The Whiskey Hotline CONTACT THE WHISKEY HOTLINE: spirits@binnys.com or (888) 817-5898

Single Malt Special

Who says nothing exciting happens in February? Two of our favorite single malt distilleries are unleashing special releases this month. First, if you enjoyed Bowmore's first two award winning Devil's Cask releases, you'll love the final sherry driven installment in this floral and briny trilogy. If you're more into a malt driven dram, you'll do no better than Glenmorangie's latest Private Edition release, Milsean. It boasts the distillery's hallmark sweetness, intensified by flame toasted red wine casks. Whichever you chose, act fast. Both are limited releases and are sure to sell out!


$99.99

Gobs of rich dried fruit provide weight to the hallmark floral yet briny peat smoke notes on the nose. Palate carries loads of chocolate, savory herbal notes, dried oranges, and nuts, with dry, pleasantly bitter coffee notes accompanying the fruit and the smoke on the finish. A classic sherried Bowmore.


$99.99

Milsean is Gaelic for "sweet things" and this lives up to the name. Medium sweet chocolate, black raspberry and candied fruit on the nose. Light skinned, sweet fruits like passion fruit and muskmelon abound on the palate, complementing the sweet vanilla notes from the toasted oak finish.  A nice bit of spice develops on the finish to go with the candied fruit character.


Passing Shots

Many of these bottles are limited, but they're definitely worth considering. If your favorite Binny's location doesn't have it, don't hesitate to ask, or to call the Whiskey Hotline at (888) 817-5898.


Ballechin 10 year oldBallechin 10 year old, the long awaited and now standard release, is the culmination of the distillery’s Discovery Series. It shows the evolution of this heavily peated Edradour, and marks a worthy entry into the peated category with rich smoke, luscious chocolate, and chewy caramel.

Do you enjoy the rich, oily, meaty flavors of Edradour? You should. This even heavier and bolder version boasts two additional years of aging, much in first fill sherry aged casks.

From the oldest casks in the Serralles family stocks comes the first ever luxury rum from Don Q. It’s gorgeous, a classic old Puerto Rican rum in a beautiful crystal decanter. We received only FIVE bottles.

You have to like bacon to like Ol’ Major Bacon Flavored Bourbon. But if you do, then you will.

FEW Breakfast GinGin, now in the breakfast aisle. The darling of the FEW distillery shop is now available at Binny’s. This soft, dry bergamot infused gin is lovely. It mixes well, but is best on the rocks. Initially a limited release, now on its way to broader availability.

Glacier Country Cherrycello is the most luscious cherry liqueur we’ve tasted in quite a while. It’s made in the true spirit of limoncello, only with cherries. So yeah, delicious.

Garrison Brothers are among the first generation of renaissance craft producers distilling their own whiskey. Judging from their 2015 release of their Texas Straight Bourbon (a whiskey that sees four years in 53 gallon barrels), they’re doing everything right. The acclaim is justified. Fun fact: Garrison inherited the old Blanton’s still which now calls Hye, TX home.

Heads up: the next Orphan Barrel release is coming. Gifted Horse American Whiskey is a vatting of 17 year old Kentucky straight bourbon, with younger components to balance out the advanced age of the base. Rumor has it that this was a serendipitous mistake. It is nice to see an Orphan Barrel release without so much wood.

PoitinIreland was the first country to distill whiskey in the world (sorry, Scotland). They’re the only country to distill Poitin, Irish moonshine made from grain, beets and potatoes. Unlike most moonshine, you can actually drink it.

Also from Ireland’s first craft distillery comes a special Binny’s Triple Barrel Handpick. We started with the normal Glendalough Double Barrel, then added layers of honey and vanilla richness by finishing  the GDB (for six months) in ex-Madeira cask.

Glenlivet has expanded the popular Nadurra line by releasing an expression finished in casks that held Islay whisky. Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Cask Finish is a spicy, lightly smoky take on the classically graceful Glenlivet style.

