close
Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon, Additional Thomas S. Moore Cask-Finished Bourbons, & More [New Releases]

Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon, Additional Thomas S. Moore Cask-Finished Bourbons, & More [New Releases]

March 18, 2022 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

St. Patrick's Day may have passed, but that doesn't mean you need to abandon your Irish whiskey altogether. We have some simple cocktail recipes and a list of high-scoring bottles that will serve you well throughout the year. And of course, you can always work on making the perfect Irish coffee ahead of next year's festivities.

The top new releases this week mostly hail from Kentucky, as Castle & Key debuts its small batch bourbon. The first batch is coming this month, and the second will arrive in May. Meanwhile, Barton 1792 is extending its Thomas S. Moore line of finished bourbons with finishes in madeira, sherry, cognac, and merlot casks, and Japan's Kaiyō adds two blended malts to its range. Read on for full details.

Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon 2022 Release (Batch 1)

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

ABV: 49%

Age: 4 year old

Price: $50

Release: March 2022

Availability: 18,564 bottles in AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, NJ, NY, OK, SC, TN, TX, WA, and WI

Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon 2022 Release (Batch 2)

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

ABV: 49.5%

Age: 4 year old

Price: $50

Release: May 2022

Availability: 19,500 bottles in AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, NJ, NY, OK, SC, TN, TX, WA, and WI

Need to know:

After debuting its Restoration straight rye in December 2020, Castle & Key has announced its first-ever bourbon, to be released in two batches. Batch 1 will be available at the distillery as well as a handful of states starting March 26, while Batch 2 is coming in May. Both batches come from a selection of 80 barrels and differ in proof only slightly.

Whisky Advocate says:

Who doesn't love a good comeback story? In 1972, the Old Taylor Distillery was abandoned, leaving one of Kentucky's most stunning facilities—a castle dedicated to whiskey making—to crumble. In 2016, Kentucky lawyer Will Arvin and hedge funder Wesley Murry resurrected the site, launching Castle & Key. In the years since, a number of brands, like Pinhook and Penelope, have signed on to contract distill there, meaning they use the distilling equipment to make whiskey to their own specifications. So while you may have tasted a bourbon made at the distillery, this is still the first one released under the Castle & Key name. Look for a review of at least one of these batches in an upcoming issue of Whisky Advocate.

Thomas S. Moore Madeira Cask Finished

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 48.25%

Price: $70

Release: March 2022

Availability: Limited

Thomas S. Moore Merlot Cask Finished

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 46.65%

Price: $70

Release: March 2022

Availability: Limited

Thomas S. Moore Sherry Cask Finished

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 49.35%

Price: $70

Release: March 2022

Availability: Limited

Thomas S. Moore Cognac Cask Finished

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 46.7%

Price: $70

Release: March 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Barton 1792 first introduced the Thomas S. Moore line of finished bourbons in December 2020, and is now adding four additional cask finishes. All of the whiskeys begin with Barton's high-rye bourbon recipe, and are aged for five to six years in new charred oak before entering a finishing cask for one to four years. Finishing details are as follows:


  • The madeira cask finish was approximately two to four years.

  • The merlot casks came from wineries in the Napa and Sonoma regions. The bourbon was then finished for approximately two to four years.

  • The sherry casks used were all oloroso, with a finishing period of one to four years.

  • The cognac casks previously held cognac for six or more years. The finish was approximately two to four years.

Whisky Advocate says:

Our Fall 2021 issue was dedicated to all things bourbon, and that includes the growing trend of cask finishing. While results may vary as distillers experiment with cask types and finishing lengths, the Thomas S. Moore line has jumped to the forefront in terms of quality, scoring 93 points for its chardonnay and port cask finishes and 92 points for its cabernet sauvignon cask finish.

Kaiyō Whisky The Kuri (Ariake Wood Collection)

Style: Blended malt

Origin: Japan/UK

Age: Not stated

ABV: 46%

Price: $75

Release: March 2022

Availability: 5,400 bottles worldwide (4,650 available for the U.S.)

