There has never been a better time to be a bourbon or whiskey lover. Across the globe distillers are bottling exciting expressions – and in the Unites States new distilleries are populating every state, while existing distillers continue to create and experiment with cool expressions. Right now, you can get your hands on a wheated bourbon made with an ancient Egyptian wheat rarely seen in distilling and a new line-up from Japan. Here’s what’s new in bourbon and whiskey, for the moment:
Lost Lantern Still Austin Texas Straight Bourbon Single Cask: A heady bourbon that sings with delicious toffee, chocolate and caramel notes laced with a bit of orange peel. It’s a single cask from Still Austin Distillery – a grain-to-glass whiskey made from corn, rye and malted barley all grown in Texas. $80
Diggs Boys Bourbon This minority-owned spirit brand aims to celebrate the accomplishments and legacy of African-American culture. Says Diggs Boys COO Ernest Drummond, “Our motto is Achievement in every bottle.” The palate is silky and smooth – beautifully balanced with alluring notes of vanilla, toffee and orange peel. Look for Rye expression from them soon.
Daniel Weller Emmer Wheat: This experimental line of wheated bourbons from Buffalo Trace experiments with different strains of wheat to achieve uncommon expressions. This year’s release – the inaugural release – focuses on Emmer wheat, an ancient Egyptian grain thought to be one of the first wheats utilized by humans. Aged for nearly 12 years and bottled at 94 proof, the nose is fresh and nutty, with notes of orange zest, hazelnut, cinnamon and caramel. $499.99
Rabbit Hole Tenniel: Limited edition Double Barrel Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Powerful and richly flavored this high-octane expression blends Cavehill, Rabbit Hole’s signature four grain triple malt bourbon with Heigold, the brand’s high rye double malt bourbon in perfect harmony and finishes the spirit in a number one char toasted barrel. $650
Hardin’s Creek Clermont: Hardin’s Creek is a series of ongoing releases featuring some of the James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s rarest and most unique whiskeys. For 2023 they released The Kentucky Series and the first expression, Hardin’s Creek Clermont, was bottled after 204 months of aging. Exceptional complexity and richness on the palate make this an almost intellectual tasting experience. 55% ABV | SRP: $169.99
The Cask Series Limited Edition Irish Single Malt: This hard-to-find expression is the result of a brilliant collaboration between Ireland’s first modern Whiskey Bonder, J.J. Corry, and World’s Most Awarded Pub, The Dead Rabbit. Only 250 bottles made, The Cask Series is part of The Dead Rabbit’s “Spirits of Ireland,” brand featuring collaborations with modern Irish makers. This expression is finished in Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado, and Pedro Ximénez casks. Sold exclusively at The Dead Rabbit and direct-to-consumer in select states nationwide at jjcorry.com.
Hirsch Single Barrel Double Oak: Aged in New American oak and finished in a used oak second barrel designed to add a light, caramelized layer to the finished bourbon without too much intensity. The palate boasts a silky toffee-vanilla sweetness, with layers of caramel, fig, and tobacco. Only 30 barrels released. $99
Hakata Whisky: This year is the global debut of this vibrant, marvelously balanced Japanese whisky from the Hikari Distillery in Fukuoka Japan, which was founded in 1912. Aged in sherry casks and a small amount of barley fermented with Koji, aged in an open-air warehouse for optimal flavor development (as temperatures swing from humid summer days to 38-degree winter nights) The range comes in 10, 12, 16 & 18 year expressions, and for the money, the ten-year is a crowd-pleasing winner.
Grand Teton Distillery’s new expression Private Stock American Single Malt is aged seven years in used bourbon barrels, making it one of the longest-aged American Single Malts on the market. Crafted from 100% single grain from Idaho malted barley and proofed with pure mountain water. $79