We’re deep into the fall whiskey release season. The trees are almost bare, Halloween is over, and it’s a prime month for trying new (like, brand new) whiskeys. There are so many new whiskeys right now that I had to cut this roundup down to only 50. Seriously, it’s a madhouse on store shelves right now.
Below, I’m calling out 50 whiskeys that you should try this November. There are 25 whiskeys from all over the world and 25 bourbons. Translation: There’s a whiskey for everyone on this month’s list. In fact, if you can’t find a whiskey that sounds delicious on this list… you might not like whiskey at all.
As always these whiskeys aren’t ranked. There’s just too much variation for that to make sense. I’ve added my professional tasting notes to each entry. Hopefully, that’ll give you an idea of what to try. Hit those price links on the whiskeys that speak to you and see if you can get them in your neck of the woods. Let’s dive in!
- The Absolute Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This October
- The Stone-Cold Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This September
- The Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This August
- The Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This July
- The Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This June
- The Best Whiskeys To Chase Down This May
PART I — The Whiskeys To Chase Down In November From Around The Globe
Balcones Cataleja Texas Single Malt Whisky
Average Price: $125
This new release from Balcones down in Waco, Texas celebrates the distillery’s 15th anniversary. The whisky in the bottle is built from 100% Golden Promise malted barley. That whisky was then aged in a variety of old sherry puncheons that held Moscatel, Amontillado Dulce, Oloroso, and Palo Cortado sherries for decades. Once batched, the whisky was bottled as-is with a drop of proofing water.
Nose: Brandy-soaked dates, figs, and prunes pop on the nose with a hint of apricot jam, clove-studded oranges, cherry hand pies, and a note of soft pecan wood with this fleeting sense of … I swear … venison backstrap frying in butter in a cast iron skillet.
Palate: Those dates go hard on the palate as marzipan and salted cashews add a deep nuttiness with more of that clove-studded orange, a touch of lemon zest, and maybe some smoldering sandalwood next to eucalyptus and sage aromatic sticks.
Finish: A touch of smudging sage drives the finish toward grilled pineapple and peach with a touch of absinth herbs before a deeply creamy mocha latte leads to a scoop of black cherry ice cream.
What! A! Ride! This is mind-blowingly weird in all the right ways. I think I’m in love.
Seriously though, I want to go back to this again and again and see what other secrets the flavor profile is hiding beneath the surface.
Nikka Discovery Series Vol. 3 “The Grain Whisky” Bottled in 2023
Average Price: $165
The third and final release of the Nikka Discovery Series has arrived. The whisky in the bottle is a blend of four grain whiskies (grain, malt, corn, and rye whiskies) from Nikka’s most unique Japanese distilleries: Miyagikyo, Nishinomiya, Moji, and Satsumatsukasa. Once batched, the whisky was proofed down with soft local spring water for bottling.
Nose: Freshly pressed apple cider cut with orange oils drives the nose toward cinnamon toast with fresh butter and a hint of almond sugar cookies dusted with raw sugar and baking spice.
Palate: Soft and sweet cinnamon leads to sweet corn on the cob with a hint of sourdough rye doughnuts glazed and just kissed with malted vanilla.
Finish: There’s a whisper of bitter coffee beans on the finish next to mild notes of that cider over soft brown winter spices floating in cream.
This is fresh and deep. It’s light yet creamy. It’s just really freaking good whisky that highlights all the different grain whiskies employed in the blend via a flavorful sensory journey.
ARDRAY Blended Scotch Whisky
Average Price: $62
This new Beam Suntory whiskey was made from prime Scotch whisky barrels (both grain and malt). Beam Suntory’s Chief Blender of Scotch, Calum Fraser, worked with Suntory’s best Japanese blenders to make a truly unique and new Blended Scotch.
Nose: Ripe tangerines mingle with fresh pear and sweet apples fresh from the orchard next to a hint of smoked pork fat stewed with cumin, oregano, and more orange vibes.
Palate: The soft orange takes on a floral note on the palate as vanilla buttercream creates a silken mouthfeel next to very thin lines of smoke from a backyard smoker that’s held plenty of meat over the years.
Finish: The smoke takes on a sweet orange depth as a dusting of white pepper leads back to the dry oregano with a fleeting whisper of smoked pork fat tying it all together at the end.
This is another that’s kind of a wild ride, but a very gentle one. There’s just so much going on but it’s all subtle. It all makes sense. And it’ll leave you wanting more.
Crown Royal Extra Rare 30-Year-Old Blended Whisky
Average Price: $899
This new version of Crown Royal’s 30-year-old blend is from very old barrels. The whiskies were all made on Royal’s famed Coffey still and represent the best the brand has to offer.
Nose: Raisins and dates drive the nose toward old honeycombs, stewed pear with a hint of saffron, real maple syrup, and plenty of woody winter spice barks and aromatics.
Palate: Lush vanilla invites you in on the palate as rich salted caramel dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in winter spice powders leads to a sense of fallow apple orchards on a cold fall day.
Finish: That lush vanilla really amps up the lushness of the finish as old oak barrels and cinnamon bark rounds out the creamy yet dry finish.
This whisky won a Double Gold Medal in 2023 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. That’s not an easy feat. Moreover, it’s so rare that a whisky makes it to 30 years old. That makes this a very special pour worth sipping with someone very special.
Chivas XV Blended Scotch Whisky
Average Price: $50
This is a classic Chivas that has finally arrived in the U.S. The whisky is classic Chivas blended whisky (made from malt and grain whiskies) that was left to age for 15 long years before the whisky is moved into Champagne Cognac casks for a final rest. Finally, that whisky is vatted, proofed, and bottled.
Nose: Orange marmalade on wheat toast is accented by freshly ground cinnamon, a touch of clove, and mincemeat pies iced with a thin layer of powdered sugar icing.
Palate: Dark dried fruits — think prunes, sultanas, and dates — drive the palate toward soft berries, rich butterscotch, and a touch of caramel-laced toffees dipped in roasted almonds.
Finish: The end is lush and creamy with a hint of vanilla kissed with more mincemeat pie, brandy-soaked dates, and a dark Christmas pudding swimming in brandy butter.
This is darkly fruity and just works. It’s the epitome of an easy sipper, especially over some rocks.
