Archive for October, 2021

48 Year Old 1972 – Apollo 17 whisky on sale now 🚀 at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

Blended Grain Scotch
We’re On Our Way Houston!

48 Year Old 1972 Blended Grain Single Cask

Apollo 17 marked the final landing mission of the historic Apollo space program. This release marks that spectacular night launch in 1972. During the final moonwalk of the Apollo program, on 13th December 1972, back on Planet Each, this very whisky was put into cask at Invergordon distillery. Matured in a single barrel hogshead yielding just 109 bottles. Expect deep space orange zest, meteor shower of cinnamon and a soft dry finish.


Deep space orange zest on a burst of nutmeg starlight orbiting spearmint asteroids. Nedula of drive fruits, metroid shower of cinnamon, leather and oak observing a soft dry finish.

48 Year Old 1972 vintage Blended Grain Scotch whisky (a secret Invergordon). Single barrel #TWB1024 bottled September 2021 to mark the final Moon landing of the Apollo program, Apollo 17, 1972. 109 numbered bottles.

On December 7th, 1972, Apollo 17 launched from the Kennedy Space Center. A spectcular night launch of the Saturn V rocked market the final landing mission for the histroic space program. Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt performed three moonwalks on lunar service. During this same time, back on Planet Earth, this very whisky was put into cask on 13th December 1972.


Blended Scotch whiskies are produced by blending whiskies distilled at two or more different Scottish distilleries and the whiskies may be single malt whiskies, single grain whiskies, or single malt and single grain whiskies.

Buy – 48 Year Old 1972 – £325 / €319 / $370 / c$460*

K&L Top Value Whisk(e)y Selections: Luxurious Whiskies at Everyday Prices – Whisky News

Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond 100 Proof Rye Whiskey (750ml) $23.99 View

95 points Wine Enthusiast ~ Outer quote mark A versatile must-have for mixing cocktails, look for pleasing vanilla, maple and a hint of dried cherry. The finish is long and drying, with plenty of baking spice notes. (KN) Inner quote mark (7/2016)

Whisky Advocate ~ Outer quote mark Rittenhouse packs lots of corn, offering a different profile than those higher-rye whiskeys from Indiana. Straight from the glass burst caramel, campfire smoke, and vanilla, with hints of dill weed and Herbs de Provence. Ripe in flavor, it shows slight mint from the rye and a complex voyage of herbs with a touch of chocolate here and walnut shell there. There’s a reason bartenders love mixing with this; it’s good neat or on the rocks. (FM, Summer 2016) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes ~ Named North American Whiskey of the Year at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Best Buy of the Year at the 2006 WhiskeyFest. Rye was the first Colonial American whiskey, and was the most popular spirit in the US for more than a century until it fell out of favor. Made in a classic Pennsylvania style at the Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky, this has been aged for at least four years in barrel and bottled at 100 proof. To be called “Bottled in Bond” it also has to be the product of a single distillery, made in a single season in a single year.

Elijah Craig “Small Batch” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $24.99 View

91 points Whisky Advocate ~ Outer quote mark Subtly complex and nicely rounded. A bed of sweetness (caramel, vanilla) peppered with honey-kissed fruit, golden raisin, and a hint of marzipan. Pleasing oak grip and dried spice on the finish. A great value for such a high-quality bourbon. (JH, Spring 2017) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes ~ Coming from the great master distiller Parker Beam, the Elijah Craig bourbon has to be one of the best value bourbons on the market! Great balance of sweetness and spice. Also, at 94 proof, it has just the right amount of kick.

High West “American Prairie” Kentucky-Indiana Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $31.99 View

Whisky AdvocateOuter quote mark Minty and herbal on the nose, with notes of fresh oak, licorice, apricots, brown sugar, dried apples, orange peel, peaches, light coconut, ginger, and dried leaves. The palate is sweet up front, with a complex melding of butterscotch, spicy oak, orange slices, and chocolate fudge. The finish offers lots of spice, black pepper, bitter chocolate, and a pleasant note of almond nuttiness. A well-textured whiskey, with lots of spice and heat. (DF, Spring 2020) Inner quote mark

Wine Enthusiast ~ Outer quote mark Made with a blend of straight Bourbons, this whiskey has a mild vanilla and resin scent. On the palate, flavors run to vanilla, cedar and citrus. Adding water brings out distinct cinnamon and peach notes, before fading into vanilla. (KN) Inner quote mark (7/2015)

