It’s a wonderful week for fans of Binny’s handpicked single barrels. It’s been over a year since we had 12 year old barrel finishes from WhistlePig, and our first ever Bulleit barrels have arrived. We thought we had seen it all with barrel finishes, but WhistlePig continues to surprise us with barrels like mead and re-toasted red wine. The 4 Bulleit barrels are all made from a high, 36% rye mashbill but used 2 different yeast strains. They’re also non-chillfiltered and bottled at 104 proof. Bulleit has an undeniable connection to some well-known distilleries from the Seagram’s lineage, even using a combination of 2 different high rye mashbills and 5 unique yeast strains. These barrels are all single mashbill, single yeast and we’re not gonna lie, these are the best Bulleits we have ever tasted.
WhistlePig Old World Cask Finished 12 year old Rye Andy's Schweinshaxe Finished in Jamaican Rum Barrel Binny's Handpicked
On the nose, rye spice is in command with sweet wintergreen as dark sugars from the rum finish linger underneath. Rye leads the charge on the palate as well balanced by a fat and lush dose of rum and baking spices and a bit of a grassy, cane-y rum note, undoubtedly the calling card of the rum’s Jamaican heritage. The finish is just lovely with spice, sweet brown sugar and rum notes fading slowly together.
WhistlePig Old World Cask Finished 12 year old Rye Ryan's Spanferkel Finshed in Retoast Red Wine Cask Binny's Handpicked
Initially floral and fruity on the nose with a splash of rye spice as a backbone. On the palate, unmistakable red wine flavors dance in unison with rye spice and clove as hints of raspberry jam, coconut and brown sugar emerge. The finish is well balanced showing ripe red fruits, sweet toasted oak and a lingering sweet baking spice.
WhistlePig Old World Cask Finished 12 year old Rye David's Crubeens Finished in Vermouth Cask Binny's Handpicked
On the nose, floral citrus, rye bread, red berry jam and oak spice. On the palate, rye spice intermingles nicely with classic herbal and oxidized vermouth flavors and of course some gentle spiced oak. While the vermouth is noticeable, it is not dominating, which is a plus. The finish is rich and layered with rye spice flavors slowly transitioning to a lingering, vinous note.
WhistlePig Old World Cask Finished 12 year old Rye Jim's Frikadeller Finished in Mead Cask Binny's Handpicked
On the nose, Christmas cake and honey roasted grain along with a mint sprig and cinnamon stick. The honey is actually quite pronounced. On the palate, honeyed wintergreen and clove explode through with a touch of citrus and toasted oak. The finish is very long with rye spice fading into rich mead flavors that slowly drift into clove and black peppercorn as the bright honey continues to linger.
On the nose, baked apple and fresh sliced peach, caramel wafer, vanilla bean and cardamom. The palate continues with the fruit and a spicy cinnamon note with a nice underbelly of oak char. The finish is lovely with fruit fading into oak spice. Well-rounded, fruity bourbon showing great balance.
A sweeter nose of vanilla sauce and cooked corn with toffee bar. On the palate, cinnamon sugar and brioche join baked orchard fruits and vanilla candy. The finish is solid with spice and sweet fading slowly together. A lively bourbon.
Caramelized fruit jumps out of the glass, grilled pear and baked apple, vanilla paraffin, caramel candy and mint sprig. On the palate, caramel poached apples, cinnamon candy and clove. The finish is lovely with sweet fading into spicy oak and black peppercorn.
On the nose, baked apricot and pear, vanilla paraffin, caramel wafer, milk chocolate and oak spice. The fruit and oak notes meld perfectly on the palate with a dose of vanilla and milk chocolate rounding it out. The finish is long and coating with fruit fading into spicy oak flavors. Gorgeous and balanced.
Bourbon may currently be America's spirit, but it's not the oldest. Apple brandy was the first product distilled by the original settlers. The Whisky Hotline loves history and great apple brandy and we don't have to look far or get into a time machine to find it. Our friends at Copper & Kings have once again offered us a handpicked cask bursting with flavors and personality, this time an apple brandy. Distilled from Michigan apples, finished in casks that previously held Michigan made hard apple cider, and aged in Kentucky. Bottled at a robust 111 proof, this marriage of Kentucky and Michigan is our newest Handpicked selection, and takes the
cake apple pie.
On the nose, baked apple and vanilla paraffin with a splash of butterscotch and caramel sauce along with cardamom. On the palate, robust cardamom and waves of baked apple alongside caramel and vanilla bean. The finish is long with spice slowly giving way to sweeter fruit flavors. Though it is definitely a Brandy, this particular barrel drinks very close in similarity to Kentucky Bourbon. The 111 proof feels closer to 90 proof in this expression.
Only 168 bottles available, furthermore those 168 are split between Massachusetts and Illinois…..so quite rare. Bottled at 56.6% and aged in American Oak for 16 years. On the nose, vanilla custard and lemon curd along with floral and savory elements. On the palate, honeyed flowers, butterscotch, vanilla bean, red berry, cardamom and clove. The finish is warm and pleasant with oak spice fading alongside savory floral, and nutty elements. A complex malt to contemplate.
As all Scotch Whisky lovers know, sherry matured malts seem to be harder and harder to find as of late. Illinois and Massachusetts split 588 bottles of this 14 year old delight. Bottled at 57.7% abv and fully matured for 14 years in a Sherry Butt. These won’t last long. On the nose, dried cranberry, raisin, ripe plum, a touch of leather, violets and black pepper. On the palate, dried fruit and chestnut, baked plum, black pepper and clove. The finish is perfect with dried fruit and stewed berry fading alongside oak spice for what seems to be an eternity.
