The Whiskey Hotline

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

The Whiskey Hotline team is on a never ending mission. We scour the world for the most interesting, unique and best barrels of whiskey we can find. This can take us to Scotland, Taiwan, Washington, Tennessee, Kentucky... Wherever there’s good whiskey to be found, we’ll find the best of it and bring it to you at the best price we can.

A Rare Rye Delight

Nothing quite like a late Summer special release from Kentucky. Since the rebirth of the brand by the great great grandson of its founder, Kentucky Owl has been all the rage with limited releases in tiny quantities that have left the whiskey savvy hunting and often coming up empty handed and frustrated. Thankfully the follow up batch to last year’s inaugural rye release is much more widely available. Just because there’s more doesn’t mean there’s been a dip in the quality. This sweet, bready rye is just as good as the previous batch and full of the customary soft fruits and herbaceous mint that one tends to find in Kentucky made rye whiskey. Grab these while you can, even though the release is much bigger, this owl will fly into the night quickly.

Kentucky Owl 11 year old Kentucky Straight Rye 2nd Limited Release

750mL

$189.99

$179.99 with Binny's Card

This rye’s Kentucky heritage is immediately evident on the nose. Instead of the usual lean and sharp spice, decadent chocolate covered cherries, vanilla, almond and a whiff of wintergreen gently unfold over a bed of brown sugar. The rye roars to life on the palate as waves of baking spices and mint wash over the sweet, chewy foundation that the aroma promised. More chocolate cherries, apples baked in brown sugar and cinnamon and a hefty dose of spicy oak all work to tame the wild rye. These flavors meld effortlessly into a finish that just won’t quit. The 101.8 bottling proof makes its presence known, but never overpowers the intricately layered flavors.

New from Nikka

Just because some older Japanese whiskies have dried up doesn’t mean worthwhile bottles are no longer making their way to the States. Nikka, founded by Masaharu Taketsuru, the godfather of the Japanese whisky industry, has been producing a variety of stunning whiskies from its two distilleries for decades. These two distilleries, Yoichi and Miyagikyo, are capable of producing several different styles each and have given Nikka a broad palette to paint some masterful blends from. Since debuting in 1986 Nikka’s cask strength “From the Barrel” has been a coveted bottle that many tourists and business travelers have brought back from trips to Japan. A blend of malt and grain whiskies from both distilleries, From the Barrel is aged in a variety of barrels including bourbon, sherry, new and re-charred oak among others.

Nikka Whisky From the Barrel

750mL

$59.99

On the nose, From the Barrel is pleasantly balanced with both sweet and spicy notes. Brown sugar, baked peach, toffee, white pepper and clove. The mouthfeel is about as perfect a feel as a whisky can get, round, satiny and chewy all at once. Baked caramel apples, toffee, brown spices and vanilla intertwine perfectly on the taste. The finish highlights baked orchard fruits, peppery spices and rich, warming crème brulee. One of the best Japanese whiskies we have tasted.

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky

750mL

$64.99

Taketsuru is a blend from Nikka that brings together single malt whisky from both the Miyagikyo and Yoichi distilleries. Layers of flavor here on the nose with a balance between fat, round, and chewy stewed fruits and black pepper with oak. Really a stunning nose. On the palate, waves of flavor burst through with a lovely structured texture. Stewed plums, raisins, pepper, and subtle whiffs of smoke. The finish fades away lazily with soft smoke, spice, and dark fruits with a dash of cacao nibs.

Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky

750mL

$69.99

Notes of vanilla, stone fruit and tree nuts greet the lively nose. The palate is full of sweet and fruity flavors such as caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, nectarine, lemon peel and cinnamon. A medium long finish with nougat, peach and lots of baking spice.

Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky

750mL

$64.99

A pleasant nose with notes of orange peel, baking spice, tropical fruit and spicy oak. On the palate tropical fruit, citrus, vanilla and caramel. While the fruity flavors are still present vanilla becomes the dominant note on the finish with just a touch of spicy cinnamon to balance it out. Overall a delightful whiskey from start to finish. The closest thing you’ll find to a Japanese bourbon.

Everyday Bourbon Values

As high-end bourbons have continued to climb in price, and disappear from the shelves, it’s nice to have a few brands that deliver consistently great flavor and value. We’ve highlighted a few of The Whiskey Hotline’s favorites that scratch that bourbon itch without breaking the bank. In fact, they’re some of the best spirits values around under $30.

