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Wild Turkey Master's Keep Unforgotten, Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series BRT, & More [New Releases]

Wild Turkey Master's Keep Unforgotten, Maker's Mark Wood Finishing Series BRT, & More [New Releases]

September 30, 2022 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

Change is in the air, and we aren't just talking about the seasons. Major brands are losing some of their top whiskey makers, as distillers and blenders are leaving corporate comforts to create a legacy of their own. We spoke to Jane Bowie and Denny Potter, formerly of Maker's Mark, and Jackie Zykan, formerly of Old Forester, about their decisions to forge their own paths and the whiskeys we can expect from them in the future.

As for whiskies you can search for now, there are plenty to choose from this week. Wild Turkey adds to its Master's Keep line with Unforgotten, while Maker's Mark unveils the latest release in its stave finishing series, a pair of whiskeys labeled BRT-01 and 02. As for single malt scotch, Benriach is bringing back its limited Smoke and Malting Season whiskies. We also covered the 2022 Diageo Special Releases, dubbed the "Elusive Expressions," earlier this week. Read on for full details.

Wild Turkey Master's Keep Unforgotten

Style: Blend of bourbon and rye

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 52.5%

Price: $200

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Forgiven was the first blend of bourbon and rye released by Wild Turkey—batch one in 2013 and a second batch in 2014. That bottling was said to be the result of an accident that occurred in 2010,when an aged bourbon was mixed with a young rye. This year's Master's Keep release, Unforgotten, pays homage to that blending mistake. This blend of 13 year old bourbon and 8 and 9 year old ryes was finished in rye barrels and is non-chill filtered.

Whisky Advocate says:

This is the seventh release in the Master's Keep series which launched in 2015. Unforgotten was preceded by a 17 year old (2015), Decades (2017), Revival (2018), Cornerstone (2019), 17 year old bottled in bond (2020), and One (2021). All have been bourbons with the exceptions of Cornerstone (a rye) and this year's bourbon-rye blend. Decades was originally planned for release in 2016, but was delayed until 2017. Clearly it was worth the wait, as Decades landed in the no.-3 spot in our 2017 Top 20 Whiskies of the Year. Last year's One ranked among our 2021 Top 20 at No. 10. The Master's Keep series releases have scored between 91 and 94 points to date, so we have high hopes for Unforgotten.

Maker's Wood Finishing Series BRT-01

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 54.7%

Price: $60

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This bourbon is finished with American oak staves that are inserted into the barrel, and it aims for a taste profile influenced by flavors that come from aging in the higher, hotter levels of the rackhouse. While the whiskey was not wholly aged in those upper areas, the wood finish applied here brings out flavors such as toastiness and wood spice that derive from warmer maturation.

Maker's Wood Finishing Series BRT-02

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 54.7%

Price: $60

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

As with its partner release, this whiskey was finished with American oak staves. But this one aims for the flavor profiles found from aging in the lower, cooler areas of the rackhouse, where notes of fruit, nuts, and chocolate abound.

Whisky Advocate says:

The Maker's Wood Finishing Series was first introduced in 2019, and is somewhat of an offshoot of Maker's 46, a permanent expression in the core lineup that's finished with seared French oak staves. Maker's has long put an emphasis on rackhouse positioning, as one of but a handful of distilleries that hand-rotate barrels from upper levels of the rackhouse to lower levels as they age (in order to balance the maturation).

Benriach Malting Season (2022 Release)

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 48.9%

Price: $160/700 ml

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Benriach Smoke Season (2022 Release)

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 52.8%

Price: $80

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This is the second in an annual release series focusing on the conventional process of making scotch whisky. Traditionally, scotch whisky distilleries did floor malting on-site. But over time, and for economic reasons, distilleries shuttered their malting floors and turned to commercial malting houses. Benriach releases these expressions once a year, to honor the distillery's historical floor malting and seasonal production of peated whiskies. This year's edition of Malting Season, like the 2021 bottling, was made using concerto barley, but this time the proof is higher, at 48.7%.