K&L Notes ~ High West is dedicated to preserving and promoting the American West. That’s why they’ve created a whiskey dedicated to one of the greatest land preservation projects of our time: the American Prairie Reserve in Montana, a 5,000-square-mile land tract the size of Connecticut, restored to what Lewis and Clark would have seen. High West will donate 10% of after-tax profits from each bottle to the American Prairie Foundation. This blend of straight bourbons from Kentucky and Indiana continues to showcase High West’s exceptional blending abilities. The base whiskey is a 2-year-old MGP/LDI with a 75% corn mash bill. The other whiskeys come from two undisclosed Kentucky distilleries and clock in at 6- and 13-years old, respectively. No filtration and a satisfying 46% abv, the American Prairie is a welcome followup to the wonderful Reserve and one of the best third-party bottlings in the price range.

Auchentoshan “Bartender’s Malt Edition 1” Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) $32.99 View

Auchentoshan named this whisky the “Bartender’s Malt” because it was designed and blended by a team of twelve different bartenders from all over the world who helped to select the barrels. Here’s the really compelling part: they used single malt whisky from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, and current decade in the blend, from ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, ex-wine, and even German oak barrels! In our opinion, innovative blends like this are what’s going to drive the business moving forward, especially in a market where single barrel pricing is proving to be cost prohibitive and access is getting more and more difficult. For a very affordable price, this is a drinker’s whisky. It is absolutely jam-packed with sweet barley flavor, loads of vanilla, spicy ginger, candied orange peel. A symphony of oak and baking spices drive the finish that lights up your mouth for minutes with distinct and supple flavors of milk chocolate. Bottled at 47% ABV, it’s got punch as well. This was our spirits buyer’s new house single malt when it first arrived, and his highest recommendation here for a sub-$50 malt. Bravo!

Leopold Bros. 5 Year Old Bottled In Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $37.99 View

Leopold makes whisky a bit differently than most modern distillers. They’re using the highest quality grains, malting their own barley, fermenting with house cultivated indigenous yeasts in open wooden washbacks and double distilling in small copper pots. We’ve always loved what they do over there in Colorado!

Smooth Ambler 5 Year Old “Old Scout” K&L Exclusive Barrel #24295 Indiana Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) $39.99 View

After years of pining for the days of bourbon yore, we’ve finally come full circle to re-release the Ol’ Old Scout in its original form. There’s been tons of confusion on the market due to Smooth Ambler’s recent release of a large parcel of Tennessee bourbon, which was acquired from the famous distillery at Cascade Hollow, but this product is not that. Those whiskies are much loved by certain folks but show a completely different character than the original Old Scout. The brand became famous for bottling excellent bourbon and rye sourced from a fine distillery in Indiana. Those excellent whiskies were once the backbone for our now extinct Faultline Bourbon. Until now they haven’t had enough aged stock to spare single barrels for this program. Now that their stocks are finally coming of age, they’ve re-released these excellent bourbons at a respectable 5 years of age. This is the very same age that the original Old Scout was released way back in 2011. We’re very lucky to have scooped up several barrels before the rest of the market has realized that these are back on the table. We’ll likely continue to see the age statements on these excellent whiskies increase over the years, but even now the stupendous complexity of these bourbons at this lovely, youthful age is extremely satisfying. This High Rye bourbon (36% rye) was barreled in Char #4 on 7/8/15 and bottled 8/31/20 at 114.6 proof. With a loss of 29% it yielded only 192 bottles.

Cotswolds Distillery ~ Our founder Dan Szor talks all things Bourbon Cask – English Whisky News

Following the launch of our new Cotswolds Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky this week, our founder, Dan Szor, shares his thoughts on one of our most exciting whisky releases to date in an exclusive Q&A. From discovering Dan’s favourite Bourbons to understanding the inspiration behind our latest whisky expression and what makes it unique, be sure to read our latest article below.


Q: What is it that makes this Bourbon cask expression unique in comparison to other Bourbon cask-matured whiskies available?

A: I suppose the most unique thing about this expression is the quality of the underlying spirit – which goes into all of our expressions – and the fact that we use only the most premium first-fill ex-Bourbon casks.


