The Whiskey Hotline

Three Generations and Going Strong New Russell’s Reserve Handpicks

Binny's would like to announce our two latest Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbons, a pair of handpicked casks dedicated to welcoming the next generation of bourbon royalty, Bruce Russell.

Over the past five years, we’ve had the pleasure of picking from the best bourbons laying in barrel in Lawrenceburg, KY, at one of our favorite distilleries, Wild Turkey. We have the honor of a longtime friendship with father and son legends Jimmy and Eddie Russell, whose invaluable insight now extends to the third generation of bourbon royalty, Bruce. This last spring, we had the pleasure to spend an afternoon tasting samples with all three generations, and we left confident that Wild Turkey is in good hands moving forward. And with the promise of two great new handpicks, of course.

Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon #373 Binny's Handpicked

Aromatic corn, vanilla, and baking spice nose. On the taste, orchard fruits and spice dominate as vanilla and brown sugar linger. Lengthy finish with pepper and anise lingering alongside soft orchard fruits.

Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon #337 Binny's Handpicked

Big, bold, beautiful bourbon nose with orchard fruits, brown sugars, and oak spice leading the way. Fat, round bourbon on the tongue. Vanilla and brown sugar lead the way on the taste, with anise and pepper arriving later. The finish is long, with anise, dark fruits, and oak lingering. Outstanding Bourbon.


It seems like every day a new celebrity endorsed spirit hits the shelves. You might not recognize Dave Scheurich, but you should know the name. A little bourbon called Woodford Reserve wouldn’t exist without Dave, longtime production vet with Seagram’s and Wild Turkey. In 1994 he was tasked with the renovation and restoration of the Labrot & Graham Distillery, known to most as Woodford, so he went to Scotland’s Auchentoshan to learn the art of triple pot still distillation. Dave was the hands-on artist behind Woodford Reserve for 17 years until his retirement in 2011.

Never one to sit still, Dave started a consulting business, lending his wisdom and insight to new whiskey producers. Meaning, Dave knows where to find great whiskey, and his new Boondocks brand is proof!

Boondocks American Whiskey

Wonderful layers of flavor on the complex nose. Vanilla, brown sugars, corn, marshmallow and spice. Nice round mouthfeel. Flavors from the nose appear again on the taste and fade into a wonderfully complex and long finish. Soft red fruit and vanilla lead the way on the finish, with soft hints of pepper and sugars lingering. Beautifully constructed Whiskey.

Boondocks Cask Strength American Whiskey

Big, bold, beautiful bourbon nose with orchard fruits, brown sugars, and oak spice leading the way. Fat, round bourbon on the tongue. Vanilla and brown sugar lead the way on the taste, with anise and pepper arriving later. The finish is long, with anise, dark fruits, and oak lingering. Outstanding Bourbon.

Agave Alternatives

There's more than mezcal when you're looking for a tequila alternative, although they have been very hard to find. Thankfully as mezcal has grown the opportunity for other artisanal Mexican distillates has as well. Here are the newest to hit our shelves.


Raicilla is essentially a mezcal distilled in tequila's home state, Jalisco, along the coastal Western towns such as Puerto Vallarta. It has been enjoyed locally for hundreds of years. Long considered “moonshine mezcal,” producers have recently started organizing and producing legitimate brands, and lobbying for a designation of origin. We're excited to introduce the first to our shelves, Balam Raicilla.

Balam Raicilla Green Label Stored in Crystal

Smoke, leather, earth, and a touch of tropical citrus on the nose. Mild flavor at first, but explodes on the palate with balanced smoke and citrus, with earthy and tropical fruit notes. A long peppery finish with a hint of sweet smoke. Smooth and supple at 45% abv.

Balam Raicilla Orange Label Joven

More rustic than its aged counterpart, but still nuanced and balanced. More pronounced herbal notes on the nose and palate, with more earthiness to round out the citrus and tropical notes.


An agave alternatice NOT made from agave. Sotol is produced from the dasylirion plant, also known as desert spoon. Sotol is officially made in three Mexican states, Chihauhau, Coahuila, and Durango. The newest sotols to hit our shelves are the Flor del Desierto brand.

Flor del Desierto Sotol Desierto

Distilled from dasylirion grown in the desert. Strong smoke, pepper, and earth notes on the nose and palate. A meaty sotol with lots of herbal notes to balance the leather and earth.

