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The Whiskey Hotline team is on a never ending mission. We scour the world for the most interesting, unique and best barrels of spirits we can find. This can take us to Scotland, Taiwan, Washington, Tennessee, Kentucky... Wherever there’s good spirits to be found, we’ll find the best of it and bring it to you at the best price we can.
Some of the Whiskey Hotline’s sleeper picks for best new whiskies this year have been Milam & Greene bourbons and ryes. The standard releases are blends of sourced juice and their own make, expertly married with some stunning results. Our first handpicks have arrived and they showcase some of these blending components. There are two barrels each of both young and old whiskies that display both sides of the bourbon spectrum.
On the nose, caramelized pear slices with cherry preserves, toffee pieces, vanilla wafer, milk chocolate, almond, and cardamom. On the palate, baked peach joins with baked pear as cinnamon, vanilla, and toffee surge. The finish is pleasant with sweeter fruit flavors eventually outlasting pleasant waves of oak spice. A lively bourbon.
The nose is laden with caramel wafer, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, cherry, and baking spices. On the palate, cherry cobbler spiked with baking spices, caramel, and vanilla candy. The finish is wonderfully balanced with spice and sweet fading slowly together. An easy sipper with a classic bourbon profile.
The nose is very inviting with rich baking spices intertwined alongside baked stone fruit, apple butter, cherry compote, vanilla cream, and chocolate toffee pieces. On the palate, fruit from the nose is present as darker spice elements emerge, but don’t overwhelm. The finish is layered and lengthy with spice and sweet fading in waves. Balanced and elegant.
On the nose, this bourbon is densely layered with chocolate almond bar, baked orchard fruits, buttered cereal grains, and baking spices. On the palate, baked apple and pear gain prominence as the other flavors from the nose percolate underneath. The finish begins with a pleasant burst of fruit before fading softly into rich spice and caramel vanilla. Treat yourself, this is an absolute delight.
10 year, full proof, and layered with the spice, caramel and oak we love in rye whiskey. There are 6 different barrels, but yields were low and they always go fast. Check your local Binny’s for availability.
The first release from Maestra Tequilera Ana Maria Romero, this artisanal tequila is a celebration of pure agave. Mijenta was built with sustainability in mind, from the agave sourcing to the packaging made with recycled agave fibers. The agaves were grown at high elevations, which means they take longer to mature, but give fruity and floral complexity to the finished spirit.
Light tropical fruit notes, a touch of ripe citrus and soft honeyed agave greet the nose. Rich agave nectar initially on the palate with a wash of vanilla and lime before soft pepper and cinnamon slowly build in intensity. Light, fresh and slightly fruity finish. This is a top tier blanco at home on the rocks or in your favorite cocktail.
New Riff’s latest release is their first wheated bourbon to hit our shelves. New Riff, known for adhering to traditions but putting their own “riff” on whiskey has done just that, using malted wheat. They reached back to their brewing roots with this mashbill of 65% corn, 18% Bohemian floor malted wheat, 10% raw wheat, and 7% lightly kilned dark wheat. All the whiskies in this batch were aged at least 5 years and like other New Riff whiskies bottled in bond at 100 proof. Available in limited quantities, this one will sell out quickly.
The nose shows a darker and more bready profile than we would normally expect from a wheater with some sweet background notes of brown sugar, oak spice and a whiff of dark fruits. Full bodied and chewy on the palate, the darker flavors continue with dried plums, toasted oak and grain husk. The oak drives the finish as waves of spice add an edge to the dark fruit tones before a lingering blast of cinnamon and vanilla.
This high rye bourbon exudes lovely aromas of baked cherry and apple, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla nougat, and a touch of clove. Viscous on the palate with flavors of caramel sauce, vanilla candy, baked orchard fruits, cinnamon, and oak spice. The finish starts with a big burst of cinnamon and oak that fades slowly into a black pepper, vanilla candy, toffee, and caramel-soaked baked cherry and baked apples.
On the nose, mint and orange blossom shine with a backbone of toffee, vanilla wafer, clove, black pepper, and cinnamon. The mouthfeel is perfect on the first sip. Big, bold, and minty rye character leads with a wonderful underbelly of citrus and vanilla cake topped with cinnamon and oak. The finish comes in three waves with rye spice leading, followed by red rope licorice sprinkled atop citrus vanilla cake, then followed by a slow fade into cinnamon and oak spice. Absolutely gorgeous and dangerously drinkable.
