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Black Bowmore DB5, Ardbeg 25 Year Old & More New Whisky

Black Bowmore DB5, Ardbeg 25 Year Old & More New Whisky

November 27, 2020 –––––– Susannah Skiver Barton, , , ,

Thanksgiving is behind us and December approaches, but the wave of new whiskies only builds.

First up, Bowmore has partnered with Aston Martin to launch a new expression of Black Bowmore. The 31 year old whisky is priced at $65,000, with just 25 bottles available.

Fellow Islay distiller Ardbeg has debuted a slightly younger single malt with a much more reasonable price. Ardbeg 25 year old Aged and Caged is priced at $850, and is a permanent part of the lineup.

George Dickel is now offering single barrels at 15 years old. The recommended price for each bottle is $60, with limited amounts available.

A trio of whiskies from Japan's Mars Shinshu and Tsukuni distilleries is hitting the U.S.: the widely available Mars Iwai 45 ($35), the limited-edition Mars Komagatake ($169), and the very limited Tsunuki the First ($220), which has just 1,122 bottles.

Three whiskeys from Clyde May's are rolling out now: a 6 year old single-barrel straight bourbon ($50), 8 year old straight rye ($50), and 12 year old cask-strength Alabama whiskey ($130). All three are limited editions.

Proof and Wood Ventures is launching its latest gambling-themed whiskey. Roulette rye is widely available, priced at $30.

Republic Restoratives is offering a single-barrel straight rye in partnership with filmmaker Eric D. Howell. Purpose rye is priced at $69 and available in limited amounts.

Minneapolis' Tattersall Distilling has unveiled its first bottled in bond bourbons, one with a high-rye mashbill and the other a wheater. Both bourbons are available in limited amounts, priced at $50 each.

Independent bottler Blackadder is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a limited-edition 9 year old Raw Cask Smoking Islay blended malt. Priced at $155 and with just 90 bottles available in the U.S., it's joined by a brace of single-cask single grain whiskies from Cambus ($355) and Invergordon ($250).

Vermont-based Mad River Distillers has finished its Revolution rye in cabernet sauvignon casks from California's Silver Oak Cellars. The whiskey is priced at $55 and available in limited amounts.

Finally, Oregon's Rogue Ales & Spirits is launching a series of single-barrel whiskeys, available only in Oregon. The first release, a single malt finished in Washington cabernet sauvignon barrels, is out now, priced at $80.

Read on for full details.

Black Bowmore 1964 DB5 31 year old

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: 31 years old

Proof: 49.6% ABV

Price: $65,000

Release: November 2020

Availability: 25 bottles

Need to know:

Distilled in 1964, this single malt matured in a Williams & Humbert Walnut Brown oloroso sherry butt. It's being released as part of a partnership between Bowmore and luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda, packaged in a custom bottle with a piston base.

Whisky Advocate says:

There have been five previous releases of Black Bowmore, the most recent of which, in 2017, was called "The Last Cask" and marketed as the final bottling of the series—though clearly it wasn't. While there are no more casks of Black Bowmore maturing, there was apparently still some liquid left, at least a bit of which is being released now. Bowmore originally bottled this whisky at 31 years old and held onto it in its archive, re-bottling it for this release.

Ardbeg 25 year old Aged and Caged

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: 25 years old

Proof: 46% ABV

Price: $850

Release: January 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

The oldest whisky yet to join Ardbeg's permanent range, this single malt was matured for 25 years. It's packaged in a box with cage-like detailing—a nod to the "untamed complexity" of the whisky.

Whisky Advocate says:

Ardbeg was operational on and off in the 1990s, until it reopened for good in 1997, so stocks of whisky this old have been hard to come by up to now. Going forward, especially after 2022 or so, there should be more 25 year old Ardbeg available. This whisky is a permanent addition to the lineup, released annually in limited amounts.

George Dickel 15 year old Single Barrel

Style: Tennessee whiskey

Origin: Tennessee

Age: 15 years old

Proof: Varies

Price: $60

Release: November 2020

Availability: For sale in CA, DE, FL, GA, TN, and TX, with expansion planned

Need to know:

Bottled as a single barrel for retail stores, bars, and restaurants, this whiskey is aged for at least 15 years. Those who purchase a barrel can choose the bottling proof, from 40% to 52.3% ABV—so check the label if you're buying by the bottle.

Whisky Advocate says:

It's no secret that we like well-aged George Dickel around here; last year's 13 year old Bottled in Bond was Whisky of the Year, after all. These single-barrel offerings will undoubtedly share many of the same flavors but, not being a blend of multiple barrels, they'll each have their own unique characteristics—so even if you aren't a fan of standard Dickel releases, you may find something to enjoy in one of these.

Mars Iwai 45

Style: Whisky

Origin: Japan

Age: Not stated

Proof: 45% ABV

Price: $35

Release: Fall 2020

Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Made at Nagano, Japan's Mars Shinshu Distillery and named for early Japanese whisky maker Kiichiro Iwai, this whisky offers a higher proof than the standard, 40% ABV Iwai. Like that expression, it's made mainly from corn, with a little malt and rye, and matured in bourbon barrels.

Mars Komagatake (2020 Release)

Style: Single malt

Origin: Japan

Age: 3 years old

Proof: 50% ABV

Price: $169

Release: Fall 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Made at Mars Shinshu, this single malt whisky is aged for 3 years in sherry and American oak casks.

