close
Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter, Frey Ranch Single Grain Series, & More [New Whiskies]

Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter, Frey Ranch Single Grain Series, & More [New Whiskies]

November 19, 2021 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

WhiskyFest made a joyful return to New York last week, as whisky lovers filled the Marriott Marquis Times Square ballroom for a night of memorable pours and educational seminars, while also getting to meet the master distillers for George Dickel, Heaven Hill, Blackened, Widow Jane, and many others. Read our recap from the night, and note that WhiskyFest will make its final stop in San Francisco on Dec. 3. Get your tickets today.

WhiskyFest attendees had a chance to taste the newest release from Glenmorangie before it was officially unveiled. That sweater-inspired single malt highlights this week's new releases, along with single grain whiskies from Frey Ranch, and the latest single malt from St. George Spirits. Read on for full details.

Glenmorangie 13 year old A Tale of Winter

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Highlands)

Age: 13 year old

ABV: 46%

Price: $100

Release: November 2021

Availability: Widely available

Need to know:

Glenmorangie's director of whisky creation Dr. Bill Lumsden was inspired by his favorite wool sweater and the experience of enjoying a dram by the fire for this whisky, which was finished in marsala wine casks from Sicily.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the second in Glenmorangie's “Tale” series following A Tale of Cake (93 points), which was released last October,inspired by the flavors of pineapple upside down cake. Dr. Bill takes inspiration from all sorts of people, places, and experiences, and with the newly operational Lighthouse experimental distillery, you can be sure that he'll have plenty more expressions to introduce in the years to come.

Frey Ranch Single Grain Wheat

Style: Wheat whiskey

Origin: Nevada

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $50/375 ml

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited; less than 2,500 bottles

Need to know:

Made with 100% soft white winter wheat grown and malted on-site at the Frey family farm, this was aged for 6 1/2 years in 53-gallon barrels.

Frey Ranch Single Grain Oat

Style: Oat whiskey

Origin: Nevada

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $59/375 ml

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited; less than 1,000 bottles

Need to know:

Made with 100% oats, also grown and malted on-site at the Frey family farm, this was aged for 6 ½ years.

Whisky Advocate says:

These two whiskeys will be the first in Frey's Single Grain Series, where the farm distillery will explore individual grains grown entirely on-site at the 1,500 acre ranch. The grains used here were planted in the spring of 2014. Frey Ranch has more expressions on the way, with 12 unique whiskeys currently aging.

While wheatand oat whiskeysaren't nearly as popular as bourbon and rye, there is a growing segment of each, as American distillers experiment with grains in pursuit of unique flavors. We are interested to see what else Frey Ranch is cooking up and what the end results will taste like.

Sagamore Spirit Bottled in Bond Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Maryland

Age: 4 year old

ABV: 50%

Price: $60

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


This whiskey was made entirely at the Sagamore Spirit distillery in Baltimore and aged for four years at its nearby rickhouse. It is a blend of two straight rye whiskeys, one with a high-rye mash, the other low-rye, mirroring the recipe Sagamore had been using with sourced-MGP whiskey.



Whisky Advocate says:


This is a monumental release for Sagamore Spirit, which until now had been blending sourced whiskeys with its own, a fairly common practice among startup distilleries. Sagamore is committed to putting Maryland rye back on the map and with this release they can firmly call their whiskey entirely Maryland-made. For more on Maryland rye, read our travel guide to Baltimore.



M&H Apex Dead Sea

Style: Single malt

Origin: Israel

Age: Not stated

ABV: 56.2%

Price: $130

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited; 4,892 bottles

Need to know:


The latest installment in M&H's Apex series, this whisky comes from 20 barrels—a combination of bourbon, red wine, and shaved, toasted, and re-charred (STR)—that were placed on the rooftop of a hotel near the Dead Sea, approximately 1,387 feet below sea level. This is the first in the distillery's ongoing experiment to develop whiskies in all of Israel's climates, focusing on five unique areas: the Dead Sea, Upper Galilee, Jerusalem mountains, the Negev desert, and the Mediterranean coast.



Whisky Advocate says:


M&H first launched the Apex series in Marchwith pomegranate wine and white wine cask-finished whiskies, and added to the range in Aprilwith fortified wine and cognac finishes. With this new exploration of climate, the Tel Aviv-based distillery is furthering its position as a leading single malt producer on the world stage, harnessing its geography to create new and exciting flavors.



St. George Single Malt (Lot 21)

Style: American single malt

Origin: California

Age: Not stated

ABV: 43%

Price: $100

Release: November 2021

Availability: 4,200 bottles

Need to know:

This batch of St. George single malt was blended from 26 barrels—a mix of barrels that previously held Kentucky bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, American and French oak apple brandy, Agricole rum, and California sauternes-style. The 100% barley mash includes two-row barley sourced from Wisconsin (pale malt, crystal malt, chocolate malt, and black patent malt) and German Bamberg malt (unroasted barley smoked over beech and alder wood). The whiskey itself has an age range of 4½ to 22 years old.

Whisky Advocate says:

St. George has been releasing its American single malt annually since 2000, making it one of the first adopters of the yet-to-be-defined style. We spoke to St. George master distiller Lance Winters and others about the effort to establish some standards for American single maltback in 2020, and word is a ruling from the Tax and Trade Bureau is imminent. Stay tuned for more news on that front as well as a review of Lot 21.

