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Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road

It's that time of year again, when the Whiskey Hotline takes an annual pilgrimage to Scotland to visit distilleries, ferret out hidden gems, and enjoy a few pints of slightly flat, room-temperature beer at the end of the day. Finding your new favorite drams is the easy part, finding somewhere to put them is another story. It will be a while before the new picks arrive, but we need to make room, so we're blowing out the remaining stock of last year's handpicked treasures. Grab them while you can, because stock is dwindling and these deals won't last long

Read more about the Whiskey Hotline's pilgrimage to Scotland here

Signatory Balmenach 26 year old Hogshead #2805 Cask Strength

Soft leather and a touch of smoke with some citrus and bright fruit. Spicy palate with a delicate smoke and more citrus. 

Signatory Braeval 16 year old Bourbon Barrell #168864 Cask Strength

More vanilla than most Scotch whiskies with some baking spice and citrus peel. Citrus fruits and spices abound on the palate with a mellow, almost tropical finish. 

Signatory Glenlivet 8 year old First Fill Sherry Butt #901038 Cask Strength

An example of how indie bottlers can deliver fun but atypical examples outside a distillery’s usual profile. Not just sherry finished, this whisky saw all its aging time in first fill sherry butt. Brown sugar and burnt honey on the nose. Wears its high proof on its sleeve, plus its viscous, raisiny sherry quality makes this a powerhouse.

Signatory Linkwood 7 year old First Fill Bourbon Barrel #800010 Cask Strength

Typically robust and bold for a Mortlach. A bit lighter fruit on the palate, think apples and orange peel, with a long toffee and vanilla finish. 

Signatory Clynelish 7 year old Bourbon Barrel #800001

Cerebral, thinky Scotch. Soft fruit around a subtle, earthy, funky core. The powerful palate starts with bright citrus, quickly grows to spicy complexity before a sweet finish.

Cadenheads Aultmore 17 year old Binny's Handpicked Cask

Pencil shavings and pepper with soft lemon curd on the nose. Pleasantly creamy with the fruit up front. Peppery, light peat finish balances the fruit. 

Gordon & Macphail Ardmore 16 year old Cask #5587 Cask Strength

Savory umami on the nose – Joe calls it vegetal – another contemplative pick. There’s light peat, dirty, earthy peat, peat in its natural form, swampy and not smoky. It’s not all funk though, with caramel candy, baked spice notes.

Signatory Caol Ila 7 year old ex-Bourbon Barrel #311754 Cask Strength

Delicate iodine on the softly sweet nose. Nice and fruity on the palate with soft smoke and earthy peaty notes. A youthful whisky, but shows maturity beyond its years. 

Gordon & Macphail Caol Ila 8 year old Bourbon Barrel #310216 Cask Strength

Graceful Islay, and a bargain, with intensely smoky nose. Fat and grainy structure on the palate. Peppery, muscular counterpart to the 7 year old. A dusting of cocoa on the finish. Fantastic whisky with structure and balance. 

Ballechin 11 year old Bourbon Barrel #61 Cask Strength

Tropical fruit on the nose of this oily and fat Ballechin bottling. Creamy fruit up front with a dry, oaky finish. One of the best Ballechin expressions we have ever tasted. 

* Prices valid with Binny's Card through 6/6/2016. Quantities limited to stock on hand. No rain checks. All bottles 750mL unless otherwise stated. Not responsible for misprints or typographical errors.

Passing Shots

Barrell BourbonMost people think bourbon only comes from Kentucky. Barrell Bourbon disproves this myth with another solid bourbon made in Tennessee.

Proving that size doesn’t matter, Cody Road delivers mature rye in 30 gallon barrels. Made from 100% rye, this meticulously crafted rye presents a rare sweetness.

With malt sourced from 5 countries, Ichiro’s Malt & Grain delivers a world tour of our favorite grain.

Deep, rich, mellow, Chinaco's latest Lot offers unrivaled flavor and richness from its five years in barrel.

BroVo’s BoomerangThere are plenty of cherry liqueur options, but none like the spicy, chewy firecracker that is BroVo’s Boomerang. Combining cayenne and amaro, this kind of wizardry hasn’t been seen since Gandolph helped Frodo take on Sauron.

Harlan Wheatley just launched a ridiculously easy sipping vodka, the latest in a lineup of award-winning products from good old dsp-ky-113.

