An exciting new bourbon from Basil Hayden kicks off this week’s round-up of all things new and happening in the spirit world,

followed up with a killer, single village mezcal from Del Maguey, a Whistle Pig road trip plus the best cherry soaked whiskey on the planet. And yes, there’s more…

Photo courtesy of Toast.

A "Toast" To Basil Hayden’s Exciting New Bourbon

Prepare for the unexpected with Basil Hayden Toast, a surprising full-time addition to the BH portfolio. Toast is wildly different from Basil Hayden’s spicy, high rye flagship whiskey. Like most traditional bourbons, Basil Hayden is made from a classic grain recipe of corn, rye, and malted barley. Toast replaces conventional rye with brown rice as its secondary flavor grain, imparting softer characteristics for a mellow, approachable sip. From there the whiskey is matured in a combination of level four char wood and toasted barrels, delivering big notes of vanilla and caramelized sugar. $50
Photo courtesy of Del Maguey.

Del Maguey Introduces Vide de Muertos

Del Maguey’s Vida de Muertos is the latest to join the company’s coveted Single Village Mezcal Series. Here we have an artisanal, 100% Espadin agave spirit, twice distilled by father and son ‘palenqueros’ (makers) Paciano and Marcos Cruz Nolasco in in Oaxaca’s San Luis del Río. Bottled at 45% ABV, expect aromas of tropical fruit and spice followed by an herbal palate loaded with earthy and floral notes. Another great feature is the price, coming in lower than most single village expressions regardless of the brand. $50

Photo courtesy of WhistePig.

WhistlePig Hits The Highway To Create RoadStock Rye

WhistlePig has literally taken its rye whiskey program on the road in what could be the most excellent collaboration of the year. In an incredible 6,000-mile cross-country jaunt, WhistlePig converted an 18-wheeler into a rolling aging warehouse to haul barrels of its signature rye to Northern California’s Jordan Winery and Firestone Walker Brewery. Half the rye was transferred to Bordeaux blend casks when the rig arrived at Jordan in the Alexander Valley. From there, the RoadStock team drove to the Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles. The remaining whiskey was transferred into Firestone’s Imperial Stout, Imperial Blonde Ale, and Experimental Ale barrels before making the trek back to Shoreham, Vermont. These barrels finished ryes were married by WhistlePig head blender Megan Ireland. $72
Photo courtesy of Oak & Eden.

Party Time With Oak & Eden’s Rye & Rumba

Based in Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas, Oak & Eden is best known for its patented process called “In-Bottle Finishing,” in which the company adds a five inch long spiral-cut piece of toasted oak ‘spire,’ which allows the whiskey’s flavor and color to evolve in the bottle. Back by popular demand is Rye & Rumba. This expression features Oak & Eden signature rye, finished with a Caribbean rum cask spire. “There is a delicate complexity of flavors that exist when you introduce Caribbean Rum into rye,” says Oak & Eden co-founder and CEO Joe Giildenzopf. “Putting the two together creates a rich, aromatic whiskey that is full of flavor and a clear fan favorite.” We say, pass the cigars! $60
Photo courtesy of Traverse City Whiskey Company.

Traverse City Whiskey Presents: Cherry Whiskeyfest

Traverse City, Michigan, is considered the cherry capital of the world, and TC Whiskey Co. founder Chris Frederickson is a third-generation cherry farmer. So it makes sense that Frederickson combines his passion for both by steeping locally sourced Mount Moranti mountain cherries in his barrel-proof bourbon. Last year the company took this concept to the next level by creating Cherry Whiskeyfest, where guests join a virtual, roundtable chat about all things bourbon and cherries. Tasting kits are available to sip during the event, including a 200 ml sample of Traverse City’s 2021 Barrel Proof Cherry Whiskey, plus their new Cherry Whiskey Highball Seltzer, a jar of Traverse City grown cherries, and a Glencairn Glass. Cherry Whiskeyfest takes place on August 10th at 8:00pm EST, and kits cost $75.

Spirits writers, marketers and designers are among the most influential forces in the spirits industry. Their opinions, ideas and creative talents inform and influence consumer perceptions and buying decisions. The John Barleycorn Society was started by a group of spirits journalists seeking to honor excellence in all facets of the industry. The journalists spent several years creating a comprehensive competition that became the John Barleycorn Awards. An elite team of authoritative and influential spirits journalists was selected to administer the flagship component of the Awards, a blind tasting competition destined to become the preeminent arbitrator of spirits taste, quality and character.