Q: Where do you source your Bourbon casks?

A: For the past six years, we have been buying our casks directly in Kentucky. Initially we used first-fill casks which came from a number of Brown Forman distilleries, such as Woodford Reserve, Jack Daniels, Old Forrester and Early Times.

For the past few years, we’ve been buying from Beam Suntory, owner of the well-known Maker’s Mark brand. The casks we buy are their top-of-the-range premium casks which come from distilleries such as Bookers and Basil Hayden’s. They have not been steamed – a process undertaken by many Bourbon distillers to wring out the last few litres of Bourbon from the staves after the barrel has been disgorged – which means there is more Bourbon (and more flavour) remaining in the wood when we receive the casks here in the Cotswolds.


Q: How does the Bourbon cask influence the flavour of this expression?

A: The most recognisable influence of a Bourbon cask on single malt is the wonderful effect of slow ageing in charred American white oak. This type of wood is excellent for the maturation of whisky in that it releases its tannins slowly, without overpowering the spirit with wood flavour, while allowing the wood sugars to come into the spirit giving it the honey, vanilla and crème brûlée flavours characteristic of Bourbon cask maturation. There’s even a bit of toasted coconut, if you look hard enough!


Q: Would you say this is a whisky for whisky purists?

A: This is a whisky for those who love whisky, beer and all things malt. It really shows off our locally-grown, floor-malted Cotswold barley in its best light.


Q: What should people notice when drinking this whisky?

A: When drinking this whisky, think about the grain. If you’ve ever visited our distillery and been lucky enough to time your tour around the first water of our mash, then you’ve had the chance to stick your head inside a mash tun with 500kg of grist being mixed with steaming hot water into an enormous vessel of porridge, in effect. Those malty notes – almost like a warm mug of Horlicks – are reflected in the aromas and taste of our Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky.


Q: How would you recommend people drink this whisky?

A: Though I am a purist and enjoy my whisky neat at room temperature, I would say that this whisky is robust enough to handle bitters (for an Old Fashioned), vermouth (for a delicious Manhattan), or even a splash of soda over ice in a highball. As it is cask strength, it will stand up to ice and still assert itself even through dilution.


Q: Do you plan on releasing any more cask expressions?

A: We will certainly be releasing more cask expressions – things that come to mind are Port and Madeira, as well as a number of other cask types made from both American and European oak; these are, however, likely to be limited releases as the four members of our Cask Collection (Founder’s Choice (STR ex-red wine cask), Sherry Cask, Peated Cask and Bourbon Cask) together represent over 95% of our wood programme.

We may decide to tweak this fill programme slightly – so keep your eyes on the development of our range over the years to come, it’s exciting stuff!

Rare Find Series for The Whisky Shop by Gleann Mor – Scotch Whisky News

Rare Find Speyside 39 Year Old 

The nose opens to reveal dried mango and angelica root, with sticky dundee marmalade and a hint of furniture polish. The palate is creamy and sweet followed by a long herbal finish with notes of milk chocolate.

Somewhat of a ‘mystery malt’, this independently bottled Speyside single malt does not have the origin of distillation on the label; there are some clues to be found as to where that might be though… Distilled in 1982 and bottled 39 years later in 2021 for The Whisky Shop by Gleann Mór, this a stunning addition to their Rare Find series. Just 180 bottles were produced at 48.7% ABV, with natural colour and free from chill filtration.

The nose opens to reveal dried mango and angelica root, with sticky dundee marmalade and a hint of furniture polish. The palate is creamy and sweet followed by a long herbal finish with notes of milk chocolate.

£385.00 … Buy now

Rare Find Tranquility 35 Year Old 

The nose has notes of chocolate, pineapple, treacle toffee and fudge. An intriguingly complex and delicate palate follows, with initial soft spices combining elegantly with cherries, peaches and sugarcane.

An impressive single cask of a world-renowned and classic Highland single malt, distilled in 1985 and bottled 35 years later in 2020 for The Whisky Shop by Gleann Mor in their Rare Find series. Just 370 bottles were produced at 42.2% abv.

The nose has notes of chocolate, pineapple, treacle toffee and fudge. An intriguingly complex and delicate palate follows, with initial soft spices combining elegantly with cherries, peaches and sugarcane. The finish is delightfully sweet with an array of honeyed notes, including salted caramel and fresh pancakes.

