Whisky Advocate

More new whiskies coming on the market

October 3rd, 2011

(This is from a U.S. perspective…)

The Family Casks from Glenfarclas are finally coming to the U.S. (I’m not certain of the actual list of whiskies and timing.)

Bunnahabhain 18 year old is being phased out and replaced by a vintage offering in 2012.

The Mackinlay (a.k.a. the re-creation of the whisky discovered in the Antarctic from the Shackleton expedition in 1907) is finally being introduced to the U.S. (A very nice whisky, btw.)

Johnnie Walker Double Black is also just now being introduced to the U.S. market this month. More smoke than the regular JW Black Label, and dangerously drinkable. (I brought my bottle to a friend’s house on Friday night and by the time I brought it home 3/4 of it was gone. Everyone liked it.)

On the American whiskey front, the newest Parker’s Heritage Collection is out. This one’s a 10 year old rye-formula bourbon finished in cognac barrels. (Another dangerously drinkable whiskey!) It’s the same cognac brand (and from the same producer) that was part of Jim Beam’s Distillers’ Masterpiece cognac-finished whiskey introduced over a decade ago. (Beam was ahead of their time with those Distillers’ Masterpiece releases.)

Also noteworthy, but available only at Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, is a single barrel, 20 year old bottling of Elijah Craig that was produced to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Why do I mention this very limited, logistically-challenged bourbon? I tried it and it’s excellent! If you know someone heading that way, have them purchase a bottle for you.

There’s a low-cost, very smooth Canadian whisky just released called “Rich & Rare Reserve” from Sazerac (Buffalo Trace’s parent company). My guess it’s from the same stock of Canadian whiskies that produced the recent releases of Caribou Crossing Single Barrel and Royal Canadian Small Batch, but just less expensive. It comes in a cool-looking 375 ml flask-shaped bottle.

On the liqueur front, following the successful introduction of Red Stag Black Cherry, Jim Beam is introducing two new flavors: Red Stag Honey Tea and Red Stag Spiced.

41 Responses to “More new whiskies coming on the market”

  1. Red_Arremer says:

    I’ll keep my eyes open for the Rich & Rare– Thanks for the tip.

    I’m sorry to hear about the Bunny 18, though. Will have to make sure I have a bottle or two to savor in the future.

    • John Hansell says:

      I was bummed when I fould out, Red. It was my favorite of the 12, 18, and 25 y/o line.

      • anorak77 says:

        Is the 18 being phased out only for the US market? I see they are selling the new 46.3% NC2 version on TWE…

        • John Hansell says:

          All I know is that I asked the importer for a review sample (because I never tried the UCF version) and he told me that it was being phased out and replaced with a vintage next year. I am not certain about outside the U.S.

      • Red_Arremer says:

        John, speaking of 18 yo Bunnies, John, you tried that new Mission Gold Series 18 yo c/s Bunny? Lightly peated style, and beautiful old fashioned, dry, herbal (px?) sherry.

  2. anorak77 says:

    John:

    The Shackleton 1907 replica whisky is already available in Rhode Island for approx. $150.

    You mentioned the Glenfarclas family casks…. Any word on if they plan on bringing the brilliant 15 y.o. 92 proof to the US?

    • Red_Arremer says:

      I’ve seen it at around boston, too, Anorak– prices simialrish. It’s an interesting whisky, but I’m not mad about some of the green notes on it. Also feel there’s many better things out there for 150.

  3. David Bailey Jr. says:

    Had the JW Double Black for the first time in March ’10. Enjoyed it so much, I had to pick up another bottle. Quality stuff!

  4. lawschooldrunk says:

    Age matters! Down with vintage releases. Bunna, I am not with you on this.

    • anorak77 says:

      Hear, hear! However, a vintage release / single cask can be great, as long as the bottling date is specified! But if it’s just another NAS production, I’ll pass…. Age does matter, with a very few exceptions!

  5. Ricardo says:

    Just to clarify, Bunnahabhain just brought out the “new” 18YO. Is this now being discontinued or is it the “old” version 18YO?

    • John Hansell says:

      Like I mentioned above, I asked for the new-ish unchillfiltered 18 because I hadn’t reviewed it and I was told that one was being discontinued.

    • anorak77 says:

      Ricardo,

      I asked the same question above… it seems that the re-branding is available in Europe… I hope we N. Americans don’t get short-changed!

  6. Ricardo says:

    Is the Mackinlay a blend or a vatting of single malts?

    • anorak77 says:

      For the asking price, I’d sure hope it’s all malt. Perhaps it’s a well-kept secret of Richard Patterson… maybe he threw some old grain whisky into the vatting!