Waterford Biodynamic: Luna

Style: Single malt

Origin: Ireland

Age: 5 year old

ABV: 50%

Price: $125

Release: November 2021

Availability: 21,000 bottles

Need to know:


The Irish barley used to make Biodynamic: Luna was sourced from three biodynamic farms located north of Waterford Distillery. The whiskey was matured in a combination of 35% first-fill American oak; 17% virgin American oak; 26% French oak; and 22% vin doux naturel oak.



Whisky Advocate says:


With its biodynamic farming method, Waterford Distillery is taking a page from some of the world's most famous winemakers, which have long used biodynamic vineyards to express the flavors of the earth in their wines. This is the latest release in Waterford's Arcadian Series, which aims to highlight flavors produced by rare barley varieties and forgotten methods of farming.



Four Gate Rye DownUnder

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: 7 year old

ABV: 55.1%

Price: $185

Release: November 2021

Availability: 2,169 bottles

Need to know:

Made with a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, this Indiana-distilled whiskey was finished in apera casks from Australia. Apera is essentially Australian sherry—Australia's winemakers began using the term in 2010, to recognize the fact that sherry is a Spanish product of origin. Canadian winemakers have since adopted the same term.

Whisky Advocate says:


Four Gate first released a rye in 2020, and it is that unfinished straight rye that makes up the base of DownUnder. Future releases of Four Gate rye are planned using the same base, but featuring different barrel finishes.



Samuel Maverick Barrel Proof Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Texas

Age: Not stated

ABV: 57%

Price: $55

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited edition; available at the distillery and throughout Texas

Need to know:

This certified Texas whiskey was distilled from a mash of 72% Texas-grown corn, 18% rye, and 10% malted barley, and then aged for a minimum of two years.

Whisky Advocate says:

Head distiller Kevin Graham says the barrels were selected and purchased from an undisclosed Texas distillery. To be considered a “certified Texas,” a whiskey must be mashed, fermented, distilled, aged, and bottled all within the state of Texas. The grains can be grown elsewhere, but all production must occur in-state. We wrote all about state whiskey designations like those in Texas in our Winter 2019 issue, and our current issue (Fall 2021) contains feature story on how whisky making has found a home in the Lone Star state, with full details on the top expressions and their distillers.

Laws Whiskey House Cognac Finished Four Grain Bourbon

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 47.5%

Price: $80

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited; 2,220 bottles

Need to know:

This is the first cognac-finished release from Laws that will be part of an evolving blend that uses a solera system. The process begins with Laws Four Grain straight bourbon aged for a minimum of two years, with select barrels finished in 205 and 400-liter cognac casks. Those casks are then married together in a 50 year old French oak blending vat known as a foeder. Only a portion of that married whiskey will be released each year in the form of this expression, which all in, aged for more than four years.

Whisky Advocate says:

Cognac-cask finishing is sweeping through American whiskey, with this bourbon coming a month after Redemption announced its own. A solera system means that the contents of the vat are constantly changing as bourbon is added and removed, meaning no two releases will ever be quite the same.

Hard Truth Sweet Mash Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: Not stated

ABV: 57.6%

Price: $70

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This is Hard Truth's first whiskey to be distilled, aged, and bottled entirely on-site at the distillery's Brown County, Indiana campus. The first batch of this rye contains 2 to 3 year old whiskey that's uncut, unfiltered, and bottled at cask strength.

Whisky Advocate says:

While most whiskeys are made using a sour mash method—wherein leftover mash from previous distillations is used in each new batch—sweet mash whiskeys start with entirely fresh batches. The aim is to imbue the whiskey with not only the savory and spicy flavors typical of rye, but also pronounced grain sweetness.

J.T. Meleck

Style: Rice whiskey

Origin: Louisiana

Age: 4 year old

ABV: 48%

Price: $43

Release: November 2021

Availability: 934 bottles

Need to know:


This whiskey is made from rice that's grown on 20 acres of marshland in southern Louisiana. After aging for more than four years in 30-gallon oak barrels, J.T. Meleck Whiskey was bottled.



Whisky Advocate says:

While the distillery expects this first batch to sell out, more whiskey is slated to come in late spring of next year. J.T. Meleck, which also produces a vodka, has roots dating back to 1896, when farmer (and ancestor of the current owners) J.T. Meleck started growing rice on the same land it's harvested from today. Fourth generation family members are now taking the grains to glass.

Clyde May's 5 year old Single Barrel

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: 5 year old

ABV: 51%

Price: $50

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


This bourbon was aged for 5 years before being bottled at 100 proof.



Clyde May's 6 year old Special Reserve Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: 6 year old

ABV: 55%

Price: $60

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


This one is from a select reserve of the brand's stock, non-chill filtered and aged for 6 years.



Clyde May's 13 year old Cask Strength Alabama Style

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: 13 year old

ABV: 60%

Price: $140

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


Only a few thousand bottles of this whiskey are released each year. It's part of the brand's Cask Whiskey Continuity Program, which began in 2016 with an 8 year old cask strength whiskey.



Clyde May's 15 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: 15 year old

ABV: 56%

Price: $200

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


This is Clyde May's rarest release yet, and, not coincidentally, its oldest whiskey as well.



Whisky Advocate says:


Clyde May's currently sources its whiskey from Indiana and elsewhere, but has long had plans to build its own distillery, Conecuh Ridge, in Troy, Alabama. While roadblocks have arisen in breaking ground on the site, construction is reportedly set to be underway, as necessary roadwork in the area around the distillery gets completed first.