It’s a moment that happens to every bourbon lover. You’ve tried all the hits: Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Elijah Craig, Heaven Hill, Evan Williams, Jim Beam, and yes, even Pappy Van Winkle. You make a mean mint julep, and you have strong opinions about rye vs. wheat. But at a certain point, you start to wonder. Is this it? What other bourbons might be out there, just waiting for you to discover them?
If this is you, we have some very good news. Mash & Grape has loads of new rare bourbons to fall in love with, from ultra-traditional releases to fresh takes on this flagship American style. Read on for some of our favorite new releases–but if something strikes your fancy, don’t delay, because the one thing these bourbons have in common is that there’s not much of them to go around.
Barrell Craft Spirits is one of the most award-winning bourbon producers of our generation, earning accolades like the best Bourbon of 2020 at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the Best American Whiskey of 2018 as named by Fred Minnick.
How do they do it? It’s all about blending. In fact, Barrel doesn’t even have its own distillery. Instead, they source casks from producers around the world, then release meticulously blended whiskeys and exceptional single casks in the model of Scotland’s greatest independent bottlers.
We were thrilled when Barrell agreed to create an exclusive micro-blend just for Mash & Grape. Barrel Bourbon Private Release DO1K is made from a blend of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana bourbons, bottled at cask strength and without chill filtration. Opening with the aromas of nutmeg and dark chocolate, it segues into walnut and caramel on the palate, then tapers to a long, lingering finish with spice, vanilla, and preserved plums. Only 96 bottles of this treasure were made, so get yours now before it’s gone for good.
Lemmy may have been the world’s most famous Jack Daniels fan, but this rare bourbon from Hillrock Estates is far from mass market. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Motörhead’s Ace of Spades album, this limited edition barrel-strength release was made using Hillrock’s signature solera aging process, which produces an integrated blend of bourbons of various age statements.
The flavor profile is heavily influenced by Oloroso sherry casks, opening with a spicy, caramelized, fruity nose before moving on to flavors like maple syrup, molasses, raisins, and roasted corn. The finish is long and warming, with sweet caramel, walnuts, figs, and candied fruit all anchored by a backbone of spicy rye. Just 599 bottles of this exceedingly small batch bourbon were produced.
Can’t decide between bourbon or Scotch whisky? Have we got the bottling for you. Kings County Distillery Peated Bourbon is one of the most distinctive bourbons of all. It’s made in Brooklyn, New York, from a mash bill of 80% New York-grown organic corn and 20% peated malted barley from England, giving it a smoky, salty, chocolatey flavor unlike anything we’ve ever tasted.
This particular bourbon is also one of the best we’ve found for countering the common misconception that an older age statement always equates to a better whiskey. Kings County Distillery Peated Bourbon is aged for a minimum of just two years, but it’s as rich and flavorful as some that have been aged for 20 years or longer.
Milam & Greene is a woman-founded, woman-led whiskey company nestled in the heart of Texas hill country. Their whiskey “dream team” includes author Heather Greene as the CEO, Partner, and Master Blender; and Kentucky native Marlene Holmes as Master Distiller. In addition to distilling their own whiskey, Milam & Greene has an extensive collection of sourced casks, carefully chosen from the best American producers. The very best of those sourced casks are released as single casks to highlight their incredible character and elegance.
No two casks are exactly the same, which means that Milam & Greene’s single barrel releases are a collector’s dream. We snagged some cases from their most recent batch, which showcases casks from Tennessee bottled at just shy of 100 proof. Each barrel produces just 280 bottles, making you part of one very exclusive club.
Ready for the ultimate in exclusive? We’ve partnered with The Bourbon Enthusiast to create a collection of one-of-a-kind bottlings picked from the best single casks and small batch bourbons we can find.
One of those releases is a single cask selection from Maker’s Mark’s Private Select program, which uses customized casks made with American and French oak staves in a range of toast and char profiles. For this exclusive release, we chose a cask with two Baked American Pure staves, four Seared French Cuvee staves, one French Mocha stave, and three Toasted French Spice staves.
Bottled at 111 proof (that just feels like a lucky number, doesn’t it?), this delicious bourbon has sweet, dense flavors of honey, citrus, caramel, and dark fruit, culminating in a pleasantly spicy finish accented with the delicious taste of maple candy. Just 252 bottles were made, so grab this one while you can.