Old Forester Signature Bourbon

750mL

$24.99

Old Forester has played second fiddle to some of Brown Forman’s bigger brands like Woodford Reserve for quite a while now. The brand has seen a resurgence lately as consumers are starting to appreciate the immense value it delivers. A perennial favorite of the Whiskey Hotline, Old Forester Signature delivers from nose to finish. Sweet vanilla and caramelized fruits soaked in honey leap from the glass. Pepper and cinnamon spice with oak tannin give balance to the ripe and tropical side. Enough strength to stand up and be noticed in a cocktail, or on the rocks.

Four Roses Bourbon

750mL

$21.99

At only $22 for a 750mL this should be a mainstay on any back bar. This is the only release from the iconic distillery that combines all 10 of their recipes. Incredibly well balanced, this mellow bourbon is a perfect daily sipper or cocktail delight. With a base of delicate and fruity bourbon, a moderate dose of clove and cinnamon are perfectly incorporated to create a well rounded work horse. Hard to imagine this bourbon was once unavailable in America, thank goodness we can find it stocked now-a-days.

Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon

750mL

$26.97

The nose on this soft, 94 proof sipper is that of an older bourbon with highlights of butterscotch, oak, vanilla and a faint whiff of herbal rye. Quite inviting. These oak driven flavors also shine on the palate which is expertly balanced with a touch of brown sugar sweetness and some spicy cinnamon. Even with some price increases in recent years Reverend Elijah’s namesake whiskey remains one of the best deals in the bourbon aisle.

Small Batch 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon

750mL

$29.99

This favorite from the Barton distillery in Bardstown is known for its chewy mouthfeel and sweet complexity. Wearhouse collapses and all, 1792 will keep you on your toes with big luscious tropical fruit flavors and pleasantly lively spice. Though the name has changed a few times, the quality has never wavered. Quality bourbon at a wonderful price, no need to go broke while drinking like a King…or Queen.

I.W. Harper 15 Year Bourbon: Finally Back In Stock

The latest limited release from Basil Hayden is here and it’s sure to appease the palate of any bourbon or rye fan, because it’s both. Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye combines 2 different rye whiskies and 2 different bourbons. The rye portion makes up the majority of the blend and is a combination of 5 year old rye and some 7 year old that has a higher rye content. The balancing bourbons are 6 and 13 years old.  

Basil Hayden's Two by Two Rye Blended With Straight Bourbon

750mL

$44.99

This whiskey’s rye roots shine brightest on the nose, loads of spice with brown sugar and a bit of menthol keeping it in check. Soft and easy on the palate, the corn sweetness from the bourbon takes the edge off the rye but still leaves a core of spice cutting through. Soft nougat, charred oak, cinnamon, and some baked fruit round out the flavor. The spice slowly fades through the typical soft and gentle Basil finish. Whether you like spicy or sweet, this Basil is a real treat.

I.W. Harper 15 Year Bourbon: Finally Back In Stock

It’s not everyday that we get enough of a 15 year old bourbon, much less a reasonably priced one, to announce it to our loyal Whiskey Hotline readers. Thankfully the latest bottling of the criminally underrated I.W. Harper 15 year old just arrived and we snatched up all we could.

In 2015 Diageo brought the legendary I.W. Harper brand back to the United States after an absence of nearly 30 years. Harper was still being bottled, but only sold overseas where it had gained a loyal following in the 1950’s and 60’s. The new iteration of I.W. Harper featured a non-age stated bourbon and a wonderful 15 year old in a throwback decanter. Unfortunately, as with pretty much all old bourbons, the 15 year old was not here to stay. We’ve received some sporadically since, usually about once a year, but never as much as we would like. Thankfully this latest release seems to be a bit broader and we can talk about one of our sleeper picks for premium bourbon again. 

I.W. Harper 15 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon

750mL

$79.99

An inviting nose of brown sugar soaked orchard fruits, vanilla candies, butterscotch and a hint of cinnamon up front with some lingering cherry in the background. The palate is light and lively considering the age, but still has the more developed, richer flavors of older whiskies. Sweet vanilla oak, baked apples, more cherries, cinnamon sticks and spicy oak transition to caramel, leather and lasting vanilla. The finish is surprisingly gentle but very long with notes of oak, vanilla, citrus and cinnamon fading. A connoisseur’s bourbon at an everyday price.

nob Creek Handpicked Single Barrels

Our latest round of Knob Creek handpicked single barrels just hit the stores and these are possibly the best ones yet. Every barrel displays a beautiful balance of brown sugar, vanilla and oak spices. All are bottled at 120 proof and range in age from 10 to 14 years. As with all single barrels these gems won’t be around for long so be sure to stop by your local Binny’s soon if one of these catches your eye.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6264 08 A 31 E3 40(1)

