The whiskey world is releasing interesting stuff every month, but this February boasts some truly incredible bottles. From the newest descendant of the whisky that taught us to love Japan to a bourbon born of the polar vortex, there’s something for everyone hitting shelves this month — if you can get your hands on it.
Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016
Japan has been at the top of every whisky lover’s list for a few years, ever since a single bottle of its native spirits was named “World Whisky of the Year” in Jim Murray’s 2015 Whisky Bible. That whisky was the Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013, and now three years later, its 2016 brother has come to take the throne. With reports that the final blend includes 25-year-old spirit, this bottle may be the best one yet: a crowning achievement honorably presented to the masses.
Why we like it: Suntory promised not to dumb the whisky down in response to the popularity. This is a $300 connoisseur’s bottle, and they delivered on the promise with a sequel that’s maybe better than the original.
Milsean is the latest in a long series of releases from Glenmorangie offering something different. While Glenmorangie is typically aged in ex-bourbon barrels, this particular batch was given an extra, multi-year finish in red wine barrels from Portugal, and re-toasted them before adding the whisky.
Why we like it: This $105-bottle offers a unique flavor profile that’s ripe for dessert-time drinking.
Orphan Barrel Gifted Horse
Allegedly this bottle came to be when someone accidentally took 17-year-old Kentucky bourbon and added 4-year-old whiskey to the batch. We’re not sure if that person was fired on the spot, but they should probably be thanked for their contributions; the resulting whiskey is a unique Jekyll and Hyde concoction, with the kick of a much younger whiskey and the finesse of a mature one fighting for dominance in the bottle.
Why we like it: This $50 bottle has the complexity of a pricier whiskey, but also works quite well in a cocktail.
Woodford Frosty Four Wood
Master distiller Chris Morris had to drop the “bourbon” name when he put Frosty Four Wood through three finishes, in maple wood barrels, ex-sherry barrels, and ex-port barrels.
Why we like it: Woodford put a bottle on shelves that demonstrates masterful control of the aging process.
Tullamore D.E.W. 15 Trilogy
Tullamore used three types of whiskey for this blend, then aged them in three types of wood, and each whiskey was triple distilled. More importantly (and less gimicky) this 15-year-old is the oldest bottling Tullamore has released yet, and it’s the crowning achievement of the company’s portfolio.
Why we like it: This is Irish whiskey at its finest: a bottling that shows off everything Ireland brings to the table (multiple grains, a unique process) at an age to which most Irish distillers never commit.
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