Flor del Desierto Sotol Sierra

Distilled from dasylirion grown in the mountains. Sweeter and spicier than its desert partner. Less smoke and meat, with more pronounced pine and pepper spice. Long sweet and spicy finish.

Rollin In

These hot new releases just arrived, some in limited quantities. If you don't see it at your favorite Binny's, you know who to ask.

Vikre Distillery Vikre Distillery
Our newest craft distillery hails from Duluth Minnesota and aims to showcase the northwoods flavors and terroir in its products. Their line of Boreal Gins does just that. The Juniper Gin is a traditional dry gin, with a touch of rhubarb. The Spruce Gin is of course made with spruce buds and has a noted pine aroma and flavor throughout, and the Cedar Gin has notes of citrus, wood, and currants. Vikre also brings us their fantastic Aquavit. Aquavit being the original Scandinavian distilled spirit, is a popular drink with the folks up north. Orvevann Aquavit is infused with the traditional caraway, along with orange peel and cardamom. The Voyageur Aquavit is cognac cask finished.

Westland Garryana
Speaking of craft distilling, here is the newest entry from Westland and the first in its “Native Oak” series. Garryana is aged in casks made from Garry oak, or quercus garryana, native to the Pacific Northwest. Garry oak is a type of white oak, but much more tannic than other American oaks. On the nose, this whiskey is delicate with some smoke and hints of citrus. A strong oak character is pronounced on the palate leading to a very long peppery and spicy finish.

Kilchoman 100% Islay 6th Edition Kilchoman 100% Islay 6th Edition
This is the 6th installment of the 100% Islay series from Kilchoman. This is the only single malt being produced on-site from barley to bottle. Aged in ex-bourbon casks, the nose is vibrant and refreshing. After After 6 years of aging, soft flavors of vanilla and toffee marry nicely with peat and citrus. The taste reveals more citrus and peat with dark sugars. The finish is lengthy with peat and citrus lingering.

Xicala Mezcal
Clean and fresh agave on the nose with a hint of citrus. Slightly creamy body with loads of pepper and herbal notes. Long, peppery, and mineral-y finish.

Bomberger's Declaration Bourbon
On the nose, big beautiful honey and buttered notes with rich spice boldly backing up the sweeter elements. The palate reveals deep brown sugars, toffee, caramel, pepper and a pleasant dose of anise from the wood. The finish is long and pleasant with caramelized sugars and wood spice lingering.

Belle Meade Bourbon Finished in XO Cognac CasksBelle Meade Bourbon Finished in XO Cognac Casks
This new offering from Belle Meade follows on the heels of the immensely popular sherry finished bourbon. A selection of bourbon from 6 to 9 years old was married and finished in specially selected xo cognac casks. The French Limousine oak adds a layer of flavor not commonly found in bourbon. On the nose, red orchard fruits, roasted grain, and spice. The palate reveals dried fruits vanilla, caramel, and spice. The finish is long with vanilla, dried citrus, spice and toasted oak.

Shenk's Homestead Original Bourbon
On the nose, this bourbon gives off all of our favorite aromas. Caramel, vanilla candies, and toffee lead the way with soft spice rounding out the nose. The taste reveals maple flavors, orchard fruits, and soft pepper. The finish is pleasant with fruit and sugars lingering.

Weekend Cocktail Pick

Giddy up, cowboy! This cocktail is reminiscent of Bartender Zack’s time camping in Fountain, Colorado. The High West adds the perfect amount of campfire smoke, and blends flawlessly with the cinnamon and cranberry flavors. Suggested pairing: a plate full of gooey s’mores.

Cranberry Cowboy

2-1/2 oz High West Campfire Whiskey
1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
1 oz Cranberry Juice
2 dashes Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters

Shake ingrediants and pour over ice in a highball. Top with soda.

Mix It Up With Mezcal

It's no secret that we at The Whiskey Hotline are big fans of mezcal. It comes down to being fans of FLAVOR, and good mezcal is loaded with it. Smoke, earth, citrus, honey and more can all be found in this rustic agave spirit. Chances are you've seen a few mezcals pop up at your local watering hole, as its popularity has surged. Who doesn't like to try new things? But what do I do with the other 7/8 of the bottle? Use it like you would any other distilled spirit, of course! Mezcal is a flavorful substitute for tequila, whiskey, gin and more in many cocktails. Here are a few of our favorites.