Ardbeg Anamorphic Islay Peated Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Average Price: $209
This new Committee Release from Ardbeg is an experiment in extreme oak charring. The whiskey is classic peated Islay Ardbeg malt that’s re-barreled in old bourbon casks with special heads. In this case, the heads were removed from the used bourbon casks and deeply scored before they were re-toasted and then charred to within an inch of their lives in what’s called “high mocha” char. Those heads were put back into the barrel and the whisky was added. All of this led to barrels of Ardbeg that leaned into sweet smokiness with a herbal base and plenty of spice.
Nose: There’s a dusty barrel house floor on the nose that gently eases you into a sense of old and very mild tar that’s countered by lush vanilla, absinth botanicals, fennel, and a whisper of chrysanthemums in full bloom.
Palate: A touch of sharp pepper hits the tip of your tongue on the taste before leaning into chili-laced hot chocolate with a creamy underbelly next to birch bark, espresso beans, and a touch of blackberry stems with this fleeting hint of … I want to say artichoke.
Finish: The very subtle tar returns on the finish with a smoky sense of artichoke rolled in sea salt before the espresso takes on a bitter note and then everything is overrun with black molasses and almond oils.
This is so unique and deliciously fascinating. I feel like pouring this over a rock to really let it run wild with the nuttiness, creaminess, and herbal vibes.
Old Elk Cigar Cut Island Blend Straight Whiskies Finished in Port, Sauternes, Sherry, and Rum Barrels
Average Price: $129
This new blend from Old Elk mixes their six-year-old high-malt bourbon with six-year-old Old Elk rye and six-year-old Old Elk wheat whiskey. That straight whiskey was then finished in a combination of port, sauternes, sherry, and rum barrels before batching and then bottling as-is.
Nose: Honey cut with cinnamon sticks and clove buds drives the nose towards bruised peaches and pureed apricot over a hint of orange that’s just kissed with salt and black pepper.
Palate: Some more honey touches the tip of your tongue as a sense of tangerines and honeydew leads to more of that black pepper with a light sense of woody winter spice and vanilla oils.
Finish: A dash of fresh dragonfruit arrives late and accents the black pepper sharpness with a deep but fresh fruitness cut with more dark winter spice and a touch of rummy funkiness.
This is a fruit bomb but leans both savory and sweet in all the right ways. I can see this working wonders a slow sipper over a large ice cube.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Collaborative Series Carter Cellars A Blend of American Straight Whiskies Finished in Carter Cellars Napa Cabernet Barrels
Average Price: $159
This new release from Bardstown Bourbon Company is a custom blend of bourbon (one 17-year-old and one 12-year-old) and rye. Once batched, that whiskey was then re-barreled into 10 Carter Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet barrels and left to mellow for 14 more months. Those barrels were then batched and the whiskey was bottled 100% as-is.
Nose: Blackberry crumble cut with plenty of cinnamon and allspice leads the nose toward dark and well-worn leather over pecan shells, vanilla malts, and hints of lavender flowers.
Palate: That blackberry and pecan vibe amp up on the palate as rich and luscious vanilla buttercream makes space for old oak staves and dry espresso bean-laced tobacco rolled with cedar bark.
Finish: The end leans into the wood with a hint of mulled wine and Christmas spice cakes before the tobacco and cedar rise on the very end.
This feels very red wine-forward in all the right ways. It starts with big dark berry notes and then hits those old bourbon cream vanilla and spice notes before combining them all on the very end. Pour this one over a big ol’ rock and take your time enjoying all it has to offer.
Aberfeldy Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 18 Years Finished in Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Casks Napa Valley Limited Edition
Average Price: $129
This whisky was made with Aberfeldy’s iconic and very honey-forward 17-year-old Highland unpeated malt. That whisky was then re-casked into old Cabernet Sauv casks from Napa Valley for an additional 15 months of aging. Finally, those barrels were vatted and the whisky was proofed for bottling.
Nose: Floral honey drives the nose toward cranberry sauce with a hint of spice oak layered with caramel apples and toffee candies rolled in dark chocolate.
Palate: Those caramel apples lead on the palate with a lush vanilla foundation next to bitter orange marmalade, apple pie filling, and a cup of regular drip coffee.
Finish: The honey arrives on the finish with a honeycomb earthiness before fresh and very sweet raspberry drives the taste back toward old oak with a hint of mince pies and mulled wine sneaking in at the very end.
This has a dark and deep fruitiness that just works. Sip this one slowly over a big ice cube and you’ll be deeply rewarded.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami Blended Scotch Whisky
Average Price: $499
Johnnie Walker just dropped a new and very unique version of their Blue Label. Dr. Emma Walker, Johnnie Walker’s Master Blender, worked with Chef Kei Kobayashi to create a whisky blend that truly presented as “umami” on the profile. They did this by selecting umami-forward barrels from the vast stables of Diageo’s Scotch distilleries to create a masterful and truly unique Johnnie Blue.
Nose: Orange oils and bright fresh berries lead on the nose before woody winter spices create a sharp shift toward pepper-smoked brisket burnt ends with a hint of blueberry BBQ sauce.
Palate: The palate leans toward white peaches that are almost savory before the woody apple is cut with tangerines and orange oils with a hint of wild berries that are part savory and part woody — think huckleberries off the bush.
Finish: The finish swings back around to that brisket with a deep saltiness and sharp black pepper vibe before the dark and woody berries come back into counterbalance with brightness, sweetness, and woodiness.
This somehow … works. It’s not overly smoky at all and the smoke that’s there is tied more to Texas BBQ vibes than peaty asphalt. Overall, I can see really digging this over a big rock on a rainy day while the smoker makes some magic happen with a pork shoulder or brisket or turkey.
The Glenrothes Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky 25 Years 2023 Release
Average Price: $771
This new release of The Glenrothes 25-Year is a masterclass unpeated Scotch whisky experience. The whisky is hewn from mostly first-fill sherry barrels that were left alone for over two decades before vatting, proofing, and bottling.
Nose: Rich and spicy peach cobbler cut with bright orange zest drives the nose toward moist marzipan laced with pear brandy that’s just kissed with fresh wisteria and sunflower.
Palate: The tip of the tongue is greeted with a lush vanilla creaminess that gives way to more of the stewed peach and bright orange before very milky chocolate arrives with a whisper of old oak staves soaked in sweet brandy and rolled with roasted almonds.
