We compile the best new spirits so you don’t have to.

A Luxury whisky from Denmark and a single malt collaboration between Lagavulin, Guinness Stout, and Parks And Recreations’ Nick Offerman starts the party. A must-try organic mezcal, Old Forester’s single barrel rye, and a funky Japanese cocktail darling takes it home. Chu-hai cocktails for all!

Photo courtesy of Bosscal Mezcal

Organic Bosscal Mezcal Finally Greets The Masses

Launched in 2016, Bosscal is an organic, artisanal mezcal that’s mostly been available in Florida. Last year, Whole Foods and Total Wine took note of the brand, as did Wolf Spirit, who partnered up with Bosscal founders Verne and Nelson Nieves to expand the Durango-based mezcal into ten states and counting. Producing Bosscal begins with local durangensis agaves cooked in traditional pit ovens lined with volcanic rocks, fermented with natural yeast, and double distilled. Bosscal is now available in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Expressions include Joven ($45), Damiana ($50), and Pechuga de Conejo ($100).

Photo courtesy of Lagavulin

Lagavulin + Guinness + Nick Offerman = Damn Fine Scotch

Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky reunites with craftsman and Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman to present their second limited-edition Islay Single Malt just in time for Father’s day. Offerman’s Edition is classic Lagavulin single malt, aged 11 years, then finished in ex-Guinness casks from the Open Gate Brewery in Maryland. Lagavulin tasting notes promise ‘sweet peat,’ a combination of charred oak, coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel flavors spiked with berry and green apple. $80

Photo courtesy of Old Forester

Old Forester Releases Its First Cask Strength Single Barrel Rye

Old Forester Rye became the first new recipe from the iconic whiskey house in nearly 150 years when released in 2019. Now fans will no doubt be hunting bottles of its first innovation, a cask strength, non-chill-filtered, single barrel bottling. “The Old Forester Rye Single Barrel delivers on the same balanced and unique flavor profile of our 100 proof expression, only amplified and in unfiltered, raw form,” explains Old Forester master taster Jackie Zykan in a company press release. We say, “pass the bottle and let’s get into it.” $80

Photo courtesy of Stauning Danish Whiskey

Distill Ventures Introduces Stauning Danish Whisky To The US

After achieving a cult following in Europe, three expressions of Denmark’s Stauning Danish Whisky are now available in the States: Stauning Rye, Kaos Triple Malt. Danish grains are floor-malted in-house and cooked in one of the distilleries 24 direct-fired pot stills to produce this whisky. Stauning Rye is a near 50/50 combo of malted rye and barley, while Kaos introduces gently smoked barley to the mix. Smoke is a single malt whisky that’s enhanced with mild levels of heather and peat. Stauning Rye ($80), Kaos ($90), Smoke ($100)

Photo courtesy of Mizu

Mizu Sochu Is On Its Way To A Bar Near You

Mizu Shochu’s been around since 2013, but its recent partnership with Park Avenue Spirits means there’s going to be lots more Mizu to spread around as it enters a flurry of new markets. Mizu shochu is based on ‘Saga’ barley and fermented in the koji style then distilled just once. The Mizu portfolio ranges from cocktail-friendly green tea or lemongrass varieties to a fine sipping Mizu ‘Sakura Cask,’ finished for at least nine months in ‘yamazakura’ oak casks. Mizu Saga Barley ($35), Mizu Lemongrass ($38), Mizu Green Tea ($41), Mizu ‘Sakura Cask’ ($52).


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.