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Ardbeg Scorch, Talisker 43 year old Xpedition Oak & More [New Releases]

Ardbeg Scorch, Talisker 43 year old Xpedition Oak & More [New Releases]

April 23, 2021 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

If you plan on mixing up some drinks this spring and summer, we have a helpful guide on how to build your best whisky cocktail, focusing on classics like the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Whiskey Sour, Highball, and Mint Julep.

If you're looking for a new dram to sip, there are plenty of those as well. ArdbegScorch is this year's limited release for Ardbeg Day. It's priced at $120 and $140 for the Committee Release.

Talisker is releasing its oldest whisky to date and telling the story of a voyage at sea in the process. Talisker 43 year old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge is limited to just 1,830 bottles and costs $4,000.

Tennessee whiskeySweetens Cove is back with a new release for 2021. Like last year's inaugural release, it will cost $200, with 42,000 bottles entering just a few states.

Bardstown Bourbon Co. is bringing back it's collaborative expression The Prisoner Wine Barrel-Finished Tennessee bourbon—after an initial release in December 2019. Priced similarly, at $124,this year's release has nearly double the amount of bottles available.

Four Roses has bottled a limited-edition single barrel in honor of theGreat Steamboat Race, which takes place annually as part of the Kentucky Derby. Very limited, it costs $76.

Kentucky's Bluegrass Distillers has a new wheated bottled in bond bourbon that costs $50 and is available only in Kentucky.

And finally, Bushmills is adding a Caribbean Rum Cask Finish to its range. The blended whisky is an Ireland-exclusive at €30.

Read on for full details.

Ardbeg Scorch

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: Not stated

Proof: 46% ABV

Price: $120

Release: June 2021

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Ardbeg Scorch is matured in heavily charred bourbon barrels—meant to create a scorching effect in a nod to the legendary dragon said to have once lived on Islay, according to the island's folk tales.

Whisky Advocate says:

This limited release is in honor of Ardbeg Day, the distillery's annual celebration on June 5 as part of Islay's Festival of Music and Malt (Fèis Ìle). Like last year, Ardbeg's celebrations will take place online, inviting fans around the world to enjoy a smoky dram from home. While Scorch will be released to the general public in June, members of the Ardbeg Committee—a group of over 100,000 fans of the distillery—will have access to the Committee Release ($140) on May 1. Previous Committee Releases have become quite collectible over the years, as our auction expert Jonny McCormick recently reported.

Talisker 43 Year Old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islands)

Age: 43 year old

Proof: 49.7% ABV

Price: $4,000

Release: June 2021

Availability: 1,830 bottles

Need to know:

This super-aged single malt is finished in casks that included wooden staves that traversed the Atlantic. The bottle count pays homage to the year Talisker was founded—1830—when the MacAskill brothers sailed from Isle of Eigg to the shores of Isle of Skye to establish Talisker Distillery.

Renowned adventurer James Aiken recently undertook his own 3,264-mile journey across the Atlantic with these staves, following the same route of the rowers of the annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

Talisker plans to auction off a bottle of Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge later this year, with all proceeds to be donated to Parley for the Oceans.

Whisky Advocate says:

Talisker released a manzanilla sherry cask-finished 41 year old in 2019, and outdoes itself here by two years. Unlike that whisky though, this is coming to the U.S. It seems like the Isle of Skye distillery is letting its very oldest stocks continue to age while choosing a select few to bottle every few years.

Sweetens Cove Tennessee Bourbon (2021 Release)

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Tennessee

Age: Not stated

Proof: 56.85% ABV

Price: $200

Release: April 2021

Availability: 42,000 bottles (GA, TN, TX, with expansion planned)

Need to know:

From master blender Marianne Eaves and an ownership team that includes Peyton Manning and Andy Roddick, the 2021 release of Sweetens Cove is a blend of Tennessee whiskeys aged 4, 6, and 16 years all produced at different distilleries.

Whisky Advocate says:

Sweeten's Cove debuted in 2020 with a 13 year old cask strength Tennessee whiskey that was blended into five distinct batches from 100 identical barrels. Those barrels came from a single distillery, and were blended with variety and collectibility in mind. This new release bears no age statement but has wider availability, entering Texas with additional states forthcoming. We spoke with Eaves and Roddick on Instagram Live about the launch of Sweetens Cove back in June. Keep an eye out for a review of this new release in an upcoming issue!

Bardstown Bourbon Co. The Prisoner Wine Barrel-Finished Bourbon

Style: Bourbon

Origin: Tennessee

Age: 10 year old

Proof: 50% ABV

Price: $124

Release: April 2021

Availability: 18,000 bottles

Need to know:

This is the latest release in Bardstown Bourbon Co.'s Collaboration series, and the second between the distillery and The Prisoner Wine Co. While the first release was aged for 9 years and then finished for 18 months in French oak barrels that previously held The Prisoner red wine, this whiskey was aged 10 years, and spent its final 18-month maturation in French oak barrels that once held The Prisoner red blend.

Whisky Advocate says:

Given that Constellation Brands—a titan of spirits, beer, and wine, and owner of The Prisoner—holds a minority stake in Bardstown Bourbon, it's no surprise that the two have teamed up once more. The first collaboration, released last April, scored 92 points in the Buying Guide, setting the bar high for this year's follow-up.

Four Roses Great Steamboat Race Commemorative Single Barrel Bourbon

Style: Bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: 10 year old

Proof: 58.55% ABV

Price: $76

Release: April 2021

Availability: Limited edition; available at select Louisville-area Kroger Wine & Spirits locations

Need to know:

This 10 year old Four Roses single barrel bourbon was made with the distillery's OESK recipe. Its release celebrates the Kentucky Derby Festival's Great Steamboat Race, which takes place April 28.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the 16th year that Four Roses has sponsored the Great Steamboat Race. This year's release was chosen online by master distiller Brent Elliott, Kentucky Derby Festival president and CEO Matt Gibson, race competitor Belle of Louisville captain Mark Doty, and other local bourbon tasters. Four Roses single barrels have scored highly in our Buying Guide over the years, and we won't be surprised if this commemorative bottle is one of similar quality!

Bluegrass Distillers Wheated Bottled in Bond

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: 4.5 year old

Proof: 50% ABV

Price: $50

Release: April 2021

Availability: Limited release; 920 bottles available in KY

Need to know:

This wheatedbottled in bond bourbon is a blend of four barrels, all aged for at least 4 years.

Whisky Advocate says:

While this bourbon was made at Bluegrass Distillers' current facility in Lexington, Kentucky, starting later this year its whiskeys will be made at the distillery's new home at Midway, Kentucky's Elkwood Farm. The new site will include barrel warehouses, a tasting room, visitor center, and event spaces.

Bushmills Caribbean Rum Cask Finish

Style: Blended whiskey

Origin: Ireland

Age: Not stated

Proof: 40% ABV

Price: €30 (around $37)

Release: April 2021

Availability: Ireland only

Need to know:

This whiskey will be the first in a series of cask finishes added to the Bushmills range. It started as a single malt finished in Caribbean rum casks before being blended with triple-distilled grain whiskey.

Whisky Advocate says:

Only Ireland is seeing this expression, at least for now.Bushmills introduced a Travel Retail-exclusive rum finished single malt in 2019.They are hardly the first Irish whiskey maker to experiment with rum casks, as Hyde, Tullamore D.E.W., West Cork, and Teeling have all sought the sweeter spirit's influence.