    • Morgan Steele says:

      According to the Whisky Exchange and Whyte & Mackay, the Shackelton is a “blend of varoius malt whiskies” aged between “eight and 30 years.” No caramel coloring. Non-chill filtered.

      I bought two bottles and have enjoyed the expression immensely. At 47.3%, it takes water well but I’ve taken to enjoying it neat. The whisky packs more punch and depth than the lighter color ( scarecrow straw) would suggest. I found my bottles for $125 each before shipping and believe the whisky to be fairly priced. But, I don’t know how you get “strictly limited” with 50,000 bottles.

  7. John you mentioned that you took a bottle of JW double black to a friends house and drank 3/4 of the bottle and brought the bottle back home with you. When is it and when is it not appropriate to leave the bottle. My wife thinks bringing the bottle back home is a little rude. Thx

    • John Hansell says:

      A very good question. I agree with your wife. I only bring something back home if I still need some for work purposes, which was the case this time. I just got the bottle! :)

      P.S. I didn’t tell you about the two other bottles I brought. And the cigars. (All of which stayed…)

      • jd says:

        Hah! I had the same question. I took a bottle of good bourbon with me to a party this weekend, intending to share it and bring whatever remained back home with me. I ended up leaving it there… It just felt wrong to ask to take it back. And I did give the hosts a nice bottle of wine as well, so it’s not like I showed up empty-handed. An interesting question of manners.

        • Red_Arremer says:

          You guys must roll with a way different set than I do. No one I know has enough anywhere near enough $ to sustain a practice of giving away a good bottle of scotch every time he brings one over to someone else’s place. In fact, among us etiquette goes in the opposite direction– If it looks like the other guy’s bottle (be he host or guest) is getting low, one should ask if, considering the fill level, it’s ok to have another dram.

        • Paul Schroder says:

          We do everything Gazebo rules you bring it you take it back home with you.

  8. Ricardo says:

    Do we have to go over and slap those silly Bunny boys around a bit? They should keep it simple and not get into the Bruichladdich thing where one finds it difficult to understand the product range.

  9. Vince says:

    John

    Great Stuff! I think I will have to take a trip to Heaven Hill over the next few weeks and pick up a bottle of the 20 year old Single Barrel. Any idea on cost?

  10. howardf says:

    It would figure that I hear about the EC 20 the day after a friend gets back from Heaven Hill! Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.

  11. lawschooldrunk says:

    John, how does the JW double black compare to black grouse?

  12. B.J. Reed says:

    Interesting decision by Burn Stewart to phase out the 18 Bunny. This is where I would love to be a fly in the wall at some of the marketing meetings to find out what the rationale is for certain decisions. I know when ownership changes or leadership changes the focus changes (e.g. Glenmo and Dalmore moving to more upscale looking product). I know Burn Stewart has been working to raise the profile of Deanston but that really has not made an impact in the U.S. yet. I had the same feeling with Inverhouse trying to reinvigorate Balblair and Pultney as single malts.

    Still, what makes a distillery company decide to phase out an 18 YO? Sales? Supply? (e.g. Springbank 21), Market taste? (e.g. Glenfarclas has 17 in U.S. but 15 in Europe in part because of perception of taste profile of Americans) or just simply change for change sake?

    John, topic for discussion some day?

  13. Bob Siddoway says:

    It’s always great to see more new Canadian whiskeys. They just don’t get enough love.

  14. Scotty Freebairn says:

    I can’t believe you spelled Johnnie Walker Johnny Walker!!!!!! I have a bottle of the Double Black and will be opening SOON!

  15. Red_Arremer says:

    Is the “click to edit” feature working on this blog– When I click on it the browser window dims, but the window with the comment to be edited never appears.

  16. Mary says:

    Saw the new Parker Beam Heritage today when I was picking up my 2011 GT Stagg & Sazerac 18 (yippee!). Would like to taste the Heritage before I buy it though….going to be at Heaven Hill in a couple weeks so hoping there will be some to taste.

    • Chris says:

      make sure to post a note when you crack them. i was pretty surprised to read the rather unenthusiastic Drinkhacker reviews of the new Antique Collection. he did like the Saz quite a bit though. i still can’t believe that you’ve already got the new Antique Collection, here in washington state we have to wait so much longer than everyone else to get the special releases.

  17. Thanks for a great overview here; there’s a lot to be looking forward to. I am especially intrigued by the Mackinlay, being quite a fan of Shackleton’s incredible story.

  18. [...] you like Johnnie Walker Black Label but want to try something with a bit more smoke, Diageo has recently released the Johnnie Walker Double Black to the US market. Until recently, this was only available in Duty Free shops. I am really curious to try this one! [...]

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