Finish: The marzipan, pear brandy, and summer flowers return on the finish as soft layers of almond, vanilla, and creamy chocolate slowly fade toward lush meadows.
This is just nice. Drink it neat or over a rock. Either way, you’ll be in for a subtle and easygoing treat.
Deanston Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 15 Years Old Tequila Cask Finish
Average Price: $98
This new whisky from Deanston takes (unpeated) Highland malt and finishes it in reposado and anejo tequila barrels from the Highlands of Jalisco. Those barrels are then vatted before a touch of proofing and bottling.
Nose: The nose is boldly fruity with freshly cut pineapple and mango next to lightly roasted almonds and walnuts with a deep sense of crème brûlée fresh from the oven and served on an old oak stave.
Palate: That rich vanilla creaminess remains on the palate as a sense of dry agave hearts sneaks in with roasted almond, stewed apple cider cut with winter spice barks, and a sense of dry oak wrapped in white pepper tobacco.
Finish: Hints of orange and lime oils pop on the finish as the white pepper, dry agave, and almond give way to a rush of lush vanilla and woody apple cider at the very end.
This has a wonderfully delicate sense of old tequila that works well with the soft and apple-forward malt. Drink it over a rock and enjoy the marrying of Mexico and Scotland’s Highlands in a glass.
Compass Box Metropolis Blended Scotch Whisky
Average Price: $327
Compass Box doesn’t miss with their masterful blends of Scotland’s finest whiskies. This whisky was made with barrels from both Aberlour and Miltonduff distilleries cut with sherry-finished blended Scotch and subtly peated Islay malt from Bowmore.
Nose: Rich and creamy chocolate cut with dried apricot vibes on the nose with a sense of freshly plucked figs dipped in fresh and floral honey and smoked barley.
Palate: The apricot is joined by brandy-soaked raisins and dates on the palate as smoldering winter spice barks and buds drive the taste toward a hint of creamy vanilla toffee.
Finish: Hints of creamed orange and vanilla barely peak in on the finish as those smoldering spice barks and honey-soaked figs round out the lush and rich end.
Drink this one slowly with a rock or a little bit of water and you’ll be in for a long and lush treat.
Indri Single Malt Indian Whisky Diwali Collector’s Edition 2023 PX Sherry Peat
Average Price: $60
This peated malt from India is made with 6-row Barley that’s locally grown and peated before fermentation and running through old copper pot stills. That hot whisky is then filled in old PX sherry casks and left to age in the sub-tropical climate of Northern India.
Nose: A medley of homemade trail mix with really good nuts, raisins, and chocolates drives the nose toward deeply earthy oakiness with a smoldering sense of a sweet brush fire off in the distance.
Palate: Candied ginger and red berries lead the palate toward toasted walnuts and cashews with a flake of salt before spiced oak staves lead back to the trail mix with way more dark chocolate in it.
Finish: That dark chocolate gets creamy on the finish as spiced nuts and dried berries drive the finish toward a whisp of the sweet brush fire that almost feels like burning sugar cane.
This is just a nice change of pace. It’s smoky, sure, but it’s so unique that you can’t help but want more. This is good sipping whisky.
Nelson Bros. Whiskey Straight Rye Whiskey
Average Price: $44
Nelson Bros. Whiskey Rye is a marriage of Kentucky and Tennessee in a bottle. The whiskey was made in Kentucky and then sent to Tennessee where it finished its maturation before batching, proofing, and bottling in Nashville.
Nose: Dark and sharp cloves floating in a piney honey opens the nose toward hints of star anise, allspice, coriander, and red chili … you know what? It’s five-spice with a touch of fresh mint and dried apricot.
Palate: That apricot stars dried on the palate as freshly ground nutmeg over a spiced creamy nog circles back around to syrupy mint with a sense of old leather boots and cedar bark.
Finish: That leather and cedar bark braids with menthol tobacco on the finish as almonds and dark and sharp cinnamon leads to another whisper of five spice on the very end.
This is a nice vibrant rye with a good spiciness that’s way beyond just “peppery”. I can see this shining in cocktails or over rocks.
High West A Midwinter Night’s Dram: A Blend of Straight Rye Whiskeys Finished in Port Barrels Limited Engagement Act 11 Scene 1
Average Price: $124
This whiskey starts off as High West’s famed Rendezvous Rye, which is a blend of MGP’s 95 percent rye (with five percent malted barley) batched with High West’s own 80/20 rye/malted rye juice. The difference here is that once that juice is vatted it is then re-barreled in both tawny and ruby port barrels for a final maturation stretch. Those barrels are then small batch blended and proofed down every so slightly before bottling.
Nose: This feels like classic rye on the nose with brandied cherries dipped in woody winter spices next to burnt orange, cinnamon, and clove-spiked plum jam, and a hint of sour red wine by way of a mulled wine barrel.
Palate: The palate has a nutty base with smooth vanilla next to spiced Christmas cakes full of candied and dried fruits and citrus rinds, plenty of nuts, dark spices, plenty of brown butter, and rummy molasses.
Finish: The end hints at that mulled wine oak barrel next to rich toffee sweetness and a whisper of old leather, spiced tobacco, and lush vanilla cake.
This a “fuck, that’s delicious!” whiskey. Take it slow and the profile will reward you with deep and delicious tasting notes.
Hibiki Japanese Harmony 100th Anniversary Edition
Average Price: $199
This edition of Hibiki Japanese Harmony was blended and bottled to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Hibiki Japanese whisky. The blend is all about the fruits, florals, and incense and built to highlight those notes even more to celebrate the centennial.
Nose: Wet fresh roses open the nose toward soft oakiness that veers toward unlit sandalwood incense before a touch of lychee hits the senses and leads you toward thyme and rosemary, both fresh out of a herb garden.
Palate: Deep and floral honey hits the end of your tongue and remains for a while as candied orange rinds and candied lime wedges drive the taste toward macadamia nut cookies with plenty of white chocolate.
Finish: Sweet yet lightly salty oak arrives on the finish with a sense of floral honey cut with that candied orange and lime before the white chocolate creates a lush end.
