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New Releases: Chicken Cock, Rabbit Hole, Heaven Hill, & more

New bourbon and whiskey releases from the UK include a small batch expression from Chicken Cock, a Mizunara finish from Rabbit Hole, and the return of Bulleit’s 12 Year Rye. 

Chicken Cock Small Batch Bourbon 

The new Chicken Cock Small Batch Bourbon
Credit: Chicken Cock

Chicken Cock Whiskey has announced a new Small Batch Bourbon line to go alongside its core range products. 

The whiskey will be produced in small batches from a select number of barrels. Each batch will also be comprised of several different casks that have been subjected to various maturation schedules. The result will be stand-alone flavor profiles for each batch. 

Master Distiller Gregg Snyder said: “Somewhere between the 1990’s and now, small batch whiskeys have lost their ‘smallness’. We wanted to create a line of bourbons that are truly special, with offerings that are worth collecting and savoring. Our true small batch bourbon equals Big Flavor!”

Chicken Cock Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon Batch 1 was blended from six casks, each of which had been aged for at least five years. The casks came from both the 2nd and 5th ricks (or floors) of the warehouse. 

The resulting bourbon has aromas of orange zest, clove, and vanilla pastry. On the palate expect butterscotch, honey, vanilla custard, and orange peel with a sweet apricot and vanilla finish. 

The Chicken Cock Small Batch 1 is now available through online retailers and Chicken Cock stockists for an RRP of $69.99. 

Heaven Hill Old Fitzgerald VVS 2024 1999 13 Year Old 

Credit: Heaven Hill

Heaven Hill Distillery, which was recently named Distiller of the Year by Whisky Magazine, has released a 13 year old bourbon distilled in 1999 as part of the Old Fitzgerald Batches. 

The bourbon has been released in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Heaven Hill’s move to the Bernheim Distillery in 1999. The move came after the original distillery in Bardstown was destroyed in a fire. Bernheim has since been the home of the Heaven Hill brand. 

Distilled from a mash bill of 68% corn, 20% wheat, and 12% malted barley, the expression was Bottled-In-Bond at 100 proof, much like other classic Old Fitzgerald expressions. Just 5,000 bottles were produced. 

The red label, as opposed to the usual green, indicates that this is a ‘Very Very Special’ (VVS) release. 

A Kentucky exclusive, the Heaven Hill Old Fitzgerald VVS 2024 can be found at select retailers within the state, as well as at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experiences. The bourbon whiskey has an RRP of $230. 

Bulleit 12 Year Rye  

The Bulleit 12 Year Rye has been sorely missed over the last five years. Credit: Bulleit Frontier Whiskey

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is finally bringing back its 12 Year Old Rye after five years off the shelves. 

The Bulleit 12 Year Rye is distilled from a mash bill comprising 95% rye and 5% malted barley and contains whiskeys matured for up to 17 years. The youngest spirit in the blend is 12 years old, hence the age statement. 

Following the success of the 2019 12 Year Old Rye expression from Bulleit, the Diageo-owned brand faced calls for re-releases. Jesse Damashek, senior vice-president of whiskies and liqueurs at Diageo, said: “In bringing back the Rye 12-year-old we are responding to the demands from whiskey lovers for more premium expressions in the rye category. […] What we’ve created with this 2024 release continues our long tradition of striving to satisfy the growing appetite for bold, distinctive, and delicious premium whiskey.”

With an RRP of $55, the Bulleit 12 Year Rye is available in every US state except Maine. 

Rabbit Hole 15 Year Old Mizunara Oak Finish Founder’s Collection 

Mizunara oak is a rare oak species from Japan. Credit: Rabbit Hole

As part of the brand’s Founder’s Collection, Rabbit Hole Distillery has unveiled a 15 Year Old bourbon finished in Mizunara oak casks. 

Mizunara oak is an oak species from Japan. Notoriously rare and difficult to work with, Mizunara oak whiskeys are highly sought-after. Most Mizunara expressions hail from Japan. However, in recent years distillers in the US and in Scotland have begun to experiment with Mizunara casks. 

Tasting notes for this special release include nutmeg, allspice, wood, orange, honey, and leather on the nose. On the palate, tobacco, oak, custard, banana, and cinnamon. The finish lingers with hints of dark cherry and chocolate. 

