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Aberfeldy 18 year old Tuscan Red Wine Cask, Kentucky Peerless Absinthe Barrel Finished, & More [New Releases]

Aberfeldy 18 year old Tuscan Red Wine Cask, Kentucky Peerless Absinthe Barrel Finished, & More [New Releases]

October 21, 2022 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

It's mid-October, which means we're drawing ever closer to the spookiest time of year: Halloween. This year, match your favorite sweet treat to a whisky—take Raisinets, for instance, which are a fantastic complement to George Dickel 11 year old Bottled in Bond given the lush, deep, dark fruit qualities of that whiskey. Of course, it's not just chocolate treats that suit whisky, and this guide offers up our favorite Halloween candy-and-whisky pairings.


As for new whisky, being in the thick of fall also means that new releases continue to flood in. Aberfeldy is back with an 18 year old whisky aged in red wine casks—this one from a Tuscan winery. Kentucky Peerless brings back its absinthe-finished rye, while Michter's returns with its 20 year old straight bourbon. Read on for full details.

Aberfeldy 18 year old Tuscan Red Wine Cask

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Highland)

Age: 18 year old

ABV: 43%

Price: $130

Release: October 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This is the fourth release in Aberfeldy's red wine cask finishing series. The 18 year old single malt was finished for four to five months in Tuscan red wine barrels from the Bolgheri appellation.

Whisky Advocate says:

This annual release from Aberfeldy showcases master blender Stephanie Macleod's skilled hand at finishing. The 2020 release, an 18 year old finished Bordeaux barrels, scored 93 points and landed at No. 10on that year's Top 20 list.

Kentucky Peerless Absinthe Barrel Finished

Style:Finished rye

Origin:Kentucky

Age:Not stated

ABV:55.35%

Price:Undisclosed

Release: October 2022

Availability:Limited; exclusive to the Peerless distillery in Louisville

Need to know:

This single barrel rye was finished in an absinthe barrel from an undisclosed source.

Whisky Advocate says:

Peerless first released an absinthe-finished rye in 2020; the release was such a hit that the distillery has continued it on an annual basis, and it's always very limited in scope. This year is no different, as the whiskey will only be available at the Peerless distillery on October 29 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., with bottles available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Other Peerless barrel-finished releases include a rum barrel-finished bourbon.

Michter's 20 year old (2022 Release)

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: 20 year old

ABV: 57.1%

Price: $1,200

Release: November 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Michter's is bringing back its 20 year old straight bourbon, with a price increase of nearly $500 from last year's release.

Whisky Advocate says:

Older bourbon can sometimes be over-oaked and past its prime, but that isn't the case with Michter's 20 year, which last scored 94 pointsin our Buying Guide. Most notable is the big price jump from 2021, when this release was listed at $750. But Michter's will have no problem selling it despite the increase, as the 20 year old is always among the most sought-after whiskeys of the year.

Blue Run Flight Series

Style:Blends of straight bourbon

Origin:Kentucky

Age:Not stated

ABV:Varies

Price:$120

Release:October 2022

Availability:Limited

Need to know:

This marks the launch of Blue Run's Flight Series, which is a range of micro-batch whiskeys that will be released twice a year moving forward. There are six expressions in the inaugural launch:




  • Alpine Meadows—blended from three barrels, 57.6% (594 bottles)

  • Parisian Pâtisserie—blended from three barrels, 56.55% (684 bottles)

  • Seattle Downpour—blended from two barrels, 57.6% (390 bottles)

  • Lahaina Luau—blended from three barrels, 54.8% (726 bottles)

  • Washington Apple Orchard—blended from five barrels, 59% (1,056) bottles

  • Marrakech Market—blended from three barrels, 55.15% ABV, 636 bottles

Whisky Advocate says:

Each of the Flight Series whiskeys is made from two to five barrels, which are contract-distilled at Castle & Key by Blue Run's liquid advisor Jim Rutledge. These barrels were then hand-selected and blended by Blue Run's whiskey director, Shaylyn Gammon (and these are the first Blue Run whiskeys with Gammon's name attached). The Flight Series is a direct response to the somewhat nebulous term “small batch”—Blue Run is aiming to define what exactly makes a small batch whiskey, labeling their own micro whiskeys as blends that come from at least two barrels, but no more than five.

Evan Williams Square 6 High-Rye

Style:Straight rye

Origin:Kentucky

Age:Not stated

ABV:47.5%

Price:$90

Release:October 2022

Availability:Limited; available at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience and select KY retailers

Need to know:

The Square 6 High-Rye rye has a mashbill of 63% rye, 24% corn, and 13% malted barley, making it the highest-rye whiskey Heaven Hill has ever produced.

Whisky Advocate says:

Heaven Hill debuted Square 6 in May 2021; the label launched with a high-rye bourbon, and marked the first release from the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in Louisville. As with that debut whiskey, which was considerably different from the original corn-heavy Evan Williams, this rye varies significantly from Heaven Hill's traditional rye mashbill of 51% rye, 35% corn, and 14% malted barley. Square 6 was so named for the original plot of land where Evan Williams purportedly built Kentucky's first commercial distillery in 1783. Today, the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience stands on that site, distilling just one barrel of whiskey a day.