£385.00 … Buy now

The Good Dram Show – Episode 435 ‘New Releases’ – Scotch Whisky News

Welcome to this weeks episode of the show in which I’ll be taking a look at some new and relatively new releases from Bruichladdich, Hinch, J & W Hardie, Lindores Abbey, Tomintoul and Torabhaig.

HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, visits Glen Garioch Distillery during ongoing restoration and upgrade project – Scotch Whisky News

His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, visits and tours the Glen Garioch distillery in Oldmeldrum, one of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, during its ongoing restoration project to reinstate traditional production processes and reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint. Picture date: Tuesday October 5, 2021. PA Photo. Picture credit should read: Simon Price/PA Wire

HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, visits Glen Garioch Distillery during ongoing restoration and upgrade project

5 October 2021 –  His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, today visited the Glen Garioch Distillery in Oldmeldrum, one of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, amid its ongoing restoration and upgrade project to reinstate traditional production processes and reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint. The Duke toured the distillery with the local team and learned how Glen Garioch is returning to its roots to further enhance the quality and complexity of its legendary small batch, hand-crafted Highland single malt.

His Royal Highness, who in Scotland uses his official Scottish title The Duke of Rothesay, was hosted by Mick Ord, Director of Operations, Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager and Pom Nijs, Assistant Visitor Centre Manager. During his visit, The Duke met with many members of the Glen Garioch distillery and Visitor Center teams, along with Beam Suntory’s David Hunter, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Jessica Spence, President of Brands, and Francois Bazini, MD Scotch, Gin & Irish. The Duke was given a tour of the distillery and an overview of the ongoing restoration works. He was also invited to nose new make spirits of the direct-fired distillation as well as whisky from a 1990 bourbon hogshead, and taste whisky directly drawn from a 1978 bourbon cask. Subsequently, as a gift from the distillery, His Royal Highness was presented with a 1978 bottle of Glen Garioch, signed by Master Blender, Ron Welsh.

During the visit, The Duke unveiled a plaque dedicated to Alexander (Akki) Manson, a direct descendant of the distillery’s original founders. During his life Mr Manson was known for carrying forward the entrepreneurial spirit of his family and regularly spent time with the local team, sharing his passion for the distillery. Mr Manson’s son, Sandy Manson, Lord-Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, accompanied His Royal Highness on his tour. The occasion was also marked by the signing of a cask containing spirit from Glen Garioch’s new direct-fired still, which will be bottled and sold after optimum maturation of the whisky, with all proceeds being donated to a charity to be named in due course.

The current renovation project at Glen Garioch includes the reintroduction of floor maltings as well as the installation of direct-fired heating to the wash still – traditional methods still used by only a handful of distilleries to enhance the quality and complexity of their whiskies. To complement this return to tradition, Glen Garioch has developed a state-of-the-art, highly efficient and safe method for direct-fired distillation, which is expected to reduce the distillery’s carbon footprint by around 15%.

Kwanele Mdluli, Distillery Manager of Glen Garioch, commented: “We were very proud to welcome The Duke of Rothesay to Glen Garioch for the first time. It was an honour to introduce him to our skilled and dedicated team, and to share our beloved small batch Highland malt with him. With our return to traditional processes and our sharp focus on sustainability, Glen Garioch is opening a new chapter in its history. We were delighted to introduce His Royal Highness to our historic distillery and outline our vision for a more sustainable future – and most of all, to share a dram with him. We look forward to welcoming him again soon.”  

About Glen Garioch
One of the oldest operating distilleries in Scotland, Glen Garioch has been making its Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky in the historic market town of Oldmeldrum, near Aberdeen in North East Scotland, since 1797.

Located deep in the fertile ‘Granary of Aberdeenshire’, and only ever produced in small, precious batches, Glen Garioch is a rare find indeed, but warmly appreciated by those who like a hearty Highland malt, non chill-filtered as nature intended, with a wholesome maltiness, honeyed sweetness and delicious creamy texture to savour.

For more information about the current renovation of the distillery, see here.

