We’re rapidly approaching the holiday season and that means whiskeys are about to start dropping at a rapid-fire rate. I already have a ton of September whiskey releases on my desk I can’t talk about yet, plus a ton of recent releases. In fact, there’s so much coming in the next few weeks that I’ll probably have to write an article like this again by the middle of the month.
Below, I’m calling out the bottles of whiskeys I think are worth actually chasing down right now. These are the bourbons, single malts, whiskeys, and rye whiskeys that were released in the last few weeks and/or are hitting shelves right now or very soon (plus a couple of bottles I haven’t gotten to yet from the summer releases). The throughline on how these whiskeys ended up on this list is simple: They all taste good. There are a couple of collectible bottles, sure, but you can drink those too.
Overall, this is all about finding new and tasty whiskey for you to try this coming month. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite to drink as the weather cools and the leaves start to turn. Let’s find out!
Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months
- We Blind Tasted A Whole Bunch Of $30-60 Bourbons To See If Any Could Beat Weller
- We Blind Tasted Classic Bourbons And Were Shocked By The Winner
- The Best Ten-Year-Old Bourbon Whiskeys, Tasted Blind And Ranked
- We Tasted Bourbon Whiskeys ‘Double-Blind’ And Tried To Guess Each Bottle
- All The Double Gold-Winning Straight Bourbons From This Year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Little Book Chapter 6: “To The Finish”
Average Price: $125
This year’s Little Book is another masterpiece from Beam’s Master Distiller, Freddie Noe. The juice in the bottle is a blend of four-year-old straight malt whiskey finished with cherrywood staves, four-year-old straight malt whiskey finished in applewood smoked barrels, four-year-old straight malt whiskey finished in hickory smoked barrels, four-year-old straight malt whiskey finished with maplewood staves, and Beam’s classic five-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon, making this a kind of single malt/bourbon hybrid.
The juice was bottled after blending with no filtering or proofing.
This blend was built to celebrate grilling meats in the backyard and that’s evident from the nose as hints of smokey orchard woods pop first. Next, the nose reveals hints of sour cherry, tart apple cores, and bright orange zest with a smidge of smoked plum in the background with a dash of winter spice and maybe some oatmeal cookie dough. The palate kicks in with a mix of winter spices and dry green herbs (a hint of sage?) next to lightly smoked sweet cherry wood and some dry hickory that leads to a hint of cherry root beer. That cherry layers into a dry tobacco leaf with a thin line of dark chocolate and some rum-raisin as the finish veers toward orchard wood with smoked apricot and a twinge of salted vanilla cream lurking underneath it all.
This is just straight delicious. If you’re looking for the perfect Labor Day pour for a backyard grilling session, this is it.
Balcones Big Baby Bottled In Bond Straight Corn Whiskey Matured in Tequila Casks
Average Price: $60
This Texas whiskey is one of the most interesting releases of 2022. The juice is made from 100 percent roasted blue corn from New Mexico. That mash is pot distilled before going into used tequila barrels for a five-year rest. After maturation, the barrels are vatted and proofed down to 100 proof per bottled-in-bond law and bottled as-is.
The nose opens with a lovely balance of fresh and bright Key lime pie next to freshly cracked black and red peppercorns with dry corn cobs, grapefruit pith, and a dash of old dry cedar bark intertwined with orange-laced tobacco leaves and black tea. The palate leans into dry chili spice with a hint of sea salt next to honeydew melon skins, vanilla wafers, and a burst of apple Jolly Rancher that leans toward Martinelli Apple Cider cut with cream soda. The end kicks up the melon vibe with a watermelon candy vibe before layers of dry sweetgrass, cedar bark, lime leaves, and vanilla tobacco finish the sip on a dry yet bright note.
This is fresh and unique. It really feels like something new (because it is) that’s also fun to drink. Pour this over some ice or into your favorite cocktail for a nice change up from the ordinary.
Larceny Barrel Proof Batch no. C922
Average Price: $102
This is the last (of three) Larceny Barrel Proof releases of 2022. The juice, in this case, is a classic wheated bourbon — 68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley — from Heaven Hill. This small batch bourbon was aged for six to eight years before vatting and bottling as-is, creating 2022’s highest ABV release from the brand.
This pour opens with a hint of soft leather next to raisins, sour grapes, a dash of apple fritter with plenty of cinnamon, and a mild sense of dried red currants. The palate hits with an ABV buzz (kind of like the numbness you get from wasabi without the taste at all) before soft vanilla creaminess calms everything down toward berry jams with cinnamon and clove next to a light buttermilk biscuit with a hint of dry sweetgrass lurking under it all. The end softly lands on a dried prune/date/raisin finish with a twinge of tartness and a light sense of cedar-laced tobacco just touched with cardamon and vanilla.
This is a strong whiskey with a great flavor profile. It’s very classic while pushing nicely toward dried fruits. Overall, this is a great pour for your next Manhattan or on the rocks drink.
