Legent Bourbon, Port Ellen 39, Springbank 25 & More New Whisky

The biggest whiskey news of the week came yesterday when Beam Suntory announced the debut of Legent, a new bourbon made by master distiller Fred Noe and master blender Shinji Fukuyo. We have full details below and in an in-depth article where both men discuss how they created the special blend.

New packaging for Knob Creek

Beam Suntory also unveiled new packaging for Knob Creek. The updated look is a bit sleeker and more polished than before, but the whiskey is the same big, bold bourbon and rye.

Diageo announced that it will release whiskies from the shuttered Port Ellen Distillery in the new Untold Stories series. The first bottling, Port Ellen Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe, is 39 years old. Just 1,500 bottles are available, priced at at £4,500; none are coming to the U.S., although online ordering is available through The Whisky Exchange.

An aged single malt scotch you can actually get stateside—although it, too, is highly limited—is Springbank 25 year old. Priced at $870, only 150 bottles, out of a total 1,200 worldwide, are coming to the U.S. Meanwhile, one of the other single malts made at Springbank Distillery is debuting a new expression. Longrow Red 11 year old is heavily peated and spent three years finishing in pinot noir barriques. There are 1,650 bottles coming to the U.S., priced at $135.

Tamnavulin Double Cask is coming to the U.S., although it won’t be hitting shelves until October. A rare bottling from the Speyside Distillery, which typically uses all its whisky for blends, Double Cask is aged in ex-bourbon and sherry casks and priced at $40.

Seattle-based Westland’s latest limited-edition single malt was finished in casks that formerly held Black Raven Brewing Co. stout and kriek beers. Less than 1,000 bottles are available, for sale at the distillery only.

Finally, Ireland’s Dublin Liberties Distillery has three new single malts: Murder Lane 13 year old, Keeper’s Coin 16 year old, and King of Hell 27 year old. All three whiskeys are available in limited amounts in Ireland and at travel retail.

Read on for full details.

Legent

Style: Blended whiskey
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
Proof: 47% ABV
Price: $35
Release: April 2019
Availability: For sale in select markets

Need to know:

Distilled at Jim Beam’s Clermont distillery, this whiskey combines straight bourbon with bourbons finished in red wine casks and sherry casks. It’s the first collaboration between Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe and Suntory master blender Shinji Fukuyo.

Whisky Advocate says:

The creation of Legent was a project of many years during which Noe and Fukuyo combined resources—namely Noe’s distilling prowess and Fukuyo’s skills as a blender. Read more about the whiskey—including why Noe was initially afraid to call it a blend—in our in-depth article.

Port Ellen Untold Stories: The Spirit Safe 39 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islay)
Age: 39 years old
Proof: 50.9% ABV
Price: £4,500
Release: April 2019
Availability: 1,500 bottles; not available in the U.S.

Need to know:

The oldest Port Ellen released to date, this whisky was distilled in 1978 and matured in a mixture of ex-bourbon and ex-European oak refill sherry casks. It is the first in a series of Port Ellen releases that will all be well aged (the distillery closed in 1983, after all, so its youngest stock is 36 years old this year).

Whisky Advocate says:

Last year, Diageo’s Special Releases did not include a Port Ellen for the first time since the collection was launched, leading some whisky collectors to speculate that the company had other plans for its remaining stocks of single malt from the long-closed distillery. Now it has been revealed that Port Ellen will be made available as part of the Untold Stories series, with more releases following this initial debut.

Those who can’t afford the high prices of this and other aged Port Ellens don’t need to despair: Diageo will soon reopen the distillery. The new era of Port Ellen will bring plenty of new whisky.

Springbank 25 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Campbeltown)
Age: 25 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $870
Release: March 2019
Availability: 1,200 bottles worldwide; 150 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

Matured in sherry and rum casks, this whisky ranks among the most-aged Campbeltown whiskies that have been available in recent years. (Glen Scotia 25 year old is the other quarter-century Campbeltown currently available.)

Whisky Advocate says:

Springbank fans don’t need to be told to run, not walk, to buy a bottle of this 25 year old whisky. Although the price puts it firmly into the “very special occasion” category for most drinkers, Springbank’s sterling reputation ensures that this whisky will be very delicious indeed.

Longrow Red 11 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Campbeltown)
Age: 11 years old
Proof: 53.1% ABV
Price: $135
Release: March 2019
Availability: 1,650 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

Made at Springbank Distillery, this single malt aged for eight years in ex-bourbon casks and then a further three years in refill pinot noir wine barriques. The red wine finish, of course, is what gives the whisky its moniker.

Whisky Advocate says:

One of three single malt styles made at Springbank Distillery (the other two are the triple-distilled Hazelburn and, duh, Springbank), Longrow has a higher peat content than its siblings.

Tamnavulin Double Cask

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $40
Release: October 2019 in the U.S.
Availability: Available in select states

Need to know:

Previously available in other markets, this whisky will be sold in the U.S. starting in October. It has been matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Located in Speyside near Glenlivet, Tamnavulin Distillery produces plenty of whisky, but it’s nearly all used for blends. This bottle is the rare opportunity to taste Tamnavulin’s single malt; the only two reviews Whisky Advocate has for the distillery are for independent bottlings. Currently available overseas, this whisky is coming to the U.S. in limited quantities in the fall.

Westland Black Raven Brewing Co. American Single Malt

Style: Single malt
Origin: Washington
Age: Not stated
Proof: 50% ABV
Price: $100
Release: March 2019
Availability: 952 bottles for sale at the distillery only

Need to know:

Distilled from a combination of five malt, Washington malt, and two malt (70% Washington select pale malt and 30% pale chocolate malt), this whisky was matured in kriek and stout barrels used by Black Raven Brewing Co. in Redmond, Washington. The barrels had first been used to age Westland single malt, which brings the whisky’s maturation full circle.

Whisky Advocate says:

We’ve seen the use of of whiskey-beer-whiskey casks a lot lately, like with Virginia Distillery Co. Brewers Batch and Rogue Rolling Thunder. This trend isn’t likely to go away; barrels are expensive, and distilleries that pay for them want to get as much use out of them as possible. Sharing with a brewery creates the opportunity for a unique finish, plus a tie-in with another local producer.

The Dublin Liberties Murder Lane 13 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Ireland
Age: 13 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: €160
Release: March 2019
Availability: 900 bottles in Ireland and travel retail only

Need to know:

Triple-distilled and aged initially in ex-bourbon casks, this whiskey was then finished in Hungarian Tokaji wine casks.

The Dublin Liberties Keeper's Coin 16 year old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Ireland
Age: 16 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: €340
Release: March 2019
Availability: 1,500 bottles in Ireland and travel retail only

Need to know:

This triple-distilled single malt was matured in first-fill bourbon casks and finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.

 

The Dublin Liberties King of Hell 27 year old (Batch 1)

Style: Single malt
Origin: Ireland
Age: 27 years old
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: €2,700
Release: March 2019
Availability: 50 bottles in Ireland and travel retail only

Need to know:

Also a triple-distilled single malt, this whiskey was finished in Bordeaux premier cru wine casks. It’s packaged in a special case that includes an authenticity card signed by Darryl McNally, the master distiller at Dublin Liberties Distillery.

Whisky Advocate says:

After breaking ground in 2017, the Dublin Liberties Distillery opened its doors just a couple of weeks ago and is already churning out plenty of spirit that will eventually become Irish whiskey. (It takes three years of aging before the spirit is technically considered whiskey.) These bottlings are sourced from an undisclosed Irish distillery, but if you know a few facts about Ireland’s whiskey industry, you can make an educated guess as to their origins.

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