Like its little brother Hacienda del Christero, the new Herradura Coleccion de la Casa Directo de Alembique  is a high proof version of the wonderful Herradura Silver, with all the bright pear and apple, citrus fruit and peppery spice notes in force.

Macallan Edition No. 1A reasonably priced and traditionally styled Macallan? Wonderful. Macallan Edition No. 1 offers the sherry cask DNA of Macallan through a mix of Old and New World casks.

The Solera system is seeping into the warehouse of Bourbon county, yielding softer, more rich whiskey. The addition of older stocks rounds out bourbon that might otherwise be a tad too young for release. For a local example check out Oppidan Solera Bourbon, coming to you all the way from sunny Wheeling, IL.

That's right: $7499.00 a bottle, partly because the bottle itself is Lalique. We have only one.

Now for some counterfactual history: before vodka, there was Polugar, or breadwine. It would have become the traditional spirit of Russia if only the Bolsheviks hadn’t institutionalized the distilling of what we now call vodka. Polugar includes rye and wheat, plus garlic pepper, caraway, allspice, and honey. Let us know if you’re interested.

Speyburn Arranta CasksA new single malt from Speyburn, and a great value. Speyburn Arranta Casks takes the light, soft Speyburn style and amps up the honey and vanilla, and bulks up the body with extensive first fill bourbon cask aging.

Wisconsin’s state drink is now available premixed, and it’s quite good. Our neighbors to the north know it’s all about the brandy old fashioned, and so do the good people at Soul Boxer Cocktail Co.

Basement mixologists listen up. Here’s a delicious, authentic elderflower liqueur at half the price of the leading brand: St. Elder Natural Elderflower Liqueur.

One more for the mixologists: Three Fingers High 12 is rich, sweet, full-bodied Canadian whiskey enriched by its sherry cask finish. Most importantly, it makes a killer Manhattan.


The Whiskies of Caol Ila

Long enjoyed by devotees for its Islay character, distinctive spiciness, and surprising drinkability.”
Michael Jackson on Caol Ila
from his book Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch

Capturing and expressing both smoky depth and spicy fruit freshness is no easy task. Few strike that balance as well and consistently as Caol Ila. You'll find that telltale balance in today’s two single barrel offers - yet both enjoy that something extra, an additional facet that enriches the whole. Both are gems, and both were discovered by and handpicked exclusively for Binny’s Beverage Depot.


When we find the best of the best, we claim them as our own and call them Binny’s Handpicked Casks.
Each is a limited release, so buy now!


$69.99

Classic young Caol Ila from the start. Brine, clean smoke, and bright cinnamon with hints of citrus and snap peas on the nose. Quite sweet on the palate: lemon candy, white frosting, light vanilla; water enhances this even more. Smoke character is very clean and less briny that expected. Just a bright, fresh, classy dram.


$99.99

Hints of smoke and classic Caol Ila fresh cinnamon waft through bright fruit notes, with green apple most prominent. Palate is rich and sweet, with vanilla and custard supported by a spicy backbone driven by black pepper, menthol, and more of the signature bright cinnamon.  The balance makes this one of the more complex young Caol Ila's to grace our shelves.


On Islay and Caol Ila

Islay peat - comprised largely of sphagnum, seaweed, and other shore plants - differs from almost all others. Unlike the wood-derived compounds found in the peat of the inland moors, Islay peat is rich with phenols. When burned for malting, such peat produces a distinctively dense and pungent smoke whose medicinal, salty and even tarry notes will inevitably find themselves in the distillate. Those pungent, smoky notes can overwhelm all other flavors, and demand a deft hand in the distillery to strike a balance with the barley’s spice and fruit notes.

