How quickly things can change in the bourbon industry, despite whiskey's long, sluggish path from distillation to proper age, is one of its most fascinating elements. Here are seven bourbon releases you won't want to miss as the holidays get near.
A new face for many, Clyde Mays exists in an interesting space in the whiskey market.
Purists usually avoid flavorings, but the business has found success with their Alabama Style Whiskey, which adds a spice and apple essence to a previously straight bourbon to give it some more character in a way that's not cloying or overwhelming. Clyde Mays also acknowledges this for drinkers of whiskeys made in a more conventional manner. They've taken on restricted releases with significant age declarations in recent years, as well as a more widely accessible cask strength bottling that makes a great gift-quality bourbon.
Lovingly known as the “Father of Bourbon” to many, Elijah Craig hails from the Heaven Hill family of brands. As they offer both well-aged small batch releases and the iconic Barrel Proof series, it’s easy to find a flavorful release from Elijah Craig, no matter your preference for age statements and price. Any of the 2022 releases of Elijah Craig Barrel Proof are an easy shoo-in for the best bourbon to give as a gift. It's difficult to find a 12-year bourbon these days, let alone one with the quality and combination of high proof as Heaven Hill’s crown jewel.
Noble Oak is all about the oak, as the name would imply. The newly founded brand, which is yet another new brand for this year's Christmas guide, is entirely focused on oak.
Noble Oak, which plants trees for every bottle of whiskey it sells, is now on a major tear. It should come as no surprise that this company deeply incorporates its wood concept into the whiskey given that around 500,000 trees have already been planted and more are on the way. Their rye and bourbon both undergo double oaking, an additional aging process using various wine-finished staves.
Sherry cask oak staves are used for the Bourbon's secondary finishing, while port cask oak staves are used for the Rye's secondary maturation. It's uncommon to be able to enjoy a whiskey drink while simultaneously contributing to a beneficial cause, but Noble Oak makes it simple to do so while enjoying a Bourbon or Rye.
Angel’s Envy is a crowd favorite and routinely performs well when you're looking for a good whiskey to give as a gift.
Their flagship whiskey, Angle's Envy Port Finished Bourbon , combines an approachable base whiskey with a period of time aging in port barrels to add a touch of wine sweetness and spice. Matched with its affordability, Angel's Envy makes for the perfect dinner pairing, cocktail driver, or stocking stuffer as the weather grows colder. Port works extremely well with bourbon as a base; the savory and rich wine character profile plays against the sweetness of bourbon in a very complimentary fashion.
Few whiskey producers can match J efferson's unique tale (and whiskey), especially if you learn more about their Ocean project, which has evolved from a single experiment to a whole approach for the company.
In recent years, Jefferson's "aged at sea" method has solidified the brand and their whiskey profile. Other lesser-known businesses have taken note and are attempting the method as well. The results of adding wheated bourbon and rye to their usual bourbon mash bill at sea have our attention, to put it mildly.
In addition to their Aged at Sea offerings, the Louisville-based distiller also offers a more standard bourbon mash profile that includes robust baking spice and brown sugar, while the rye contributes a peppery kick and a hint of salinity. All three are excellent options for giving bourbon that both whiskey experts and beginners will undoubtedly get truly enthusiastic about thanks to a tale that is as real as they come.