Speaking of vodka, this one is out of this world. Check out this Instagram to keep up with the alien’s travels.

You might be suspicious of pineapple flavored whiskey. Consider that the town of Revelstoke received 80 feet of snow in the winter of 1971, and you’ll understand that they’re really just positive thinkers.

Drinking immature never felt so grown up. This double distilled brandy brings beautiful floral grape notes to the dance. And now, grab a mule kit and get kickin.

Brought to you by popular request, Grand Old Parr. May or may not improve your golf swing.

Ron Duran 12 year old Craft Panamanian RumRoberto Duran, famed Panamanian boxer dubbed "Manos de Pierdra," delivered 70 knockouts in his prolific career. After tasting this rum produced in his honor, we’d up the tally to 71.

Ever since we sold our last bottle of Kilbeggan 18, we’ve been beggin for more. The wait is now over.

A fine example of mixing stimulants and depressants.


HIBIKI 12 Year Whisky

Just as their popularity is skyrocketing in the West, Japanese whiskies are becoming scarce. Like their Scottish counterparts, age statements are disappearing from some Japanese bottlings, giving the distilleries more flexibility as they wait for aging stocks to mature. Which is why we had to jump at the chance to grab the last few cases in the US of Suntory's masterful Hibiki 12 year old.

Suntory Hibiki Japanese Blended Whisky Aged 12 Years

Hibiki brings together both of Suntory's malt whisky distilleries, Yamazaki and Hakushu, and their grain distillery Chita (look for a Chita bottling coming sometime in 2017). Unlike traditional Scotch distilleries, Suntory makea a variety of styles with different stills and fermentation vessels. Some of the malts in the blend pick up unique characteristics from aging in plum liqueur barrels, others are filtered through bamboo charcoal. The result is a r'6ich whisky with notes of baking spice, dark fruit, and a hint of tropical citrus on the nose, a gently creamy palate with a long, peppery finish. This artfully layered blend is study on the complexity of subtle flavors. Grab your bottle of this world-class value now - we don't know when we'll see this beautiful whisky again.

Whiskey Hotline Hits the Road Hello from Wolfburn

It's that special time of year again, when the Whiskey Hotline hits the road in Scotland to root out the best, from classic distilleries and independent bottlers to the latest and greatest. In fact, this week we're visiting Wolfburn, the latest new distillery to release their debut bottling.

Wolfburn Single Malt Highland Scotch

Wolfburn lies in Thurso, a coastal town hard on the northern shore of Scotland. This efficiently compact facility kicked off distilling in January of 2013, using new equipment and repurposed pieces from Caperdonach, another longtime Whiskey Hotline favorite. Shane Fraser is at the helm, a seasoned distilling vet of 26 years who started at Royal Lochnagar at the ripe young age of 17 before moving on to Oban and Glenfarclas.

Wolfburn Single Malt Highland Scotch

Wolfburn's debut bottling is a combination of lightly peated and unpeated spirit. This is a lively, full bodied and complex harmony of citrus, dried fruit and spice notes. This first release saw three years solely in ex-islay quarter casks, which means we have to wait to see the sherried expressions that are still aging in warehouses. Beautiful soft fruit, vanilla, toffee, subtle peat and a little pepper built on an oily and pleasant palate. This edition is surprisingly complex and delicious, which makes the wait for more mature sherried editions a little easier. 

Binny's Handpicked Journeyman Distillery

We’ve been vocal fans of Journeyman since their 2011 launch. They've given us gin, whiskey and everything in between. Their output has never been better than right now, and we have proof.

They recently sent us three barrel samples of Last Feather Rye and three barrel samples of Buggy Whip Wheat. Like any other week, we had already tasted through barrel samples from a few other distilleries. Without naming names, we can tell you Journeyman beats one of the Big Boys hands down. All six JMan samples were so expressive and complex that it was tough to settle on just four. One shocking detail is that all of these samples were from 15 gallon barrels. Smaller barrels age faster than standard 53 gallon American barrels, but short cuts rarely yield fully mature whiskey. These samples, aged for a full year, show amazingly flavorful whiskey. Clearly, Journeyman has whisky production dialed in. Do yourself a favor and pick up one of these new Binny's Handpicked Selections from Journeyman and see how it's done.

Journeyman Distilling Buggy Whip Wheat Whiskey Binny's Handpicked Cask #15-0246

We just can’t get enough of this 100% wheat whiskey made just down the road in Michigan. The grain character of this nose is just so fat and welcoming. Gorgeous sugars and vanilla clove mingle with a surprising dose of soft, subtle fruit on the nose balanced by weight and depth on the palate. Leads quickly into a long and pleasant finish. Grain, caramel, subtle clove, anise, and cinnamon. Just amazingly delicious Whiskey.

Journeyman Distilling Buggy Whip Wheat Whiskey Binny's Handpicked Barrel #15-0249

We were over the moon when we selected this barrel. The nose is big, round and fat. A bit of clove floating just underneath the vanilla nuttiness and rich wheat grain flavors. Not surprising as this is 100% wheat. The palate is fat, round, and full of beautiful wheat flavors, clove and soft spice. The finish is interesting, in that it seems to fade away rather quickly only to sneak back up and linger. Long lasting grain, brown sugar, cherry and spice. We’re so happy to be able to offer an amazing whiskey to you.

Journeyman Distilling Last Feather Rye Binny's Handpicked Barrel #15-0242

On the nose, this Rye has an abundance of wintergreen. Deep and rich in character, we're picking up a roasted, or perhaps a toasted quality. Vanilla, clove and spice are in the mix as well. The palate is big with exploding wintergreen and rye spice notes. A prickly cinnamon spice arrives for the pleasantly lengthy finish. Just a beautiful Rye. The soft sweet notes linger, and dance alongside the Rye spice.

Journeyman Distilling Last Feather Rye Binny's Handpicked Barrel #15-0243

Nice rich, warm, round flavors of wintergreen, rye spice, and brown sugar. On the palate, this rye is big and full. Wintergreen explodes on the tongue, and is immediately greeted with a pepper and cinnamon spice. Everything we love about rye is in this flavor. Expressive, bold, assertive, yet in the lengthy finish this rye shows us that it is not just a one trick pony. Wintergreen, anise, clove, pepper, cinnamon, brown sugar, soft fruit, and even a touch of honey. Just amazingly complex, and a real treat.

Binny's Handpicked Mississippi River Distilling Co.

Another Hotline favorite is Mississippi River Distilling Company. After six years on the scene, they're producing some amazing brown spirits. Few distilleries handle all aspects of their process as intimately as MRDC, whose grain to glass philosophy includes using only local grain grown within 25 miles of the distillery, giving them first pick on the finest and freshest grain. We recently hit the road to Iowa to grab three new Binny's Handpicked Selections from MRDC: two barrels of Cody Road Bourbon and one of Cody Road Rye.

Cody Road Cask Strength Bourbon Binny's Handpicked Barrel #14-0046

The first thing about this bourbon is the vibrancy on the nose. Expressive with big bold butterscotch, soft fruit, clove, and an enticing brown sugar vanilla combo. On the palate we’re hit with bold spice, more clove, anise, and sweet rich vanilla. The finish is layered and interesting. A spicy black pepper jumps out at first, followed by a long warm transition to fruit and lingering brown sugar and vanilla.

Cody Road Cask Strength Bourbon Binny's Handpicked Barrel #12-0185

This handpicked bourbon from Cody Road has an interesting nose. Layers and layers of flavors  to sift through. Strong notes of spiced Christmas cake, orange zest, clove, vanilla, toffee, and butterscotch. The dynamic palate has nice viscosity and weight, with a spicy punch in the middle. The lenghty finish is filled with dose of dark cherry anise to round things out.

Cody Road Cask Strength Rye Binny's Handpicked Barrel #13-0081

This rye is bottled at 94 proof and matured in a 30 gallon barrel. Made from 100% rye, Cody Road Rye is spicy and pleasantly sweet. Thanks to clean distillation and an emphasis on the sweet character of the spirit, this barrel of Rye jumps with citrus and fruit. Some classic Rye wintergreen spice can be found, but not nearly as spicy as you would expect from a 3 year old rye. This grain to glass operation really separates itself from the rest of the pack within the flavor found in the whiskey. Back to terroir here, we taste a sweetness in this rye that simply does not show up in others that we’ve had. Quite unique and a must try with its fruit heavy rye spice character.

*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.

Binny's Spirits Blog
Breaking news and reviews on your favorite spirits.
Contact or call 1-888-817-5898 with questions, comments, & special requests.

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