The 2022 Smoke Season mirrors last year's expression. It's made using Highland peat—a deviation from coastal peat that many associate with peated scotch—that's used to “intensely” peat the malt. A portion of the whisky is matured in first-fill bourbon barrels and a larger amount is aged in charred and toasted virgin American oak casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Benriach, along with Balvenie, Bowmore, Glen Garioch, Highland Park, Kilchoman, Laphroaig, and Springbank are the only scotch distilleries with an operational malting floor on-site. Benriach floor malts one month per year, which is known as malting season. Peated whisky is produced during smoke season—typically the period before the distillery's annual shutdown for cleaning and maintenance known as the silent season. This provides master blender Rachel Barrie with a window of time to create peated expressions at Benriach, which focuses on non-peated expressions at other times.

Barrell Craft Spirits BCS Gray Label Bourbon (2022 Edition)

Style: Blend of straight bourbons

Origin: Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50.29%

Price: $250

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited; 13,500 bottles

Need to know:


The 2022 edition of Barrell's BCS Gray Label Bourbon is made from whiskeys distilled from five different mashbills. After blending, the whiskey is finished in barrels made from staves that dried in the open air for three years and previously held a Gray Label release.



Whisky Advocate says:


As a blend of straight bourbons, Barrell's BCS Gray Label series is similar to many of its flagship releases. However, the BCS bottlings are assembled from the best quality casks in Barrell's possession. Barrell's founder Joe Beatrice and his team seek out barrels showing complexity and balance as they age, with particular emphasis on finding aged whiskeys that aren't overly oaky.



Compass Box The Extinct Blend Quartet: Ultramarine

Style: Blend

Origin: Scotland

Age: Not stated

ABV: 51%

Price: $375

Release: October 2022

Availability: Limited global release of 5,430 bottles

Compass Box Flaming Heart 2022

Style: Blended malt

Origin: Scotland

Age: Not stated

ABV: 48.9%

Price: $155

Release: November 2022

Availability: Limited global release of 9,606 bottles

Need to know:

Two new whiskies are on their way from Compass Box this fall; Ultramarine, the first bottling in the Extinct Blends Quartet, followed by the welcome return of Flaming Heart after a four-year absence.

Whisky Advocate says:

The Extinct Blends Quartet will re-imagine four old favorite scotch whisky blends from previous eras, as a tribute to blends of the past. Ultramarine was inspired by the antique sherry casks and pipe tobacco notes of a deluxe blended scotch first released in the late 1980s; we would suggest the use of the color blue on the label is a big hint. Compass Box lead whiskymaker James Saxon has devised a complex recipe of seven single malts, grain whiskies, and four parcels of blended grains, malts, Highland malts, and blended scotch.

Last released in 2018, Flaming Heart is its heavily peated blended malt in toasted new French oak casks. For the first time, Saxon was in charge of blending Flaming Heart to create this seventh iteration. While single malts from Laphroaig, Caol Ila, Talisker, and Highland Park brought the smoke and spice, the inclusion of remnants of previous limited editions including Flaming Heart 2018, Peat Monster Arcana, and The Nectar 15th Anniversary Edition succeed in adding layers of Compass Box history into the 2022 edition.

Glengoyne The Legacy Series: Chapter 3

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Highlands)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 48%

Price: $95

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


This is the third and final expression in the Legacy Series, which debuted in 2019. Through this whisky, Glengoyne tells the story of Sir Arthur John Tedder, an excise officer at the distillery from 1889 to 1893. Chapter 3 was aged in a combination of sherry and American oak casks.



Whisky Advocate says:


Chapter One of the Legacy Series celebrated Cochrane Cartwright, Glengoyne's distillery manager starting in 1869, while Chapter Two was dedicated to Peter Russell, founder and chairman of Ian Macleod Distillers—Glengoyne's owner since 2003. All three expressions feature different finishes (though varying re-fill sherry casks and bourbon barrels are key to each).