This is baffling. It’s also someone how enticing. You’ll want to go back for another sip. Part of it is the curiosity to see what the profile can throw at you next while part of it is the subtle beauty of the pour. This is a truly delicate whisky.
Hibiki Suntory Whisky 21 Years Old 100th Anniversary Suntory Whisky
Average Price: $7,000
Sticking with Hibiki’s 100th anniversary, this new version of Hibiki 21 is going to be on a collector’s wish list. The whisky in the bottle is a blend of malt and grain whiskies chosen and blended by Suntory’s legendary Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo alongside his blending team. The team specifically chose Mizunara oak casks for the heart of the whisky out of respect for their shared Japanese heritage.
Nose: Jasmine blooms draw you in on the nose with a hint of savory fruits like dragonfruit and kumquat with a hint of star fruit next to burning incense coming from a distant sensor on the other side of the room.
Palate: Old potpourri with a hint of sandalwood drives the palate toward a super subtle sense of acacia bark next to a faint whisper of betel nut and maybe some floral honey with an almost crisp edge.
Finish: Spiced whisky wood staves arrive late on the finish with a sense of dried jasmine and lavender next to dried coriander and a fleeting sense of sweet incense in the far distance on a cold night.
This is another whisky that feels baffling at first — but once you settle into it, it becomes magical. There’s something about how ridiculously subtle the whole thing is that gets you lean in like you’re listening to an old, wise grandparent as they tell a story that’ll change the way you live your life.
Bardstown Bourbon Company Collaborative Series Amaro Nonino A Blend of Straight Bourbon & Rye Whiskey Finished in Amara Nonino Barrels
Average Price: $160
This brand-new release from Bardstown Bourbon Company combines Kentucky and Indiana with Italian amaro. The whiskey is a blend of 12-year-old Kentucky bourbon with two Indiana rye whiskeys. Once batched, that whiskey was re-filled in Amaro Nonino Quintessentia Riserva barrels for a long 17-month rest before batching, a touch of proofing, and bottling.
Nose: The nose on this is like a walk through a candy store with rich caramel chews mingling with vanilla cakes, chocolate chews, brandied cherries covered in dark chocolate before dark stewed apples and pears cut with bright orange zest arrive with a whisper of … pumpkin pie.
Palate: Roasting herbs pop on the palate with hints of absinth and caraway-encrusted rye bread before pancake syrup leads back to caramel and honey sweetness with a hint of vanilla pound cake.
Finish: The end circles back around to the botanicals and herbs with a deep sense of oily rosemary thyme next to star anise, allspice, and clove over this whisper of dried lavender and chamomile.
This is another wildly unique pour of whiskey. I need to try this in a Sazerac or Manhattan ASAP.
Thomas H. Handy Straight Rye Whiskey Barrel Proof (BTAC 2023)
This year’s Handy is straight rye (oddly “Kentucky” is missing from the label) comprised of barrels aged for over six years. Once those barrels were batched, this whiskey went into the bottles 100% as-is at cask strength.
Nose: Leathery orange rinds and hints of lemon poppyseed cake pop on the nose along with sappy pine bark, salted caramel, and cumin- and chili-laced leathery tobacco.
Palate: Dark rye bread appears on the front of the palate with a hint of molasses sweetness before the ABVs create a buzzing on the tongue with deep and dark orange marmalade, piney honey, soft vanilla oils, and a hint of potpourri leatheriness on the mid-palate.
Finish: That potpourri vibe mellowing fades on the finish as vanilla and star fruit arrive with a sense of dried chili and star anise hint at black licorice and sarsaparilla bark on the dry end.
This is an excellent rye that makes the floral notes work well with the overall vibe. I can see this as an amazing cocktail base or sipper over a rock.
Sazerac Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey 18 Years Old (BTAC 2023)
This year’s Sazerac is a “collection of rye whiskey barrels” that were filled in both the fall of 2004 and the spring of 2005, making this an 18-year-old rye with a touch of 19-year-old juice. Those barrels spent all of those years on the Buffalo Trace campus in warehouses K, L, and M before batching, proofing, and bottling otherwise as-is.
Nose: Leathery spice barks draw you in on the nose with a deep sense of rye bread crusted with aniseed, clove-studded oranges, and a hint of sweet pear.
Palate: Classic notes of dark winter spice mingle with black pepper, cumin, and chili pepper powder on the palate as candied BBQ pork and new leather lead to a vanilla-laden mid-palate with a soft oakiness.
Finish: That soft oakiness leads to a light and fresh honey sweetness with a light sense of pine and cinnamon bark dipped in hot apple cider with a hint of barrelhouse lurking behind it all.
This is one of the best rye whiskeys of the year.
Little Book Chapter 07: Retrospect
Average Price: $149
You know it’s fall whiskey season when Freddie Noe drops a new Little Book. Chapter 7 is a big blend of mostly bourbon and rye barrels with a single malt (finished in applewood smoked barrels) thrown in for good measure. The bourbons in the batch are four to 18 years old while the ryes are four to 10 years old. The final batch is bottled 100% as-is.
Nose: Clove-studded oranges open the nose with a bold sense of salted caramel, dark chocolate sauce, floral honey, and old vanilla cookies just kissed with almond oils and confectioner’s sugar before hitting light notes of old earthy cellars full of old firewood and leather boots.
Palate: That floral honey opens the palate with a soft vanilla cake covered in rich buttercream amped with marzipan and salted toffee before chili-laced chocolate tobacco drives the whole taste back toward earthiness and whiskey-worn oak.
Finish: The end has a soft warmth that slowly builds with winter spice barks, clove-spiked mulled wine, black-tea-soaked dates, rum raisin, and candied orange peels and cherries with a touch of malted chocolate cookies and vanilla tobacco rolled with smudging sage and dry cedar bark.
This is one of the best Little Book releases… ever.
The Dalmore Cask Curation Series The Sherry Edition
This super-elite set of whiskies is all about sherry cask finishing done in the absolute best way possible. The three whiskies in the set — a 26-, 28-, and 43-year-old version of The Dalmore — were carefully finished in sherry casks from the famed Tio Pepe Sherry house in Jerez, Spain. Each one offers a unique take from a unique sherry cask married with very old The Dalmore unpeated single malt.
Each of the whiskies has its vibe with the 26- and 43-year-old taking on a very light and sherry-forward vibe while the 28-year-old version leans into the quintessential The Dalmore profile.
