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Woodford Reserve Five Malt Stouted Mash, High West High Country & More [New Releases]

High West is rolling out its High Country single malt nationally after debuting it in 2019.

Woodford Reserve Five Malt Stouted Mash, High West High Country & More [New Releases]

December 1, 2021 –––––– Ted Simmons, , , ,

It's gift giving season, and if you're looking for something special for the whisky lover in your life, we've got you covered. There are plenty of snackable gifts available, from popcorn to barbecued ribs, specifically designed to be paired with whiskey. We also have a few other recommendations including books, luggage, and more whisky related items that will enhance your tasting experience.

There are some exciting new whiskies out this week that also would make great gifts. Woodford Reserve adds to its Master's Collection with a beer-inspired malt whiskey, High West brings its High Country single malt to a wider stage, and Barrell Craft Spirits adds two new straight bourbon blends to its lineup. Read on for full details.

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection: Five-Malt Stouted Mash

Style: Straight malt

Origin: Kentucky

Age: Not stated

ABV: 45.2%

Price: $130

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:

A version of Woodford's straight malt whiskey, this new addition to the Master's Collection is a nod to distiller's beer—the liquid produced through fermentation that is later distilled into spirit—as well as the distillery's ties to Ireland, most notably the fact that it uses Irish-style triple pot still distillation.

Whisky Advocate says:

There are plenty of craft whiskeys inspired by beer, or made by brewers who've become distillers, and now Woodford is getting into the act. Woodford Reserve is in a unique position to experiment, as it's one of the few distilleries that makes the four main styles of American whiskey: bourbon, rye, wheat, and malt. If you want to read more about whiskeys made from beer, pick up the Fall issue of Whisky Advocate, where we highlight eight examples.

Barrell Gold Label Bourbon

Style: Blend of straight bourbons

Origin: Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee

Age: Not stated

ABV: 56.77%

Price: $500

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited; 5,100 bottles

Need to know:

Barrell spent two years blending and developing this whiskey, which comes from four collections of barrels all aged 16 and 17 years: cherry-forward barrels, nutty oak-forward barrels, high proof barrels, and barrels with pronounced milk chocolate notes, which underwent a secondary maturation in toasted virgin American oak casks.

Barrell New Year 2022

Style: Blend of straight bourbons

Origin: Multiple

Age: Not stated

ABV: 57.67%

Price: $90

Release: December 2021

Availability: 18,000 bottles; Available nationally

Need to know:

This annual release commemorating the new year is made from whiskeys aged 5, 6, 7, 9, and 14 years that were distilled in Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wyoming, New York, and Texas.

Whisky Advocate says:

The blending team at Barrell has remained busy as the year comes to a close, releasing these two whiskeys a month after announcingBatch 031 of its bourbon and a 24 year Gray Label distilled in Canada. Barrell adopted the Gray Label name starting in Septemberand seems to be sticking with color coded names with the introduction of the super-premium Gold Label. As for the New Year expression, it follows last year's formulaof blending from seven different states using a range of ages, though in this year's release an Ohio-made whiskey replaces one from Colorado.

High West High Country

Style: Single malt

Origin: Utah

Age: Not stated

ABV: 44%

Price: $80

Release: December 2021

Availability: Nationwide

Need to know:

This single malt is technically a blend of malts aged 2 to 10 years, all made at High West's Park City and Wanship, Utah distilleries. High Country spent part of its maturation in oloroso sherry casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

When High West debuted High Country in December 2019, the whiskey was sold only in Utah. Now you'll be able to get your hands on a bottle anywhere in the country. For long-time High West fans, this is especially exciting, given that High Country is the distillery's first widely available whiskey that's 100% house-made. (In other High West bottlings, sourced whiskey makes up a significant portion of the blend.)

Widow Jane The Vaults 2021

Style: Blend of straight bourbons

Origin: Tennessee and Indiana

Age: 15 year old

ABV: 49.5%

Price: $225

Release: November 2021

Availability: Limited

Need to know:


While the 2021 release of The Vaults carries a 15 year old age statement, the blend actually contains 16 and 17 year old bourbons as well. As with its 2020 predecessor, this year's edition was finished in spent Adirondack oak casks that were seasoned by outdoor air, in this case for 42 months.



Whisky Advocate says:

Just over 3,000 bottles of the latest The Vaults whiskey are available, making it a bit harder to find than last year's edition. There's reason to believe this would make a good splurge, too: The 2020 bottling received 94 points, while the debut edition scored 90.

Midleton Very Rare Dair Ghaelach Kylebeg Wood

Style: Single pot still

Origin: Ireland

Age: Not stated

ABV: 55.4%-56.1%

Price: $340

Release: Stock will arrive in U.S. starting January 2022

Availability: Trees 1-7 available in limited quantities

Need to know:

Kevin O'Gorman, Midleton's master distiller, created the fourth release in this ground-breaking series by finishing aged single pot still Irish whiskeys in virgin Irish oak hogsheads that were coopered from seven oak trees felled in Ireland's Kylebeg Wood.