Chattanooga Bottled in Bond (Fall 2018)

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Tennessee

Age: 4 year old

ABV: 50%

Price: $53

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


Made at Chattanooga's Riverfront Distillery, the latest edition of Chattanooga Bottled in Bond was barreled July 2018 through December 2018. This vintage features two mashbills previously used in the Bottled in Bond series—SB091 and B005—as well as two new mashbills: B002 and R18098. Altogether, there are a number of specialty malts in this whiskey, including cherrywood-smoked, naked oat, and de-husked chocolate.



Whisky Advocate says:


As with all bottled in bond whiskeys, this was made during one distillation season, by one distiller, at one location, and it was aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. Chattanooga adds an extra element of invention via the high-malt mashbills it incorporates into the final whiskey.



Sagamore Spirit Reserve Series Sherry Finished

Style: Finished rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: 6 year old

ABV: 53%

Price: $79

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


This rye, which was first released as a distillery exclusive back in 2019, takes Sagamore Spirit's 4 year old straight rye whiskey and ages it for 18 months in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, before returning it to former rye barrels for an additional year.



Whisky Advocate says:


While this rye marks a return of a whiskey of the same name, it features a slightly different maturation from its predecessor, which was aged in different Pedro Ximénez barrels for one year and eight months, and never returned to rye barrels. Sagamore has produced a number of experimental finished ryes within its Reserve Series, including a rum cask-finished, tequila-finished, barleywine cask-finished, and calvados-finished, among others.



Uncle Nearest Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Canada

Age: 4 year old

ABV: 52.9%

Price: $149

Release: September 2022

Availability: Distillery exclusive

Need to know:


This is Uncle Nearest's first rye whiskey and joins 1856 and 1884 Small Batch, plus a handful of other limited and single barrel releases, in the Tennessee distillery's lineup. Uncle Nearest's rye was distilled in Canada before aging for at least 4 years in New York. Once shipped down to Tennessee, choice barrels were blended by Victoria Eady Butler. While the Uncut/Unfiltered batch is exclusively available at Uncle Nearest's Shelbyville, Tennessee facility, another straight rye, plus single barrel bottlings, will be more widely available in the near future.



Whisky Advocate says:


Under the guidance of founder Fawn Weaver and master blender Victoria Eady Butler—a fifth generation descendant of the whiskey's namesake—Uncle Nearest has built a strong portfolio of Tennessee whiskeys, with this rye expanding the brand beyond the Volunteer State's borders. Uncle Nearest's flagship whiskeys scored well in our Buying Guide, with the 1856 and 1884 releases scoring 87 and 88 points, respectively. However, Uncle Nearest shows its strength with its single barrel picks, with two of its 1820 designated bottlings scoring 95 points.



Remus Gatsby Reserve

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: 15 year old

ABV: 48.9%

Price: $200

Release: October 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

Remus Gatsby Reserve is being released in celebration of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel “The Great Gatsby.” This straight bourbon, crafted using stocks of 15 year old bourbon, is bottled at cask strength.

Whisky Advocate says:

George Remus and Rossville Union whiskeys are produced at Ross & Squibb Distillery, owned by MGP of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. The MGP distillery was renamed Ross & Squibb in September 2021. This “ultra-limited” release was created by Ian Stirsman, the first master distiller under the distillery's new name.

Lot 40 Dark Oak

Style: Rye

Origin: Canada

Age: Not stated

ABV: 48%

Price: $60

Release: September 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

Lot 40 is bringing its Dark Oak rye whisky, once a Canada-only limited edition, to the U.S. as a permanent expression. Similar to the core Lot No. 40, this whiskey is pot distilled from 100% rye. However, the Dark Oak is twice barreled, first in char no. 2 barrels and then in char no. 4 barrels, and bottled at a higher proof, 48% ABV instead of 43% ABV. This is only the second Lot 40 product to be released in the U.S.