Yellowstone Limited Edition 2022
Average Price: $129
This year’s Yellowstone Limited Edition is a masterstroke of blending by Master Distiller Stephen Beam. This year’s juice is a mix of seven, 15, and 16-year barrels finished in Sicilian Marsala Superiore casks (a drier sherry-like Sicilian fortified dessert wine). Once vatted, the whiskey was just touched with water to bring it down to 101 proof, which yielded about 30,000 bottles this year.
This opens soft with an almost meaty dried apricot dipped in pine-laced honey with a line of cinnamon-spiced tobacco sharpening the nose. The palate has a mild sticky toffee pudding vibe with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg next to meaty dates, rum-raisin, and a hint of walnut cake with a twinge of butteriness. The end leans into those sweet dates with a hint of black tea and a dash of wet brown sugar before raisins packed in vanilla tobacco leaves round things out.
These are always a highlight of the year when they drop. This is well-rounded whiskey with serious depth. It’s also super easy to drink as a neat pour. Though, adding a little water will add to the creaminess of the honey and toffee.
Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 5 Years Limited Edition National Parks No. 2
Average Price: $83
This bottle celebrates Yellowston’s 150th anniversary with part of the proceeds from each bottle going to Yellowstone Forever, which helps protect the park. The whiskey in the bottle is a special release made from Wyoming grains — 68 percent corn, 20 percent wheat, and 12 percent malted barley — and water. After five years, the barrels are small-batch blended and bottled with a drop of proofing water.
Soft holiday spices mix with orange creamsicle, dry sweetgrass, old boot leather, a dash of dark chocolate powder, and a hint of cedar. The taste feels like you’re on a back porch on a sunny day with rich toffee, cherrywood, and vanilla next to buttery zucchini bread with walnuts and plenty of cinnamon. The end takes on this woody and sweet carrot vibe while lush marzipan brings a nutty sweetness with a hint of Earl Grey and walnut loaf with low notes of soft cedar and warm tobacco.
This is a centerpiece bottle thanks to a great label design. The whiskey in that cool bottle is also really good. Add in that part of the cash for this bottle is going to protect our greatest national park and you have a must-buy bottle.
Pursuit United Blended Straight Rye Whiskey 2022 Batch
Average Price: $65
This release is a blend of whiskeys from Kentucky and Maryland. The Kentucky rye is from Bardstown Bourbon Company (a 95 percent rye), which is contract distilling and aging whiskey for Pursuit United. The other rye (and the biggest component) is from Maryland’s famed and beloved Sagamore Spirits and is a 52 percent rye. Over four-year-old barrels from each warehouse were masterfully married to create this expression with a touch of water to bring the proof down a notch.
Caramel with a dark feel to it mixes with a hint of green chili, cumin, and brown sugar with an edge of sour orange and old leather. The palate leans into soft and creamy vanilla with rye spiciness that feels more wintery than peppery next to sweet cherry syrup, vanilla candies, and old porch wicker. The end maintains the sweet spice with a good mix of vanilla, sour cherry, and brown sugar sweetness to counter the soft spices.
This is a great choice for an everyday or table rye whiskey. It’s so approachable yet really delivers a great profile. It’s not overly fancy. It’s just good, solid whiskey for on the rocks and cocktail pours.
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2022
Average Price: $179
This year’s LE Small Batch is made from a blend of 20-year-old Bourbon from the OBSV bourbon recipe (high rye mash bill, delicate fruit yeast), a 15-year-old OESK (lower rye mash, slight spice yeast), a 14-year-old OESF (lower rye mash, herbal notes years), and a 14-year-old OESV (lower rye mash, delicate fruit yeast). The blend is non-chill filtered and bottled at 109 proof. All of that yielded a mere 14,000 bottles this year.
The nose opens with a hint of old basement floorboards with a hint of worn leather jackets next to a hint of sour blueberry pancakes with a deep butteriness next to thin lines of red berry jam and maple syrup. The taste feels like a mix of Pecan Sandies and mulled wine spices (heave on clove and anise) next to soft vanilla creaminess with a hint of spiced cherry tobacco just kissed with dark chocolate and nutmeg. The end has a slight warmth with a hint of dry cedar bark and hazelnut next to brown sugar and cinnamon butter with a final echo of sour cherry.
This is going to be the hardest bottle to find this September. That said, this is a stellar pour of whiskey that you’re not going to see again until 2023. And if you do, it’ll be marked up on the aftermarket by a factor of ten (at least). Good luck out there!
Average Price: $80
This brand new release from Barrell Craft Spirits really leans into unique and rare finishings. The blend is a mix of Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky bourbons that were finished in three different oaks separately before blending. In this case, that’s Japanese Mizunara casks, French, and American oak. Different toast and char levels were used for the barrels to achieve a unique palate that builds on the heritage of Barrell’s other triple cask-finished whiskeys (Dovetail, Seagrass, and Armida).
The nose opens with a sense of chili pepper-infused dark chocolate pudding next to a hint of toasted coconut, dry ginger next to root beer, and an echo of pineapple stems. The palate is full of orchard wood and espresso cream next to a hint of lush eggnog with plenty of nutmeg and a dash of some green, herbal, and savory — kind of like tarragon. The end lets the spice amp up toward red peppercorns as plum cake counters with a soft and sweet finish.