This is a super elite set of whiskies that few will taste. If you do stumble across them (at the home of a gazillionaire or whatever…), try at least one (or all three). It’ll be a masterclass in how amazing a sherry finish can be when done perfectly.
Part 2 — The Bourbons To Chase Down In November
The Hardin’s Creek Kentucky Series Trio
This year, Master Distiller Freddie Noe has been experimenting with batches of bourbon from individual campuses of the James B. Beam Distilling family around Kentucky. He’s been pulling barrels from campuses that have different weather patterns and atmospheres — terroirs if you will — to show how vastly different the same whiskey can taste simply according to the area it was aged in.
To really drive that home Beam just released all three of Noe’s location-based batches — one from the Clermont home campus, one from the Boston (yes, Kentucky) campus, and one from the Frankfort campus — so that you can taste them side-by-side easily.
Each of these bourbons is a prime example of how much variation you can get in the same whiskeys by simply putting them in a different place. It’s intense.
This is a great educational pack of whiskeys. You’ll be blown away by how different they are and gain a whole new respect for how the place a whiskey is aged in has a massive impact on it.
Barrell Foundation Bourbon Aged 5 Years A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys
Average Price: $54
Barrell Craft Spirits have cornered the market on cask-strength single barrels and batched blends of bourbon, rye, and American whiskey. Now, they’re finally releasing a non-cask-strength bourbon for the masses. This whiskey is a batch of bourbons from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Maryland that is proofed down to 100-proof.
Nose: Candied cherries and cranberry sauce drive the nose toward hints of dark chocolate, brown butter, and cardamon cake.
Palate: Pecan waffles dripping with brown butter and maple syrup lead on the palate with a sense of rye fennel and anise notes next to lemon poppyseed cake, a note of cinnamon cookie, and maybe a touch of eggnog-spiked lattes.
Finish: That creaminess leads back to the rich vanilla and woody spice barks with a sense of toffee rolled in roasted almond and dipped in salted dark chocolate before a rich pipe tobacco rolled with old saddle leather arrives.
This is a great entry in the small batch world from Barrell Craft Spirits. While this works perfectly well as a sipper over some rocks, you’ll really want to make whiskey-forward cocktails with it.
Southern Star Paragon Single Barrel Cask Strength Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey Limited Series
Average Price: $99
Southern Star Paragon has been racking up the awards over the last couple of years. This new limited edition bottle (just released in October 2023) is a single-barrel version of their beloved whiskey. The wheated bourbon (70% corn, 16% wheat, and 14% malted barley) was left to age for just over five years before a single barrel was chosen and bottled 100% as-is at barrel proof. The whiskey was then branded to commemorate the Carolina Panthers’ 2003 NFC Championship NFL run — their hometown heroes.
Nose: The nose presents with a light sense of orchard in full bloom with apple cores and peels next to honeyed walnuts, Graham Crackers, a touch of vanilla cream, and classic notes of spiced oak.
Palate: That honeyed walnut pops on the palate with more of that Graham Cracker graininess next to light notes of vanilla pudding, apple pie, and winter spice barks.
Finish: The end leans into the spice with a warming/buzzing heat next to a rich vanilla softness that just touches on eggnog and pound cake.
Looking for a bottle to share with your crew on Sundays this year? This is a great one. And don’t let the Jaguars branding throw you, this is solid bourbon that works as a sipper of a simple cocktail base.
Watershed Distillery Fall Finishing Series Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels Aged 6 Years Barrel Strength
Average Price: $89
This Ohio whiskey is all about batching and finishing. The bourbon was re-filled into American oak that held apple brandy for years. After six total years of aging, the whiskey was batched and then bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
Nose: Honey Graham Crackers and almond cookies present on the nose with a sense of clove-studded oranges and old cinnamon sticks with a note of caramel and apple.
Palate: The apple merges with the cinnamon and caramel on the palate next to leathery prunes, piney honey, and more clove-orange before a dark potting soil arrives with a deep earthiness.
Finish: That earthiness turns into dry sweetgrass on the finish with a sense of cinnamon-heavy stewed apples and old oak.
This is a nice sipper with good fall vibes. It also works well in fall cocktails that feature an apple brandy vibe.
Copper Crow 1560 Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Aged 4 Years
Average Price: $34
Copper Crow is from Indigenous distillers up in Wisconsin. The whiskey is made from a 70% corn mash bill and aged in new American white oak for four years. Those barrels are small batched and then the whiskey is cut with water from the local Lake Superior aquifer.
Nose: A classic medley of dark vanilla pods, old oak staves, and rich salted caramel mingle with cherry cola and dry sweetgrass braided with cedar bark and pipe tobacco.
Palate: The palate follows along the path with measured notes of crafty sweet grains — like Cream of Wheat meets white grits cut with butter and brown sugar — next to woody winter spices and a touch of orange zest.
Finish: Sweet oak and porridge lead the way on the finish with a dark cherry leatheriness tied to winter spice barks.
This is a classic bourbon and should be your new house pour for highballs, cocktails, shots, or easy sipping.
Thirteenth Colony Distillery Cask Strength Double Oaked Bourbon
Average Price: $199
This new batch from indy-darling Thirteenth Colony is a batch of whiskey that’s finished with toasted maple wood. Once batched, the whiskey was bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
Nose: The sense of an old rickhouse (cobwebs and all) draws you in on the nose with a hint of cherry cream soda, orange florals, and pecan waffles soaked in butter and real maple syrup with a hint of pepperiness.
Palate: That pepperiness pops on the palate with a warming ABV buzz on the tongue next to salted caramel rolled with more pecan waffle, orange creaminess, and a whisper of peppery yet sweet bacon.
Finish: The end has a sense of orange tobacco rolled with cherry leather and old oak stave, smudging sage, and caramel candied pecans touched with a flake of salt.
This is just really freaking good sipping bourbon. You know what to do.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Batch No. C923
Average Price: $74
The last drop from Elijah Craig Barrel Proof of 2023 is a big one. The whiskey in the bottle is a 13-year and 7-month-old bourbon that was bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
Nose: Big notes of stewed apples lead to apple cider spiked with dried red chili, allspice, and anise on the nose before dark chocolate oranges and salted caramels give way to old oak staves with a hint of vanilla-mint tobacco.