Whisky Advocate says:

Unlike bourbon, rye can be made anywhere in the world, and Canada has a long historyof producing the style. Lot No. 40 was already among our favorite Canadian ryes, and we'd expect the higher proof and secondary maturation to add even more complexity.

Big Peat Christmas Edition 2022

Style: Blended malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 54.2%

Price: $60

Release: October 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

Douglas Laing & Co. has unveiled its annual seasonal release of Big Peat, the leading expression in its Remarkable Regional Malts series.

Whisky Advocate says:

The annual arrival of the Big Peat Christmas Edition is a reminder that the holiday season is not far off. Big Peat was launched in 2009, almost by accident, but over time, this punchy blend of peated Islay single malts has won over the hearts of smoky whisky fans. Big Peat Christmas Edition is always bottled at natural cask strength, typically in the range of 52%-56%, with little touches such as the candy stripe capsule and the illustration of Big Peat's latest festive mishap on the tube, making it a great gift for the Islay whisky lover to help them through the cold nights ahead.

Waterford Arcadian Farm Origins Peated

Style: Single malt

Origin: Ireland

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $100

Release: October 2022

Availability: Global release of two expressions - 11,500 bottles of each: 1,000 bottles of each edition for U.S. available in CA, DC, DE, IL, MD, NY, TX, and WA

Need to know:

Waterford Distillery is releasing two double-distilled peated single-farm origin Irish whiskeys, the first expressions to be made using Irish barley and Irish peat for generations. Natural variations in the kilning process bestowed each batch of malt with slightly different peat levels, which maltsters measure as phenol parts per million (ppm).


  • Waterford Peated: Fenniscourt - 38ppm

  • Waterford Peated: Ballybannon - 47ppm


Both editions are matured in similar, but not identical, proportions of first-fill bourbon, new American oak, French oak, and sweet vin doux naturel wine casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

Peat is a hot topic in Ireland. The country closed its peat-burning power stations, and the Irish Government is reviewing the commercial harvesting of peat for fuel, exports, and horticultural uses like growing mushrooms. Modern Irish distillers had not been looking for peat of suitable quality for kilning until now, even though in past centuries, peated whiskeys were regularly produced in Ireland. The release of Midleton Very Rare Silent Distillery Collection Chapter 1 in 2020, a peated single malt whiskey distilled in the mid-1970s, does suggest that the curiosity for using peat never quite died out. But Waterford is the first distillery in this century to distill a peated Irish single malt using native peat cut at Ballyteige, Co. Kildare. With these new releases, Waterford Distillery CEO Mark Reynier hopes to answer whether terroir outshines peat when it comes to flavor. Although the number of peated Irish whiskeys continues to grow every year, including bottlings from Connemara, Teeling, W.D. O'Connell, Hinch, and Sliabh Liag Distillers, they all have one thing in common: They are typically made from Scottish malt kilned with Scottish peat. With Ireland lacking any operational kilns for peating the malt, Reynier shipped the Irish peat and barley to maltsters in Scotland to produce the peated Irish malt needed for these whiskeys.

Stranahan's NY Rye Cask

Style: American single malt

Origin: Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 45%

Price: $70

Release: September 2022

Availability: Distillery only

Need to know:

The latest distillery exclusive from Stranahan's takes single malt aged for 5 to 9 years, and finishes it for a minimum of two years in rye casks from Black Dirt Distillery in Warwick, New York.