Tsunuki the First

Style: Single malt

Origin: Japan

Age: 3 years old

Proof: 59% ABV

Price: $220

Release: Fall 2020

Availability: 1,122 bottles

Need to know:

The first release from Mars Shinshu's sister distillery, located in Kagoshima on Kyushu, which opened in 2016, this single malt matured in sherry and bourbon casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

The Mars Shinshu and Tsunuki distilleries are owned by Hombo Shuzo, a longtime shochu distiller which began making whisky in 1949, though production was not consistent for some years. Since 2011, Mars Shinshu has been fully operational, with Tsunuki opening in 2016 as a second site intended to explore whisky terroir.

Clyde May's 6 year old Single Barrel Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: 6 years old

Proof: 51% ABV

Price: $50

Release: November 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

This is a straight bourbon distilled at MGP and bottled by Clyde May's.

Clyde May's 8 year old Straight Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: 8 years old

Proof: 52% ABV

Price: $50

Release: November 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Also distilled at MGP, this rye contains 8, 9, and 10 year old whiskeys.

Clyde May's 12 year old Cask Strength Alabama Style Whiskey

Style: Whiskey

Origin: Indiana

Age: 12 years old

Proof: 60% ABV

Price: $130

Release: November 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Distilled at MGP, this whiskey matured in new charred oak and includes Clyde May's proprietary dried apple flavoring which makes it "Alabama style."

Whisky Advocate says:

Clyde May's doesn't have a distillery, sourcing its whiskey from Indiana and elsewhere, and it keeps the process for adding the dried apple flavors secret. Your mileage may vary, but we found the 2018 release of cask-strength Clyde Mays, at 10 years old, to be pretty darn good.

Roulette Straight Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: 4 years old

Proof: 50% ABV

Price: $30

Release: November 2020

Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Distilled at MGP from its 95% rye-5% malted barley mashbill, this rye is aged at least 4 years.

Whisky Advocate says:

Roulette joins a number of other whiskeys in the Proof and Wood Spirits lineup, including Tumblin' Dice—whose 2020 release of single-barrel, barrel-proof 4 year old straight bourbon is coming out now at 58.7% ABV and $60. Proof and Wood also produces The Senator 6 year old Barrel Proof Straight rye ($75), which is also debuting a new bottling at 58.38% ABV.

Republic Restoratives Purpose Single Barrel Straight Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: 5 years old

Proof: 50% ABV

Price: $69

Release: November 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Made at MGP from its 95% rye mashbill, this whiskey matured for over 4 years. Washington, D.C.-based Republic Restoratives is bottling 100 barrels for this release.

Whisky Advocate says:

Republic Restoratives partnered with filmmaker Eric D. Howell to launch this whiskey, coinciding with the debut of his graphic novel "The Revolution of Cassandra." A portion of the sales from each bottle will be donated to voting rights organization Fair Fight Action.

Tattersall Bottled in Bond Bourbons

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Minnesota

Age: 4 years old

Proof: 50% ABV

Price: $50

Release: November 2020

Availability: Limited edition; for sale in MN only

Need to know:

The first bottled in bond bourbons from Tattersall—and the state's first bottled in bond spirits since Prohibition—there are two variants to choose from: a high-rye bourbon and a wheated bourbon. Both were made with local grains and aged 4-5 years in Minnesota white oak barrels.

Whisky Advocate says:

Tattersall opened just six years ago, and it's remarkable to see how much the distillery has been able to accomplish in that short time. In addition to whiskeys, it makes a host of other spirits, including gins, vodka, liqueurs, amaro, and more. With these two bonded bourbons, Tattersall joins the growing number of American distillers committing to the style.

Blackadder 9 year old Raw Cask Smoking Islay

Style: Blended malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: 9 years old

Proof: 59.4% ABV

Price: $155

Release: November 2020

Availability: 278 bottles, including 90 for the U.S.

Need to know:

This blended malt includes heavily peated whisky from two Islay distilleries.

Whisky Advocate says:

Bottled as part of Blackadder's 25th anniversary celebrations, this blended malt is joined by a number of other special releases, including two single cask single grain scotches:


  • Blackadder 1988 Invergordon 32 year old—51.5% ABV, $250, 273 bottles (60 for the U.S.)

  • Blackadder 1988 Cambus 31 year old—46.1% ABV, $355, 232 bottles (60 for the U.S.)

Mad River Silver Oak Cellars Barrel-Finished Rye

Style: Finished rye

Origin: Vermont

Age: Not stated

Proof: 48% ABV

Price: $55

Release: November 2020

Availability: Limited edition; for sale in MA and at the distillery

Need to know:

This whiskey started off as Mad River Distillers' Revolution rye, a straight whiskey made with chocolate rye grain. It was then finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels from California's Silver Oak Cellars.

Whisky Advocate says:

Though it's long been common for scotch and Irish distillers, finishing in wine barrels has become increasingly popular in American whiskey. Mad River is in good company, as fellow Vermont producer WhistlePig has long experimented with every kind of barrel finish imaginable—something master distiller Pete Lynch told us about in detail in a recent interview.

Rogue Single Barrel Project

Style: Varies

Origin: Oregon

Age: Varies

Proof: 48% ABV

Price: $80

Release: November 2020

Availability: Limited edition; for sale in OR only

Need to know:

Rogue Ales & Spirits is launching a series of limited-edition single barrel whiskeys, available only in Oregon. The first release is aged 6 and a half years and finished in cabernet sauvignon barrels from Washington.

Whisky Advocate says:

Upcoming releases in the Single Barrel Project include an 8 year old malted rye finished in a second-fill zinfandel barrel, coming in January 2021, and a single malt finished in a cherry wood barrel made by Rogue's Rolling Thunder Barrel Works, which will debut in March.