood scored 93 points in the Buying Guide. This version has 24% more alcohol; logically (because alcohol contains lots of flavor molecules, and thus higher alcohol = more flavor), it should be even tastier. Stay tuned for a review in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide!

Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $77
Release: July 2019
Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Previously a 12 year old expression, this sauternes cask-finished whisky is now non-age statement.

Whisky Advocate says:

Most whisky fans are disappointed to see an age statement get dropped, and it remains to be seen whether Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or (88 points) will retain its high quality once it’s no longer 12 years old. On the other hand, the brand just raised the age of Quinta Ruban from 12 to 14 years old, and kept the price the same—so it’s not all bad news.

Loch Lomond 2002 Kerr Cellars Red Wine Cask-Finished

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 16 years old
Proof: 48.1% ABV
Price: $200
Release: June 2019
Availability: 4,000 bottles

Need to know:

Distilled in 2002, this single malt spent most of its life in bourbon casks before undergoing a 10-month finish in pinot noir casks from Kerr Cellars, a California winery owned by pro golfer Cristie Kerr.

Whisky Advocate says:

I met with Cristie Kerr last week to talk scotch, wine, and how the collaboration with Loch Lomond makes sense for her both professionally and personally.

Deanston 2006 Cream Sherry Cask-Finished

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: 13 years old
Proof: 54.2% ABV
Price: $105
Release: September 2019
Availability: 2,000 bottles, including 480 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

Distilled on January 27, 2006, this whisky matured first in refill hogsheads. On May 19, 2016, it was transferred into cream sherry hogsheads for a lengthy finish—nearly three years.

Deanston Dragon's Milk Stout Cask-Finished

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 50.5% ABV
Price: $70
Release: September 2019
Availability: 1,914 bottles

Need to know:

Distilled in December 2012, this single malt matured first in re-charred casks, then was transferred to Dragon’s Milk stout barrels from Michigan’s New Holland Brewing in October 2017.

Whisky Advocate says:

Both of these Deanstons have relatively unusual finishes. While sherry casks are totally ordinary for scotch, they’re usually oloroso or PX; much less common is cream sherry, a style that usually blends dry sherry with sweet, or even with grape must. Meanwhile, beer barrel-finished whisky has become a part of the canon now, but the fact that Deanston used New Holland beer barrels for this finish is interesting—especially considering that New Holland makes bourbon and rye finished in Dragon’s Milk stout barrels.

Bunnahabhain 1988 Marsala Cask-Finished

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 30 years old
Proof: 47.4% ABV
Price: $625
Release: November 2019
Availability: 1,260 bottles, including 240 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

Distilled on December 1, 1988, this whisky matured in “traditional oak” (i.e. ex-bourbon, probably second- or third-fill) casks until July 7, 2016, when it was transferred to marsala casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Marsala cask finishes are becoming more common; recent releases include a limited-edition Knappogue Castle 12 year old, the most recent bottling of Tullibardine The Murray, and Red Spot.

Spec's Exclusive Single Malts

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (various)
Age: Varies
Proof: Varies
Price: Varies
Release: September 2019
Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Texas retail chain Spec’s has secured exclusive rights to several limited-edition single malts from the Distell family of scotch distilleries:

  • Tobermory 1999 Marsala Cask-Finished—55.7% ABV, $190, 180 bottles in the U.S.
  • Ledaig 1997 Manzanilla Cask-Finished—52.9% ABV, $221, 228 bottles in the U.S.
  • Bunnahabhain 2007 French Brandy Cask-Finished—52.5% ABV, $125, 540 bottles in the U.S.
  • Deanston 1997 Palo Cortado Cask-Finished—51.8% ABV, $210, 360 bottles in the U.S.
  • Deanston 2002 Organic Oloroso Cask-Finished—50.6% ABV, $263, 480 bottles in the U.S.

Whisky Advocate says:

Spec’s is the largest retail liquor store chain in Texas, and restrictive shipping laws mean that if you live out of state (and even some places in state) and want any of these whiskies, you’ll have to buy them in person.

Leopold Bros. Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Colorado
Age: 4 years old
Proof: 45% ABV
Price: $50
Release: July 2019
Availability: CO to start, with expansion planned

Need to know:

While Leopold Bros. Distillery previously released a 3 year old straight bourbon in 2017, that product had a slightly different mashbill and lower barrel-entry proof. This new bourbon is made with a mashbill of 64% corn, 21% malted barley (including two-row barley that was malted on-site and a small amount of specialty malts), and 15% Abruzzi heritage rye, filled into barrel at 50% ABV, and matured for 50 months in Leopold Bros.’ dunnage-style warehouse.

Whisky Advocate says:

The definition of the word “craft” is fairly contentious, but Leopold Bros.’ claim to it should find few detractors. Head distiller Todd Leopold has spent years researching heirloom grain varieties, cultivating unique yeasts, and making hands-on and analogue processes—like traditional floor maltings and dunnage-style warehousing—an integral part of his practices. He even commissioned a custom three-chamber still, the only one of its kind in the world, to make the distillery’s Maryland-Style rye. After years of anticipation, I look forward to tasting this 4 year old bourbon—look for a review in an upcoming issue of Whisky Advocate.

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 020)

Style: Bourbon
Origin: Multiple (KY and TN)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 53.35% ABV
Price: $90
Release: Summer 2019
Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The latest batch of Barrell bourbon is a blend of straight bourbons, aged 10 and 14 years, sourced from Tennessee and Kentucky.

Whisky Advocate says:

Barrell’s bourbon blends tend to score well in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide; Batch 017 was rated 90 points, while Batch 016 scored 89 points. Batches 018 and 019 will be reviewed in the Fall issue—stay tuned!

Teerenpeli Portti

Style: Single malt
Origin: Finland
Age: Not stated
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $125
Release: July 2019
Availability: AR, CO, CT, GA, KS, MA, NE, NV, PA, and RI

Need to know:

Made at Finland’s Teerenpeli Distillery, this whisky is aged for 3-4 years in bourbon barrels and finished for a year and a half in port casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the second Finnish whisky available in the U.S., joining its sister expression, Kaski, a lightly peated single malt fully matured in sherry casks, which came out earlier this year.

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