If you’re like me, you are a semi-seasonal drinker - as I like to believe most people are. While there are always exceptions, the general rule is darker spirits during the colder weather, and lighter spirits while it’s warmer. It’s kind of synonymous to weather-related wardrobe choices of white vs. black clothing for summer vs. other seasons. Regardless, it is officially time to bring those warm whiskeys and rums back to the front of your liquor cabinet and pick-up a few new bottles to freshen things up.
Don’t worry though, I’ve made your task of selecting a new bottle or two for the home bar a bit easier. Here are five of the hottest new releases that you should seriously consider giving a go this fall.
1. Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry
Plantation Rum have just released their latest expression: Xaymaca Special Dry, a 100% pot still Jamaican rum and it does not disappoint.
Jamaican rums are known for their “rum funk”, which is reminiscent of black bananas and tropical fruit, specifically pineapple. This rum is double-aged, first in bourbon barrels, then finished in Ferrand (Cognac) casks. It is as if Cognac and Jamaican rum had a love child - this is Xaymaca. It has aromas of banana, pineapple and smoke, and tastes of dried and tropical fruits, with a floral accent. A truly extraordinary sipping rum. SRP, $24.99.
2. Woodford Reserve Master’s Selection Oat Grain Bourbon
If you’re’ a whiskey drinker, you are familiar with Woodford Reserve; and if you are a lover of the finer things in life, then you may be familiar with their Master’s Collection. The limited edition series marries the brand’s innovation with the bourbon and whiskey’s historic roots - paying tribute to craftsmanship and vision of past distillery industry leaders Oscar Pepper and James Crow.
If you’re willing to splash some cash, then the Oat Grain bourbon is a must-have. The inclusion of oat as a grain minimizes the rye content, making for a spirit that takes on the traditional flavors of grain found in Irish Whiskeys. It’s a soft, elegant, bourbon with caramel, orange, and cocoa standing out amongst the flavors present. SRP, $129.99.
3. Goslings Rum Papa Seal Single Barrel
Goslings introduces Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum, an ultra-rare spirit aged for over 15 years in hand-selected bourbon barrels. How rare is it?There are only about 2,592 bottles from 12 barrels of this premium single barrel rum - so, very rare. Papa Seal is pot and column distilled from molasses, blended, and then aged in once-used bourbon barrels with a medium char.
The humid, salty air of Bermuda provides an ideal environment for aging; guaranteeing superior, balanced flavors. From barrel to barrel, the liquid features slight flavor variations, with notes of spice, leather, banana, caramel, molasses and a mellow, elegant finish. While this one may seem like catching a leprechaun due to its rarity, you would be remiss to pass on this sleek libation. That said, it is quite the investment so no worries if you can’t swing it this time around…maybe for Christmas. SRP, $199.
4. Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey
UFC World Champion, Conor McGregor’s recently released Irish whiskey, Proper No. Twelve, is a blend of the finest golden grain and single malt. It is produced in an area known for its rich soil and pure spring water. Proper No. Twelve is complex, smooth and approachable with hints of vanilla, honey and toasted wood.
You may be asking yourself, “can a UFC fighter really help make a good whiskey?” While I was skeptical at first, my mind was quickly changed after indulging in a couple of glasses myself. Give it a try and see what you think for yourself. SRP, $29.99.
5. Glenfiddich Fire & Cane
Glenfiddich’s Fire & Cane is the fourth, and newest, expression of their experimental series. Fire & Cane marries smoky whisky with non-peated whisky that had been maturing side-by-side in bourbon casks, highlighting Glenfiddich’s sweet and fruity signature style. Taking it a step further, Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman finished the married whisky in Latin rum casks, sourced from various South American countries, for three months to produce a wonderfully rich, overlay of flavors that added caramel toffee sweetness to the elegant expression.
The “Fire” comes from the peat which was used in the malting process for a flavor reminiscent of smoke, and the “Cane” comes from the liquid’s time in rum casks where it garners the sweet, toffee flavors of quality rum. In my opinion, this bottle is a must-have and is a steal at it’s SRP of $49.99.