Palate: That vanilla creates a silky palate with tons of butterscotch and caramel popcorn with a good flake of salt as cinnamon and chili-heavy cider leads to Christmas nut breads and old leather tobacco pouches with a hint of dark cherry.
Finish: The end amps up the ABVs dramatically as chili, black pepper, and anise drive the end toward an almost cool mint tobacco vibe with a vanilla buttercream underbelly.
This is a big and bold whiskey with a hell of a burn at the end. Pour it over a big rock, let it get creamy, and then enjoy it slowly without the burn.
Savage & Cooke Cask Finished Bourbon Whiskey California Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels
Average Price: $69
This whiskey is a grain-to-glass experience thanks to all the grains for the mash having been grown within 50 miles of the distillery. Those grains are yellow corn, rye, and malted barley. After three years in the barrel, the whiskey was batched and re-filled into Dave Phinney’s Cabernet Sauvignon barrels for another two months of mellowing.
Nose: Rich orange cake drizzled with honey icing drives the nose toward a hint of mulled wine and caramel chews over firewood oak staves.
Palate: That oak drives the palate as the caramel gets salted and creamy before a touch of spicy winter mulled wine hints at rum raisin and cherry cola.
Finish: The end leans into oaky pipe tobacco with a light sense of old rickhouse floors and dried sweetgrass braided with cedar bark.
This is a very good classic bourbon with a nice balance to it. It’ll work wonders in a cocktail.
Widow Jane The Vaults Aged 15 Years A Blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskeys
Average Price: $249
This year’s Widow Jane The Vaults takes the age statement up to 15 years. The whiskey in the bottle is a blend of Tennessee and Indiana bourbons that rested for 15 years before batching and re-filling into Chinquapin oak casks for another three months of mellowing in Widow Jane’s Red Hook warehouse.
Nose: Perfectly toasted marshmallow gives way to cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven with a sense of real-deal sasparilla cut with vanilla ice cream and a hint of mint before an almost savory fruitiness arrives that’s part sandy pear and part yellow melon.
Palate: The vanilla takes on a lemon chocolate vibe (a very underrated combination) before the mint shocks the palate toward rich and chewy tobacco dipped in honey.
Finish: Sharp cherry cola drives the finish toward fresh honeycombs with a hint of nutmeg sprinkled in next to vanilla pound cake cut with poppyseeds and almond oils.
This is just delicious. Get some. Take it slow. Add ice and water here and there to let it bloom.
Starlight Distillery Carl T. Huber’s Limited Release Double Oaked Bourbon Whiskey Finished in a Second Oak Barrel American Oak
Average Price: $99
This new whiskey from Starlight Distillery up in Indiana is a seven-year-old bourbon that’s put into another oak barrel — in this case an American oak barrel — for a final maturation run. Those barrels are then batched by the Huber family team to create subtle whiskey that shines a light on American oak aging.
Nose: Dark yet light berries and orchard fruits beckon you on the nose with a good layer of fresh vanilla beans layered with caramel sheets, rock candy, and toasted oak that’s almost cedar laced.
Palate: The vanilla takes on a soft cake vibe on the palate as the caramel gets salty and lush before the red fruit takes on a leatheriness with the oak taking on the feel of a pile of old firewood on a frosty morning.
Finish: The end leans into the wood with a subtle sense of smudging sage, old leather boots, and dark red cherry cola next to dry winter spice barks and old used vanilla pods.
This is a special release this November to help fight prostate cancer with part of the proceeds going to those charities.
Beyond that, this is a great example of how an extra dose of American oak can really add depth to a well-made bourbon. Try it over a rock or in your favorite cocktail. You won’t be disappointed.
Starlight Distillery Carl T. Huber’s Limited Release Double Oaked Bourbon Whiskey Finished in a Second Oak Barrel French Oak
Average Price: $99
This too is a seven-year-old Starlight bourbon. In this case, that same whiskey was re-filled into French oak casks for a final maturation before batching and bottling to help with cancer research.
Nose: Your grandma’s caramel candies draw you in on the nose with a light sense of vanilla malts topped with whipped cream and a cherry before the oak arrives with a sense of sweetness and light mocha espresso vibes.
Palate: The dark cherry takes on a mild cola feel before it drives toward rich vanilla buttercream cut with poppyseeds and nutmeg next to a hint of that sweet oak dipped in salted caramel.
Finish: Rich tobacco leaves wrap themselves around that caramel oak before a whisper of apple blossom and maybe some brandy-soaked pear round out the finish.
While this bottle is also helping support the fight against prostate cancer, I put it here to show how vastly different a whiskey becomes with a secondary finish. It’s amazing that the base of this whiskey is the same as the one above. These whiskeys taste and feel so different. That’s a true education in the power of finishing.
Pinhook Vertical 8 Series Bourbon – Bourbon War 8-Year Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Average Price: $92
This is an instant classic from Kentucky’s Pinhook. The whiskey is hewn from a mash bill of 75% corn, 20.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley distilled at MGP of Indiana and aged at Castle & Key (in Kentucky). The whiskey was left alone for eight years before batching and bottling as-is.
Nose: The nose opens with toasted raisin bread, cinnamon butter, dates, prunes, and figs with a nice layer of leathery dark berries cut with bright orange zest.
Palate: Soft caramel opens the palate before sharp winter spice barks stewing dark plums, sticky toffee pudding, and vanilla buttercream lead to fresh gingerbread.
Finish: The end leans into the rich buttercream and woody spices with a soft sense of pipe tobacco and Christmas cakes.
Again, this is just good, folks. Sip it neat or over a big rock and you’ll be in for a rewarding and delicious whiskey experience.
Heaven’s Door Bootleg Series Vol. V 18-Year-Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged in Spanish Vermough Rogue Casks
Average Price: $599
The new Bootleg Series from Heaven’s Door is here! This year’s edition is an 18-year-old bourbon that’s finished in Spanish Vermouth Rouge casks. The whiskey was batched and bottled as-is with a one-of-a-kind piece of art from Bob Dylan serving as a label that’s reminiscent of going on the road with Steinbeck or Kesey.
Nose: Old honey pots with crystalized honey at the bottom open the nose toward rich and salted caramel next to a moist and lush vanilla cake dotted with dried brandied cherries and a note of old oak wrapped in tobacco leaves.
