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The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11, Fercullen Falls, & More [New Releases]

The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11, Fercullen Falls, & More [New Releases]

January 13, 2023 –––––– Julia Higgins, David Fleming, Jonny McCormick, Shane English,

We know master distillers and blenders for their whiskies. But what do they drink after work? We asked 10 whisky makers to name their favorite tipples (not including their own) in whisky as well as other drinks. While some enjoy tried-and-true classics, others might inspire you to pick up something completely different next time you’re hankering for something new.

Meanwhile, the new year is already bringing in plenty of new whiskies to try. The GlenDronach is back with the latest batch of its cask strength single malt, Rampur has released a new single malt, and Powerscourt Distillery makes its U.S.. debut with its flagship brand, Fercullen. Read on for full details.

GD-Batch-11_300-0001.jpgThe GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11
Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Highlands)
Age: Not stated
ABV: 59.8%
Price: $100
Release: January 2023
Availability: Limited

Need to know:
The 11th edition of GlenDronach Cask Strength is matured in a combination of Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:
Every GlenDronach whisky sees maturation in sherry casks, and master blender Rachel Barrie has previously offered insight as to what exactly oloroso and Pedro Ximénez bring to the table. Of the four GlenDronach Cask Strength releases we’ve reviewed, three have received scores of 90 or above.

RampurBottle_-Canister_300.jpgRampur Select
Style: Single malt
Origin: India
Age: Not Stated
ABV: 43%
Price: $140
Release: January 2023
Availability: Limited; nationally

Need to Know:
Rampur Select is distilled entirely from Indian barley and blended from a selection of whiskies matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. The whisky is produced at Radico Khaitan Distillery, located in the foothills of the Himalayas. While the distillery doesn’t issue its whiskies with age statements, it does note that due to the climate in the foothills of the Himalayas, interaction with the wood and evaporation are accelerated by an estimated threefold. This year’s edition of Select will be available exclusively in the U.S.

Whisky Advocate Says:
Rampur’s whiskies have been well received by our tasters, with its five U.S. releases thus far scoring 91 points or higher. A previous Rampur Select release scored 93 points and was named the No.-5 whisky of 2017, when it was described as a whisky that “may set America on a path to truly appreciating Indian whisky's style and terroir.” Sibling label Rampur Asava was our No.-7 whisky of 2021, scoring 93 points with its deft blend of flavors from its second maturation in Indian wine barrels.

Fercullen-Falls-bottle_300.jpgFercullen Falls
Style: Blend
Origin: Ireland
Age: Not stated
ABV: 43%
Price: $35
Release: March 1
Availability: CA, FL, IL, MA, NJ, NY, TN, TX, IN, MI, MO, WI, KS, with other states following later

Need to know:
The Fercullen Falls blend is the flagship label of Powerscourt Distillery, which is located about 25 miles south of Dublin on the Powerscourt Estate. This release marks its U.S. debut. The whiskey, which is named for a scenic waterfall on the property, is a 50-50 blend of malt and grain whiskeys. It has a high malt content, in keeping with the Powerscourt style. The malt whiskey is aged in first-fill bourbon barrels, while the grain whiskey is matured in a combination of bourbon and new heavy char oak casks. Fercullen's importer, Dallas-based Zamora USA, is also now bringing in the Fercullen single malt as well a 15 year old and a limited-edition 21 year old single malt.

Whisky Advocate Says:
Ireland’s Powerscourt Estate dates back to the 13th century and today is owned by the Slazengers, the British family that made its fortune in tennis and golf equipment in the 20th century. The distillery was founded on the estate by entrepreneurs Gerry Ginty and Ashley Gardiner and came onstream in 2018, equipped with three stills and producing over 1 million liters annually. Barley is taken from fields surrounding the estate, and water is sourced from a well on the property.

Pokeno-Origin_300-0001.jpgPōkeno Origin
Style: Single malt
Origin: New Zealand
Age: Not stated
ABV: 43%
Price: $70
Release: January 2023
Availability: 3,726 bottles for the U.S.

Pokeno-Discovery_300-0001.jpgPōkeno Discovery
Style: Single malt
Origin: New Zealand
Age: Not stated
ABV: 43%
Price: $75
Release: January 2023
Availability: 1,880 bottles for the U.S.

Pokeno_Double_Bourbon_Single_Cask_21_415_300.jpgPōkeno Double Bourbon Single Cask #21–415
Style: Single malt
Origin: New Zealand
Age: Not stated
ABV: 56%
Price: $125
Release: January 2023
Availability: U.S.-exclusive release of 288 bottles

Need to know:
These New Zealand whiskies mark the U.S. debut of Pōkeno (pronounced Paw-Que-No) Whisky Company. The core expressions include Origin, matured in first-fill bourbon casks, and Discovery, a marriage of whiskies matured in first-fill bourbon, oloroso, and Pedro Ximénez casks. Pōkeno Double Bourbon Single Cask, a U.S. exclusive, was matured in a first-fill bourbon cask and then given a 6-month finish in a fresh first-fill bourbon cask.

Whisky Advocate says:
Pōkeno Distillery is located in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island, just over 30 miles south of Auckland. Matt and Celine Johns founded Pōkeno in 2018, recruiting Rohan McGowan as distiller. Barley is sourced from farms in the Canterbury region of the South Island, and the distillery’s location benefits from good access to mineral-rich water from an underground aquifer. The first casks of this light, fruity whisky were filled in April 2019. Pōkeno is in an area with a subtropical climate, meaning that maturation occurs at a much faster rate than would occur in Scotland.

RAREST-BOTTLE-ONLY-WHITE-6J5A7820-copy-8_300-0001.jpgDuncan Taylor 52 year old Macallan
Style: Single malt
Origin: Scotland (Speyside)
Age: 52 year old
ABV: 41.46%
Price: 75,000 GBP ($90,000)
Release: January 2023
Availability: Limited

Need to know:
Part of Duncan Taylor’s Rarest Collection, this whisky is also the independent bottler’s oldest Macallan released to date. It was barreled in 1969, aged for decades in American oak, then finished in first-fill oloroso sherry casks. The whisky is bottled in a crystal decanter inspired by a dirk—a historic long-bladed Scottish dagger worn at the side of your kilt—and rests in a custom-made European oak cabinet that’s reminiscent of early weapons cabinets.

Whisky Advocate says:
Duncan Taylor’s reserve of aged scotch remains top-notch—this whisky follows on the heels of last year’s 51 year old Kinclaith and 50 year old Caperdonich single malts. While such releases are exemplary of Duncan Taylor’s work as an independent bottler, the company also produces its own range of whiskies, and has long been at the forefront of innovative cask finishing in Scotland.