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The Balvenie French Oak 16 year old, Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022, & More [New Releases]

The Balvenie French Oak 16 year old, Glen Scotia Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022, & More [New Releases]

July 29, 2022 –––––– Julia Higgins, , , ,

As much as we love whisky, sometimes it's fun to seek out other spirits types. Those looking to go off the beaten path should consider gentian liqueur, made from its namesake plant and used for centuries as a bittering agent. While it's found in classic cocktail ingredients like Aperol and Angostura bitters, in France—where it originated—gentian is enjoyed over ice with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Of course, it makes a delicious addition to whisky-based cocktails, too, and we've got recipe ideas for you right here, as well as four gentian labels to recommend.


But new whisky is the main news here, and this week's crop will surely please single malt scotch fans, though there are also Irish and American releases. Gordon & MacPhail is releasing a rare 72 year old single malt from a Speyside distillery name that won't be familiar to many whisky lovers, The Balvenie has added a 16 year old single malt to its Cask Finishes range, Glen Scotia is bringing the Campbeltown Malts Festival to you with an 8 year old peated PX cask finish, and Washington-based Dry Fly Distilling has debuted a series of finished wheat whiskeys within its Cask & Release collection. Read on for full details.

The Balvenie French Oak 16 year old

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: 16 year old

ABV: 47.6%

Price: $175

Release: July 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

Part of Balvenie's Cask Finishes range, this whisky was finished in French oak casks that once held Pineau des Charentes wine.

Whisky Advocate says:

The Cask Finishes range explores the impact of secondary maturation on whiskies, and also includes the DoubleWood 12 year old, Caribbean Cask 14 year old, and Portwood 21 year old whiskies. This release is the first permanent addition to the range since 2013, when the Caribbean Cask finish was introduced. These whiskies have scored in the range of 88 to 91 points with our tasting panel.

Glen Scotia 8 year old Peated PX Cask Finish (Campbeltown Malts Festival 2022 Edition)

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Campbeltown)

Age: 8 year old

ABV: 56.5%

Price: $69

Release: July 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This heavily peated whisky spent 7.5 years maturing in first-fill bourbon barrels before finishing for a year in first-fill Pedro Ximénez hogsheads. At press time, it was due to arrive in the U.S. in late July and will hit retail shelves in late August or September.

Whisky Advocate says:

The Campbeltown Malts Festival, an annual four-day celebration of Campbeltown whiskies, returned in May as hundreds of whisky fans descended on the town for tours, tastings, and gatherings galore. Exclusive festival bottlings of Glen Scotia, Hazelburn, Kilkerran, Longrow, Springbank, and more were released by Campbeltown's three distilleries—Glen Scotia, Glengyle, and Springbank—and Cadenhead's Whisky Shop. In addition to the global festival bottling, Glen Scotia released a distillery exclusive festival bottling on their Open Day, selecting a heavily peated 18 year old single cask from 2004 finished for over 2 years in refill oloroso sherry hogsheads.

Dry Fly Cask & Release Summer 2022 Releases

Style: Finished wheat whiskey

Origin: Washington

Age: Not stated

ABV: 45%

Price: $50

Release: July 2022

Availability: 600 bottles each

Need to know:

Spokane, Washington-based Dry Fly Distilling has announced the latest releases in its Cask & Release beer barrel finishing program in which Dry Fly lends used whiskey barrels to local Northwestern breweries to age their beers before refilling them with whiskey. For the Summer 2022 releases they collaborated with the following:


  • KettleHouse Brewing Company in Missoula, Montana—These barrels previously held ColdSmoke Ale, a smooth Scotch-style ale, before they were refilled with Dry Fly straight wheat whiskey.

  • Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon—These barrels previously held a robust, thick stout beer before they were refilled with Dry Fly straight wheat whiskey.

  • Ecliptic Brewing in Portland, Oregon—These barrels previously held a smooth, rich Scotch-style ale before they were refilled with Dry Fly straight wheat whiskey.

Whisky Advocate says:

Today, American whiskey makers are using barrels that previously held sherry, port, rum, cognac, and other liquids to finish their whiskeys, but once upon a time it seemed like beer would be the go-to secondary barrel. Jameson produces its popular Caskmates series, and we recently scored Sagamore Spirit's Ale Cask Finished 92 pointsin the Spring 2022 Buying Guide, but we are more often seeing and tasting whiskeys made from beer than ones finished in beer barrels. Still, it's common practice for craft distilleries to send their used barrels to neighboring businesses so that each can impart the flavors of their products to the other. We've seen this with honey and maple syrupas well. It creates a nice circuit of flavors and gives barrels that would maybe no longer be of use, some additional utility. These whiskeys will be available at the Dry Fly Distillery, and in WA, OR, ID, MT, and AK.

Slainté 18 year old

Style: Single malt

Origin: Ireland

Age: 18 year old

ABV: 56.7%

Price: $500

Release: July 2022

Availability: Limited; 280 bottles

Need to know:

Actor Liev Schreiber is launching a limited-edition 18 year old single malt under his Irish whiskey brand Slainté, with all proceeds going directly to BlueCheck, a non-governmental organization that identifies, vets, and fast-tracks financial support to aid initiatives in Ukraine. The single cask whiskey was distilled in 2004 at Cooley distillery, aged in a bourbon cask and transferred to a muscat hogshead in 2015. It was bottled at cask strength on June 22, 2022.Bottles can be purchased on the Slainté websitefor a price of $500, though purchasers can choose to give more.

Whisky Advocate says:

This single malt adds to the collection of whiskies that raise money for a good cause, and at 18 years and cask strength, we'd bet it tastes great as well. This specific cause hits close to home for Schreiber, who some may know from his time as the titular character on the show "Ray Donovan," as his maternal grandmother emigrated from Ukraine. The actor references Ireland's decision to welcome 43,000 Ukranian refugees as capturing the spirit of slainté. "For me that is the genesis, mission, and spirit of Slainte, at least when we're talking about this spirit. It's also why I'm genuinely excited to see where it will go and what it will achieve along the way," he say.

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1949 72 year old from Milton Distillery

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: 72 year old

ABV: 48.6%

Price: $65,000

Release: July 2022

Availability: 180 decanters

Need to know:

This whisky is from the oldest cask of single malt at Milton Distillery, now known as Strathisla. It was distilled on May 19, 1949. This historic bottling comes from the last remaining cask in existence prior to the renaming of the distillery from Milton to Strathisla in 1951 following its acquisition by Seagram.

Whisky Advocate says:

Strathisla Distillery is the oldest working distillery in Scotland, legally operating since 1786. It was known as Milton Distillery until 1949 (other than a brief spell as Strathisla in the 19th century), but the whisky it produced was called Strathisla.

This whisky was matured in Cask No. 383, a first-fill sherry puncheon, and bottled on January 6, 2022. It is priced far above any current auction records for Strathisla, but if you're feeling a little short of the necessary finances, you may still be able to track down its sibling, Cask No. 384. This was a refill sherry butt filled for Gordon & MacPhail on the same day in 1949 and bottled under a Strathisla label at 56 years old in 2006 for a fraction of the price.Or look out for one at auction—this one sold for $2,470 in 2018.