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Johnnie Walker High Rye, Jack Daniel's Coy Hill High Proof, & More [New Releases]

The latest Jack Daniel's single barrel special release is the highest proof whiskey ever to be offered by the distillery.

Johnnie Walker High Rye, Jack Daniel's Coy Hill High Proof, & More [New Releases]

November 5, 2021 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

Last weekend, our sister publication Cigar Aficionado's Big Smoke event teamed up with WhiskyFest to stage "Big Smoke Meets WhiskyFest", a combined extravaganza at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. It was a day filled with exquisite cigars, world-class whisky, and great company, with over two thousand cigar and whisky fans in attendance. Tonight, WhiskyFest will be held in Chicago, then hit New York on November 11 before wrapping in San Francisco on December 3.

As for this week's new whiskies, Johnnie Walker offers a blend made with a sky-high percentage of rye in the mashbill, Jack Daniel's has a new expression from its single barrel series, and Angel's Envy celebrates the 10th anniversary of its annual cask-strength port-finished bourbon release.

Johnnie Walker High Rye

Style: Blended whisky

Origin: Scotland

Age: Not stated

ABV: 45%

Price: $35

Release: November 2021

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

This whisky, which will be a core offering from Johnnie Walker, features a mashbill of 60% rye aged in American oak barrels, as well as single malts from Cardhu, Glenkinchie, and Caol Ila. The rye and grain whiskies were distilled at Cameronbridge and Teaninich.

Whisky Advocate says:

Johnnie Walker now joins an expanding number of scotch and other world regions turning to rye. The blended scotch brand has explored rye flavors in the past, most recently with its Blenders' Batch No. 2 Bourbon Cask and Rye Finish (92 points) in 2017.

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Coy Hill High Proof

Style: Tennessee whiskey

Origin: Tennessee

Age: Not stated

ABV: 68.7% to 74.15%

Price: $70

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This is the highest proof whiskey ever released by Jack Daniel Distillery. It was made from the Jack Daniel's classic 80% corn, 12% malted barley, 8% rye mashbill, and aged on the top racks of barrel houses no. 8 and no. 13 on Coy Hill, the highest hill on the distillery property.

Whisky Advocate says:

Jack Daniel has been on quite a run with its single barrel special release program. In 2018, Heritage Barrel scored 93 points and landed at No. 3 on our Top 20 list, while last year, the Barrel Proof Rye clocked in at 92 points. Both whiskeys reached instant collectible status, and we expect this new addition, with its palate-melting proof, to join them.

Angel's Envy Cask Strength (2021 Release)

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 60.35%

Price: $230

Release: December 2021

Availability: 14,760 bottles

Need to know:

This whiskey is the 10th annual release of Angel's Envy's cask-strength port-finished bourbon and comes in a commemorative carved, hardwood display box. It hits shelves December 1 in all 50 states.

Whisky Advocate says:

Angel's Envy Cask Strength has scored exceptionally well in recent years, with the 2019 release earning 93 pointsand the 2020 release scoring 94. That this is a milestone year for the whiskey, adds to its collectability, as we've seen with anniversary releases for Booker's, another cask strength limited release Kentucky bourbon. We spoke to co-founder Wes Hendersonlast October about how he puts together the annual Cask Strength release, which started in 2012 with just 600 bottles in two states.

George Dickel x Leopold Bros Collaboration Blend

Style: Rye

Origin: Tennessee and Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $110

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Dickel master distiller Nicole Austin and her counterpart at Leopold Bros., Todd Leopold, are friends and industry peers who've come together to blend their rye styles. The result is a marriage of Leopold Bros' Three Chamber rye and George Dickel's traditional column still rye, which has never been released.

