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Cask-Finished Bourbon from Barton 1792, Ragnarök Rye & More New Whisky

Cask-Finished Bourbon from Barton 1792, Ragnarök Rye & More New Whisky

December 11, 2020 –––––– Susannah Skiver Barton, , , ,

We're getting ever closer to the holidays and the new whisky releases are starting to slow—but they aren't letting up too much!

Barton 1792 Distillery has debuted a new line of cask-finished bourbons under the Thomas S. Moore name. The whiskeys (all $70) include cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and port finishes and are limited edition.

Catoctin Creek Distilling has partnered with space metal band GWAR on Ragnarök rye, coming out in February. Priced at $99 each, the first batch has 2,000 bottles, with potentially more to come.

Proof and Wood Ventures is rolling out Vertigo, a blend of whiskeys from MGP Distillery. There are 1,000 bottles available, priced at $150.

Ireland's Boann Distillery is adding two single malts to The Whistler range in the U.S., both priced at $45: P.X. I Love You and Bodega Cask. Both are initially available in three Midwest states.

The final batch of Booker's for 2020 is hitting shelves. Bookers 2020-03 "Pigskin Batch" is priced at $90 and available in limited amounts.

Baltimore Spirits Co. is releasing its fourth Post Epoch rye of the year this week, finished in toasted barrels. There are just 180 bottles for sale at the distillery, priced at $60.

Finally, Chivas Brothers distilleries Glenlivet, Aberlour, and Scapa are all offering rare, super-aged single malts targeted at collectors. Priced from £900 to £15,000, the whiskies aren't being sold in the U.S.

Read on for full details.

Thomas S. Moore Port-Cask Finished Bourbon

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

Proof: 49.45% ABV

Price: $70

Release: December 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Made at Barton 1792 Distillery, this bourbon initially matured in new charred oak barrels and then was finished in ruby port casks for an average of 3 years.

Thomas S. Moore Chardonnay-Cask Finished Bourbon

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

Proof: 48.45% ABV

Price: $70

Release: December 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Similar to the whiskey above, this bourbon underwent a lengthy secondary maturation of about 4 years in chardonnay casks.

Thomas S. Moore Cabernet Sauvignon-Cask Finished Bourbon

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

Proof: 47.65% ABV

Price: $70

Release: December 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

Also made at Barton 1792, this bourbon was finished for around 2½ years in cabernet sauvignon casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

This new brand, made at Barton 1792, is named after the man who originally built the distillery. The Thomas S. Moore lineup will always focus on extended secondary maturation times and will feature a variety of cask types in future releases. Like pretty much all Sazerac whiskeys, these are allocated products; new bottlings will be released annually in the fall.

Catoctin Creek Ragnarök Rye

Style: Finished rye

Origin: Virginia

Age: Not stated

Proof: 46% ABV

Price: $99

Release: February 2021

Availability: Limited edition; 2,000 bottles in first batch

Need to know:

Made using 100% rye—Hazlett, Brasetto, and Ryeman strains—this whiskey is aged in new charred oak. Toward the end of the maturation process, staves of maple and cherry wood were added to the barrel. The whiskey is being bottled in partnership with heavy metal band GWAR.

Whisky Advocate says:

Bands and musicians partnering with distilleries to launch a whiskey isn't new, but seems to be a growing trend, especially among metal bands; Metallica, Slipknot, and Scorpions all have their own brands. Now GWAR joins them—undoubtedly the mostoutré group of them all. Why did they pick Catoctin Creek? Perhaps local links: The band originally formed in Richmond, Virginia, and Catoctin Creek is one of the state's leading distilleries.

Proof and Wood Vertigo

Style: Blended whiskey

Origin: Indiana

Age: Not stated

Proof: 52.5% ABV

Price: $150

Release: Fall 2020

Availability: 1,000 bottles

Need to know:

This whiskey blends a number of different stocks from MGP Distillery:


  • Light whiskeys distilled in 1992 and 2008

  • 95% rye distilled in 2012

  • Bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley) distilled in 2015

Whisky Advocate says:

American blended whiskey has suffered from a bad reputation—sometimes deserved, as when the low-proof blend comprises very little straight whiskey and a large amount of neutral grain spirits, resulting in a minimally flavorful beverage that barely resembles an ordinary bourbon, rye, or other unblended whiskey. Fortunately, the last few years have seen a wave of blending among American producers, with blenders forgoing neutral grain spirit in favor of flavorful true whiskeys.