On the nose, caramel, toffee and toasted cereal grains, marshmallow, clove and red berry. On the palate, brown sugar on baked apple and barley with a splash of cinnamon and black pepper. The finish is quite nice with sweet and spice fading slowly together.
On the nose, robust waves of stewed plum, raisin brioche, browned butter, roasted chestnut, cardamom and clove. On the palate, dark stewed fruits with a backbone of lovely oak spice in the form of black pepper and star anise. The finish is quite lengthy with fruit lingering after a pleasant burst of spice. A delightful sherry-bomb.
The nose is pleasantly floral with notes of vanilla lanolin, membrillo, dry coconut flake, and clove. On the palate, floral elements and fruit show up in a pleasant wave of flavor. The finish is gorgeous with sweeter fruit flavors lingering with a spice wave in the middle of the experience. Gorgeous Whisky.
When a whiskey sits at the intersection of flavor and value, we get excited. It’s what we’re all about at the Whiskey Hotline. We taste countless products, many good, and a great many more bad, in an unending hunt to find you the best whisk(e)y deals. Wheel Horse Rye is one of those deals, a 101 proof, non-chillfiltered straight Kentucky rye from the O.Z. Tyler Distillery.
Wheel Horse uses a 95% rye, 5% malted barley mashbill which many rye fans will note is the same as numerous other ryes that are made at MGP in Indiana. That rye heavy mix is out in front on the nose with waves of baking spices, orange oil, mint, but it has a distinct cherry note with some brown sugar on the back. A familiar and welcoming nose, with surprising depth and sweetness.
The combination of Irish whiskey and coffee isn’t exactly a new concept, but it has never been easier than with the new Jameson Cold Brew. Made with fair trade Arabica beans from Columbia and Brazil, and with no added sugar, this is not the usual flavored whiskey. The next time you’re in the mood for an Irish coffee forget the theatrics of the Buena Vista Café and reach for a bottle of Jameson Cold Brew instead.
The Whiskey Hotline team are longtime fans of single malt from the Aberfeldy distillery. This criminally underrated whisky serves as the backbone of the various Dewar’s blends. When left on its own, however, the rich complexity shines. Dewar’s recently launched their “Exceptional Cask Series” in the US with single barrels from cult favorites like Craigellachie and now Aberfeldy. The first Aberfedy cask is a single sherry butt that held this delicious malt for 19 years and we’re happy to report that it truly lives up to its exceptional billing.
The dark and brooding color highlights the sherried provenance of this whisky. On the nose, sherry is in charge with robust aromas of plum and raisin, violet, Christmas cake, toasted oak and anise. On the palate, dried fruits explode across the viscous body with layers of sweet baking spices swirling underneath. Butterscotch and molasses slowly emerge adding balance along with dried dark fruits. The finish is long and absolutely stunning with sherried fruit and oak spice fading away together. Honestly, this is about as perfect a sherried malt as one could find. One of the Hotline’s new favorites.
The new decade has so far been more of the same for the Whiskey Hotline and our never-ending mission to bring you the world’s greatest spirits with many barrels tasted and few chosen as Binny’s handpicks. This week we welcome in 2 new barrels of tequila, and we couldn’t be more excited. El Tesoro has long been one of our favorites for its clean, unadulterated agave notes and rich, complex flavor. These are reposado tequila in its purest form, a perfect balance of agave and oak. At El Tesoro the mature agaves are cooked and then crushed with the traditional tahona (a small replica of which is on the closures of these bottles) before spending a brief rest in ex-bourbon barrels. The tequila genius of master distiller Carlos Camarena is on full display in these two new selections. In the depths of winter, we all could use a brief escape to warmer weather…even if it’s only in a glass.
The nose is robust and welcoming with fresh lime, roasted agave, orange blossom and black pepper. On the palate, lush roasted agave flavors mingle with citrus, honey and tropical fruits with white pepper and soft waves of anise to balance. The finish is rich and beautiful with sweet and spice fading away slowly together.
On the nose, spice leads the way with bright white pepper along with vegetal agave flavors, lime pith and a subtle whiff of baked orange. On the palate, tropical fruits and citrus take over with a round underbelly of roasted agave, cinnamon, agave nectar and a bit more of that white pepper. The finish is soft and gorgeous with sweeter flavors outlasting the spicier elements.
El Tesoro has recently introduced a new tequila to the lineup as well, a gorgeous extra anejo. Extra anejo tequilas must be aged in oak barrels for 3 years or more. El Tesoro of course is not the minimum but made from barrels aged 4 to 5 years. Typically, we would see the sweeter and rounder agave notes become muted from this amount of time in a barrel. However, we see a master at work as wood and agave intertwine without oppressing the sumptuous roast agave flavors we love so much in El Tesoro.
On the nose, roasted agave with freshly roasted arabica coffee beans, buttered toffee and cardamom meld perfectly into a luxurious and inviting aroma. The palate highlights the expected roasted agave flavors but they are braced by darker notes of cacao nib. Citrus come next with lime pith followed by toasted oak spice and cinnamon sticks. The finish is glorious with agave lingering alongside pleasant oak flavors and bittersweet chocolate. A perfect candidate for sipping neat.
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. At only $24.99 for a 1.75 liter this is our new home bar staple.
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.