Palate: That tobacco marries to the salted caramel on the palate as the vanilla and cherry swim in brandy with rum raisin and a whisper of smudging sage smoldering in the background with some more tobacco.
Finish: The honey sweetness takes on a crisp and clear sharpness on the finish as the cherry gets tart and then sweet like a cherry cake with whispers of chili-chocolate tobacco and old barrelhouses on a cold fall day full of leaves brings it all to an end.
This is the best bottle of bourbon Heaven’s Door has released (and they’ve released some killers).
Knob Creek Aged 18 Years Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2023 Release
Average Price: $224
Super rare limited release for fall 2023. This limited-edition release celebrates the 30th Anniversary of Knob Creek, which started back in 1992 during the darkest days of bourbon. The juice is Beam’s standard mash bill that’s distilled at a slightly different temperature and treated with a little more care during aging by placing barrels in very specific locations throughout their vast warehouses. After 18 long years, the best of the best barrels are small batched, and just proofed before bottling.
Nose: Dark molasses and pecan clusters with salted dark chocolate lead to brown butter, old figs, and salted caramel with a woody sense of cherry and apple bark next to cinnamon-laced cedar sticks with burnt orange.
Palate: The palate is full of lush vanilla notes next to singed cherry bark and apple-cider-soaked cinnamon sticks, star anise, salted black licorice, and dark chocolate-covered espresso beans with a hint of dried red chili spice turning up the heat on the mid-palate.
Finish: The end has a floral honey sweetness that balances everything toward orange blossoms and bruised peaches, cherry tobacco, and clove tobacco.
This re-release comes with a cool side product, an 18-inch cast iron skillet that’s, frankly, an amazing skillet. Skillet aside, this is a masterpiece bourbon. Sip it slow over a single rock or neat.
Booker’s Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2023-03 “Mighty Fine Batch”
Average Price: $175
This new batch from the Beam team honors Beam Master Distiller Booker Noe’s old favorite phrase when a batch of bourbon worked out just right. The cask-strength batch of bourbon was pulled from prime barrels from prime spots across the Beam warehouses in Clermont, Kentucky. Once batched, the whiskey was bottled 100% as-is at barrel strength.
Nose: Dark brown sugar and cask warmth pops on the nose with a sense of deep and very real vanilla under a heat lamp and lashing the air with deep vanilla smells as caramel sweetens the rest of the air with bourbon-y vibes of oak, leather, and tobacco.
Palate: That deep and warm vanilla drives the palate toward a Kentucky hug from a grizzly bear as the ABVs warm toward sharp winter spice barks, dark cherry cola, and marzipan cut with dark chocolate and more dark cherry before the old oakiness arrives with a hint of warehouse floor.
Finish: The grizzly bear Kentucky hug only gets sharper and hotter on the finish as the brown sugar, dark cherry, and old oak lead to a creamy lush vanilla finish that’s just kissed with eggnog, marzipan, and spiced holiday cookies.
Pour this over a big rock and that Kentucky grizzly bear mauling will turn into a gentle Bluegrass embrace.
Woodford Reserve Sonoma Triple Finish Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Average Price: $149
The latest Distillery Series from Woodford leans into the California oak. In this case, the whiskey in the bottle was made from barrels of bourbon finished in Sonoma County Pinot Noir, brandy, and red wine bourbon barrels. Those barrels were then batched and just proofed down before bottling for this special release.
Nose: Freshly ground cinnamon drives the nose toward grilled peaches and pineapple before deep and oily vanilla arrives with a sense of fresh plums dusted with a hint of salt.
Palate: Those plums stay fresh on the palate as the vanilla really kicks up with a nice balance of old oak, a hint of leatheriness, and old tobacco dipped into mulled wine.
Finish: That mulled wine takes on an oakiness with more leathery tobacco on the finish as the plums are just stewed with winter spice barks and then folded into berry pie.
This is very fruit-forward with a good spicy base. I can see this making a killer whiskey-forward cocktail.
Wyoming Whiskey National Parks No. 3 Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Average Price: $79
This year’s Wyoming Whiskey Fall 2023 release is the third edition of the National Park series. This year Grand Teton National Park is the star of the show with a minimum five-year-old batch of bourbon aged in the plains of Wyoming as they descend from the Rockies.
Nose: Wyoming Bourbon’s signature orange creamsicle opens the nose with a sense of wet brown sugar, fresh unsalted butter, and little cups of toffee pudding before a hint of dry black tea leaves arrives.
Palate: The orange attaches to floral honey on the palate with a sense of coffee cake, Nutella, and soft vanilla pudding swimming in caramel sauce.
Finish: Pecan waffles with pancake syrup sweeten the finish before that black tea sneaks back in with a mild sense of leathery tobacco and the stick from an orange creamsicle.
This bottle’s sales will help protect Grand Teton National Park, which is reason enough to buy this one. Moreover, it’s just a really good and unique bourbon that’s sure to be the favorite among creamy orange fans.
Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 17 Years Old (BTAC 2023)
This year’s Eagle Rare ended up being 19 years and three months old (the “17 Years” on the label denotes the youngest barrels used for the brand overall). This year’s release was distilled and barreled back in the spring of 2004 and then left to rest all those years around the Buffalo Trace campuses in warehouses C, I, K, M, and Q. Once the barrels were batched, the whiskey was proofed and bottled as-is otherwise.
Nose: The nose is like eating a moist and perfectly balanced Black Forest cake while walking through an old barrel house and out into a fallow fruit orchard with fall leaves crunchy underfoot and rain barely misty the air with hints of cinnamon cake, smudging sage, and sweetgrass rounding things out.
Palate: Orange cake and salted caramel lead on the palate with a sense of dark chocolate tobacco moving the mid-palate toward dry roasting herbs and a touch of nuttiness.
Finish: Cinnamon sticks and nutmeg pop up on the finish with a hint of vanilla buttercream and eggnog before the spices dry out with a sense of mince meat pie and old leather tobacco pouches.
This is one of those bourbons where if you don’t like it, you might not like bourbon. It’s pure quintessential Kentucky bourbon.
