One of the great things about whiskey is that just when you think you’ve tried it all, a new crop of bottles comes rolling off the line. This latest batch of bottles spotlights some notable newcomers, spread across a broad cross-section of whiskey styles and geographies. From a blended scotch aged in Spanish wine casks to a powerhouse bottled-in-bond bourbon to a luscious peanut butter-flavored whiskey (yeah, you read that right!), these are the eight new whiskey bottles to try now.
A bit of a wild card, Blackened was the final whiskey released by master distiller Dave Pickerell before he died in November. It’s a collaboration with heavy metal band Metallica—a blend of North American whiskeys finished with “sonic aging.” Meaning it was funneled into brandy barrels and agitated by the thumping bass of Metallica’s music to create additional contact with the oak. The end result is a drying, spicy sip with pleasing hints of stone fruit and honey.
This honey-hued Irish whiskey is aged twice, first in ex-bourbon barrels, then finished in oloroso sherry casks. The technique yields gingerbread tones—vanilla and almonds studded with clove and black pepper spice. Sip or mix into classic cocktails like the Blackthorn.
Think of this as a craft whiskey for beer lovers. Half of the blend is a three-year-old straight malt whiskey, and the remaining half is distilled stout whiskey and pilsner whiskey. It’s bold, plush and wild, with hops and dark stout-like cocoa notes fading into a clove-accented finish. Made in California.
After creating a bespoke blend for New York City restaurant The Spaniard, Compass Box was inspired to make The Story of the Spaniard, featuring blended scotch finished in Spanish sherry and red wine casks. Expect similar layers of sherried fruit, vanilla and spice in this latest addition to their portfolio.
Aged 15 years and bottled at a stiff 100 proof, this scotch is described this as the “most intensified expression of our classic Speyside single malt" by its producer. It opens softly, with plenty of fresh pear and a light veil of peat smoke, then escalates to a wallop of alcohol heat, finishing with lingering smoke and baking spice.
You might be thinking, Wow, that’s a pricey bourbon. But at nine years old, this Old Fitzgerald offering is aged longer than most. And even though it’s bottled at 100 proof, it still doesn’t blow the doors off with alcohol heat. Add water or ice to taste; the right balance yields lively vanilla and cocoa, finishing with a distinct lemony zing, just right for mellow sipping. The packaging is inspired by an original 1950s Old Fitzgerald diamond decanter.
This fun peanut butter-flavored whiskey is meant for mixing. It exudes a delicious peanut butter and caramel scent, with a sweet flavor that finishes long and luscious. Whiskey snobs may turn up their noses, but you know they ordered that drink made with peanut-butter-fat-washed whiskey at a cocktail bar. Mix this into a Peanut Butter Old Fashioned, and see if it doesn’t deliver a similar effect.
The barrels used to age this limited-release whiskey were slowly heated to achieve a deep, rich toasted layer before being charred. Splash in a little water or ice (it’s bottled at 100 proof), and a toasty, nutty quality emerges, finishing with sweet spices. Overall, it’s a pleasing sipper, warming and complex. It debuted in October 2018, with a limited release of 200 barrels.