Whisky Advocate says:

These whiskeys are the result of an Irish Distillers project dating back to 2008, uniting themes of biodiversity, sustainability, and traceability around Irish oak. Irish oak trees are a precious resource, as Ireland's natural forests have been so heavily depleted over the centuries. In 2015, seven trees were felled in Kylebeg Wood on the Ballykilcavan Estate in Co. Laois, Ireland, and were coopered into custom barrels for this fourth release. (In the same forest just over six years later, healthy oak saplings now grow around the tree stumps.) The seven oak trees, which were between 180-200 years old when felled, were made into 42 lightly toasted hogsheads and filled with 240 liters of single pot still whiskeys that were matured for 13 to 25 years in first fill and refill American oak bourbon barrels. The whiskeys include the light, medium, and heavier styles of pot still whiskey produced at Midleton.

Stranahan's Mountain Angel 10 year old (Batch 2)

Style: American single malt

Origin: Colorado

Age: 10 year old

ABV: 47.3%

Price: $130

Release: November 2021

Availability: Less than 600 bottles

Need to know:

Colorado's Stranahan's returns with its second batch of 10 year old American single malt after debuting Mountain Angel last September. Like the first batch, this releases is highly limited.

Whisky Advocate says:

Based in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado, Stranahan's sees a much higher angel's share than distilleries making single malt in Scotland. Head distiller Owen Martin says the barrels used for Mountain Angel experience roughly 50% loss over their maturation period, or about 9% each year. Stranahan's uses four rickhouses to manage some of that loss, two of which are ambient, meaning non-climate controlled. As far as 10 year old American single malts go, Mountain Angel is the first to be released annually, and with national distribution. We scored the inaugural release at 88 pointsin the Winter 2020 Buying Guide. Expect this one to show more barrel character than your typical American single malt—certainly more so than any of Stranahan's other releases.

Stranahan's Snowflake Sunshine Peak

Style: American single malt

Origin: Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 47%

Price: $120

Release: December 2021

Availability: 1,500 bottles

Need to know:

The 23rd batch of this annual limited single malt is named per tradition after a Colorado Mountain peaking over 14,000 feet, otherwise known as a “14er.” The whiskey is finished in a combination of calvados, applejack, muscatel, and cabernet casks.

Stranahan's Snowflake Mount Eolus

Style: American single malt

Origin: Colorado

Age: Not stated

ABV: 47%

Price: $120

Release: December 2021

Availability: 1,500 bottles

Need to know:

The 24th batch of Snowflake is a tribute to Mount Eolus, the Greek God of Wind. It is aged in rye and reposado tequila barrels, and finished in extra añejo, tawny port, French oak, and lightly peated casks.

Whisky Advocate says:

After deciding not to release a Snowflake expression last year, Stranahan's comes back with two in 2021 and is celebrating the occasion. Rather than hold the in-person sale at the distillery, the event is being moved to Red Rocks Parks & Amphitheater. Fans can line up on December 4, no earlier than 7 a.m. MT to snag one or both whiskeys. Each batch of Snowflake starts out as Stranahan's American single malt aged between four and eight years in new white American oak barrels with a no. 3 char that is then aged in a variety of barrel types. In terms of in-person purchasing events, Snowflake is up there with the Old Forester annual Birthday Bourbon release.

Bluebird Distilling Double Barrel

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Pennsylvania

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50%

Price: $70

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited; 600 bottles available at the distillery and online to PA residents

Need to know:

This whiskey takes Bluebird Distilling's Four Grain bourbon—aged for four years in 30 gallon char no. 3 new American white oak barrels—and finishes it for an additional two years in 25 gallon toasted barrels from Kelvin Cooperage in Kentucky.

Bluebird Distilling Winter Whiskey

Style: Flavored whiskey

Origin: Pennsylvania

Age: Not stated

ABV: 40%

Price: $45

Release: December 2021

Availability: Limited; 2,000 bottles available at the distillery and online to PA residents

Need to know:

This whiskey takes 5 year old four grain bourbon and adds a pinch of brown sugar before steeping it in a blend of winter spices.

Whisky Advocate says:

The definition of bourbonrequires that nothing but water be added to the whiskey. That means this Winter Whiskey is technically flavored, and while it seems straightforward enough, sometimes the labeling on these products can be confusing for the average whiskey drinker. We published a featurein 2020 looking at flavored whiskies, whisky specialties, and liqueurs as well as a quick guide to help you tell them apart. These items certainly have their time and place, with this spice-forward Winter Whiskey sounding perfect for a day spent curled up by the fire.

Dexter Three Wood

Style: Straight bourbon

Origin: Indiana

Age: Not stated

ABV: 50.3%

Price: $50

Release: November 2021

Availability: KY, MN, NH, and OH

Need to know:

This bourbon is named for Edmund Dexter, a renowned whiskey figure in Cincinnati, Ohio, during the 19th century. It was matured in three different types of barrel wood—200 year old oak, maple, and cherry wood. Initially released in very limited quantities this past January, it now expands its availability to four states.

Whisky Advocate says:

Dexter Bourbon Company is a division of Brain Brew, based in Newtown, Ohio, just east of Cincinnati. Brain Brew is a custom whiskey maker launched in 2016 by Doug Hall and Joe Girgash, who were inspired by 19th century Cincinnati's history as a whiskey center. Their business model is based on the fact that most whiskey in those days was sold by “barrel blenders”—merchants who blended barrels together to achieve optimum taste. Bottlings from the company also include Dexter straight bourbon, Paddle Wheel bourbon, and Paddle Wheel rye, among others.