close
Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked (2023 Release), Old Elk Cask Finish Series, & More [New Releases]

Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked (2023 Release), Old Elk Cask Finish Series, & More [New Releases]

January 20, 2023 –––––– Ted Simmons, Julia Higgins, , ,

Looking to take your weekend brunch plans up a notch? These whiskey-based coffee cocktails should do the trick. Try one of four bartender-approved recipes, all of which use rye or bourbon as the base.

Speaking of American whiskey, all of this week's new releases come from U.S. producers. Woodford Reserve brings back its Double Double Oaked bourbon, exclusive to the distillery and Kentucky retailers. Old Elk unveils its Cask Finish Series, including a brand new rum-finished rye. And Chattanooga Whiskey has finishing on the mind as well, adding a cabernet cask-finished straight malt expression. Read on for full details.

USA_C_Woodford-Reserve-Distillery-Series-2022_Double-Double-Oaked_375ml_10052221-(1)_300.jpgWoodford Reserve Double Double Oaked (2023 Release)
Style: Finished bourbon
Origin: Kentucky
Age: Not stated
ABV: 45.2%
Price: $60/375 ml
Release: January 2023
Availability: Limited; exclusive to the distillery and select Kentucky retailers

Need to know:
Double Double Oaked starts as Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, but it's then finished in a heavily toasted, lightly charred oak barrel for an additional year. According to Woodford, the extra year in barrel yields a spicier whiskey than the original Double Oaked, which skews sweeter. The whiskey is part of Woodford’s Winter Distillery Series, which celebrates master distiller Chris Morris’s creativity and craftsmanship.

Whisky Advocate says:
This year’s edition of Woodford’s highly sought-after Double Double Oaked was released on Wednesday morning, and while bottles are likely sold out at the distillery, there's still availability at a handful of Kentucky retailers. If you’re keen on getting a bottle, you’ll either have to travel to Kentucky, or have a handy connection in the state, as those at retail are likely to go quickly.

OldElk_1_300.jpgOld Elk Straight Rye Rum Cask Finish
Style: Finished rye
Origin: Colorado
Age: 5 year old
ABV: 50.5%
Price: $100
Release: January 2023
Availability: Limited

Need to know:
This rye was finished in 14 year old rum barrels from Barbados for 2 to 5 months. Its mashbill is 95% rye and 5% malted barley.

OldElk_3_300-0001.jpgOld Elk Straight Bourbon Port Cask Finish
Style: Finished bourbon
Origin: Colorado
Age: 5 year old
ABV: 54.05%
Price: $100
Release: January 2023
Availability: Limited

Need to know:
Matured in port casks for 10 to 12 months, the mashbill is 51% corn, 34% barley, and 15% rye.

OldElk_2_300-0001.jpgOld Elk Straight Bourbon Cognac Cask Finish
Style: Finished bourbon
Origin: Colorado
Age: 5 year old
ABV: 54.85%
Price: $100
Release: January 2023
Availability: Limited

Need to know:
This bourbon, aged in cognac casks for 10 months, also has a mashbill of 51% corn, 34% barley, and 15% rye.

Whisky Advocate says:
These whiskeys are all part of Old Elk’s Cask Finish Series, which launched in 2021. While the port and cognac cask finishes have previously been featured in the series, the rum cask finish is an entirely new addition. All three whiskeys were aged for 5 to 6 years.

Chattanooga-Cabernet-Cask-Finish-Jan-2022_600.jpgChattanooga Whiskey Silver Oak Cabernet Cask Finished
Style: Finished straight malt
Origin: Tennessee
Age: Not stated
ABV: 47.5%
Price: $50
Release: January 2023
Availability: 9,000 bottles for TN, GA, FL, TX, IL, CO, SC, IN, LA, seelbachs.com

Need to know:
Made with five single malt mashbills—each containing a variety of toasted, roasted, and caramel malts—this whiskey was aged for more than 4 years and finished for more than 18 months in cabernet sauvignon barrels from Silver Oak Cellars in the Alexander Valley region of Sonoma’s north coast. It is the third release in Chattanooga’s barrel finishing series following port cask and Islay scotch cask-finished whiskeys.

Whisky Advocate says:
Chattanooga Whiskey is one of a handful of newer distillers giving Tennessee a larger national profile, and it helps that its whiskeys are quite good. Their Straight Rye Malt landed at No. 18 on the 2020 Top 20 list scoring 92 points, while the previous cask-finished whiskeys likewise scored well, with the Tawny Port Cask netting 88 points, and the Islay Scotch Cask scoring 91 points.

Backbone-Big-Bash-Jan-2023.jpg

Backbone Big Bash
Style: Blend of straight whiskeys
Origin: Indiana
Age: Not stated
ABV: 55%
Price: $65
Release: January 2023
Availability: 2,042 bottles

Need to know:
The latest release from Backbone Bourbon is a blend of straight bourbon and straight rye, with 90% of the blend spending between 2 months and 2 years in various finishing barrels. Backbone used 7 different finishing casks for this release, including port, rum, Grand Marnier, cabernet, vermouth, apple brandy, and banana brandy. The name comes from the many different flavor profiles found in the bottle, what amounted to a big party, or big bash.

Whisky Advocate says:
Like many other non-distiller producers, Backbone sources its whiskeys from MGP in Indiana, but that’s not to say that these are typical releases. Often bottled at barrel strength, its whiskeys have scored favorably, with our tasting panel, with the Anniversary Edition Decade Down Uncut scoring 89 points in the Winter 2022 Buying Guide and The Forge Blended netting 91 points in the Fall of 2022. We are intrigued to see how the added element of cask-finishing advances these whiskeys even further.

Image Credit: