Fun New (North) American Whiskies

The next iteration of Diageo's Orphan Barrel series has arrived. I haven't tasted it yet, but it's in stock and ready to rock! David OG I believe will get tasting notes in shortly, as he did get the chance to give it a whirl.

Orphan Barrel Forged Oak 15 Year Old Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey $69.99- The new offering from Diageo's Orphan Barrel operation is a 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey distilled at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. It features a very low rye content in the mashbill and is already selling out across the country. These Orphan Barrels are the reminisce of long defunct brands of bourbon or blended whiskey, that have found new life in this special series. Sip on this and wonder where this whiskey might have gone otherwise. I think we're all glad it ended up here. Limit 2 bottles per customer.

We’ve also got two new arrivals from Jim Beam: a new 100 proof Bonded version of the standard recipe, and a beefed up 45% rye whiskey. Both are outstanding values.

Jim Beam Bonded 100 Proof Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey $18.99The beast is awakening! Finally, Kentucky’s largest Bourbon distillery is using its size and scale to create a fantastic, value-oriented, high-quality whiskey that anyone can enjoy. For less than $20, this is my new go-to for mixing cocktails and making rocks drinks. It’s Beam flavor through and through—creamy corn, sweet vanilla, and that spicy, grainy finish—just turned up to 100 proof. It’s a no-brainer for the money.

Jim Beam Pre-Prohibition Style 90 Proof Straight Kentucky Rye Whiskey $18.99The new 90 proof rye formula is definitely going to make a splash in what is still a rather desolate rye market. The spice is turned up a notch and the pepperiness of the grain really comes through, while maintaining richness. For a few dollars less than Bulleit, it should cause many a discerning drinker to ponder switching over. A must for Manhattans.

Wiser's 18 Year Old Canadian Whiskey $54.99 - While I feel the Lot 40 continues to be a great crossover or gateway whisky for American whiskey fans looking to explore something new, the Wiser's 18 year is Canadian through and through—and that's a good thing. People who change their personality to fit what others want them to be are uninteresting and boring. That being said, I would be disappointed if 200 years of whisky tradition were changed and altered to capitalize on the current cask strength American whiskey fad. The Wiser's 18 is full of pencil shavings and rye spice on the nose. It begins with soft oak on the palate, and quickly moves into a peppery, spicy, rye-dominated flurry of flavor that finishes with accents of baking spice and lots of tingly, tangy goodness. If you're looking for a replacement to that 18 year old Stitzel-Weller Bourbon you drained two years ago, then look elsewhere. If you're looking to try one of Canada's legendary 18 year old whiskies for the same price as a 10 year old Springbank, then this is definitely up your alley. It's as good as anything I've had from Canada thus far, which I'll admit isn't much, but it has me very excited for what else may be lying in wait.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll