The Whiskey Hotline: Scouring the World for the Most Interesting & Unique Barrels of Spirits
The Whiskey Hotline team is on a never ending mission. 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.
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Don Julio Gonzalez was a pioneer in the production and worldwide sales of traditionally produced, 100% Blue Agave Tequila. Continuing the distilling tradition of a legend, Eduardo “Lalo” Gonzalez, grandson of Don Julio Gonzalez and son of Eduardo “Lalo” Gonzalez, has created an homage to his father and grandfather that is currently the most sought-after new release in tequila, Lalo Tequila Blanco. Produced using traditional methods from only mature agaves, this additive free tequila is about as good as it gets, and we are proud to offer it first at Binny’s.
Rich and honeyed agave erupts from the glass with balancing notes of lime peel, sweet spices, and a hint of grilled pineapple. It’s a broad and full-bodied tequila on the palate delivering waves of honey, caramelized banana, sweet cooked agave and white pepper. The sweet agave carries the long finish with highlights of sweet spices, dried citrus peels and pepper. An exceptional tequila.
It’s been a busy week here at The Whiskey Hotline, with several new handpicked single barrels in stock from producers we have never seen barrels from before. If you haven’t tried anything from Dark Arts Whiskey House yet, our first ever picks from them are a good jumping off point into their small batch and experimental whiskies. We’ve got a toasted Amburana finished rye that saw an additional finish in a maple syrup barrel as well as their incredibly high rye bourbon from a single Madeira cask. If rum is more your speed our first single cask from Kaua’i Hawaii’s Koloa distillery has also arrived and is the only way you can get your hands on their rum at natural cask strength.
Dark Arts Whiskey House Straight Rye Finished with Toasted Amburana Staves in Single ex Maple Syrup Barrel #RM1
Sweet cinnamon and vanilla with maple syrup, a match made in heaven. Decadent and dessert-like nose of sweet vanilla and cinnamon cereal, carrot cake, maple and sweet oak with a whiff of spicy and herbal rye. Luxurious and decadent on the palate with layers of sweet and candied coconut, vanilla cream, caramel sauce and maple syrup with an underlying mint note. The finish carries on these sweet elements but more of the spicy cinnamon and oak emerge to give this rye ample balance. This whiskey is over the top, and just plain fun.
Dark Arts Whiskey House Straight Bourbon Barely Legal Finished in ex Madeira Cask #MBL1
Decadent layers to unpack on the nose with dark stewed plums, spiced citrus oil, roasted almonds, caramel candies and spicy oak. Full bodied and rich on the palate with unctuous waves of caramelized banana, coconut, sweet citrus fruits, spicy cinnamon, marzipan and grilled peach. The finish leans into the toasted oak notes with more coconut and vanilla before sweet stone fruits emerge with a balancing dose of baking spices.
A soft, sweet, and inviting rum even at 118.5 proof. Soft and sweet nose of toffee, brown sugar butter, dried pear, vanilla blossom, sweet toasted oak and coconut. Rich and full on the palate with waves of sweet caramel cake, vanilla oak, dried apricots and peaches, ripe pears and flaked coconut over caramelized bananas. The finish is soft and pleasant with toasted oak persisting after a wave of caramel and vanilla coated pears fade. A rum for bourbon drinkers.
As winter slowly wanes, we often find ourselves warming up with a pour of whisky. Single malt Scotch just feels right this time of year, and we of course prefer a cask strength dram. This week we’re highlighting a few of our recent favorites from producers old and new, all of which showcase the breadth and versatility we expect from malted barley, and the balance and maturity fine Scotch is known for. So grab a nosing glass and a water pitcher and dive in to these delicious malts.
Skye’s first new licensed distillery in nearly 200 years has been a highlight for us since they first arrived on American shores. It’s great to have a cask strength offering of this highly peated single malt on the shelves.
An inviting nose of buttery lemon candy, vanilla cream, candied orange, gooseberry jam, earthen peat smoke, and a whiff of ashen white wood smoke with a dash of white pepper. On the palate, berries and candied citrus lead on a wave of white pepper and herbal peat smoke, as sweeter stone fruits and barley support. The finish is long and layered with a slow balanced fade of sweet smoke, spice, and maritime brine as peat and citrus sea breeze linger. An absolute stunner.