About Beam Suntory
As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires human connections. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands, Suntory whisky Kakubin and Courvoisier cognac, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; EFFEN, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and On The Rocks Premium Cocktails.
Beam Suntory is proud to employ more than 360 people in Scotland, the large majority of whom are involved in the production of its renowned Scotch whiskies, including Glen Garioch, Ardmore, Auchentoshan, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Teacher’s.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and vision of Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit



Tomatin, the award-winning Highland distillery has today announced the release of its fifth expression of the critically acclaimed Warehouse 6 Collection; 1978.

Distilled on 21st September 1978, this remarkable expression has been gently maturing for the past 42 years in Tomatin’s Warehouse 6, a traditional dunnage warehouse.  Nestled in a quiet corner of the distillery, Warehouse 6 houses the distillery’s most treasured casks.

This exceptional single malt whisky has been awarded Gold Outstanding at the prestigious International Wine and Spirit competition scoring an astonishing 98 points and proceeded to win the Trophy in the Single Malt Scotch Whisky 26 Years and Over category.

The 1978 edition was one of 350 whiskies judged by the expert panel. Richard Paterson, Chair Judge and member of the Spirits Judging Committee, commented: “A sublime, smooth, aromatic, rich single malt whisky, casked to perfection. Notes of blackcurrant, berry fruits and smoke on the palate. Beautifully balanced between the oak spice and sweetness. A sweet, dry, honeysuckle finish. Exceptional.”

Cask numbers 49541 and 49542 have been lying gracefully since being filled, gently and slowly maturing the spirit within. After thirty years, the spirit moved to the finest First Fill Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks and laid down for a further decade, then married together to produce this exceptional whisky.

Graham Eunson, Master Distiller at Tomatin, said: “With over forty two years’ patience comes reward. I am extremely proud of this luxurious single malt. Cask 49541 and 49542 marry together in perfect harmony to produce aromas of stewed fruits, dark maple syrup and bursts of orange peel and bergamot, meeting soft flavours of dark chocolate, warming spices and salted caramel before a long, silky finish. The 1978 is a truly remarkable expression.” 

As with every Warehouse 6 release, each expression pays tribute to the Tomatin craftsmen that have been custodians of exceptional Scotch for generations. The 1978 is no different, and as with the previous luxury expressions in the series, (the 1971, 1972, 1975 & 1977), each of the 350 units is decanted into an exquisite hand blown Glencairn Crystal decanter with unique copper decoration. This luxury bottle is presented with two glasses, a solid copper stopper, along with a numbered certificate detailing the remarkable journey of the whisky.

The 1978 Warehouse 6 Collection is expected to retail for £3,000 in the UK for a 70cl bottle, and is available to purchase online here and from specialist retailers worldwide.


Tomatin Distillery has been producing and blending malt Scotch whisky since 1897. Over the last 50 years, the distillery has borne witness to vast change. At its peak in the 1970s, Tomatin was the largest distillery in the world operating 23 stills and producing 12 million litres of alcohol every year. Over the last decade, significant time has been invested in rediscovering the distillery, people and values, and in refining the business model to move away from the formerly lucrative bulk commodity market to now focus on Tomatin’s core range of single malts. The 1978 release is a part of Warehouse 6’s limited edition range, which includes the 1971. 1972, 1975 and the 1977.

Tomatin is located in the Scottish Highlands (near Inverness) and is famous for its portfolio of soft and mellow whiskies, including a core range, a limited-edition range and a premium archive range (prices range from £35 – £10,000).

About the The 1978 Warehouse 6 Collection:

  • Cask Numbers: 49541 and 49542
  • Cask Type: First Fill Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks
  • Strength: 47% alc./vol.
  • Distilled on: 21th September 1978
  • Number of bottles: 350

The 1978 Warehouse 6 Collection is encased in a hand-blown Glencairn Crystal decanter within an exquisite case fitted with a unique opening mechanism, featuring two rose gold metal buttons on the sides. Accompanied with glasses decorated with solid copper bands, a solid copper stopper and a numbered certificate detailing the story of the whisky. Stitched and debossed details on the leather wrap adds to the elegance. Protected in a secure material bag for transit and deliver, the 1978 Warehouse 6 Collection offers the ultimate in luxury.


Finalists Announced in 3rd Annual Scottish Whisky Awards – Scotch Whisky News

Finalists Announced in 3rd Annual Scottish Whisky Awards

The finalists in the national celebration of Scotch whisky have been announced in the celebrated awards programme for the whisky business in Scotland.