New Riff Maltster T50 Crystal Malt

Style:Straight bourbon

Origin:Kentucky

Age:6 year old

ABV:50%

Price:$60

Release:October 2022

Availability:Limited

Need to know:

This Maltster release highlights the T50 crystal malt varietal of malted barley, which is typically used in pale ales and bitters. Here, it's combined with 65% corn and 20% malted rye. A previous iteration of Maltster came out in October 2020.

New Riff Aroostook Malted Rye

Style:Straight malted rye

Origin:Kentucky

Age:6 year old

ABV:50%

Price:$60

Release:October 2022

Availability:Limited

Need to know:

Made from a mashbill of 100% Aroostook Kentucky-grown malted rye, this whiskey comes on the heels of New Riff's sherry-finished malted rye, which came out earlier this year. Previously, the distillery had sourced malted rye from Germany for its malted rye expressions.

Whisky Advocate says:

Both of these whiskeys build on New Riff's exploration of malted grains, which has been ongoing since 2014 when the distillery began making malted rye. The first Maltster release scored 90 points, while the sherry-finished malted rye earned 89 points. Like all New Riff whiskeys, this duo is bottled in bond and non-chill filtered.

Wyoming Whiskey 1872

Style:Straight bourbon

Origin:Wyoming

Age:9 year old

ABV:58%

Price:$400

Release:October 2022

Availability:Limited; 150 bottles exclusive to California, Colorado, Georgia, New York, and Wyoming

Need to know:

This whiskey is made from a blend of 93% wheated and 7% high-rye bourbons. As with all Wyoming Whiskey releases, the grains used in this were grown in Wyoming and the water was locally sourced.

Whisky Advocate says:

1872 honors the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone Park; President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act into law on March 1, 1872. All proceeds will be donated to Yellowstone Forever, an organization that protects and preserves the national park.

McCarthy's PX Sherry Cask Finished 6 year old

Style: American single malt

Origin: Oregon

Age: 6 year old

ABV: 56.1%

Price: $150

Release: October 2022

Availability: 1,914 bottles, limited to California, Colorado, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington

Need to know:

From Hood River Distillers, this single malt was aged for six years in Oregon oak casks and finished for four months in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks from the Toneleria Del Sur cooperage in southern Spain.

Whisky Advocate says:

This limited release McCarthy's combines peat and sherry flavors, which can be a winning formula when done correctly. Last year's Laphroaig Càirdeas Pedro Ximénez Cask scored 93 points, and was likewise bottled at a high proof—58.9% ABV. While that is a scotch and this is an American single malt, there is good reason to believe that this PX finish will also be a special dram. We recently scored the regular McCarthy's 6 year old at 92 pointsin the Summer 2022 Buying Guide.

Chicken Cock Chanticleer

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 56%

Price: $500

Release: October 21, 2022

Availability: Limited; 6,500 bottles

Need to know:

Made from a mash bill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley, this limited-edition whiskey was finished in cognac barrels for an unspecified amount of time. Only 32 barrels were produced. This is the second edition in Chicken Cock's collectible series of special holiday releases, following Chicken Cock Cotton Club Rye, released last year.

Whisky Advocate says:

Chicken Cock is one of many brands that pay homage to Prohibition and its repeal, bottling its whiskey in apothecary-style packaging, and tying its releases to specific moments or places in whiskey history. This cognac finish honors the connection between Kentucky and France, as Bourbon County was named after the Bourbon family, and Paris, Kentucky, where Chicken Cock was founded, takes its name from Paris, France. Repeal Day, or the day that Prohibition officially ended, is celebrated on December 5th, and any of the Chicken Cock whiskeys, including the recently reviewed Island Rooster rum barrel finished 91 points would make for a worthy toast.

Old Bones 10 year Reserve

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: 10 year old

ABV: 55%

Price: $100

Release: Late October 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Sourced from MGP, this whiskey was made from a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. Backbone Bourbon Company reserves its Old Bones label for whiskeys aged a minimum of 10 years. Those releases, unlike the core products, are not consistently available.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the same whiskey as Backbone's Bone Snapper 4 year old rye, just bottled at more than twice as old. We previously scored Old Bones 10 year old bourbon 93 points.

Ki One Unicorn Edition

Style: Single malt


Origin: South Korea

Age: Not stated

ABV: 56.6%

Price: $190 /200 ml

Release: October 2022

Availability: 198 bottles

Need to know:

The Three Societies Distillery is releasing its second Korean single malt, which has been double distilled and aged in new oak casks for 21 months.

Whisky Advocate says:

Founded by Korean-American Bryan Do in 2020, Three Societies Distillery opened in Namyangju, 40 minutes north-east of Seoul, becoming the first Korean craft distillery to make single malt whisky. The distillery is equipped with a pair of Forsyth's copper pot stills, and malt is imported from the UK. Its bourbon and new oak barrels are sourced from Kentucky, while oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks are supplied from Europe. The production team is comprised of master distiller Andrew Shand and assistant distiller Byeongsu Kim. Shand has had a long and varied career in the whisky industry, having previously worked for Chivas Brothers, Nikka Distillery Co., and Speyside Distillery before launching his own whisky consultancy. Technically, this is a 1 year old whisky as there is no requirement for Korean whisky to be matured for a minimum of 3 years like there is in Scotland.