Need to know:

Kaiyō Whisky The Kuri was fully matured in 225-liter Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata) casks for over 7 years including a 3 month ocean voyage from Osaka to the UK—a journey that all Kaiyō whiskies make before bottling.

Kaiyō Whisky The Rubi (1st Edition)

Style: Blended malt

Origin: Japan/UK

Age: Not stated

ABV: 46%

Price: $115

Release: March 2022

Availability: 3,600 bottles worldwide (3,200 bottles for the U.S.)

Need to know:

Kaiyō Whisky The Rubi was initially matured in mizunara oak casks for 3 years in Japan before taking to the seas, then it spent an additional 7 years in mizunara in the UK before undergoing a 4-month finish in first-fill ruby port pipes. Kaiyō Whisky previously made the Whisky Advocate Top 20 in 2019, and these new whiskies are rolling out to more than 30 states.

Whisky Advocate says:

The appearance of mizunara on a whisky label often commands a premium price, so Kaiyō Whisky bottlings are known for being a great way to experience the flavor imparted by mizunara oak without breaking the bank. The Kuri, however, represents the world's first whisky to be fully matured in Japanese chestnut casks on two continents. Although Kaiyō Whisky is 100% distilled and matured for at least 3 years in Japan, the introduction of voluntary guidelines on what constitutes a Japanese whisky stipulates a requirement for bottling in Japan. Given the additional interaction between the wood and the whisky on the high seas and in two warehouses with different climactic conditions, this globe-trotting whisky is in a class of its own.

MacNair's Lum Reek 10 year old Cask Strength

Style: Blended malt

Origin: Scotland

Age: 10 year old

ABV: 55.4% (Batch 1)

Price: $100

Release: May 2022

Availability: 600 bottles for the U.S.

Need to know:

MacNair's Boutique House of Spirits has added this new 10 year old cask strength release to its range, which combines peated and unpeated whiskies. It is bottled at cask strength without any added color or chill-filtration.

Whisky Advocate says:

The GlenAllachie Distillers Company repositioned MacNair's last year under its Boutique House of Spirits arm, which focuses on the creation of small batch whisky and other spirits. This is good news for fans of blended malt scotch, as it adds to the array of artisanal scotch blends that includes expressions like Compass Box, Douglas Laing, and others. MacNair's blender Billy Walker sourced casks of single malt from Speyside and Islay for this new creation, and blended them with GlenAllachie single malt. The whiskies were then filled into Spanish sherry, wine, and virgin oak casks for a period of secondary maturation, allowing the whiskies to take on extra flavor while they marry.

Broken Barrel Small Batch

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 47.5%

Price: $35

Release: March 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

Broken Barrel has revamped its core lineup, which now includes four Kentucky straight bourbon and rye whiskeys, all distilled at Owensboro Distilling Co. and aged for a minimum of two years. As with previous Broken Barrel releases, these whiskeys are finished through oak infusions, wherein barrel staves or pieces are combined in stainless steel tanks with the spirits. The company has trademarked the term “oak bill” to describe the exact barrel components used to finish each whiskey. Small Batch has a mashbill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% barley and an oak bill of 40% bourbon barrel, 40% new French oak, and 20% sherry cask.

Broken Barrel California Oak

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 44%

Price: $35

Release: March 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

California Oak has a mashbill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% barley and an oak bill of 80% California cabernet casks and 20% new French oak.

Broken Barrel Cask Strength

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 57.5%

Price: $45

Release: March 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

Cask Strength has a mashbill of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% barley and an oak bill of 40% bourbon barrel, 40% new French oak, and 20% sherry cask.

Broken Barrel Heresy Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 52.5%

Price: $35

Release: March 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

Heresy Rye has amashbill of 95% rye and 5% barley and an oak bill of 40% bourbon barrel, 40% new French oak, and 20% sherry cask.

Whisky Advocate says:

Now in its fifth year of operation, Broken Barrel Whiskey Co. was founded by the owner of Infuse Spirits, producer of Infuse Spirits vodka and bitters. While these whiskeys are contract distilled in Kentucky, the company is based in Los Angeles where the team collects and breaks barrels, experiments with aging and blending, and bottles limited edition and single barrel projects.