Bourbon News June 29, 2024 Edition

Welcome to our biweekly Bourbon Newsletter for June 29, 2024! We’ll do a short recap of notable Distillery, Whiskey & Bourbon News from the past two weeks. If you want to learn more about any entry, then simply follow the links to read the full press release or other sources. Cheers!🥃

Weekly Whiskey & Bourbon News – June 29, 2024

But First, Here’s What’s New on!

We have quite a few new whiskey and bourbon reviews this week. Here’s a sampling: (Click the whiskey or distillery name to read all about it)

Now, on to the news!

Weekly Whiskey & Bourbon News – June 29, 2024

There is finally closure in the year and a half long saga of Justins’ House of Bourbon and the Kentucky ABC:

Justins’ House of Bourbon Settles with Kentucky ABC

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the long-standing case, which began last January between the Kentucky ABC and Justins’ House of Bourbon, has finally reached its end. They report that Justins’ will pay a fine of $25K and have to forfeit 120 bottles for which either the proper paperwork was not available or which were purchased in excess of the allowable 24 bottles per 365 days that are allowed to be purchased from any individual. To review, back in January 2023 Justins’ stores in Louisville and Lexington, as well as their related business in Washington D.C., were raided by alcohol officials, and hundreds of bottles of whiskey were confiscated. So, it looks like after a year and a half, this saga is coming to a close. You can read the full story here.

Weekly Whiskey & Bourbon News – June 29, 2024

George T. Stagg Bourbon wins big:

George T. Stagg Wins Best Bourbon Whiskey in the 2024 International Whiskey Competition

What’s that? After all the awards announcements in recent months you thought all the whiskey awards were over with for the year? If only… There are a vast number of spirit competitions out there, all with their own criteria, entry fees, categories, award levels, judges and number of winners. I am currently working on an article to help demystify this whole process, and it is turning out to be quite the project. I hope to have it published soon! Stay tuned.

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But for now, Congrats to George T. Stagg Bourbon!

The latest big award announcement goes to George T. Stagg Bourbon! It cleaned up in the overall American Whiskey category, as well as in the Best Bourbon Whiskey and Best Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey categories, at the recent 2024 International Whisky Competition. But, what’s a bourbon lover to do with this information? Well, probably not too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love George T. Stagg; it is one of my favorite bourbons. However, I can’t go out and just buy it at retail, since it is highly sought after, allocated, and often undergoes a very large markup in price. So, what does it winning yet another award do for the average consumer? I really don’t know. I guess it just means that if you do have the opportunity to try it or buy it at a reasonable price, you probably should. Although, I am sure you would have done that anyway…

In case you were wondering, 2nd place for best bourbon went to NOCO Distillery – Founders Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon – Mash Bill #: II – Cask Strength. I am embarrassed to say that I have never heard of this small Fort Collins, CO distillery until now. Needless to say, I now would like to try their whiskey. 3rd place went to W. L. Weller Antique 107, another bourbon that I am sure you would already buy if given the opportunity to purchase it at a reasonable price.

For the full list of 2024 award winners in all categories (and there are many), click here.

Weekly Whiskey & Bourbon News – June 29, 2024

And, for those who enjoy a little kelp in their peated whisky:

Macaloney's Island Distillery Sugar Kelp Infused Peat-Smoked Whisky - Press Release - Photo credit: Macaloney's Island Distillery - Bourbon News June 14 2024
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Macaloney’s Island Distillery Releases Sugar Kelp Infused Peat-Smoked Whisky

Yes, you read that correctly. Macaloney’s Island Distillery in British Columbia wanted to create a whisky that embodied both the terroir of Macaloney’s Island whisky and the Pacific Northwest’s merroir of Cascadia Seaweed. Peat from nearby Washington State was used, as well as sugar kelp, which was sustainably farmed off the British Columbia coast. I have not had the opportunity to try this whisky, but here are the tasting notes according to the distillery: “…red berry, caramel-toffee sweetness, and deep oak notes, complementing its creamy mouth-feel, juicy malted barley, and tropical fruit profile. The infusion of peat and sugar kelp introduces bonfire smoke, heather, and maritime notes, finishing with a hint of salt.” 92 proof. $109.99/700ml.

This certainly sounds intriguing to me. If it does to you as well, you can read more about it here.

Weekly Whiskey & Bourbon News – June 29, 2024

BUFFALO TRACE DISTILLERY PRESENTS COLONEL E.H. TAYLOR, JR. BARREL PROOF RYE WHISKEY - Photo Credit: Buffalo Trace Distillery - Bourbon News June 14 2024
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More new whiskey releases:
  • Hidden Barn 7 Year Old French Oak Finished Bourbon – The oldest release so far for the Hidden Barn Brand is a 5 barrel batch blended by Jackie Zykan. 109.4 proof. $79.99. Read the press release.
  • Maker’s Mark The Heart Release – The latest release in their Wood Finishing Series is said to be “Inspired by the team that distills its whisky at Star Hill Farm”. I’ll have a review coming soon. 112.6 proof. $74.99. Read the press release.
  • Remus Babe Ruth Reserve – This limited release bourbon from Ross & Squibb (MGP) is “a medley of three mash bills, inspired by Ruth’s legendary #3, along with a total of 10,624 bottles available, one for each of his plate appearances.” While this is a limited release, it is a little pricy for the Remus line, which up to now has been pretty reasonably priced for the age and quality of their bourbon. Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of a new pricing trend for them. 111 proof. $149.99. Read the press release.
  • Col. E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof Rye – “This uncut, unfiltered offering allows fans to enjoy the beloved E.H. Taylor Straight Rye recipe in its most natural and untouched form”. Needless to say, this one will probably be a bit difficult to find at MSRP. However, while I have not tasted this rye, I have tasted a similar one, and it was delicious. Therefore, if I have the opportunity, I’ll definitely be picking one of these up. 126 proof. $77.99. Read the press release.
  • Michter’s Announces 2024 Shenk’s and Bomberger’s – These limited releases from Michter’s – Shenk’s Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey and Bomberger’s Declaration Kentucky Straight Bourbon – are two that I look forward to every year. They, also, can be difficult to find, but I hope to try them soon as well. Shenk’s: 91.2 proof, $110. Bomberger’s: 108 proof, $120. Read the press release.
  • Heaven Hill Grain To Glass Collection – The New Heaven Hill Grain to Glass Collection includes three different expressions with unique mash bills: Bourbon, Wheated Bourbon and Rye Whiskey. These are whiskeys that “…highlight Heaven Hill’s long-standing commitment to quality, sustainability, and craft.” Bourbon: 107 proof. Wheated Bourbon: 121 proof. Rye: 123.2 proof. Prices and availability are not given in the press release.
  • New Riff Headliner – If you would like to be one of the relatively few people to get a bottle of their 10th Anniversary 10-Year-Old Headliner whiskey, you can enter the lottery for the opportunity to purchase a bottle. Entries are accepted from now until July 7, and each entry costs $5. 114.6 proof. $250/750ml. Learn more and enter here.

Weekly Whiskey & Bourbon News – June 29, 2024

Thanks For Reading!

Well, that’s it! I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Bourbon News! If you would like our bourbon and distillery news delivered directly to your inbox, please sign up for our mailing list here. You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook. I hope you have a great weekend and we’ll see you again in two weeks! Have a happy and safe July Fourth!🇺🇸 Cheers!🥃

If you would like to read some of our other recent newsletters, then check out Bourbon News May 31, 2024 Edition and Bourbon News June 14, 2024 Edition. You can also use our search tool and search for “Bourbon News” to see all prior editions.

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