New Johnnie Walker, Tennessee Rye Whiskey & Chinese New Year Macallan

The winter months can be quiet on the new whisky front. After the rush of holiday releases, many distillers pause for a breath and to look ahead to the rest of the year. But even in January lull, there are new bottles to keep things interesting.

First up, Johnnie Walker‘s newest Blenders’ Batch is launching at travel retail stores around the world. The blend is finished in sherry casks, which results in sweet fruity flavors. The Blenders’ Batch releases have varied widely and show off the diversity of flavor profiles blending can achieve. Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Triple Grain American Oak was our Fall 2017 Value Pick.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s Sugarlands Distilling Company is about to launch its latest batch of straight rye whiskey. The barrel-proof expression will be available for pre-sale on Sugarlands’ website starting February 2nd, but you must be able to pick it up in person at the distillery.

Finally, Macallan is rolling out a limited-edition gift pack of its Double Cask 12 year old in celebration of Chinese New Year, which takes place on February 16th. Two bottles come in each box, and the packaging reflects the Year of the Dog. The retail price is $130—exactly twice the price of a single bottle—so you won’t be paying any extra for the special presentation.

Read on for full details.

Johnnie Walker Blenders' Batch Sherry Cask Finish

Style: Blended whisky
Origin: Scotland
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 40% ABV
Price: $44 (1 liter)
Release: January 2018
Availability: Travel retail worldwide

Need to know:

The latest version of Johnnie Walker’s Blenders’ Batch series is a 12 year old that was finished in sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Previous Blenders’ Batch releases have included Triple Grain American Oak—our Fall 2017 Value Pick—and Wine Cask Blend, among others which were not available in the U.S. This new whisky will be sold at select duty-free shops in airports around the world.

Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye 4th Release

Style: Straight rye
Origin: Tennessee
Age: Roughly 2 years, 9 months
Proof: Cask strength TBD; the previous release was 60.49% ABV
Price: $50 (375 ml.)
Release: February 2018
Availability: 250-400 bottles at the distillery only

Need to know:

Sugarlands Distilling Company creates this rye whiskey in a pot still and bottles it at cask strength in batches. This is the fourth release, barreled in April 2015. The ABV will be determined once the barrels are dumped later this month.

Whisky Advocate says:

If you’re interested in snagging a bottle of this whiskey, it goes up for pre-sale on Sugarlands’ website on February 2nd. You must visit the distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee to pick up the bottle.

Macallan Double Cask Chinese New Year Limited Edition Gift Box

Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 12 years old
Proof: 43% ABV
Price: $130 for two-bottle gift pack
Release: January 2018
Availability: 2,500 packs for the U.S.

Need to know:

Not a new whisky, but Macallan is releasing a special two-bottle set of Double Cask 12 year old for the Chinese New Year. The bottles come in a decorative box celebrating the Year of the Dog, which starts on February 16th.

Whisky Advocate says:

Every year, Johnnie Walker unveils a special bottle of its Blue Label in honor of the Chinese New Year, and now Macallan is following suit, no doubt aiming to take advantage of the gift-giving that occurs around the holiday. With two bottles per package, buyers can enjoy drinking one and saving the other.

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