Macallan whiskies consistently deliver just about everything a lover of sherry cask matured Scotch could ask for. Of all of their various limited releases in any given year, Classic Cut just might be our favorite of their vaunted lineup.
Perfect marriage of oak spice, ripe orchard fruits, dried plums and raisins and a touch of vanilla on the nose. On the palate, pears and dried apricots in vanilla sauce lead with clove and cardamom intensifying as caramel and almond butter support. The finish is rich and layered with warm waves of apricot jam, figs, roasted almonds, vanilla oak and sweet spice.
A sherry aged delight that easily earned its spot at #2 on the 2023 Whisky Advocate Top 20. This is about as good as sherry cask single malts get.
A densely layered nose of red berry, caramelized oranges, dark chocolate toffee, vanilla bean, floral heather peat smoke, and oak spice. On the palate baked citrus and black peppercorns lead the charge with cloves in tow as a river of dark chocolate, fig and plum tart, smoke, and oak percolate in the distance. The finish is long and pleasant, with fruit and oak flavors lingering, as dark chocolate and soft smoke flavors fade into the background.
Classic, full-bodied Laphroaig at its best. This year’s release is batch number 16 and is bottled at 58.5% abv. It only makes sense for a whisky as wild and untamed as Laphroaig to be bottled uncut, but as usual there is deceptive elegance and nuance in this powerful dram.
On the nose rich waves of peat smoke sit just in front of baked pear, honey-soaked apricots, lemon oil and an unmistakable tinge of iodine with lingering oak and baking spices underneath. On the palate peat smoke gives way to intensifying, bright citrus fruit with a balance of toffee, seaside brine, tar, earthy smoke and a dash of honey. The finish is long and persistent with smoke and peppercorns outlasting sweeter fruit flavors. An intense and unforgettable whisky that keeps you coming back for more.
75% of this whisky was matured in second-fill Madeira casks, and the remainder was in first-fill Port casks, predominantly White Port.
A nose of vegetal, wet earthy peat smoke, mint, baked plums, butter poached peaches, spicy cinnamon tea, vanilla bean, and a whisper of honey candy. On the palate honey-soaked stone fruits, caramel crisps, vanilla –peach jam, light smoke, white pepper and spicy oak. The finish is pleasant and nicely layered with classic Laphroaig peat lingering long after a wave of stewed plums, honeyed peach, vanilla, caramel, and sweet baking spices.
Approaching the 9-year anniversary of the release of Chris Stapleton’s debut album Traveller, he has collaborated with Buffalo Trace to release a whiskey bearing the same name. Blended and perfected with Master Distiller Harlan Wheatley and Stapleton working in concert, Blend no. 40 is perhaps even smoother than Tennessee Whiskey. Whether you are a real-life outlaw, or just living with an outlaw state of mind, Traveller reveals buckets of fruit with just the right amount of sweet oak underneath, a perfect sipper for when the stars come out.
750 ml Bottle
A gentle and inviting nose of pears and brown sugar with vanilla cream and caramel underneath followed by toffee and cinnamon sticks with a touch of sweet oak. Notably creamy on the palate with waves of sweet vanilla frosting, caramel cream, red cherries, baked pears and toffee before a slow emergence of cinnamon candies. The finish is rich and pleasant with fruit and spice fading slowly together buttressed by toasted oak, coconut and juicy cherry notes.
This special Lunar New Year edition of Ferrand’s 10 Generations cognac was double matured in Port casks adding layers of dark fruit and spice to the bright and ripe Ferrand profile. It’s an elegant and textured cognac with layers to explore. The nose is robust and complex with stewed figs in honey, maple drizzled on walnut bread, caramel-toffee, and ever-present baking spice. Ripe stone fruits emerge on the palate followed by more figs. Sticky toffee pudding with golden raisins, plums dipped in chocolate, roasted nuts and a pleasant dose of spicy oak. The finish is rich and lengthy with baked apple and stewed plums lingering with walnuts and dark chocolates.
From 2019 to 2021 Angel’s Envy released some of their finest whiskies bottled as their Cellar Collection. These three releases were incredibly scarce and have been treasured by bourbon lovers who were lucky enough to find them. Thankfully Angel’s held some back in 375mL bottles for this return as a curated 3 pack of the entire collection. Each bottle offers a distinct flavor profile, but together, whiskey connoisseurs are treated to an exquisite tasting experience. The 2019 was an Oloroso Sherry finish with layers of dried fruits and a gentle sweetness bottled at 100 proof. 2020 saw a 10 month Tawny Port finish with harmonious layers of dried fruit and oak bottled at 111.6 proof. The final release in 2021 was a Madeira finish bottled at 100 proof and absolutely loaded with the ripe tropical and rich nutty notes we love in Madeira. These sets won’t be around long, and are limited to 1 per customer. AVAILABLE IN-STORE ONLY.
Lexington, Kentucky’s Dark Arts Whiskey House is a blending, rebarreling, and finishing operation. Inspired by the alchemists of old, they aim to transform wood, fire, grains and water into liquid gold. Their bourbons and rye are blended from only 3 barrels per batch, all aged from 6 to 8 years old. These small batches are created to maximize the flavors of the whiskey and will vary batch by batch. They are also utilizing one of our favorite bourbon mashbills, a barely legal 51% corn, 39% rye, and 10% malted rye specialty from Indiana. These whiskies are perfectly mature, with stave finishing that accentuates their character and flavor rather than dominating it as many barrel finishes can. A welcome addition to our whiskey aisle.
There’s a lot to unpack on the nose. Layers of fresh pear slices with chocolate covered almonds, vanilla bean, toffee butter, dried apple, dried coconut, cinnamon sticks, and sweet toasted oak. Rich and chewy on the palate with fantastic balance. Spicy cinnamon sticks and cherries lead, followed by dark chocolate, almond butter, and a balancing dose baking spices support. The finish is long and chewy with fruit and sweeter flavors fading into long-lasting caramel, vanilla and gentle oak spice.
Toasted French oak staves from a prized forest add sweet, warm notes that complement the spicy high rye bourbon profile. Spiced caramel cream on the nose with layers of vanilla cake, milk chocolate covered cherries, roasted nuts, and subtle oak spice. Quite creamy on the palate with cherries and bittersweet chocolate leading to bready undertones as spice percolates and sweeter caramel and vanilla elements support. The finish is balanced and warming with sweet and spice fading together as oak, stone fruit and sweet cinnamon linger.
Toasted amburana staves add the sweet and spicy character the rare Brazillian wood is known for without completely dominating the spirit. Amburana goodness on the nose with vanilla-cinnamon cream on carrot cake, toffee butter, candied raisins, dried pear, minty rye and an understated oak spice. Downright decadent on the palate with chocolate covered pears in cinnamon powder, dark chocolate, vanilla candies, floral jasmine and dried fruit with a flourish of baking spices at the back. The finish is long and layered with sweet and spice fading together as cinnamon and dried fruit flavors linger with a pinch of mint.
If you haven’t tried Old Elk, you’ve been missing out. These flavorful whiskies crafted by Master Distiller Greg Metze are some of the best on the shelves, and cover a wide variety of styles. We really love their Double Wheat, and their stunning Port Cask Finished Bourbon earned its spot on the Whisky Advocate Top 20 of 2023 list.
Charleston, South Carolina’s High Wire Distilling Co. has been making some fantastic spirits for over 10 years now, and they are finally available in Illinois. Founded by a husband-and-wife team, they take a baker’s approach to whiskies by focusing on artisanal grains first and foremost and quickly started making waves amongst the bourbon faithful with their lineup of Jimmy Red bourbons. Jimmy Red is a legendary moonshiner’s corn varietal from nearby James Island that was almost extinct. In fact, it was down to only 2 remaining cobs. Through extensive efforts from experts at the University of South Carlina and Clemson University seed stock was slowly built back up, and High Wire grew their first crop in 2014. Jimmy Red is nutty and sweet, and known for its extremely high oil content which gives the distillate a notably creamy mouthfeel. So have a taste of corn history with these bourbons, now available at a Binny’s near you.
Sweet and corn-forward on the nose with ripe red apples, vanilla fluff, corn puddin’, and sweet baking spice and oak. Broad and creamy on the palate, sweet vanilla oak notes arrive to balance out the corn, followed by caramel, floral orchard blossoms and sweet cinnamon and clove. The finish is long, layered and balanced with delicate spice outlasting sweet vanilla and toffee.