Vertigo joins the ranks of these nouveau blends by riffing on the old paradigm through its use of light whiskey—but subverting it, as the light whiskeys are much more aged than they would have been a couple of decades ago. On top of that, the bottling proof exceeds blended whiskeys' usual 40% ABV by quite a lot; altogether, the result is full-flavored and powerful, worlds away from the mild-mannered, light-bodied blends of the past.

The Whistler P.X. I Love You Single Malt

Style: Single malt

Origin: Ireland

Age: Not stated

Proof: 46% ABV

Price: $45

Release: December 2020

Availability: IL, MN, and WI, with expansion planned

Need to know:

Initially matured in bourbon barrels, this single malt was finished for 9 months in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.

The Whistler 5 year old Bodega Cask Single Malt

Style: Single malt

Origin: Ireland

Age: 5 years old

Proof: 46% ABV

Price: $45

Release: December 2020

Availability: IL, MN, and WI, with expansion planned

Need to know:

This triple-distilled single malt spent its 5-year maturation period in sherry butts.

Whisky Advocate says:

Produced by Boann Distillery, The Whistler whiskeys debuted in the U.S. earlier this year with a range of blends, including several cask finishes. Outside of a couple of very limited releases, these are the first single malts to launch stateside. Look for reviews in an upcoming Buying Guide!

Bookers 2020-03 "Pigskin Batch"

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: 6 years, 7 months, and 7 days old

Proof: 63.65% ABV

Price: $90

Release: December 2020

Availability: Limited edition

Need to know:

The third and final release of Booker's for this year is called "Pigskin Batch" as a nod to Booker Noe's love of football. He played in high school, and even practiced with the University of Kentucky team when he attended.

Whisky Advocate says:

There are usually four Booker's batches a year (there used to be six), but this is the last one for 2020. According to the brand's publicist, however, that's not necessarily precedent-setting; it just comes down to when master distiller Fred Noe, Booker's son, determines a batch is ready for release. Hopefully we'll be back to four Booker's bottlings in 2021—yet another reason to look forward to the new year!

Baltimore Spirits Co. Post Epoch Toasted Barrel-Finished Rye

Style: Finished rye

Origin: Maryland

Age: 3 years old

Proof: 50% ABV

Price: $60

Release: December 2020

Availability: 180 bottles; for sale at the distillery only

Need to know:

After maturing in a new charred oak barrel, this rye was transferred to a toasted oak barrel for a 1-year finish.

Whisky Advocate says:

Baltimore Spirits Co. is celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2020 and seems to be accelerating its already significant innovation activity; this is its fourth Post Epoch limited edition of the year. The distillery is tiny but mighty: well worth a visit the next time you're in Baltimore (pandemic restrictions allowing).

Glenlivet Cellar Collection (2020 Releases)

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: Varies

Proof: Varies

Price: £900 to £9,000

Release: December 2020

Availability: Very limited; not for sale in the U.S.

Need to know:

This slate of very aged Glenlivet includes four offerings, all bottled at cask strength without chill-filtration:


  • Glenlivet 30 year old—49% ABV, £900, 240 bottles

  • Glenlivet 33 year old—48.8% ABV, £1,500, 90 bottles

  • Glenlivet 38 year old—41.1% ABV, £6,500, 30 bottles

  • Glenlivet 40 year old—46.4% ABV, £9,000, 18 bottles

Whisky Advocate says:

In addition to these rare Glenlivets, parent company Chivas Brothers is offering two rare Aberlour single malts and three vintage-dated rare Scapa single malts. The whiskies are all meant to be collector's items and are priced accordingly—up to £15,000 for the 1977 Scapa (12 bottles). Unfortunately, they are not for sale in the U.S., but if you're the kind of collector who's looking for such whiskies, that's probably not a barrier.