The Scottish Whisky Awards has revealed that 53 companies and 167 Scotch whisky products have progressed to the finals.  42 judges have completed their assessments of over 200 Scotch whisky products and written assessments from over 30 companies involved in the production of Scotch.

Over 200 people are expected to join to celebrate the winners on St Andrews Day at a black-tie awards dinner which will also be broadcast live to ticket holders anywhere in the world.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Professor Alan Wolstenholme, commented;

““It’s becoming ever clearer now as we progress towards the end of this year, that the achievements of the Scotch whisky industry during the past year must not go un-noticed or unrewarded.

“We have had the privilege of reviewing the work that Scotch whisky businesses undertook throughout the pandemic.  Their innovation, their resilience, and their support for their communities.

“Our Scottish Whisky Awards dinner is an opportunity for Scotch whisky businesses to come together and recognise their many achievements as they advance the cause of Scotland’s most important global product.”

The event will also announce the first ever recipient of the Professor Jim Swan Award for Services to Scotch Whisky.  The award was created in 2019 with the support of the Swan family and seeks to highlight an individual in the industry who shares the much-admired character of the late Jim Swan as an independent, inclusive collaborator.  A tribute to Jim Swan can be watched here.

Read More

Book Tickets

Tables at the Scottish Whisky Awards St Andrews Day Dinner can be purchased here.  Tables of ten cost £1550.00 + VAT and include entertainment, a three-course gourmet meal, paired with Scotch whisky and including wine. Tickets to watch the digital broadcast from anywhere in the world can also be purchased and include a place in a digital awards room enabled by video calls, group messages and live chat functions.   The event will be hosted once again by comedian and broadcaster, Des Clarke.

The awards, created by the PR and Events company KDMedia, are also a fundraising vehicle for The BEN, the Benevolent Society of the Licensed Trade of Scotland.

K&L California ~ Back In Stock: New Riff’s Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon & Rye at Sub-$40 Pricing – American Whiskey News

The Incredible New Riff is Back:
Bottled-in-Bond Stunners at Killer Pricing

“Easily one of the most exciting new distillers in the Bluegrass State … This isn’t your run-of-the-mill craft distillery. This is a proper, modern, Kentucky-style distillery.”
— David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits Buyer

Anyone who’s followed our spirits department closely over the past few years is no doubt familiar with our unbridled enthusiasm for Kentucky’s New Riff distillery. They’re turning out incredible whiskeys that remain true to their Bluegrass roots, all for prices that will make any veteran of today’s bourbon market smile from ear to ear. For many of our most devoted spirits aficionados, the Bottled-in-Bond offerings have been the go-to standard from this dynamic distillery. As spirits buyer Andrew Whiteley explains, “I love the combination of richness and spice in the BiB bourbon … the high rye content (30%) really amps up the experience.” Speaking of rye, David Othenin-Girard declares, “While everyone is talking about the New Riff bourbons, I think it’s the Bottled-in-Bond Rye that’s secretly their most exciting product.” We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention the Single Barrel Rye that made it onto Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 Whiskies of 2019 list, a stellar bottling at less than $50. These New Riff beauties always sell out quickly when we take in a new supply, so anyone wanting to see what all the hype is about should beat a quick path to lock in their orders today. At such outstanding pricing, you have every reason to dive in and go big.

New Riff Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml) ($39.99)

Whisky Advocate: “Fresh and delicate on the nose, with stone fruit—especially peaches—white pepper, orange Creamsicle, and spice. A generous oak backbone provides the foundation for plums, nectarines, black pepper, clove, chamomile tea, and piney cedar that sweeps into a dry oak, cocoa, iced-tea finish. Although a bit hot at times, the balance and array of flavors is an outstanding coup for this young distillery. (SSB, Winter 2018)”

K&L Notes: Quite frankly, there isn’t a project in Kentucky as exciting as New Riff if you’re a classic bourbon fan. Ken Lewis, Jay Erisman, and their incredible team have set out to make Kentucky bourbon and rye in a very traditional manner, but with more flexibiltiy than the big boys in the state, so they have the ability to riff on those classics for incredible special releases. The distillery is committed to their core products always being bottled in bond, the world’s strictest legal standard for spirits production. They’ve actually gone a step further and made non-chillfiltration one of their core tenets. They’re all about maximizing flavor. The flagship BiB bourbon is a high-rye mashbill that brings a punchy spice without sacrificing that sweet caramel and vanilla profile that has made bourbon such a beloved beverage. The quality is off the charts, everything is well aged (4 years is the minimum ever released by the distillery), the vibe is fun, and the price is right. In short, New Riff is the best new distillery to open in Kentucky in decades.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

