10 Essential Whiskeys For Your Collection in 2022
For those beginning (or continuing) their journey in whiskey collecting, one of the biggest challenges faced is navigating the noise from within the community and the ‘hype’ generated by each and every new release. The next big thing is always around the corner, and popularity in whiskey circles is incredibly fleeting. A must-have for your collection today could very easily be a huge pass for your bottom shelf tomorrow, such is the fickle nature of the game.
Nevertheless, there are still countless bottles that transcend the volatility of popularity by simply being excellent, best-in-class, value whiskeys. For collectors that are also connoisseurs of the finest, rarest and best, these are bottles essential to your collection, whisk(e)ys that represent the ideal balance between exclusivity, quality and timelessness. Here are 10 essential releases that you should have in your collection for 2022 (that also won’t break the bank), and will allow you to drown out the noise of hype this coming year and enjoy focusing on collecting the truly excellent.
An homage to Scotland's Hogmanay, New Year's Eve and the last day of the year, Macallan's A Night On Earth Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a celebratory limited edition Scotch that ensnares the joy and conviviality of change of year celebrations and bottles this feeling with uncanny likeness.
A collaboration with Japanese-French illustrator Erica Dorn, expect a bold aromatic experience defined by vanilla, baked biscuits and stone fruits, as well as shortbread, dried citrus and cinnamon on the palate.
What better whiskey to bring into 2022 than a single malt that celebrates the end of the year and 2021? To us, the perfect addition to any collection, and certainly a dream for connoisseurs looking for rare and unique bottlings that will appreciate in value and taste very very good.
An incredibly unique single-barrel bourbon and one of the most unusual to come out of Buffalo Trace Distillery, Hancock’s President’s Reserve is a whiskey shrouded in mystique.
This is a bottle that you don’t come across very often, which is the perfect reason why it should be on your list of bottles to bring into the New Year, an understated and somewhat muted high-rye whiskey, which is composed of Buffalo Trace’s Mashbill 2.
With Hancock’s, the bourbon lets its flavor do the talking, with a sophisticated bouquet that’s reminiscent of the esteemed company it holds (think Elmer T Lee, Rock Hill Farms and Blanton’s).
Expect a considered balance of sweet vanilla, cinnamon, and subtle stone fruits on the nose, before a silky mouthfeel that swims with faint oak, refined ethanol, caramel and cherry notes, before slight spice and swathes of black pepper round out the long, lavish finish.
Blue Run Spirits, just a marketing powerhouse or perhaps a phenomenal whiskey distiller? If you ask us, it’s the latter. Blue Run may be one of the best up and coming producers of bourbon and rye whiskey anywhere in America, winning countless awards and acclaim for its limited edition, expertly crafted spirits.
The High Rye is no different, a considered small-batch rye that offers peaks and troughs that range between sticky caramel and baking spice, to toasted oak, stone fruits and black pepper. Bottled at 111 proof, this punchy and peppery rye is another highly collectible release from Blue Run that is surely set to increase in value.
If the trajectory of previous releases is anything to go by, then the High Rye is a must-have for those who collect the best from Kentucky.
A new offering from esteemed distiller The Macallan, the Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is the first release in a new annual line of limited edition single malt scotch whisky designed to celebrate 'perfect pairings' and harmonious flavor profiles - and on that might very well be the most hyped and anticipated whisky of 2021.
The Rich Cacao, a collaboration with world-renowned pastry chef Jordi Roca (of 3 Michelin star fame at El Celler de Can Roca), is specifically tailored to pair with fine chocolates, crafted from a combination of European and American oak casks with a 'zero-waste' approach. A homage to the cacao plant in its entirety, the gift box is made using discarded cacao pod husks and is 100% recyclable, another aspect of this fine whisky that tells a unique and interesting narrative from inception to final product.
For those looking for a statement piece, and something that is going to define their collection for years to come, the Macallan Rich Cacao is a must-include.
Don’t let the price tag fool you… this is a bottle that’s impossibly rare outside of Kentucky due to its extremely limited availability.
Old Fitz Prime is a bourbon lover's bourbon, a classic traditional whiskey that’s swimming with vanilla, caramel, baking spice and cinnamon.
While it’s a low entry-level bottle, the Prime is genuinely a stone's throw from the revered Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond series, and is a slightly softer, more approachable whiskey defined by the sophisticated smoothness of its wheated mashbill.
