Everyone’s favorite grain mash distillate had a big week. The George Dickel Distillery has a new name and a new distiller. Buffalo Trace is dropping a new bourbon inspired by internet feedback. Gordon & MacPhail are releasing a 1950’s cask—at $30k a bottle. Read on after the jump.
New Names at George Dickel
George Dickel is one of Tennessee’s largest distilleries, but the outfit has been lacking a Master Distiller since Alissa Henley left the post almost a year and a half ago. Now, the Dickel has a new chief—and a new name.
Nicole Austin will serve as General Manager and Distiller according to the company. While Austin will preside over the same stills as Henley, the facility will also have a new name. George Dickel Distillery will now be called Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.
“There are so many reasons why I know this position will be a great fit for me – from the jaw dropping beauty of Cascade Hollow to the incredible history of George Dickel,” said Austin in a prepared statement. “But, ultimately, it is the freedom to make Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. my home that made up my mind. As a distiller, strategist and mentor, I’ve worn a lot of hats in my career which have prepared me for this moment. Now, it’s time for me to draw from those experiences and build a business that creates a fundamental step change in how people think about Tennessee Whisky. I’m proud to be here and ready to get to work.”
Austin’s CV is pretty impressive. She boasts a degree in Chemical Engineering, a stint as Master Blender for Kings County Distillery, and a high profile position at The Oak View Spirits consulting firm. Over the past couple of years, she’s been hopping over to Ireland as Project Commissioning Engineer for William Grant & Sons at the Tullamore Distillery.
Buffalo Trace to Release Crowd Sourced Bourbon
In 2015, the bourbon barons over at Buffalo Trace came up with a novel marketing idea. They hopped on the “multimedia web tool” train and launched a site called, ‘Make Your Own Bourbon’ which lets visitors, well, make there own bourbon. The interactive site allowed guests to pick their preferred mash recipe, warehouse placement, age, and proof. However, the exercise was confined to the website, there was no actual bourbon involved—until now.
Over 100,000 users logged into the DIY bourbon site and left their personal preferences. Realizing that these visits generated on one heck of a market research data set, Buffalo Trace decided to actually distill a whiskey (called ‘CYOB’) based on the info.
“Although we certainly didn’t set out to produce a new bourbon based on this ‘Craft Your Own’ experience, the results are overwhelmingly consistent, so why not give whiskey drinkers what they want?!’” explained Kris Comstock, senior marketing director. “We’re thrilled how so many fans have interacted with the website, and we hope more will try their hand at crafting their perfect bourbon.”
The new bourbon will technically depart of the W.L. Weller line. The juice will be an eight year aged, heated bourbon. Alcohol content will clock in between 90 and 99 proof. MSRP is set at $39.99 for a 750ml bottle.
Rare whisky purveyors Gordon & MacPhail are dropping a real doozy on the collectors’ market. The family owned company announced that they are bottling up what might they tout as the final remaining 1950’s cask.
Weeks before his retirement John Urquhart, first generation member of the family that still owns Gordon & MacPhail filled the cask at the Linkwood Distillery on the January 3, 1956. Cask 20 then matured in first fill Sherry hogshead for six decades stewardship John’s son, George.. and then following generations.
Stephen Rankin, Director of Prestige and fourth generation Urquhart mused, “It is the deep understanding of the relationship between the oak and the spirit that has allowed Gordon & MacPhail to nurture this cask for six decades while retaining the unique distillery character.”
Of course, with such a pedigree, the end result is certain to please. The company describes the product as “an intricately layered whisky. Rich, warm aromas lend to a sweet full-bodied experience with highlights of blueberry, fruitcake, and dark chocolate.”
53 hand-blown decanters filled with Cask 20 are available for retail purchase. Start saving now: the MSRP lands at $31,141.22. (Don’t worry; you get a cool collector’s book and some awesome packaging with it.) The only place we can confirm that the bottles are South Street retail shop in Elgin, England… of course, if you’re involved in the five digit Scotch market, you probably know where to find the good stuff.