Mindful of this, the distillers at Caol Ila ferment at a deliberately gradual pace (80-odd hours for weekday fermentations, 120 hours over the weekend) to capture the estery, floral-fruit notes in the malted barley. The stills at Caol Ila enjoy not only a fill that is just a whisper above half their total capacity to encourage a healthy reflux for finer and more pure flavors; moreover, the distillers cut early at 75% abv and take it off early at 65% abv. The smaller charge and the early cuts in turn yield a distillate with higher alcohols, and a dram whose fruit sweetness and estery notes acts as a balance to the peaty pungency found in all Islay malts.


Binny's Handpicked Limited Releases

We’re especially excited with today’s Binny’s Handpicked limited releases! Some are young, forceful, in-your-face whiskies where the distillate really shines; others are more polished, with a maturity of flavors gained only by time in barrel. What they all share is that something extra, an additional facet that enriches the distillery character of each. All are gems, discovered and handpicked by Binny’s Beverage Depot.

When we find the best of the best, we claim them as our own and call them Binny’s Handpicked Casks.
Each is a limited release, so buy now!


$79.99

Gobs of butterscotch, toffee, caramel, black tea, and tobacco on the nose. Palate is a mouthful, with sweet brown/bitter chocolate notes, dried apricots and figs, and cedary/leathery dryness. Drinks beyond it's 8 years.


$119.99

The nose on this cider is tremendous, blending the aroma of both fresh and baked pears. This apple pear cider is aged on oak with cardamom which imparts notes of vanilla and sweet spice that complement the pear without becoming overwhelming. Not quite as dry as we hoped but over a couple cubes of ice this will drink like a sophisticated cocktail.


$119.99

Beautiful and airy, with orange blossom, custard, and mandarin on the nose. Palate turns serious and rich; round sweetness like orange marmalade and nougat braced by a spicy, lightly woody backbone. A gorgeous, complex Arran.


$119.99

Fresh, bright citrus and light, briny smoke peat on the nose. Round vanilla sweetness starts the palate, soon joined by fruit cocktail, light custard and, of course, that signature clean, briny peat smoke. Another pleasingly long, smoky but elegant finish.


$59.99

Bright, fresh, clean peat smoke on the nose. Palate is nicely sweet for it's relative youth; lemon, vanilla, and peat are prominent but bright and clean without being too aggressive. That same clean smoke character is the focus of a surprisingly long finish. This is a breakfast whisky, as much as any peater could be.


$119.99

Candied oranges, light smoke, mint, and lemon peel on the nose. The candied citrus character carries through the palate, joined by brown chocolate and the emergence of signature clean Ardmore peat smoke. A supremely elegant Ardmore.


$59.99

Bright fruit cocktail, light pineapple, and light fresh red cherry on the nose. Pretty cherry/berry character on the palate with a mildly peppery backbone. Characteristic Mortlach fruit nicely pushed to the fore by the fresh Bourbon barrel in which it was aged.


$99.99

Light yet savory and meaty smoke, as well as bright cinnamon all on the nose. A meaty, chewy palate with notes of tapenade, candied pears, whole fresh cinnamon stick, and menthol/mint. Very clean yet complex, with wisps of smoke lingering on the finish.


$59.99

Flowers, white frosting, lemon, and fresh wood on the nose. Citrus peel, peppercorn, and white chocolate on the palate. Takes well to water, as expected, from the high bottling strength. The bright, fresh, and floral notes are signature Linkwood.


$149.99

Candied apples/pears and bright camphor/mint jump on the nose, with a slight anise hint in the background. Palate is lightly sweet with a savory but clean Serrano pepper and key lime note that is intriguing, like a spicy lemon marmalade. Dry spice notes linger on a lengthy finish. Elegant and racy all at the same time.


*Supply is limited on a lot of this stuff. That's part of what makes it so exciting. If you don't see something here at your favorite Binny's Beverage Depot location, be sure to ask. And you can always reach the Whiskey Hotline by email spirits@binnys.com or by calling (888) 817-5898.

Binny's Spirits Blog
Breaking news and reviews on your favorite spirits.
Contact spirits@binnys.com or call 1-888-817-5898 with questions, comments, & special requests.

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