Whisky Advocate says:



We think this is a very interesting development indeed. When Colorado craft distiller Leopold Bros. released its Three Chamber rye whiskey this past spring, Whisky Advocate columnist Charles K. Cowdery called it “the year's biggest whiskey news.” It's all about the technology behind the Three Chamber still—essentially a column still from days gone by, built as three pot stills one atop the other. It disappeared from use over time, but was recently recreated by Leopold Bros. in collaboration with Vendome Copper and Brass Works in Louisville. Leopold Bros. used the Abruzzi rye strain to create the bold, spicy whiskey that is Three Chamber rye. We hope this new collaboration will not just be a one-off—we'd like to see it be the start of something big.

Bunnahabhain 12 year old Cask Strength (2021 Release)

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: 12 year old

ABV: 55.1%

Price: $100

Release: November 2021

Availability: Annual release

Need to know:

Until now, this undiluted version of Bunnahabhain's (pronounced Bunn-na-ha-venn) core 12 year old expression could only be tasted by those who toured the distillery; where it was sampled straight from the cask located in Warehouse 9. This is the first edition in what will be an annual release.

Whisky Advocate says:

Many whisky lovers think Islay is all about peat bombs, but that is not always the case. At Bunnahabhain, unpeated and sherry cask matured single malts are the trademark expressions. Twice a year, Bunnahabhain distills peated expressions for a total of 18 weeks out of its 42 weeks of production, making 600,000 liters of peated whisky and 1.4 million liters of unpeated.

Like the core 12 year old (90 points), this is a blend of unpeated bourbon and sherry cask-matured single malts. Toiteach A Dhàis Bunnahabhain's peated expression.

Old Charter Oak French Oak Bourbon

Style:Straight bourbon

Origin:Kentucky

Age:Not stated

ABV:46%

Price:$70

Release:November 2021

Availability:Limited

Need to know:

This whiskey, which uses the same mashbill as Buffalo Trace and Eagle Rare, was aged in a small number of oak barrels specially selected from France. It's the third release of Old Charter Oak French Oak, and the sixth release overall for the brand.

Whisky Advocate says:

Old Charter Oak, which falls under the Buffalo Trace umbrella, highlights how different barrels, made from trees grown in different countries, climates, and soil, impact the final whiskey. Past releases have included Mongolian Oak, Canadian Oak, and Chinkapin Oak. The next bottling is planned for 2022.

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 031)

Style: Blend of straight bourbons

Origin: Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana

Age: 6 year old

ABV: 55.6%

Price: $90

Release: November 2021

Availability: 31,000 bottles

Need to know:

The latest batch of Barrell's blend of straight bourbons incorporates whiskeys aged 6, 7, 10, 15, and 16 years. The base of the blend uses 99% corn bourbon and wheated bourbon, which represent the younger whiskeys.

Whisky Advocate says:

Every batch of Barrell bourbon is different, but nearly all score well. Batch 028 was rated 92 pointsin the Fall Buying Guide, while Batch 029 earned 94 points. We spoke with Barrell Craft Spirits founder Joe Beatrice in Februaryabout how a small amount of older whiskey can go a long way in a blend, as is the case with Batch 031.

Barrell Gray Label

Style: Canadian whisky

Origin: Canada

Age: 24 year old

ABV: 60.82%

Price: $250

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The special edition release uses a portion of whisky finished in oloroso sherry barrels and armagnac casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

In September, Barrell rebranded its special releases under the Gray Label name with a 15 year old cask strength bourbon. Canadian whisky often offers a great value at an advanced age, and the team at Barrell has a good eye for selecting stocks so we are intrigued to try this one.

FEW Bottled in Bond

Style: Bourbon

Origin: Illinois

Age: 4 year old

ABV: 50%

Price: $50

Release: November 2021

Availability: CA, CO, FL, IL, NY, and at buyfewspirits.com

Need to know:

FEW Spirits is releasing this bottled in bondbourbon made of 70% corn, 20% rye, 10% malted barley, and aged in Minnesota oak for a minimum of four years. This bottling serves as a tribute to FEW's 10th anniversary.