Del Maguey Mezcal Vida

Fruit forward and easy drinking, Del Maguey Vida is perfect for mixing. Double distilled in copper pot stills, loads of vanilla and agave nectar on the nose with spice, fruit and citrus on the palate and a long, round and soft finish. Has just enough earthiness and a touch of brine that make it jump in an Old Fashioned while working with, not against, the classic cocktail’s citrus and sugar.

Sombra Mezcal


As far as mezcals go, we would consider Sombra "easy drinking." But that doesn't imply lack of substance. Double distilled in copper pots, Sombra shows citrus on the nose and palate, the usual vegetal notes, and smoke. Not a lot of smoke, just enough to add a layer of complexity. The citrus heavy Sombra is perfect for a classic Mule. Super easy - just mix in a splash with some ginger beer and a lime. You'll want to plan to make several.

Don Amado Rustico Mezcal


Don Amado is made using traditional methods. The Espadin is cooked in a traditional earthen wood roast. The mezcal is double distilled on hand made clay stills. On the nose, you can’t help but notice the clay and minerality with the smoked flavors of roasted Espadin. Beautifully smokey and vegetal notes as the minerality of the clay jumps out. On the palate, sweet notes are more prevalent. Butterscotch, caramel, honeyed vegetables, and herbs. The finish is lengthy and pleasant with a cooked meat flavor lingering with clay and fruit spice. All the smoke and vegetal flavors are perfect for our Mother of Dragons cocktail. The smoke, citrus, and honey in Don Amado Rustico complements the green chili vodka without overpowering it with smoke.

Mezcal Vago Elote


The world of Mezcal is amazingly diverse from village to village, and family to family. Aquilino Garcia Lopez adds his own twist to production by naturally infusing roasted corn between the 2nd and 3rd distillations of Espadin, a family recipe. On the nose, roasted corn is unmistakable with an earthy minerality. The taste is full of green tropical fruit, earthen tones and smoke. The finish is long with roasted corn, spice, and fruit lingering. One of a kind. All that heft and roundness that the corn provides gives great balance to the bitterness and sharp citrus in a Negroni. With the minerality and earthiness of mescal, you'll forget all about gin.

Binny's Handpicked Buffalo Trace

In 2002 Binny's was given the opportunity to make a trip to Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky for the rare opportunity to taste several barrels of bourbon and select a couple to be bottled and sold in our stores. On that first trip we picked one Elmer T. Lee and one Buffalo Trace. Fourteen years and over 500 barrel picks later, we arrive at our newest release of a Binny's Handpicked Buffalo Trace, now a 25 barrel batch. Over the years we've been fortunate to work with such talented whisky figures as Elmer T. Lee, Truman Cox, Ronnie Eddins, Harlan Wheatley, and now Beau Beckman.

For this batch, we worked with 8 year old samples from the middle floors of four different warehouses. The backbone comes from the 5th floor of warehouse I with whiskies distilled on three different days in April 2008. As always, we hone our palates with a sample of standard BT before creating a batch unique to Binny's, but paying honor to the whisky it represents. We crushed it this time.

Buffalo Trace Binny's Handpicked Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
750ml or 1.75L Bottle

Quite the nose on this 25 barrel vatting. Vanilla, toffee, roasted corn, spicy oak notes and soft floral notes underneath. The palate is big and thick, quite viscous. Vanilla and red fruits lead the way on the taste alongside oak spice and pepper. Long finish with cinnamon, vanilla, and anise lingering. Incredibly well balanced with several layers of flavor to pick through. - Joe Maloney, Spirits Specialist


2016 Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Finish

2016 Laphroaig Cairdeas Madeira Finish

This year’s release of Cairdeas from Laphroaig is finished in Madeira wood. Bottled at 51.6%, this version of Cairdeas is a perfect marriage of Madeira and peat. Fun fact, the abv matches the year of bottling. 2016 is 51.6%, 2015 was 51.5%, 2014 was 51.4%. etc. Master Distiller John Campbell and Laphroaig began these annual releases in 2011. This latest release really allows the wonderful character of Laphroaig to shine through without being overpowered by the special finishing in Madeira. The first thing we notice about this malt is the beautiful color of the liquid, a stunning burnished copper. On the nose, orange fruits and herbs dance with anise and smoke. On the taste, big peat flavors, earthy tones, brine, stewed citrus and spice. The finish is lengthy with peat and citrus lingering. The Madeira is present but not in charge or overpowering. Cairdeas is Gaelic for friendship, and Laphroaig certainly seems to have found a great friend in the form of Madeira wood. Grab a bottle while you can, these will not be around for long.

*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 or by calling (888) 817-5898.

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