The whiskey, which Rabbit Hole is calling its “rarest whiskey yet” was bottled at cask-strength (103.8 proof). Just 2,200 bottles have been produced. Available via the Rabbit Hole Distillery Shop, the whiskey has an RRP of $1,500. 

Of the new release, Rabbit Hole founder Kaveh Zamanian, said: “For years, I’ve been fascinated by the terroir and traditions of fine whiskey making. When I finally got my hands on a handful of elusive casks from a small family-owned cooperage in Japan, I knew I wanted to create something special to honor the mystique and beauty of Hokkaido’s oak trees. When crafting Mizunara, I chose barrels from my personal collection of Kentucky straight bourbon – each aged to perfection for 15 years – and finished them in casks made of the finest Japanese Mizunara Oak for more than 11 months”. 

Coppercraft Straight Bourbon Whiskey & Rye Whiskey 

Credit: Coppercraft Distillery

Michigan-based Coppercraft Distillery, known for producing a variety of craft spirits, has unveiled a Straight Bourbon Whiskey and a Rye Whiskey alongside a new vodka and gin. 

The craft distillery creates artisan spirits as “a tribute to the American craftsman”. 

The Coppercraft Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made up of 4+ and 9+ year old barrels. has an RRP of $49.99 and tasting notes featuring caramel and vanilla. The bourbon was bottled at 48.5% ABV. 

The Coppercraft Rye Whiskey, matured for over two years,  boasts notes of cocoa and malt, pepper spice and oak. It was bottled at 45% ABV. This whiskey has an RRP of $37.99. 

Fort Hamilton Single Barrel Bourbon 

Credit: Fort Hamilton Distillery

New York-based Fort Hamilton Distillery is expanding its core lineup with the release of its single-barrel bourbon. 

The 4 ½ year old whiskey was distilled exclusively from New York grains: 85% corn, 10% rye, and 5% malted barley. The bourbon was then matured in level #3 char American oak and bottled at 47.5% ABV. 

The Fort Hamilton Single Barrel Bourbon has an RRP of $59.99. 

Fort Hamilton Distillery began whiskey production in 2016 with a focus on producing “America’s original whiskey style, New York Rye”. Priding itself on the lack of corn in its recipes, this single barrel bourbon contains the highest percentage of corn in any Fort Hamilton expression. 

Alex Clark, co-founder of Fort Hamilton Distillery along with his wife Amy, said: “This is a classic bourbon for bourbon lovers with a nod to our home of New York.  Fort Hamilton Single Barrel Bourbon is a spirit born of that same independent, revolutionary spirit and is built for the bourbon enthusiast and is true to our New York roots.”

Milam & Greene Mockingbird Single Barrel Bourbon 

Credit: Milam & Greene

Finally, Milam & Greene has extended its Wildlife Series with the release of the Mockingbird Single Barrel Bourbon. 

Milam & Greene’s Wildlife Series was created to explore the effects of extreme weather in the county on the maturation of bourbon. The series was also intended to bring awareness to wildlife conservation in Texas. 

The 2024 Wildlife Series releases, of which the Mockingbird is the second, explore the beautiful birds of Texas. 

Milam & Greene Mockingbird Single Barrel Bourbon is a single barrel, cask strength expression, of which only 173 were produced. The bourbon was distilled from a mash bill comprising 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley in 2016. It was bottled at 128.21 proof in February 2024. 

Tasting notes for this release feature notes of brown sugar, dark berries, cherry cola, tannic oak, caramel, and tobacco. 

The Milam & Greene Mockingbird Single Barrel Bourbon will be available exclusively via the Milam & Greene website at 3 pm (CST) on Wednesday, April 17th, 2024. Don’t miss out!

5 Sherried Whisky Alternatives

Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Beth Squires

Beth joined Mark Littler Ltd full-time in October 2020 following the completion of her university degree. Since then she has gained wide-ranging knowledge of all things whisk(e)y, and has written extensively for both company and external publications. Beth is passionate about industry innovation, marketing, and sustainability. With a particular affinity for independently bottled rare scotch, Beth is also a whisky bottle investment specialist.

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