William Larue Weller Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof (BTAC 2023)
This is Buffalo Trace’s classic wheated bourbon. This year’s Weller BTAC was distilled back in the spring of 2011 and left to rest in warehouses C, L, M, and N for 12 long years. Those barrels were batched and this whiskey was bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
Nose: Deep and dark candied black cherry mingles with dry cedar bark, molasses, real vanilla beans, nutty brown butter, and old leather rolled in pipe tobacco and just kissed with smoldering sage and dry chili pepper flakes.
Palate: The palate opens with a full blast of ABVs, making the front of your tongue tingle, as floral honey, cherry cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream, and brown butter streusel cut with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove lead to a hint of dry orange tobacco.
Finish: Cinnamon sticks and clove buds floating in maple syrup arrive on the finish with a sense of old leather boots, the oak in an old rickhouse, orchard barks, and soft notes of vanilla and cherry cake.
This is bold and best poured over a single large rock. Once it calms down, it’s a masterpiece.
King of Kentucky Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel Sixth Edition
Average Price: $299
2023’s King of Kentucky from Brown-Forman in Louisville, Kentucky is a 16-year-old masterpiece. The batch this year was pulled from 51 barrels all filled on July 19th, 2007. Those barrels were left alone all these years in Warehouse G in the Louisville Brown-Forman Distillery. Once batched, the whiskey went into the bottle 100% as-is at cask strength, yielding only 3,800 bottles.
Nose: Toasted coconut and brandy-soaked dates lead the way on the nose with a rich sense of good salted dark chocolate, vanilla buttercream, and honeyed Graham Crackers sandwiching toasted marshmallow.
Palate: That dark chocolate takes on a creaminess (kind of like a small espresso mocha) with a sense of sticky toffee pudding cut with black tea, those brandy-soaked dates, a twist of orange, and plenty of nutmeg and cinnamon before leathery notes of old boots and dry tobacco arrive with an ever-warming heat from the ABVs.
Finish: The ABVs buzz to a warmth that peaks before it gets hot as the finish rides a wave toward orchard barks, mince meat pies, mulled wine, and whispers of pear marzipan.
This is also a masterpiece that needs a single rock. Otherwise, it reads a little hot.
George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrel Proof (BTAC 2023)
This year’s batch of George T. Stagg was distilled in the spring of 2008 and left to rest in warehouses C, I, K, L, and M around the Frankfort Buffalo Trace campus. After 15 long years of rest, the barrels were batched and bottled 100% as-is at cask strength.
Nose: The nose opens with a classic sense of Cherry Coke, old leather tobacco pouches, and rich buttercream made with real vanilla next to fall leaves in an orchard and then this sense of Neoplotian ice cream creeps in that leans toward the strawberry and chocolate ice cream part.
Palate: The palate opens with a deep sense of an apple orchard on a cold fall day with leaves underfoot next to deeply-seeded dark cherry, cinnamon bark, clove buds, and allspice berries with a sense of the Neopolitan ice cream popping up again late.
Finish: The creamy vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry drive the finish back toward the old orchards, fall leaves, rickhouse floors, and soft cherry-spiced tobacco leaves rolled with cedar and smudging sage with a nice warming Kentucky hug on the very end.
This is just a great whiskey. Once you add a touch of water or a rock, you’ll be treated to a truly great pour of American whiskey.
Wild Turkey Generations Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Average Price: $449
This brand-new release from Wild Turkey is the first time Bruce Russell’s name has appeared on a bottle. Bruce teamed up with with dad (Master Distiller Eddie Russell) and his granddad (Master Distiller and legend Jimmy Russell) to create a bourbon that spoke to all three of their whiskey palates. The whiskey in the bottles ended up being a blend of 9-, 12-, 14-, and 15-year-old bourbon that all three of the Russells selected together. Once batched, that bourbon was bottled 100% as-is without filtering or proofing to highlight the beauty of the whiskey being made at Wild Turkey.
Nose: Lush vanilla oils are cut with salted caramel and dark cherry root beer made with real sasparilla next to warming winter spices (clove, anise, and allspice) that lean toward mulled wine, cherry-laced tobacco, and hints of dry smudging sage braided with sweetgrass.
Palate: That woodiness leads on the palate before a rush of vanilla buttercream and toffee rolled in roasted almond and dusted with dark chocolate powder shifts the taste toward warm apple pie filling cut with more cloves and allspice and washed down with cherry cola.
Finish: That dark cherry is just kissed with floral honey on the backend as the spices take on a woody bark vibe and the toffee makes a buttery and lush return with a near marzipan feel before old oak staves from a musty rickhouse lead to another braid of sage, cedar, and tobacco on the chewy and silky end.
This is a Hall of Fame Kentucky bourbon.
Eagle Rare 25 Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Eagle Rare Straight Bourbon is made from Mash Bill #1 at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. That’s their low-rye mash bill, and that’s all that’s known about the juice. That whiskey was then left to rest for nearly two decades in a warehouse before being moved into Buffalo Trace’s new state-of-the-art Warehouse P facility. When the whiskey hit 25 years old, something magical happened to the barrel and it was ready for bottling.
The single barrel was proofed down to Eagle Rare’s 101-proof and otherwise bottled as-is, yielding only 200 bottles. The bottle is also a collectible with a hand-hammered sterling silver eagle wing wrapped around a hand-blown crystal decanter. That striking bottle comes in a custom display box that opens like an eagle’s wings.
Nose: The nose hints at old oak staves resting in a musty warehouse before veering toward stewed cherries with hints of clove and nutmeg next to salted dark chocolate shavings and rich powdered sugar icing cut with bourbon vanilla and light pipe tobacco essences with a whisper of fall leaves and orchard barks.
Palate: The rich vanilla gets buttery and creamy with an almost eggnog vibe thanks to the spice on the lush palate has dried cranberry, brandy-soaked cherry, and dried figs lead to rich toffee rolled in dark chocolate and anise before getting cut with a touch of earthy tobacco pulled from fresh black dirt.
Finish: The finish hugs you gently with warmth tied to winter spice barks soaked in apple cider cut with black cherry as the dirt takes on a warehouse must with gently sweet oak staves mingle with a whisper of whole black pepper and clove buds over creamy dark orange spice cake.
This is a mind-blowing pour that has no right to be as subtle as it is at 25 years old. It’s a true masterpiece whiskey, not just bourbon.