Explosive and expansive nose with loads of vanilla, oak spice, sweet corn and caramel sauce covered apples. Creamy and mouth coating on the palate, layers of sweet toffee and vanilla unfold before sweet corn oil, rich cinnamon spice and a hint of white pepper balance things out. The finish is stunningly long with waves of sweet and spice perfectly balanced. Rich, full and complex.
Sweeter and softer nose than the standard offerings with a distinct maple note, raisins, plums, and sweet spices. Gentle and soft on the palate, vinous fruits are layered over the sweet corn notes with fig sauce, cardamom and leather notes. The finish is soft and easy with more dark, dried fruits slowly fading into sweet maple and vanilla. A decadent sipper.
Bold but nuanced rye nose of floral spice, herbal mint, sweet grass, citrus peels and ginger. Full and coating on the palate compared to many other ryes, the sweet cereal notes jump out first before waves of mint, cinnamon, and herbal grassy notes give it the distinctive rye snap. The finish is spicy, herbal, floral and fruity all at once. A rambunctious rye that’s full of flavor.
Rich and caramelized on the nose with plum tart, toffee, caramel candies, fig cake, and a backbone of mint and rye throughout. Creamy and rich on the palate, tawny port is on full display with waves of toffee, sweet grapes, vanilla, sweet oak and orange peels. The finish carries the sweet caramel notes but is tempered by a hint of mint, grassy rye and orchard fruits. Rye whiskey for dessert.
It’s a momentous week here at the
Whiskey Rum Hotline as we have 3 new handpicked rums in stock from 2 of the best distilleries in the business. Two single barrels of El Dorado have arrived, one 10 years old and the other 11, both bottled at cask strength. These barrels showcase the deep distilling tradition of Demerara style rum as each barrel is a blend of distillates from several of the historic stills in use at Demerara Distillers including their famed wooden pot stills, one of which dates to 1732! Our custom blended rum from the Foursquare Distillery on Barbados has also arrived. It’s a blend of column and pot distilled rums aged in bourbon casks for 12 years and bottled at 62% abv and non-chillfiltered.
El Dorado 10 year old Single Barrel 032/2023
Binny's Handpicked from Coffey Savalle and Wooden Pot Stills
This rum was blended from distillates from 2 different column stills, a French Savalle still and a Coffey still, and both of the historic wooden pot stills, the single pot “Versailles” still and the double pot “Port Mourant” still. Those wooden pots have incredibly long distillation runs that bring loads of heavier flavor compounds through the vapor and into the final distillate.
A densely packed nose showing layers of dark chocolate, stewed plums, raisins, toffee, caramel cake, dried strawberries, coffee beans, vanilla, caramelized bananas and sweet oak spice. Rich and full on the palate, the tropical fruit notes explode with banana, glazed pineapple, plum jam, chocolate sauce, butterscotch and a hint of overripe fruit. The bourbon barrel aging shows more in the finish with cinnamon candies, vanilla, oak spice and caramel. A full, structured rum perfect for sipping.
El Dorado 11 year old Single Barrel 031/2023
Binny's Handpicked from Coffey Savalle and Versailles Wooden Pot Stills
This 11 year barrel is a blend of distillates from the Coffey and Savalle column stills with the single wooden pot “Versailles” still. The wooden pot gives some weightier balance to the bright, fresh, tropical notes found in the column distillate without overtaking that delicate profile.
A bright and energetic rum on the nose with apricot, peach, chocolate covered almonds, toffee butter, bananas and figs. Gentle and creamy on the palate with layers of stone fruit jam, caramel cream, apricots in golden syrup and figs with a slow buildup of oak intensity with warming cinnamon and clove. The finish is layered and long with a fantastic balance of dark dried fruits, juicy stone fruits, caramelized bananas, sweet caramel and cinnamon sticks. Pretty much perfect rum.
Foursquare Rum Distillery Single Blended Rum Aged 12 years in ex Bourbon Casks
Binny's Private Select
Like all Foursquare releases this is a blend of their double retort pot still and column still distillate. That marriage of heavier and lighter distillates makes beautifully balanced rums that age gracefully even in the sometimes oppressive Caribbean climate. Aged in ex-bourbon casks for 12 years, it was bottled at 62% abv and non-chillfiltered.
