We’re moving further into the fall season with some warming expressions that are perfect for holiday entertaining.
October saw no shortage of great new spirit releases, whether you’re in the mood for a fine scotch or limited-edition gin with a cult following. These seven bottlings are worth a try this month.
Papa’s Pilar Marquesas Blend Dark Rum ($46 for 750mL)
Whether you’re a rum lover or new to the category, the latest expression from Papa’s Pilar is a gorgeous way to sip the spirit this fall. Marquesas Blend Dark Rum is a blend of seven hand-selected rums that were sourced from the Caribbean, United States and Central America and aged up to 24 years. The blend of these outstanding rums was then finished in char #4 Kentucky straight bourbon barrels to give it a rich brown sugar and cocoa flavor that sips beautifully on its own.
Glen Moray 21 Year Old Portwood Finish ($180 for 750mL)
A new addition to the Glen Moray Heritage collection, the distillery’s 21 Year Old Portwood Finish is one of the smoothest scotches we’ve tried this year. The spirit was originally aging in ex-bourbon casks for 19 years, but Glen Moray Master Distiller Graham Coull decided to mature the spirit for two final years in seasoned Tawny Port casks. The result is a spirit with rich vanilla and baking spice notes on the nose that finishes with a lightly spicy flavor that’s bursting with dark fruits, licorice and wine on the palate.
Chivas Regal 13 Manchester United Special Edition ($39 for 750mL)
Fans of scotch and soccer will love the latest release from Chivas Regal. The brand just debuted its 13 Manchester United Special Edition whisky, which is designed with the team’s signature colors as a toast to former coach Sir Alex Ferguson. It’s finished in American rye casks and is the first-ever Chivas scotch to be aged for 13 years. On the palate, this whisky is smooth and mellow with notes of bright orange and a light cinnamon spice.
Haus Bitter Clove ($35 for 750mL)
Haus launched earlier this year after seeing a need for more low-abv, ready-to-drink spirits on the market. Their first expression, Citrus Flower, was a success, so they launched Haus Bitter Clove this month, just in time for the cooler weather. Bitter Clove was made with the amaro and whiskey lover in mind. The base is distilled from Chardonnay grapes and botanicals like cloves, star anise, Saigon cinnamon and ginger. It’s a light, warming drink that can be enjoyed on the rocks or in a Spritz.
Starward Two-Fold Double Grain Whisky ($31 for 750mL)
Starward Two-Fold Double Grain Whisky debuted in the United States earlier this fall, and we can’t get enough of the flavorful Australian spirit. The mashbill consists of 60 percent wheat and 40 percent malt, and each grain is distilled and matured separately in Australian red wine barrels. The result is a burnt amber liquid with aromas of red fruit and vanilla that has a balanced fruit-forward flavor with a dry tannic finish. Try it neat or mixed into a Manhattan.
Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2019 Release ($60 for 750mL)
We always get excited when Maker’s Mark comes out with a new release, so we were ecstatic to pop open this bottle. The 2019 Limited Release in the Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series was made using an innovative wood-finishing technique to highlight the fruit and spice notes of the classic Kentucky bourbon. This bottling is aged up to seven years and finished for nine weeks in cold condition barrels with a virgin American oak stave called RC6. The result is a bolder version of the Maker’s Mark you know and love with a bright, balanced, spicy-sweet finish.
Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut ($80 for 375mL)
Monkey 47 makes some of the best gin on the market, and now the cult-favorite Distiller’s Cut expression is available in the United States for the first time. Every year, Monkey 47 embarks on a quest to find a 48th botanical to feature in its special Distiller’s Cut release. The 2019 botanical is Myristicae arillus, which is the seed covering of nutmeg that’s also known as Nutmeg Mace. This elegant expression is bold and complex with a slightly bitter flavor and warming finish. Try mixing it into a classic Martini garnished with a twist.