750mL

$39.99

On the nose charred oak, vanilla, a hint of peach skin, cherry and a touch of anise. The taste is rich and viscous with vanilla, toffee, cinnamon, cherry and clove. The long finish shows cinnamon and vanilla with soft, ripe fruits lingering.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6269 04 B 25 X3 42 (2)

750mL

$39.99

A pleasantly approachable nose with apple flesh, cherry skins, vanilla and baking spice. On the palate, apple and berry cobbler, toffee and vanilla are the highlights. The finish is quite long with cardamom, clove and vanilla syrup.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6265 04 B 25 X3 41(2)

750mL

$39.99

The nose here starts with roasted corn before leading to vanilla, brown sugar, orchard fruits and anise. On the taste rich toffee, vanilla syrup, oak spice and ripe fruit make for a complex whiskey. The pleasant finish brings more sweet notes of brown sugar, vanilla and has some anise that lingers.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6270 04 J 20 I3 1 (1)

750mL

$39.99

A nose that bursts with rich flavors of vanilla, cinnamon, cherry, leather and clove. The palate of this bourbon is rich and sweet with vanilla, toffee and ripe fruit dominating. The robust finish shows caramel, toffee and vanilla that fade ever so softly.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6271 04 B 25 X3 19 (3)

750mL

$39.99

A lovely combination of spices and vanilla puffins on the nose with a dose of baked apple and red cherry. On the taste big bold vanilla dominates with clove, oak char, and red berry reduction. The finish is elegant with vanilla lingering longest.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6266 08 A 31 E3 13 (3)

750mL

$39.99

Vanilla soaked pears leap on the nose with a backbone of subtly smoky oak and sharp spice. Vanilla syrup dominates the palate with baked apples, peach pie spiked with clove and a touch of cinnamon candy balancing it out. Cinnamon spice lingers after a slow fade of vanilla on the finish.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6272 04 B 25 X3 19 (3)

750mL

$39.99

Apricot, cherry, vanilla and spiced apples on the nose moving towards a vanilla candy sweetness. The taste of this bourbon turns a touch darker with notes of butterscotch and toffee before vanilla and baked apples explode with intensity. Ripe apples and pears dominate on the finish with some lingering oak spice.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6273 04 B 25 X3 39 (1)

750mL

$39.99

On the nose, oak char, vanilla, and clove lead the way with undertones of baked orchard fruits and tobacco leaf. On the taste, sugar-soaked orchard fruits are front and center with vanilla syrup and toffee. The finish is nice with big vanilla notes leading, and clove fading slowest. A gorgeous Bourbon.

Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon Binny's Handpicked #6267 04 B 25 X3 41 (3)

750mL

$39.99

Roasted red cherries, baked apples, vanilla coated toffee candies, and clove leap from the glass. On the taste, baked orchard fruits and vanilla lead the way with cinnamon and oak char just behind. The finish is pleasant with caramelized orchard fruits and anise fading softly.

Heaven's Gate

Nobel laureate and possibly the greatest songwriter of all time, Bob Dylan, is jumping into the liquor business, and he's getting started with three great bottles: a straight bourbon, a double barrel American whiskey, and a straight rye whiskey. If you’re tangled up in blue, or just wanting to feel forever young, these whiskies do not disappoint. Perhaps you’re doubting the mastery, don’t think twice, they’re better than alright.

Heaven's Door Tennessee Bourbon Straight Bourbon

750mL

$49.99

Sitting at just under 7 years old, this bourbon certainly has been sheltered from the storm of oak. On the nose, cherries and vanilla lead the way with pear and gentle clove. On the taste, baked apples, toffee and vanilla are more than just wallflowers. The finish is loaded with baked orchard fruits, anise and vanilla lingering alongside brown sugar.

Heaven's Door Double Barrel Whiskey

750mL

$49.99

You walk into a room, with this bottle in your hand. Even Mr. Jones can understand what’s happening here. With an extra year of maturation in a new barrel, this American whiskey gains some robust flavors while highlighting its softer side. On the nose, honey and vanilla blossoms open the set with an undercurrent of fresh berries and caramelized orchard fruits playing in the background. On the taste, caramel candy, dehydrated citrus candies, more floral vanilla, honey and peaches shine. The finish is pleasant and light with citrus blossoms and vanilla balanced by clove.

Heaven's Door Straight Rye Whiskey Finished in Vosges Oak Barrels

750mL

$79.99

Lovely buttered rye bread, citrus and wintergreen notes on the nose with a touch of caramel and allspice. The taste follows the lead with more citrus, chewy caramel candies, clove and wintergreen. The finish lingers for a time with spice and wintergreen fading alongside chewy orange candies and old fashioned rock candy. The French oak finishing softens the sharpness of the rye and highlights more of the fruit.