Easily one of the most exciting new distillers in the Bluegrass State, and we’re proud to be the partner for these incredible products. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill craft distillery. This is a proper, modern, Kentucky-style distillery. It’s not a boutique operation, working on experiments and trying to reinvent the wheel. They’re just cranking out great whiskey, and we’re along for the ride. The flagship BiB bourbon is extremely well balanced and proof-positive that craft whiskey doesn’t need to be old to be delicious. I’m not sure if they’re heat-cycling these warehouses, but they are rubbing all the edges of this little gem. A soft nose of sweet tea, deep oak, caramelized orange peel, and hints of earthy maltiness. On the palate, it’s somewhat tropical, with a strawberry candy front palate building into a strong spice toward the back. It’s not a slouch and definitely has a spice backbone that’s going to suit lovers of Four Roses or Wild Turkey just fine. Despite the name, New Riff isn’t new school at all. Just great classic bourbon from an independent distillery that we’re unbelievably lucky to be a part of.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 20, 2019

The importance of what New Riff has done can’t be stated in a single review. The true magnitude their accomplishments can only be understood when looking at the larger picture of the American whiskey industry and where they fit into it. As with any whiskey though, the story isn’t fully told until you get it in your glass and judge for yourself. I love the combination of richness and spice in the bourbon. In particular, the high rye content (30%) really amps up the experience. While the sweet vanillans and caramels of the barrel create a base for the whiskey, it’s the high-toned peaks of rye aromatics that make the pour sing. Pepper and cinnamon abound, but the touch of dried alfalfa adds the savor needed to make it a complete drinking experience, not just a sweet and spice bomb. The finish lingers, both long and well rounded. Perfect at 100 proof, as required by the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897, you have many options for enjoying this one. Neat is never a bad idea, but the savory notes play extremely well with vermouth if you want to mix up some cocktails. There is enough punch that a little water or ice isn’t going to dilute it past the point of intense aromatics and flavor.


New Riff Bottled In Bond Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml) (Previously $45) ($39.99)

92 points Whisky Advocate: “New Riff’s first whiskey releases were all bottled in bond from the start—a bold move for a brand new distillery. This rye proves it was the right decision. Complex and compelling, it shows maturity while retaining liveliness and verve. Grassy and herbal on the nose, it also has orange, cedar, sassafras, rose petals, and syrupy blackberries. The medium-weight palate balances clove, cedar oil, orange, berries, bubble gum, and cinnamon, which melt into an herbaceous, nutty, chocolate-rich finish. The patient drinker is rewarded, as aromas and flavors develop beautifully in the glass. (SSB, Winter 2019)”

K&L Notes: Named the #17 Best Whiskey of the Year by Whisky Advocate in 2019! Jacob Grier from The Distiller writes: “There’s a lot to like about this New Riff: It’s a bottled-in-bond rye with an invitingly fruity nose that leads into flavors of chestnut, vanilla, and a touch of salted caramel, all backed by plentiful rye spice. It’s an impressive debut rye for the distillery and a welcome addition to the category.” If you love rye whiskey, New Riff’s Straight Rye is a must-try. The unique mashbill is a riff on the classic MGP 95/5. Instead of 5% malted barley, they actually use 5% malted rye, making it a 100% rye mashbill without sacrificing the enzematic action of malt. It’s also a fitting tribute to Larry Ebersold, the master distiller at MGP for decades who helped design New Riff’s distillery. The lineage is impeccable, and the whiskey is even better.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: September 26, 2019