The rye in the mashbill jumps up front on the nose with sweet mint, which perfectly frames baked peach, baked apple, a touch of cherry blossom, vanilla, and caramel. On the taste, lush baked fruit initially leads while cinnamon and pepper arrive to balance and transition into vanilla cake. On the finish, spice and vanilla soaked fruit slowly drift into cinnamon and oak spice.
A rich and spicy nose with undertones of confectionary flavors balanced with baking spices. On the palate, rye spice along with caramel and vanilla candy as red berry and baked orchard fruits linger. The finish is well balanced with sweeter flavors giving way to wonderful rye and oak spice.
With a cask program as extensive as Glenmorangie’s, delicious whisky inspiration happens naturally. For this limited release, they sought out casks that reminded them of eating cake and found it with Hungarian Tokaji wine casks. You really can have your cake and drink it too.
The core of this whisky is the classic Glenmorangie 10 and it shows with lots of ripe fruit notes and some confectionary vanilla aromas but there is a distinctly tropical fruit note throughout that reminds us of caramelized pineapple. The fruit really explodes on the palate with added layers of citrus, peach, honey and sweet toffee. The finish shows more sweet lemon and vanilla frosting before a fade into sweet spice and oak.
It’s been a long time coming but we finally have bourbon from Balcones available in Illinois. Pot distilled and non chillfiltered, it’s a rich and viscous bourbon after aging in the Texas heat.
On the nose baked peach and overripe pear with a touch of vanilla lanolin and cinnamon candy. On the palate, ripe orchard fruit with caramel candy, vanilla, sweet caramel and cinnamon sticks. The finish is lovely with sweet and spice fading slowly together, while ripe peach and pear flavors persist before a long fade of cinnamon and oak spice.
American rye meets Scotland oak mastery in this new release from Edrington. Indiana made rye finished with port staves to give a robust fruitiness to the rich rye spice. At 96 proof this might be our new favorite cocktail rye.
The expected spice greets the nose but is backed by a distinct honey and ripe red berry note with a mild shot of cinnamon. The palate is soft and mouth coating, showing sweet cherries and strawberries initially before a punch of allspice and clove comes through. The finish slowly fades to the sweeter side as caramel and vanilla temper the spice.
Limited release whiskey season is upon us and the latest creation from Blackened has just arrived. We first tasted Blackened back in 2018 and we signed up for the metal militia right away. This special release is a blend of bourbon and rye whiskies finished in black brandy casks and further enhanced with the slamming sounds of Metallica to sonically enhance the whiskey. The boys in the band continue to produce the greatest metal ever heard while celebrating and continuing the legacy of one of the world’s greatest whiskey legends in the late Dave Pickerell. The setlist used in the finishing process is spectacular, as it comes from the second performance of Metallica with The San Francisco Symphony, and it is included as a download with your purchase along with a collectable Squindo designed box. The bell tolls for you to ride the lightning of flavors, and to do so quickly as these bottles will vanish to the phantom lord if you don’t act in time. Nobody wants to be a harvester of sorrow, shop for whiskey with no remorse.
As with any Symphony, every instrument has a part to play. Bourbon gives depth and breadth with rich orchard fruits, toffee, and vanilla. Rye provides a lovely element of spice that intertwines with dark stewed fruits provided from black brandy finishing. Of course, the sonic waves provided by Metallica have integrated all of these flavors in harmony. The nose is inviting and nuanced. The palate is fat and round with spice and sweet in balance. The finish is perfect with sweet and spice fading before dark stewed fruits arrive for the encore.
Speaking of limited releases, Basil Hayden 10 Year Bourbon is here for a limited time. All the soft caramel, sweet vanilla and silky smooth finish Basil is known for with an amplified oak spice and soft toasted grain aromas. The ultimate in smooth sipping bourbon.
Introducing the newest member of our Clark & Sheffield family, Small Batch Bourbon. Clark & Sheffield Small Batch bourbon hails from Sazerac’s Bardstown, KY distillery and is 5 years old and 90 proof. A versatile whiskey equally at home on the rocks or in your favorite cocktail and is maybe the best deal in our ever-expanding bourbon aisle. A gentle and flavorful sipper, and a full flavored but budget priced mixer, this bourbon does it all.
Cherries, brown sugar, pepper and vanilla are all layered throughout the robust nose. The soft and round palate brings a touch more sweetness with strong vanilla, caramelized sugars and sweet corn. Cinnamon and clove build gradually giving balance to the sweeter flavors throughout the long finish.