Whisky Advocate says:

FEW Spirits founder and distiller Paul Hletko hasn't shied away from pushing the limits of whiskey making. Over the past 10 years FEW has partnered with fellow distillers to produce numerous collaborative bottlings. It has also teamed up with heavy metal bands, created a bourbon proofed for bottling using cold brew coffee, and brought a rye to bottling strength with the addition of oolong tea.

Castle & Key The Untold Story of Kentucky Bourbon, Chapter 1

Style:Blend of straight whiskies

Origin:Kentucky

Age:Not stated

ABV:53.5%

Price:$150

Release:November 2021

Availability:425 bottles

Need to know:

Castle & Key's latest whiskey has a mashbill of 73% white corn, 10% rye, and 17% malted barley. All the proceeds of this new whiskey's sales will go toward The Diversity in Kentucky Distilling Scholarship program, which launches alongside the label.

Whisky Advocate says:

Castle & Key, who partnered with the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild to make this whiskey happen, established The Diversity in Kentucky Distilling Scholarship at Blue Grass Community Foundation, which guides charitable investments throughout central and Appalachia Kentucky. Each scholarship will provide $5,000 to students of color who have interest in working in the Kentucky distilling industry. This isn't the first whiskey that's charitable in nature, and it won't be Castle & Key's last either; the distillery plans to release annual chapters of The Untold Story, with each new chapter relaying another story of how African Americans have contributed to bourbon.

Smooth Ambler Founders Series Cask Strength Rye Recipe

Style: Rye

Origin: West Virginia

Age: 5 year old

ABV: 57%

Price: $55

Release: November

Availability: Limited, CA, FL GA, IL, MD, MI, NC, SC, NY, OH, PA, TX

Need to know:

This is the first edition in The Founder's Series, a new creation from West Virginia craft distiller Smooth Ambler Spirits. It's Smooth Ambler's first 100% own-make rye. With a mashbill comprised 88% rye and 12% malted barley, this limited release will total just six batches each year, for average annual volume of 400 cases.

Whisky Advocate says:

Smooth Ambler was founded in 2010 as a bourbon, gin and vodka distiller. Like many craft distillers in those days, founder John Little sought out sourced whiskey to maintain a revenue stream. His search gave rise to one of Smooth Ambler's most popular products, Old Scout, a sourced label named for Little's “scouting” efforts to find third party liquid. The Smooth Ambler lineup also included Contradiction, which combines sourced and own-make whiskey, as well as Big Level, a house-made wheated bourbon. The first release to contain a portion of the distillery's rye was launched this summer with Smooth Ambler Contradiction rye, but this inaugural 100% own-make rye will attract even greater interest from Smooth Ambler aficionados.

Balcones Tres Hombres

Style: American whiskey

Origin: Texas

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $60

Release: November 2021

Availability: Nationally

Need to know:

Balcones has teamed up with legendary rock band ZZ Top for this Texas whiskey, which uses three grains: roasted blue corn, barley, and rye. The name comes from the band's 1973 album, its first to chart in the Billboard Top 10.

Whisky Advocate says:

Rock bands have been collaborating with craft distillersmore frequently in recent years, usually with some geographic tie-in. That is the case here as ZZ Top is from Houston, while Balcones calls Waco home. Balcones has likewise been honoring its Texas roots through limited releases, like in July, when it released a single malt paying homage to theLuckenbach Texas General Store, Bar, and Dance hall.

Wyoming Whiskey Outryder

Style: Straight whiskey

Origin: Wyoming

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $75

Release: November 2021

Availability: 11,520 bottles

Need to know:

This whiskey makes its return with a slightly different recipe. With supplies of its 10 year old “almost rye” dwindling, Wyoming blended that whiskey (48% rye, 40% corn, 12% malted barley) with 10 year old bourbon (68% corn, 20% rye, 12% malted barley), 4 year old rye (51% rye, 37% corn, 12% rye), and 4 year old bourbon (68% corn, 20% rye, 12% malt). This is the fifth release for the whiskey.

