Macallan 72 Year Old, Balvenie Tun 1509 & More New Whisky

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks for Macallan. First, two bottles of Macallan distilled in the 1920s each garnered bids of over $1 million at auction. A few days later, Macallan’s new, eye-popping distillery opened in Speyside, and it announced that the core lineup of single malts is getting a makeover. Now the distillery has unveiled the oldest whisky it has ever bottled, a 72 year old distilled back in the 1940s. Naturally, the grandparent-aged single malt—packaged in a custom Lalique decanter and elaborate wood box—will cost a pretty penny: $65,000. Only 600 decanters are available, including 156 for the U.S.

Also new in scotch this week, Balvenie’s latest batch of Tun 1509 is rolling out. The limited-edition single malt combines 29 different casks, chosen by malt master David Stewart, in a marrying tun. Bottles run $399 apiece and, if past scores are any indication, this whisky will be very, very good.

Kentucky Owl is releasing the second batch of its 11 year old rye whiskey. Bottled at 50.9% ABV, the rye will have a somewhat different flavor profile from Batch 1. It has a suggested retail price of $200 and will be available in 35 states.

A new-to-us Japanese whisky is landing stateside. Although it has been available in Japan since 1986, Nikka From The Barrel is just now becoming available in the U.S. The high-proof blended whisky has a sterling reputation and scored 92 points when last reviewed in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide. The company will not disclose how many bottles are available, but the whisky will be for sale in 25 states at a recommended price of $65.

A new straight bourbon made at Minnesota’s Panther Distillery is launching now. Douglas & Todd Small Batch bourbon has a mashbill of 83% corn and 17% wheat and is aged for over four years. The whiskey costs $40 and is available in a handful of states, with expansion planned.

Compass Box has a new limited-edition blend, created in honor of the 25th anniversary of Delilah’s in Chicago. Delilah’s XXV contains some of the blend created for the bar’s 20th anniversary, which was held back and aged another five years in barrel. That whisky has since been combined with sherry-aged malt whisky to create the new blend, which will cost $100.

Finally, Douglas Laing & Company has released the second whisky in its Provenance Coastal Collection, a 12 year old single malt from Jura Distillery. Like other whiskies in the collection, this one is for sale only outside the U.S. Read on for full details.

Macallan in Lalique 72 year old "The Genesis Decanter"

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 72 years old
Proof: 42% ABV
Price: $65,000
Release: September 2018
Availability: 600 decanters worldwide; 156 for the U.S.

Need to know:

The oldest Macallan ever bottled, this whisky was distilled in the 1940s, back when the distillery—like pretty much all Scottish distilleries at the time—used peat to dry its malted barley. So unlike modern-day Macallans, it has a smoky, peaty aroma and flavor, along with fruit and oak. It comes in a custom Lalique decanter and beautiful wood box that was inspired by the design of Macallan’s newly opened distillery.

Whisky Advocate says:

Luxury Macallan is nothing new, but a 72 year old whisky hits the upper tier of hyper-aged scotch; only a few other brands have been able to bottle something so old. Wondering how distilleries set the price for something so rare? We looked into it, and the answer may surprise you.

Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 5

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: Not stated
Proof: 52.6% ABV
Price: $399
Release: June 2018
Availability: 9,348 bottles worldwide

Need to know:

Balvenie’s limited-edition blend of special casks has returned for the fifth year. Tun 1509 (named for the marrying vat in which all the whiskies are combined) includes 29 casks of varying types and ages. Each bottle includes details on the flavor profile each individual cask contributes to the final blend.

Whisky Advocate says:

The brainchild of malt master David Stewart—a man who has done quite a lot for scotch during his half-century in the business—Tun 1509 always scores highly. Batch 1 and Batch 3 earned 91 points each. While each batch tastes different from the others, the quality level, assured by Stewart, is guaranteed to be high.

Kentucky Owl Rye Batch 2

Style: Straight rye
Origin: Kentucky
Age: 11 years old
Proof: 50.9% ABV
Price: $200
Release: June 2018
Availability: Roughly 2,500 bottles in 34 states and Washington, D.C.

