Sometimes, it's good to peek outside your flavor bubble and surprise your palate with a Whisk(e)y that's audacious and extraordinary. We've curated a selection of such outliers for you: emerging types, experimental vibes, and unique characters. Go beyond the usual suspects.
Virginia Distillery Company has released the flagship Single Malt that we’ve all been waiting for. The Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia are better known for Moonshine and renegade distilleries. Virginia Distillery Company is changing all that. The late Dr. George G. Moore moved to Virginia from Ireland in 1970 where he raised his family and dreamed of making Whisky. In 2011, that dream became a reality when he founded Virginia Distillery Company with his wife, son, and daughter-in-law — who continue to run the operation. Like many start ups, they started with a combination of house-distilled and sourced Single Malt. 2020 is a big year for them as their house Single Malt is center stage with plenty of production along with new product lines and finishings. We’ve known this was coming for a long time. Virginia Distillery Company sneaked out a preview sample release called "Prelude" last year to whet our appetites. But now Courage & Conviction American Single Malt Whisky has arrived. It’s 100% American Single Malt Spirit made in house and aged between three and a half and four years. That time was spent in a combination of casks — ex-Bourbon, STR Red Cuvée Wine casks, and a variety of Spanish Sherry casks. The combination delivers a creamy and delightfully complex palate.Find out more >>
The American Malt Rises. Westward Whiskey Distillery was founded by Christian Krogstad, who graduated from the Siebel Institute of Technology — America’s oldest brewing academy. He worked at craft breweries and a vineyard before founding what would become Westward in 2004 to bring his vision for an American Single Malt to life. The Westward team was expanded in 2011 when Thomas Mooney joined as co-founder and CEO, accelerating growth and bringing that vision to a wider audience. Today, this Oregon distillery produces signature Spirit brands including Krogstad Aquavit, Volstead Vodka, Casa Magdalena Rum, and Westward Whiskey. Westward American Single Malt Whiskey starts its journey as an American Pale Ale that goes through slow fermentation and double distillation that turns the brewy caterpillar into a beautiful Whiskey butterfly. The new Spirit is then matured in lightly toasted new American Oak barrels. No shortcuts are taken, an approach that resulted in Gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition. If you're lost, always go Westward.Find out more >>
Top Malt from Down Under. Melbourne is famous for its insane weather, where all four seasons present themselves in one day like it’s a demo. But while such changes may be obnoxious to people, they’re perfect for maturing booze. David Vitale, Melbourne native, established the Starward Distillery in 2007. He sources his barley from the nearby farms, while the maturation barrels come from vineyards in Victoria. Starward’s Whisky spends two years only in Red Wine barrels, but the crazy climate accelerates the process in "Melbourne years." Their Spirits are unique and unmistakably Aussie. Starward Nova Malt Whisky is what a lush vision of Whisky can become. Australia, its hot climate and legendary Red Wines are carved in the DNA of this Spirit. The creators had carefully selected barrels that used to house locally made Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot. They made sure the barrels weren't charred. That way they preserved both the character of Wine and oak. The big idea behind this dram is honoring the tradition while not being trapped by it. Innovation and creativity enabled this red renegade to be as palatial as the big boys, despite its young age.Find out more >>
For the first time ever, here’s a tasty marriage of American Bourbon and Indian Cabernet Sauvignon casks. India is one of the largest Whisky consumers in the world, but most of their domestic production is dominated by molasses-derived Spirit, which if you ask the EU, isn't even Whisky. But there are a few astonishing exceptions to the rule and it just happens that eight of the Top 10 bestselling Whiskies come from India. One of the secrets with Indian Whiskies is that the hot climate means more water evaporates during aging, making the alcohol by volume rise. Fun times! Now, for the first time ever, Rampur Asava Indian Single Malt Whisky is a rich marriage of American Bourbon barrels and Indian Cabernet Sauvignon casks. The finishing in Indian red Wine casks makes for an impeccable balance of manuka honey sweetness, spicy oak, and vanilla, all supported by dry Indian red Wine notes. Clocking in at 45% ABV, the unique Indian flavors last for ages on the velvety finish.Find out more >>
Where the Wild Whiskies Are. In a small sea of ultra-traditional and historic Whisk(e)y producers, it's 'kinda' refreshing to discover a player who finds its identity elsewhere. In the vast North-Canadian wilderness, to be more specific - the Bear Country. Here we see a diversely-skilled team of passionate Whisky-crafters led by the Master Blender Andres Faustinelli. But the remote location with extreme climate conditions is only one part of the tasty equation. Her majesty Mother Nature gives way for the brand's unique processing called Elemental Aging. It refers to the maturation process where the hand-selected oak casks rest in a reused shipping container, thus enabling the intense marriage of Whisky and wood. This beauty rests in 3 seats of casks for that complex character. It's aged for 7 years in French (ex-Bourbon) oak casks, then it goes resting into French oak wine Barrels, and after that in virgin Hungarian oak. It's a series that changes with every iteration, and that's what makes it so dramn intriguing! Savor this experimentation on a single-grain Corn Whisky. It's wild!Find out more >>
Double Trouble. Glendalough is Gaelic for "valley of two lakes" and if you ever get to visit the small town of Glendalough, you will find just that. A beautiful hamlet in eastern Ireland with two lovely lakes nearby. If you are ever fortunate enough to visit this idyllic spot, you will also find the first new craft distillery in Ireland since… well, a gosh darn long time. Founded by "five friends from Wicklow and Dublin," they began their journey creating Poitín — a traditional Irish distillate made in very small pot stills (sort of like small batch Irish Moonshine). From there it was a short and easy step into a variety of Irish Whiskies and Herbal-infused Gins as well. Everything is made by hand with a good measure of love. Double Barrel is a dream. Distilled from malted barley and Irish corn it gets its beauty rest in American oak first-fill Bourbon barrels before being finished for six months in Oloroso Sherry casks. Expect deep, impactful notes of robust chocolate and caramel with just a touch of fruit and vanilla. Heaven.Find out more >>