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Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 8 & More [New Releases]

Redemption bourbon has added to its Specialty Series with a new cognac cask-finished release, using barrels from Ferrand Cognac and priced at $70 a bottle.

Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao, Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 8 & More [New Releases]

October 15, 2021 –––––– Julia Higgins, , , ,

Plenty of us have favorites when it comes to whisky; perhaps you're loyal to bourbon, or rarely stray from single malt scotch. But there's a whole world of whisky out there, ripe for the taking, and if ever you're in the mood for exploration consider one of the more esoteric offerings we highlight here, such as Japanese rice whisky or grain whiskies.

On to the new releases. This week, there are new single malts from Macallan, Balvenie, Paul John, and Penderyn, as well as a host of bourbons up for grabs. Read on for full details.

Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 44%

Price: $160

Release: October 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

The first in a series focused on sustainable packaging, this single malt whisky is presented in a fully recyclable and biodegradable box made from discarded cacao pod husks. Aged in a combination of European and American oak casks, this expression is inspired by chocolate, as whisky maker Polly Logan traveled to Girona, Spain and worked alongside pastry chef Jordi Roca to create it. The whisky will also be available as part of a tasting set exclusively through Reserve Bar, starting November 8th. Made in collaboration with gourmet chocolate brand Compartés Chocolate and CEO Jonathan Grahm, only 200 chocolate pairing tasting sets will be available for purchase.

Whisky Advocate says:

Chocolate and whisky go great together, and there are chocolate flavors to be found in whisky, so this new Macallan should be a treat for dessert lovers. This is the second new release from Macallan in as many weeks after A Night on Earth in Scotland. For more on sustainability in the whisky industry, check out the Informer page in the Summer 2021 issue of Whisky Advocate.

Balvenie Tun 1509 (Batch 8)

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 52.2%

Price: $410

Release: October 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This will be the eighth and final bottling of Balvenie's Tun 1509 series. The whisky was made from a combination of 18 casks—including bourbon barrels, second-fill sherry butts, refill puncheons, and new sherry butts, which were then married for three months in a large oak vessel (Tun 1509) that sits in warehouse 24 at the distillery.

Whisky Advocate says:

Malt master David Stewart has been at Balvenie since 1962, so he knows every inch of the cask inventory, and selects only the rarest barrels for this series. We are sad to see Tun 1509 come to a close, as the whisky has consistently earned high marks in our Buying Guide. While that price point may seem steep, Tun 1509 is among the less extravagantly priced luxury whiskies on the market. But as the final release, this one surely will be a collector's item.

Paul John Christmas Edition 2021

Style: Single malt

Origin: India

Age: Not stated

ABV: 46%

Price: $85

Release: October 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

The fourth edition of Paul John's annual Christmas Edition, this whisky was distilled from six-row barley, aged in bourbon barrels, and finished in port and madeira casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Paul John's distillery is located in Goa, India, where a tropical climate causes the whisky to age faster, with the distillery reporting an angels' share (the liquid that evaporates while a whisky ages in cask) of 8% per year, compared to an average of 2% in Scotland and 4% in Kentucky. For more on how warm climates impact single malt, read our feature covering whiskies made in Virginia, Texas, South Africa, and India. And while it may feel like Christmas is still far away, this is the second holiday edition we've seen, following Big Peat Christmas Editionannounced last month.

Redemption Cognac Cask Finish

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: Not stated

ABV: 49.5%

Price: $70

Release: October 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

The latest addition to Redemption's Specialty Series, this whiskey ages high-rye bourbon (60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley) in new American white oak barrels for 5 years before a 12 month finish in casks that previously held Ferrand Cognac. Other Specialty Series releases have included Redemption Wheated Bourbon (89 points), Redemption Rum Cask Finish (88 points), and Redemption High Rye Bourbon Single Barrel Select.

Whisky Advocate says:

Since we published this list in 2018, cognac-cask finishes have only grown in popularity. In August, Glenfiddich announced its first ever cognac cask-finished whisky, a 26 year old single malt called Grand Couronne, while both Jefferson'sand M&H have introduced cognac-cask finishes this year. Last week, Firestone & Robertson added a cognac cask-finished bourbon to its Barrel Finish Series. Our Fall 2021 issue explores the rise of barrel finishing in bourbon, with cognac casks clearly making their mark.

Penderyn Rihannon

Style:Single malt

Origin:Wales

Age:Not stated

ABV:46%

Price:$95

Release:October 2021

Availability:3,000 bottles

Need to know:

Penderyn Rihannon is a blend of oloroso sherry cask-matured and Bordeaux Grand Cru barrel-aged single malt whiskies, both of which were distilled in a single copper pot still.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the latest release within Penderyn's Icons of Wales series, named after an enchantress and horse goddess from the ancient Walsh folk tale collection, The Mabinogi, which was written in the 11th century. (The same Rihannon features in the eponymous Fleetwood Mac song.) Previous Icons of Wales whiskies include #6 Royal Welsh Whisky—commemorating the original Welsh whisky distillery at Frongoch—and Bryn Terfel, made in celebration of Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel.

Penelope Toasted Series

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: Not stated

ABV: 57.5%

Price: $65

Release: Fall 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Penelope takes its four grain bourbon, which is a blend of three different mashbills, and then finishes it in new, freshly toasted barrels. Each batch of Toasted Series will be comprised of three to four barrels, each with different char and toast levels. The wheated bourbon in this release was aged for four years, while the corn-forward and high rye bourbons used were aged for five years. Toasted Series is bottled at barrel strength.

Whisky Advocate says:

Toasted finishes are all the rage these days. Basil Hayden, Elijah Craig, and Michter's all have toasted expressions out right now, to name a few. As with charring, there are different toasting levels that can produce different flavors. Use our guide on toasting, charring, and seasoningfor a quick refresher.

291 BAD GUY

Style: Bourbon

Origin: Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 57.8%

Price: $105

Release: October 2021

Availability: 1,240 bottles can be purchased via distillery291.com beginning October 9th.

Need to know:

Bad Guy is a limited annual release born from an experimental recipe. In 2011, Distillery 291 founder Michael Myers created this bourbon's wheated four-grain mashbill, which is comprised of 59% corn, 29% malted white wheat, 9% malted rye, and 3% malted beech-smoked barley.

291 HR (HIGH RYE)

Style: Bourbon

Origin: Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 64.1%

Price: $105

Release: October 2021

Availability: 1,124 bottles can be purchased via distillery291.com beginning November 6th.

Need to know:

This whiskey was created after a double measure of rye went into Distillery 291's bourbon recipe by accident—with happy results. Corn comprises 67% of the mashbill, followed by malted rye at 32% and malted barley at 1%.

291 M (MAPLE)

Style: Rye

Origin: Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 62.5%

Price: $105

Release: October 2021

Availability: 1,896 bottles can be purchased via distillery291.com beginning November 22nd.

Need to know:

This annual release begins as 291's aspen stave-finished Colorado Rye—made from a recipe of 61% malted rye and 39% corn. The whiskey then spends four months in 291 whiskey barrels that were used to age Lincoln County Reserve maple syrup.

Whisky Advocate says:

Colorado Springs-based Distillery 291 was founded by former New York fashion and beauty photographer Michael Myers. He built the distillery's original still from copper photogravure plates that he previously used to create landscape scenes. Myers' resourcefulness and creativity in that career has carried over to whiskey making—with these expressions and others, including a bourbon finished in peach and cherry wine casks which scored 90 points in our Summer 2020 issue Buying Guide