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New Releases: Weller, Pinhook, Wild Turkey, & More

In recent new releases, Weller pays homage to the Millennium with an “ultra-aged” whiskey, Pinhook releases a cask strength bourbon, and Wild Turkey expands the Master’s Keep Series.

J. Mattingly 1845 Distillery honors US veterans, Little Book releases Chapter 8, and Kentucky Peerless finished whiskey in rum barrels. 

Weller Millennium 

Credit: Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery, producer of the Weller brand of wheated bourbon, has unveiled the Weller Millennium – an ultra-aged whiskey. 

The Weller Millennium is a blend of bourbons (both wheated and straight) distilled between 2000 and 2006, hence the name ‘Millennium’. The Weller brand has long produced some stellar wheated bourbons. The brand’s namesake, William Larue Weller, was an instrumental figure in the development of the wheated bourbon recipe. 

Adding wheat to the bourbon mash bill, rather than the traditional rye, produces a “smoother, sweeter, more approachable expression.” Tasting notes for the new Weller Millennium include “rich caramel and toffee […and] oak woodiness” on the nose. On the palate, expect “Subtle but distinct hints of dried fruits, such as figs or raisins, and a touch of stone fruit can be found lingering throughout.  Sweet notes of caramel persist on the palate finishing with a prominent oak influence, imparting a subtle dryness and a lingering sense of refinement.” 

The Weller Millennium has been decades in the making, with high-quality barrels set aside at the turn of the century specifically for this purpose. 

Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller, commented: “At Buffalo Trace Distillery, our motto is ‘Honor Tradition, Embrace Change. As we are in constant pursuit of making the world’s best whiskey, we often hold back small lots of barrels to continue aging beyond our typical brand standards in hope that this aging experimentation will result in a particularly well-balanced, matured whiskey. In this case, we found the whiskey distilled in 2000 to show incredible balance and asked ourselves how wheat would perform as an ultra-aged spirit. It’s proven to be an impeccable backbone to this expression, allowing us to showcase wheat’s versatility and innovate beyond traditional wheated bourbon.”

Presented in a handcrafted crystal decanter and an illuminated presentation case, the Weller Millennium is bottled at 99 proof and will retail from June 2024 for $7,500. The release is strictly limited and will be available via specialist retailers, bars, and restaurants. 

Kentucky Peerless Rum Barrel Finished Bourbon Batch 2 

Credit: Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company.

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company, a Louisville-based craft distillery, has released its long-awaited second batch of its Small Batch Rum Barrel Finished Bourbon. 

The whiskey, produced at the Peerless Distillery, was given a double-barrel maturation before the best casks were selected for finishing in rum barrels. The result is an easy-drinking bourbon packed with character. 

Tasting notes for this new release feature “salt water taffy, hints of sweet floral, and pears […] toasted coconut and plums,” on the nose. Then, “[t]he first sip rolls over the palate with waves

of sliced pineapple fruit, reminiscent of an upside down pineapple cake. Notes of cinnamon bread and cherry reduction stand out. The second sip quickly brings forth notes of a piña colada with burnt sorghum, blueberry reduction, and a kiss of sweet mint.” 

Fifth Generation Distiller and President, Carson Taylor, said: “Our team of distillers has done an exceptional job curating the barrels for this project. Their passion is evident through our selection of barrel-finished expressions. The Rum Barrel Finished Bourbon offers a nice, balanced palate. Not too overwhelming, this easy sipper pairs perfectly with the warmer weather. We look forward to sharing it with you and hope you enjoy it as much as we do.” 

The new Kentucky Peerless Rum Barrel Finished Bourbon Batch 2 will be available from 10am on June 1st, 2024 at the Peerless Distillery (120 North 10th Street in Louisville, Kentucky). 

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Triumph 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey 

Credit: Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey has expanded its Master’s Keep series with a new annual release: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Triumph 10 Year Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey. The 10 year old rye is the oldest rye whiskey ever to be released by Wild Turkey. 

This extended aging period has resulted in a complex spirit with a “sweet honey and warm spiced profile that has reimagined conventional rye”. 

Eddie Russell, Master Distiller, laid down these rye whiskey casks over 10 years ago, foreseeing that rye whiskey would make a comeback following a decline in popularity post-Prohibition. A love for rye whiskey also runs in the family, with Eddie’s son Bruce (Associate Blender) having a particular affinity for rye. 

The Master’s Keep annual series began in 2015, with the release of a bourbon. This new release is only the second rye release in the series, the first being ‘Cornerstone’ in 2019. 

Speaking about the series, and the Triumph, Eddie Russell said: “The Master’s Keep series continues to be a display of our creativity and quality at Wild Turkey. We’ve always seen the collection as a vehicle to tell stories that celebrate our heritage and who we are as a distillery. This particular release was inspired by Bruce’s fondness for rye and is a nod to his influence on my work. Triumph is a rye you’ll be proud to serve neat and is a testament to the tenacity of the spirit.” 