The nose explodes from the glass with toasted coconut, caramel wafers, baked banana, caramelized pineapple, sweet cinnamon and oak. Full and chewy on the palate, bourbon barrel aging takes hold initially with waves of sweet vanilla, toasted oak, coconut, and caramel cream before the more tropical notes slowly creep in with a balance of ripe banana, citrus peel, spiced orange and sweet coconut. The finish is long and remarkably balanced between sweet vanilla candy, tropical notes and spicy cinnamon, oak and pepper. A remarkable rum, and the perfect entry into the category for a bourbon lover.
A few years back the distillers at Cascade Hollow and Leopold Bros got together to blend up a collaboration of their different styles of rye. Rye at Cascade Hollow is made on a column still, giving it a lighter body and vibrant fruit notes. Leopold’s rye, on the other hand, is made on a traditional three chamber still. A true throwback, this whiskey is heavy-bodied and has distinct floral and chocolate notes. Put them together, and this is a bold yet balanced rye even at 100 proof. The last remaining stocks of this collaboration are on sale now for only $49.99. When these cases are gone, this whiskey is gone forever, and it just might be the best whiskey in the store for $50.
750 ml Bottle
On the nose you’ll find ample amounts of baked apricots, poached pear, and red cherries with caramel cake and vanilla wafer, mint leaf underneath, with cinnamon-spiked toffee and sweet oak slowly creeping in. The characteristic rye mint starts the palate before the fruit emerges as dried stone fruits, vanilla soaked pears and ripe apples arrive with a transition to vanilla sauce, caramel candies, toffee, and oak spice supporting. The finish is wonderfully layered and long, with sweet and spice fading slowly as mint candy and fruit flavors linger with cinnamon sugar. A beautiful rye for sipping neat.
A whole pile of piggies have arrived at a Binny’s near you covering a broad range of ages and styles. We’ve got single barrel cask strength 10 year ryes, cask strength 6 year ryes which are all distilled on site at the farm, 12 year barrel finished blends, 12 year single barrel finishes, and even a new 15 year barrel. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites below, and you can check the whole lineup out here.
Beautifully balanced on the nose with mint leaves on caramel sauce, vanilla-toffee bar, apricot blossom, and oak spice. On the palate rich waves of peach and apricot lead, with notes of herbal mint, butterscotch, and vanilla bean with a balancing dose of baking spices and oak. The finish is round and pleasant with sweet and spice slowly fading together as mint and candied apricot persist. An absolute stunner.
On the nose butter toffee, resinous rye spice, brambleberry sauce, vanilla-cinnamon candies, and baking spices. On the palate rye spice turns toward mint leaf with a rich underbelly of berries and vanilla, followed by sweet oak and baking spices. The finish is rich and chewy with sweeter vanilla and caramel barely outlasting the rye spice and oak. Classic WhistlePig.
An elegant and balanced nose of caramel sauce, baked plums, dark chocolate mint candy, vanilla blossom, and a kiss of oak. Dark fruit abounds on the palate with plums and figs with mint and chocolate right behind as caramel and vanilla support. The finish is rich and densely packed with darker fruits and rye spice persisting after a slow fade of dark chocolate and caramel. A dangerously drinkable delight.
On the nose blackberry reduction with butterscotch, floral mint leaves, caramel candy, and robust oak. Shows its age on the palate with a surge of oak spice initially but is tempered by robust fruit as fresh melon is joined by blackberry jam with sweet vanilla and caramel underneath. The finish is long and complex with minty rye spice fading into long-lasting melon and berry rounded out by rich oak spice.
750 ml Bottle
“A rich, chewy and balanced bourbon that shows maturity and depth without letting oak overpower the softer, ever-present fruit. Vanilla, almond blossom, and caramel notes intermingle with cherry, plum, golden apple and ripe Bartlett pear. A complex melange of spices informs the long fruit and mineral accented finish, pumping out white pepper, cinnamon, clove and a subtle impression of mint. Everything you could want in a great Bottled in Bond Bourbon!” - The Whiskey Hotline