Friday, March 27, 2015

New Whiskey Labels: High Proof Ryes, Ardbeg Supernova and More

This week's most interesting new labels from the federal TTB database:

Wild Turkey cleared a label for a single barrel version of their Russell's Reserve Rye.  It's a no age statement, non-chill filtered straight rye listed at 104 proof on the COLA label.

Heaven Hill cleared a label for a six year old, 110 proof version of Pikesville Rye. Proof can be changed after label approval, but hopefully this one isn't a placeholder (usually placeholders are listed as 80 or 100 proof).

Ardbeg cleared a label for Supernova 5, a 2015 committee release which they say is the "final" committee bottling and, as per Ardbeg, there's some mumbo jumbo about space exploration and zero gravity.

Compass Box cleared a label for Hedonism Quindecimus, a new version of its Hedonism blended grain whiskey to celebrate the company's fifteenth anniversary. It's a blend of grain whiskeys that are at least 20 years old.

Balcones cleared a label for a Single Barrel Texas Whisky.  I'm told that this label is for a very small, distillery only bottling of a blend of their corn whiskey and single malt that was then rebarreled.  There will apparently be more Balcones single barrels to come.  

In the past, we haven't gotten much in the way of Ben Nevis original bottlings in the US, but a number of them cleared this week including Ben Nevis 10 year old, a 15 year old single cask sherry wood, the McDonald's Ben Nevis, a replica of an 1882 malt, and MacDonald's Glencoe, a cask strength, 8 year old (and yes, two spellings of M(a)cDonald's are used on the different labels). Glencoe in the UK is labeled a blended malt, but the US label doesn't say blended, only that it is "Finest Malt Scotch Whisky." I assume this is the same blended malt they have in the UK, but I'm curious as to why they don't use the designation on the US label.

Note:  The fact that a label appears on the TTB database does not necessarily mean it will be produced.  In addition, some details on the label, such as proof, can change in the final product.


Anonymous said...

I haven't tasted any rye that beats Willet, especially their 6 year old, barrel proof.

Florin said...

According to the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 8 the category (Single Malt Scotch Whisky, most likely) must be stated on the front of the container.

From what I know these rules apply for the US market as well - but I couldn't find a confirmation of that.