While everyone is talking about the New Riff bourbons, I think it’s the Bottled-in-Bond Rye that’s secretly their most exciting product. New Riff bourbons are high-rye already, but they follow the standard Kentucky process. With the rye, New Riff is actually riffing a bit on the classic Larry Ebersold Seagram’s mashbill that’s made the rye from the distillery down river so famous. This is 100% rye with 5% of that being malted rye. The resulting whisky is earthy and complex. It doesn’t have the obvious mint qualities of some other 100% ryes, instead replacing those with a dark underbrush aroma that’s really appealing. Still, an evergreen quality and some sweet oak give this an obvious forest essence that I think will become a hallmark of New Riff’s wonderful ryes. The palate is very forgiving without relinquishing the savoriness, but offering tons of flambéed citrus, roasting herbs, Manuka honey, and a round, creamy texture. This one loves a bit of water.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 20, 2019

When you start a new distillery, it’s not uncommon (for the savvy operators) to hire a longtime industry pro to make sure the setup of the facility is up to snuff. If you’re really dedicated to making great whiskey, you hire the best. If you’re dedicated to making great rye, that means you find the man who has a reasonable claim to having distilled more rye whiskey than anyone on earth. Larry Ebersold spent 40+ years making whiskey at what is today known as MGP, at one time the largest whiskey distillery on the planet, and he is responsible for making an enormous portion of the bourbon and rye available on the market today. The investment in great people has paid off in a big way for New Riff. They let Larry order up the “small” distillery of his dreams and implemented a few new ideas he had that were not in the cards at a massive facility like MGP. A bit unusual in that it is 100% rye (95% rye and 5% malted rye), this is a dissertation on why rye is such a compelling distillation grain. It’s both spicy in flavor and plush on the palate. There is a small floral and grassy component that is intense but not perfumy or overly sweet. The cinnamon and pepper that is so clear in the high-rye bourbon counterintuitively melts into the core of this 100% rye. Bottled in bond, this is a masterpiece and rightly deserves to be where New Riff hangs their hat.

New Riff Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml) ($49.99)

92 points Whisky Advocate: “This presents a pleasant nose of fresh-baked muffins, honey-dipped apples, powdered sugar, raisin bread, baking spice, and cooked black cherries. Big and spicy, but smooth on the palate, with flavors of dark fruit and bitter chocolate, grape jam, blackcurrants, herbs, cola, and dark berries. The finish offers richness and length, with vanilla notes, spice, and freshly baked apple pie. This is a big, solid whiskey, beautifully structured, and carries its proof superbly. *Top 20 Whiskies of 2019* (DF, Spring 2020)”

K&L Notes: From Breaking Bourbon: “New Riff Distilling was founded in 2014 by Ken Lewis and Jay Erisman. Located in Newport, Kentucky, it’s just on the other side of the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. The distillery’s parking lot is shared by a familiar establishment—The Party Source—a mega-sized spirits retailer (and more) known for fair prices, variety, and single-barrel selections. The retail side being Lewis’ first foray into the spirits world, which began in the 1980’s, it eventually led to his success building The Party Source and ultimately selling it back to his employees. The Party Source is also where Lewis first met Erisman, who served as the The Party Source’s Fine Spirits manager. This experience ultimately took them down the path that would eventually become New Riff Distilling.”

OUT NOW: The Compass Box Peat Monster gift pack – collector’s edition – Scotch Whisky News

This holiday season, let Compass Box be the talk of the table. Our core collection is such a great family of entertainers, bon vivants and raconteurs that if you add a selection to your invite list, any festive dinner is guaranteed to be a roaring success. And we’re making it easier and more enjoyable than ever to celebrate the Compass Box way with new gifts for 2021.

The Peat Monster Gift Set
This is definitely one for the collectors – featuring a full-size bottle of The Peat Monster, one of our most-loved creations, alongside laser-etched glassware you can’t get anywhere else. It’s the first time we’ve offered glasses adorned with the eponymous monster, in a presentation box with striking new artwork that evokes characters and icons from labels through the years.

An ideal gift, whether it introduces a friend to our whiskies for the first time, or becomes the latest addition to a long-time Compass Box fan’s collection. There’s limited availability, so we recommend ordering early.

The Peat Monster gift set is available from our web shop now and will land in the US from November 1st.

You’ll be spoilt for choice this holiday season
You can also pick up The Peat Monster as part of our Malt Whisky Collection gift pack if you want to give that special someone a more expansive introduction to the surprising spectrum of styles we produce. In the meantime, start planning your festive get-togethers and we’ll help you choose whiskies we’re sure your guests will get on with wonderfully. Stay tuned for more!

Share & Enjoy!
The Compass Box Team

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