Whisky Advocate says:

Black Dirt was recently purchased by Stranahan's parent company Proximo as part of the launch of Great Jones Distilling Co.in Manhattan, making this an in-house collaboration. As for single malts finished in rye casks, there aren't too many examples. Speyside distiller GlenAllachie scored 93 points for its 10 year old rye-finished expression in our Winter 2021 Buying Guide. On the blended side, Johnnie Walker Select Cask Rye Cask Finish scored 89 pointsback in 2015. Stranahan's continues to innovate within the American single malt space, finishing its whiskey in a variety of casks from rum to tequila, though these limited releases are often distillery exclusives. At least for now.

FEW Bottled in Bond Rye

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Illinois

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $50

Release: October 2022

Availability: Limited; 7,200 bottles

Need to know:

FEW Spirits is releasing this whiskey in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897. It is made from a mashbill of 70% rye, 20% corn, and 10% malted barley and aged for a minimum of 4 years. This whiskey follows FEW's Bottled in Bond bourbon, which was released at the end of 2021.

Whisky Advocate says:

While you may be familiar with bottled in bond bourbons like Henry McKenna or Col. E.H. Taylor, any American-made spirit can carry the designation including brandy, and of course, rye, so long as it is made in one distilling season (spring or fall), aged for a minimum of 4 years, and bottled at 50% ABV. The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was passed to ensure that the whiskey being consumed wasn't adulterated, and while there is little doubt about the quality of today's products, the designation still serves as benchmark of what prospective buyers can expect once they pour themselves a glass. If you are looking to sample other bottled in bond whiskeys beyond bourbon, check out this list.

Garrison Brothers Cowboy Bourbon (2022 Release)

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Texas

Age: Not stated

ABV: 67.4%

Price: $250

Release: October 1, 2022

Availability: 8,600 bottles across 42 states

Need to know:

The 8th release of Garrison Brothers' Cowboy bourbon comes from a selection 25-gallon barrels aged between 8 and 9 years. It is bottled at cask strength and unfiltered. The first 1,000 bottles were released at the Hye, Texas distillery on September 24th with the remaining available nationwide starting next month.

Whisky Advocate says:

If you aren't drinking Texas whiskey, it's time to start. The hot climate and extreme temperature swings often mean that the whiskey ages at a more rapid pace, so the 8 and 9 year old barrels used here could very well show more maturity than barrels aged for a similar period someplace else. If $250 is too steep of an entry point, try one of these Texas whiskeys, including a lower-priced offering from Garrison Brothers.

Templeton Barrel Strength (2022 Release)

Style: Straight rye

Origin: Indiana

Age: Not stated

ABV: 57.3%

Price: $60

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

This is the fourth release in Templeton Distillery's annual barrel strength rye release. Made from a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, it's distilled and aged in new American oak in Indiana, non-chill filtered, and blended in Iowa at Templeton Distillery.

Whisky Advocate says:

Founded in 2006, Templeton has been bottling whiskey sourced from MGP. For its non-straight rye expressions it blends in added flavoring. The barrel strength releases are labeled as straight, and do not contain added flavors. In 2018 Templeton opened a distillery in Iowa with the plan to bring aspects of distillation and aging in-house.

Broken Barrel Luciferous

Style: American single malt

Origin: Indiana

Age: 3 year old

ABV: 61.3%

Price: $70

Release: September 2022

Availability: 780 bottles

Need to know:


After aging for two years, the barrels of this 100% malted barley whiskey were dumped into a large tank, where broken barrel staves were added for further maturation and finishing. Broken Barrel refers to the combination of barrel staves used in this process as the “Oak Bill,” now a trademarked term; for this whiskey, the Oak Bill was 80% amaro barrels and 20% French oak staves.



Whisky Advocate says:


Earlier this year, Broken Barrel overhauled its core lineup to include four Kentucky straight bourbon and rye whiskeys, all of which are contract distilled at Green River Distilling Co. in Owensboro, Kentucky. This marks the first single malt from the company. Broken Barrel itself is based in Los Angeles.