Whisky Advocate says:

Outryder was created when Wyoming founder David DeFazio asked former Maker's Mark master distiller Steve Nally to make a rye whiskey. Nally tweaked the idea, making a whiskey that didn't quite meet the requirement of including at least 51% rye in the mashbill. It thus was classified as an American whiskey, and it continues to undergo some evolution. Past iterations have been bottled in bond (BIB), but since this one blends whiskeys from multiple distilling seasons, it is not technically BIB. But Wyoming still bottled it at 50%, in line with the previous release. We scored Outryder 91 pointsin out Winter 2019 Buying Guide.

Whiskey Del Bac Tenth Anniversary

Style: Blend of American single malts

Origin: Arizona

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $100

Release: October 2021

Availability: 250 bottles will be available for purchase at the distillery's 10th anniversary parties in Phoenix (October 23rd) and Tucson (November 13th), and through the distillery's website or tasting room

Need to know:

This is a blend of three Whiskey Del Bac single malts:


  • Classic single malt, aged for a year in new oak, and finished for a year and seven months in moscatel barrels

  • Classic single malt, aged a year in new oak and finished for a year and seven months in calvados casks

  • Classic single malt aged 14 months in new oak


Unlike Whiskey Del Bac's Dorado single malt, no mesquite-smoked malt was used in any of the anniversary bottling's component whiskeys.

Whisky Advocate says:

Whiskey Del Bac was founded in 2011 by father-daughter team Stephen and Amanda Paul. About five years prior, Stephen started experimental distilling with mesquite-smoked malt on a 5-gallon pot still. In 2014, a 500-gallon still and a 5,000 pound-capacity malt house were added. Few distilleries in the U.S. have on-site malting facilities; Whiskey Del Bac is one of them.

Tattersall Port Wine Barreled Straight Rye

Style: Finished rye

Origin: Minneapolis

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $50

Release: November 2021

Availability: 3,000 bottles in Minnesota and Wisconsin only

Need to know:

This whiskey uses 100% Minnesota-grown rye, distilled and aged in new, charred oak barrels for two years before resting for an additional two years in second fill tawny and ruby port barrels.

Whisky Advocate says:

We've seen port finished rye from High West and Milam & Greene, but the time spent in port barrels for this whiskey is essentially the same spent in new oak. Tattersall impressed us with its single malt scoring 91 pointsin our Summer 2020 Buying Guide. This run offers only a limited number of bottles, but the distillery plans to release more in the future.

Alfred Giraud Voyage

Style: Blended malt

Origin: France

Age: Not stated

ABV: 48%

Price: $180

Release: November

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This release, which is limited to just five casks, marries two French single malt expressions. The wood types used in the maturation were new French robinia casks and sauternes wine casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

France's Alfred Giraud has taken the Giraud family's long experience in cask making, cognac blending, and cellaringand channeled it into making whisky. Its first whiskies arrived in the U.S. two years ago, with the launch of Heritage ($155), which scored 90 points with Whisky Advocate's tasting panel, and Harmonie ($190), which was rated 88 points. Alfred Giraud is known for its high prices and very limited releases, as it aims to create a high-end whisky pedigree equal to that of other French luxury products.

New Holland Zeppelin Bend 10 year old

Style: American single malt

Origin: Michigan

Age: 10 year old

ABV: 47.3%

Price: $130

Release: November 2021

Availability: Western Michigan only

Need to know:

While New Holland typically ages its Zeppelin Bend single malt for four years, the brewer turned distiller let this whiskey rest for 10 years in new American oak barrels before finishing it in Australian sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

As American single malt grows in popularity, we're starting to see the introduction of age statements. In September 2020, Stranahan's released its 10 year old Mountain Angel (88 points), while Old Line released its 8 year old Golden Edition (92 points) the previous year. Look for a review of the 4 year old Zeppelin Bend in the upcoming Winter issue of Whisky Advocate.