We’re getting to the point where the team at Barrell Craft Spirits can do no wrong. This is yet another home run for the bottler. It’s also very approachable and easy to drink while offering some serious depth and freshness. Make sure to add a little water to let this one bloom in the glass while tasting and nosing.
Remus Repeal Reserve Series VI 2022 Medley
Average Price: $99
This year’s Remus Reserve is a mix of six to 14-year-old bourbons. Buckle in. The blend is made from two percent from a 2008 bourbon with a 21 percent rye mash, 27 percent from a 2012 bourbon with a 21 percent rye mash, 29 percent from a 2014 bourbon with a 21 percent rye mash, 17 percent from a 2012 bourbon with a 36 percent rye mash bill, and 25 percent from a 2014 bourbon with that same very high rye mash bill. Once vatted, the whiskey is just touched with water for proofing and bottled as-is.
The nose on this one is complex and meaders through mint fields and caramel apple stands as hints of old boot leather, plum jam, winter spice, and a hint of sweet oak round things out. The palate opens with a rich toffee before a warmth takes over with a soft spice (nutmeg and allspice) before woody vanilla and creamed honey take over. The end feels like a handful of candied fruits wrapped up in leathery tobacco leaves with a hint of cedar bark and dried mint in the background.
These Remus Reserve releases have become must-have whiskeys when they drop every year. This one is among the best new releases of September (so far). It’s bold and rewarding as a sipper but also makes a killer Manhattan or Sazerac.
Four Walls Irish Whiskey “The Better Brown” Single Barrel Aged 15 Years Cask Strength
Average Price: $999
This whiskey is bottled from one ex-bourbon barrel of 15-year-old Irish whiskey. The single malt whiskey was chosen to celebrate the 15 years Sunny has been on the air. After a few select single barrels were chosen, the juice was bottled at cask strength and yielded only 755 bottles.
This opens slightly tannic but more sweet than bitter with salted buttery toffee, apple cores, rum-raisin, black tea, marzipan, and maybe even some apple fritters with a dollop of Nutella tying it all together on the nose. The palate has a caramel apple vibe that leads to a vanilla cake filled with poppy seeds and notes of floral honey, apple chips, brandy-soaked dates and prunes, and apple wood. The end has a spiced fruit nut cake vibe with an old leather glove note before waxy cacao and dry menthol kick in and slowly fade toward old pine resin with some warmth.
This is the most collectible bottle on the list. It’s a great sipper, don’t get me wrong. But this is the bottle you want to grab right now if you’re a fan of old Irish whiskey and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Long story short, this is a one-off we’re likely not going to see again.
Caol Ila Single Malt Single Cask 13-Year Cask Strength Exclusive to Jack Rose
Average Price: $119
This Islay whisky is an iconic peated single malt. The juice is aged basically a stone’s throw from the briny and dark sea on the small island. Generally, Caol Ila releases a 12-year-old single malt that’s a blend of their best casks as an entry point to the brand. This is a year older and from a single cask that’s bottled completely as-is for Jack Rose in DC.
There’s a subtle sense of the sea and runway tar on the nose that leads to a fruit orchard on a cool fall day when the fruit is fermenting in dead leaves on the ground and the bark is hardening on the tree with a hint of white moss and soft black soil. The palate has a sense of smoked floral honey with a dash of smoke prunes and pears next to a light sense of cold ash from the bottom of a Weber grill. The warmth on the palate is never overpowering and leads to a finish full of oily green herbs, dried pear chips, oyster pearls, and a sense of a pebble beach campfire on a rainy day.
This is a fantastic example of Caol Ila whisky that you can actually get in the U.S. (a lot of Caol Ila doesn’t make it this way). That does add a light collectibility factor. But I’d argue that this is too good to leave in a vault. It’s just straight-up delicious, especially if you’re looking for subtle marine-adjacent peated malt.
Frey Ranch Straight Rye Whiskey Single Barrel Barrel Strength Barrel # 260
Average Price: $99
This is the first mainstream single barrel drop from Frey Ranch. The juice is made from 100 percent Winter Cereal rye, which was grown on the ranch in Nevada. The whiskey spent several years mellowing in new oak before the barrel was just right for bottling, completely as-is.
The nose opens with a light sense of freshly cracked black pepper before elevating toward smoldering orchard woods, crusty sourdough rye bread with a hint of caraway, rosewater, and a hint of almost sweet black soil being held in old leather gloves. The palate leans into sticky toffee pudding with plenty of black tea-soaked dates, cinnamon, and nutmeg next to savory dried figs and tart dried cranberries next to a mild warmth on the mid-palate. That warmth is tempered by soft marzipan and more of that dirty leather before dry reeds and sweet cedar bark arrives on the finish.
Frey Ranch announced over the summer that they were releasing these single barrel drops this September. Now’s the time to try this whiskey. It’ll be very limited but, goddamn, it’s so good.