Master’s Keep Triumph features notes of “sweet honey and clove notes that transition to dark chocolate, dates and spice with a rich mocha-coffee and black pepper finish”, and is bottled at 104 proof. 

Beginning in early June, Master’s Keep Triumph will be available online and from selected retailers in limited quantities for an RRP of $275. 

J. Mattingly 1845 Mogadishu Mile

Credit: J. Mattingly 1845 Distillery

J. Mattingly 1845 Distillery is paying tribute to veterans who lost their lives at the Battle of Mogadishu during the Somali Civil War in 1993. 18 US servicemen died in the battle, and a 19th was killed two days later in a mortar attack. The Battle of Mogadishu was one of the bloodiest battles for US soldiers since the end of the Vietnam War.

The J. Mattingly 1845 Distillery has released a Mogadishu Mile Bourbon in remembrance of these veterans. 

Comprising 19 different blended bourbons (in tribute to the 19 lives lost), only 500 bottles of the Mogadishu Mile Bourbon will be available from the J. Mattingly 1845 Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. 

Aged for 6.5 years and bottled at 115 proof, the Mogadishu Mile Bourbon will be available for $120 at the distillery on Saturday 25th May, during J. Mattingly 1845 Distillery’s Memorial Day celebration. 

The event will see local businesses and food & beverage vendors come together to pay homage to the US armed forces. According to the distillery, “[l]imited edition commemorative glassware etched with the word “Veteran” and the American flag will be complimentary with the purchase of a cocktail.” 

A portion of the funds raised in the sale will go towards the Kentucky Wounded Heroes, a nonprofit organization that supports current and former veterans that have been injured in the line of duty. The organization is a longtime partner of J. Mattingly 1845 Distillery, with this being the fourth annual release of the Mogadishu Mile Bourbon. 

Drinkers of the Mogadishu Mile Bourbon can expect “smokey oak with chocolate, citrus and baking spices” on the nose. On the palate, expect “a slightly dry oak mid palate leading to a smoother finish”. 

The bottle will also be available online

Pinhook 5 Year Old Cask Strength Kentucky Bourbon 

Credit: Pinhook Bourbon

Pinhook Bourbon has unveiled a new 5 Year Old Cask Strength Kentucky Bourbon. The new release will sit alongside the brand’s two core expressions: Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Kentucky Straight Rye. The three whiskey expressions will together be known as the Trifecta. 

The new expression was distilled and aged at Castle & Key Distillery for five years. This aging period “imparts a multi-layered tasting experience that is further intensified at a cask strength–an offer particularly intriguing to whiskey enthusiasts,” according to Sean Josephs, Co-founder and Master Blender at Pinhook Bourbon. 

This 5 year old is the first cask strength bourbon to be bottled by Pinhook. It is blended from 120 barrels that were distilled from mash bills comprising 65% corn, 5% rye, and 30% barley. The resulting bourbon, bottled at 118.2 proof, is “remarkably balanced.” 

On the nose, aromas of “molasses, roasted peanuts, and caramel”. The palate delivers “baked apricot, vanilla, and burnt sugar.” 

The Pinhook 5 Year Old Cask Strength Bourbon is available on the Pinhook Bourbon website for $64.99

Little Book Chapter 8, “Path Not Taken” 

Credit: Little Book Whiskey

Little Book Whiskey has released its first whiskey of 2024: Little Book Chapter 8, “Path Not Taken”. 

The whiskey brand was founded by Freddie Noe, son of 7th Generation Beam Family Master Distiller, Fred Noe, and grandson of Booker Noe. 

Freddie Noe entered the family business in 2012, and was instantly enamored with the experimental nature of distilling, just like his grandfather. 

The Little Book brand is a nod to Freddie’s passion for experimentation and an ode to his father and grandfather. In fact the brand’s name, Little Book, was the nickname given to Freddie by his grandfather. Since its inception, Little Book has been an annual limited release. 

Chapter 8, “Path Not Taken” is the latest release from Little Book. It is comprised of bourbon and rye whiskeys between 4 and 18 years old, distilled from different mash bills and aged in varying char-level barrels. The blending of these whiskeys constitutes “a complex, redefined and differentiated profile”. 

According to Little Book, “Path Not Taken” is an exploration of the American rye category: “Knowing that rye has roots extending to the beginning of American Whiskey and holds more than two centuries of heritage, you could say, “it’s been done.” But with this chapter, “Path Not Taken,” we explore the future of American Rye by blending a unique range of rye whiskies together and show you that rye still has plenty of stories left to tell.” 

Tasting notes for the new release feature “butterscotch, fresh dill and toasted rye bread” on the nose. On the palate, “Floral notes intermingled with sweet apricot and heavy oak.” 

Bottled at 118.2 proof, the Little Book Chapter 8, “Path Not Taken” will be available for $149.99.

Ammunition Cask Strength Bourbon review

Whiskey Review: Ammunition Cask Strength Bourbon

We review Ammunition Cask Strength Bourbon, a four-year-old Kentucky bourbon finished for six months in French Bordeaux wine barrels that previously held Ammunition Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon.

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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