Need to know:

The second batch of Kentucky Owl Rye is hitting shelves this month. Its flavor profile will be somewhat different from Batch 1—more sweet—as master blender Dixon Dedman creates unique blends for each batch. But fans of the first one will likely find plenty to enjoy about Batch 2, and if they don’t, Batch 3 will be on its way eventually.

Whisky Advocate says:

A favorite among collectors, Kentucky Owl often appears on the shelf for more than its suggested retail price. When Batch 1—which scored 95 points in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide—debuted last September, it was listed at $130 a bottle; now it’s up to $200. (No doubt the company is hoping to retain some of the margin lost to retail mark-ups.) Whether or not you’re willing to pay that amount is a personal choice—but there seem to be plenty of drinkers out there who find the whiskey worth the money.

Nikka Whisky From The Barrel

Style: Blended whisky
Origin: Japan
Age: Not stated
Proof: 51.4% ABV
Price: $65
Release: June 2018
Availability: AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MN, MO, NE, NM, NJ, NY, NV, OK, OR, TX, and WA

Need to know:

A new-to-us Japanese whisky is hitting U.S. shelves. Made up of over 100 different batches of malt and grain whisky from both the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries, and aged in many different cask types (including ex-Bourbon barrels and puncheons, ex-sherry butts, and refilled, recharred and remade hogsheads), Nikka From The Barrel is intended to showcase the skill of blending.

Whisky Advocate says:

Nikka From The Barrel has long been an object of desire for Japanese whisky fans, but has never before been available in the U.S. When last reviewed for Whisky Advocate, it scored 92 points. At $65 for a full-size bottle of 51.4% ABV whisky, expect this to fly off shelves.

Douglas & Todd Small Batch Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon
Origin: Minnesota
Age: Not stated but at least 4 years old
Proof: 46.5% ABV
Price: $40
Release: May 2018
Availability: CA, CO, FL, IL, MN, ND, NJ, NY, TX, and WI

Need to know:

A new bourbon brand from Phillips Distilling Company, which makes Prairie Organic vodka and other spirits, Douglas and Todd is made at Panther Distillery in Osakis, Minnesota. The mashbill includes 83% corn and 17% wheat, and the whiskey is aged at least four years. It’s currently available in a few states, with plans to expand distribution next year.

Whisky Advocate says:

Although there are several distillers in Minnesota making bourbon, including J. Carver and Eleven Wells, this is the first 4 year old bourbon from the Gopher State. Douglas & Todd says that the extreme seasonal temperature swings, choice of grains (“short-summer” corn and red winter wheat), and cold water used in the production process make for a smoother whiskey.

Compass Box Delilah's XXV

Style: Blended whisky
Origin: Scotland
Age: Not stated
Proof: 46% ABV
Price: $100
Release: June 2018
Availability: 8,520 bottles worldwide

Need to know:

In 2013, scotch blending house Compass Box released a special-edition blend in honor of the 20th anniversary of Delilah’s, a punk rock whisky bar in Chicago (and one of Whisky Advocate’s Top 40 U.S. Whisky Bars). At the time, master blender John Glaser put a bit of the blend back into barrels for another five years of maturation. Now that Delilah’s 25th anniversary year has arrived, the original, extra-mature blend has been mingled with malt whisky aged in American oak sherry casks to create a new expression.

Whisky Advocate says:

The first Compass Box Delilah’s blend scored 90 points, but it was bottled at considerably lower proof—40%, rather than 46% ABV. Knowing that Glaser’s blends tend to score well thanks to their balance and complexity—and that Delilah’s owner Mike Miller would have signed off on only a top-quality whisky—this new blend will surely be another hit.

Douglas Laing Provenance Coastal Collection Jura 12 Year Old

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Islands)
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 48% ABV
Price: £47
Release: June 2018
Availability: 383 bottles worldwide; not available in the U.S.

Need to know:

The second release in Douglas Laing’s Provenance Coastal Collection, this single malt from Jura Distillery aged for 12 years in a sherry butt.

Whisky Advocate says:

The first release in the Provenance Coastal Collection was a 10 year old Bunnahabhain. Like that whisky, this 12 year old Jura will not be available in the U.S.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More From Whisky Weekend