Oak & Eden Wheat & Honey

Style: Finished bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: Not stated

ABV: 45%

Price: $60

Release: September 29, 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

Oak & Eden is known for bottling its whiskey with an oak spire inside, but its latest bourbon, part of the Infused Series, goes a step further, as the spire was previously soaked in honey. The whiskey has a mashbill of 51% corn, 45% wheat, and 4% malted barley and the spire received a medium toast. Oak & Eden will continue to add to the Infused Series over the next year.

Whisky Advocate says:

Whiskey and honey are a natural pair in cocktailslike the Hot Toddy, Penicillin, or Gold Rush, and you can even train your palateto pick up honey flavors in whiskey. Of course, there are plenty of honey-flavored whiskies out there, though those are technically considereda different category of spirit. As for honey-influenced whiskies, this is the second release in the past two weeks after Woodford Reserve announced its honey-barrel finish distillery exclusiveearlier this month. We wouldn't be surprised if there are even more on the way.

Fortuna

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Kentucky

Age: 6 year old

ABV: 51%

Price: $85

Release: September 2022

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:


Fortuna is a revival of a 19th-century label that lasted until the 1960s, reawakened by the team behind boutique bottler Rare Character Whiskey. The team behind the revival—including Andy Shapira from the family that owns Heaven Hill—reached out to the Fortuna founder's descendants and were able to obtain some vintage Fortuna bottles. The new Fortuna aims to emulate the vintage label, bottle and flavor profile. Currently, the whiskey is available at K&L Wines in California and for delivery across the U.S. through Seelbach's.



Whisky Advocate says:


The bourbon is made from whiskeys aged at least six years and, according to Shapira, each batch is blended from six barrels. Though revival brands like this are relatively uncommon, Fortuna isn't the first heritage brand to return to shelves after an extended absence; it follows in the footsteps of brands like Kentucky Owl, which was revived by the founder's descendant Dixon Dedman in 2014 nearly a century after the Owl initially went bankrupt.



Bowmore ARC-52

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Age: 52 year old

ABV: 42.3%

Price: $75,000

Release: September 2022

Availability: 100 decanters worldwide; U.S. availability: New York City and Los Angeles

Need to know:

ARC-52 is among the oldest whiskies bottled by Bowmore to date. This is the inaugural release of the ARC series, a collaboration between Bowmore Distillery and England-based luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda. Half of the whisky spent 52 years in American oak and the remaining 50% was aged in European oak. Presented in an opulent decanter with a magnetic key to open the aluminum top.

Whisky Advocate says:

While a 52 year old scotch is impressive, this is not the oldest whisky Bowmore has released to date—in 2012 12 bottles of Bowmore 1957 54 year old were released. This is also not the first time the two companies collaborated. In 2020 the brands joined with a release of 25 bottles of Black Bowmore DB5, a rebottling of the 1964 31 year old carrying a suggested retail price of $65,000. Earlier this year, Bonhams auctioned a bottle for a hammer price of £95,000/$124,000. At retail, a bottle is currently being sold for over $200,000. If DB5 is any indication of ARC-52's value, the $75,000 price tag is a bargain.

The Macallan James Bond 60th Anniversary Release

Style: Single malt

Origin: Scotland (Speyside)

Age: Not stated

ABV: 43.7%

Price: $800

Release: September 2022

Availability: Limited; Travel Retail, specialist retailers and bars, and via an online ballot launching soon on themacallan.com

Need to know:

Celebrating the 60th anniversary of James Bond films, Macallan is releasing this limited-edition set of six bottles. Each bottle contains the same whisky crafted by Macallan's master whisky maker Kirsteen Campbell. Bottled at 43.7% in honor of Bond's agent number, 007. The tube and label for each bottle features a different illustration and color depicting the decade it represents. Join The Macallan Society for updates on availability.

Whisky Advocate says:

Calling all whisky-loving James Bond fans! James Bond doesn't just drink Martinis; various brands and styles of whisky have appeared in Bond films through the years. Get the highlights here.