A staple in Stitzel-Weller’s catalog since in the early 1900's, Old Fitzgerald has stood the test of time, and today is one of the most refined and renowned bourbons produced in Kentucky.
An award-winning full-proof bourbon that brings barrel entry proof heat from the oldest fully-operating distillery in Bardstown Kentucky, 1792's Full Proof is an exhilarating fireball and a piece of whiskey engineering that has brought countless accolades and critical acclaim.
A deserved winner of 'World's Best Whiskey' by the World Whiskies Awards in 2018, the Full Proof is 1792’s magnum opus, a stunning and inspired bourbon, aged for 8.5 years before undergoing a special filtration process that circumvents traditional chill-filtration.
The result is nothing short of transformative and breathtaking; an unassuming and elegant bourbon whiskey that will stop you dead in your tracks.
Expect bold oak and maple flavors, nuanced hints of toffee and cinnamon and an awe-inspiring heat that will certainly put hairs on your chest.
The best of the rest? Definitely the best from Vegas.
We’ve said it before, the small batch is a transportive and mesmerizing bourbon whiskey that’s symptomatic of the resounding skill and passion of the acclaimed Smoke Wagon whiskey house.
This is a captivating and cultured bourbon that ensnares the senses and mobilizes the palate, enchanting the taster with a journey that spans from hints of sweet oak and lashings of fresh fruit, to new depths of bourbon complexity and nuanced, subtle rye spice.
Having won numerous awards for its caricature of high-rye bourbon whiskey, the Smoke Wagon boasts full-bodied flavor, punchy spice, and a sumptuous, smooth mouthfeel - impeccably balanced and masterfully blended.
Bringing together the electrifying bite of younger vintage batches with the sensual sweetness of older vintages, this complex, 100 Proof Bourbon Whiskey will captivate your tastebuds and envelop them with hints of sweet oak, fresh fruit, and rye spice.
While it isn’t the most recent from their catalog, it’s the standout for the turn of the decade.
Perhaps the finest release from Stagg Jr. to date, this is one that Buffalo Trace truly got spot on. Often it is the pattern for exceptional whiskeys to hit the ground running and then fade away before the next big thing arrives, however for Stagg Jr’s 15th instalment, the opposite is true.
Aged for almost a decade. Released in extremely limited, small run batches. Today, Stagg Jr. is one of Buffalo Trace's most fearsome and formidable offerings. First released in Fall of 2013 with the exceptional Batch 1, Stagg Jr. has garnered cult status and critical acclaim over 8 years of production and has cemented its place as one of the finest names in barrel-proof bourbon whiskey.
Heavy-hitting and hearty. Batch 15 is a rich and robust bourbon defined by lush praline and brown sugar, powerful potency on the palate, and a long luscious finish that's beautifully complemented by nuanced orange peel, pepper, and oak notes. Staying true to the recipe that has made Stagg Jr a household name, Batch 15 is not to be missed by collectors and connoisseurs.
With 9 releases hitting shelves since the renaissance of this powerhouse bourbon, Old Fitzgerald's Bottled in Bond Decanter series has become one of the finest expressions of Kentucky whiskey available to the public.
The Spring 2021 Release, aged for 8 years (the youngest bottling in the entire series thus far) and bottled at the requisite 100 proof, is the latest in this storied lineage and brings forth a vibrant and robust flavor profile with the familiar silky smooth mouthfeel and quintessential Old Fitz character.
Dark auburn, full of subtle oak and sweet brown sugar which give way to toasted cereal notes, oatmeal and pecan with subtle hints of clove and delicate spice on the palate, beautifully accentuated by a long, warming finish - Old Fitzgerald's Bottled in Bond is a must-have for anyone looking to add a bottle that does more than just carry hype to their collection.
Did you miss this limited edition from Wild Turkey in 2021? Well if you didn’t manage to snap up a bottle of this highly sought-after 13 year old bourbon, then now’s the time. Extremely collectible and never to be repeated again, the Father & Son edition from Wild Turkey is a must-have for collector’s of the acclaimed Kentucky distiller.
The bottle itself is a triumphant celebration of the world's only father and son master distiller duo, Jimmy and Eddie Russell, and represents a masterful, sophisticated and distinctive bourbon which personifies the quality and consistency for which Wild Turkey is revered.
Aged for 13 years and with a nuanced, subtle profile that's exceptionally balanced thanks to its 86 proof alcohol content, this fantastic 1L travel exclusive will singvon the palate and makes the perfect Father's Day gift and a dram fit for any occasion.
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