Upcoming Whisky Brands from all over the world!
Whisky often is an acquired taste — acquired by those with good taste.
Take it from Mark Twain. “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whisky is barely enough,” the author wisely said.
We agree. And though whisky has been distilled for hundreds of years (thank you, Scotland!), there’s often a whole patch of newbies making their mark in the land of whisky.
Here are just a few of the upcoming whisky brands worth a try. Raise your glass. Because, as Twain said, you can never get enough good whisky.
1. Westland Distillery
You’re going bold if you specialize in malt whisky, the original whisky of Scotland that’s made just from malted barley.
Westland Distillery’s single malt whisky (single means it comes from an individual distillery) came to life in the company’s Pacific Northwest headquarters, near the Cascade Mountains in Washington state. Westland describes the area as home to two of the best barley-growing regions in the world.
The results speak to that. Westland’s Core Range includes three special small-batch varieties: Sherry Wood, American Oak, and Peated. All embrace Scottish tradition with a twist, integrated Belgian Saison brewer’s yeast, and aged in a variety of cask types.
Sherry Wood evokes honey-dipped cookies and maple syrup. American Oak has a complex nose, highlighted by lemon and orange custard, Rainer cherries, and Turkish coffee, among others. Peated is for those who prefer a nutty nose and a traditional campfire-like feel on the palate.
All have already won a slew of awards, and Westland is just getting started with several new upcoming whisky brand expressions on the horizon.
2. Garrison Brothers Distilling
Everything’s bigger in Texas, and Garrison Brothers is kind of a big deal.
Based in rural Hye, one of the companies “babies,” as they put it, is their Texas straight small-batch bourbon whiskey, a 94 proof where each small batch is at least 3 years old, they say.
Want to know more about Bourbon? Check out this article: https://www.whiskyflavour.com/blog/bourbon-whiskey/
Beyond that, the company has an impressive lineup, including a single barrel bourbon whiskey and “The Cowboy,” which is what they call their uncut and unfiltered straight bourbon whiskey, at 133.9 proof (yes, you read that right).
The Cowboy already won twice the American Whiskey of the Year in Jim Murray’s authoritative “Whisky Bible.”
The more adventurous may also try the Laguna Madre, a limited release that’s limousine oak-immersed straight bourbon, or the Honeydew which, you guessed it, is honey-infused whisky.
3. Grace O’Malley
The Irish whiskey and gin brand is the first whiskey company named after a woman (about time!), who was a legendary Irish pirate queen, born into nobility in the 16th century.
The products live up to the name. The company’s flagship whiskey created by master blender Paul Caris is a blended Irish whiskey with 46% malt content — uniquely Emerald Isle. That one, along with their dark char cask whisky and the rum cask whisky all won spirits awards in 2020.
Know more about Irish Whiskey here: https://www.whiskyflavour.com/blog/irish-whiskey-story/
The rum cask is particularly intriguing. It combines different batches of whiskies at various ages up to years and finished in a Caribbean cask for supreme spice notes. The result: smoothness, fruitiness, and double-distilled malt.
It’s distinctive, just like Grace O’Malley herself.
4. Sweetens Cove
Sweetens Cove launched in 2020 out of Tennessee’s Sequatchie Valley, near the border with Alabama and Georgia, an area that knows its spirits.
It has already made a mark with its expressions and within several upcoming whisky brands. The 2021 release, its second, is a blend of 4-, 5- and 15-year-old bourbons. Reviews have been stellar, noting that it’s a flavor improvement over its first offering, a limited release 13-year bourbon.
Marianne Eaves is the master blender at Sweetens Cove and she is Kentucky’s first female bourbon master distiller since Prohibition. Whiskey Advocate Magazine included her among the “next generation” in the industry.
“This bourbon is really exquisite,” says Eaves. “We hope it will become a cult product that bourbon aficionados and the best bars will all want.”
5. Kyro Distillery Company
Finnish brand Kyrö, an all-rye distillery, continues to impress, especially with its first rye whiskey launching recently in the United Kingdom and ramping up production since 2019.
We love Kyrö’s backstory, conceived by five friends lounging in a sauna — the only way a Finnish distillery should probably be conceived. The five founders still work together and seem to still be friends.
Kyrö currently offers two types of gins, but their Kyrö Malt is the first Finnish single batch whiskey. Made completely from Finnish wholegrain rye, it’s double pot-distilled and aged in American white oak casks. It’s aromatic, bold, and spicy — and was awarded a gold medal at 2020’s International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Make some more whiskey, Kyrö! We’ll wait.
6. Wyoming Whiskey
The revered company’s upcoming whisky brands are all for a good cause.
Wyoming Whiskey National Parks honors the state’s renowned national parks, including the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and Devils Tower National Monument.
The National Parks Limited Edition celebrates the brand’s partnership with the National Park Service’s nonprofit, the National Park Foundation.
It’s full and bright with a smooth finish, and a welcome addition to Wyoming Whiskey’s collection, which includes a double cask bourbon whiskey, its Outryder straight American whiskey, and barrel strength bourbon.
The Taiwanese distiller of single malts recently was recently introduced as one of the most distinct within upcoming whisky brands.
The Artists Series, a limited collection of four single cask strengths, are designed to evoke the four elements of ocean, sunlight, air, and earth. The bottles, which come emblazoned with silkscreen prints, are named Puncheon, Virgin oak, French Wine Cask, and Peated Malt.
Kavalan Distillery opened in hot, humid Yilan County, Taiwan in 2005. It has collected major awards for its expert released since 2009. One reason: the water used in the distillery flows from the springs of Snow Mountain and Central Mountain nearby, pure and clean.
The popular Scottish brand, revived in 2001, is garnering acclaim for its upcoming whisky expressions, including the Octomore 11 collection, released this year and featuring four whiskies — 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, and a 10-year.
The spirits of this brand are bold like Scottish whisky should be, aged in part in American barrels and made from heavily peated barley. A new Octomore lineup, which started in 2002, is released each fall by the distillery which calls the Scottish island Islay home.
Check out our Scotch Whisky Guide to elevate your spirit, here: https://www.whiskyflavour.com/blog/scotch-whisky-guide/
“Polarised opinions … exposure to criticism … we accept the inevitable in the hopes of unlocking new realms of flavour,” Bruichladdich proclaims on its website.
Now they’re speaking our language.
9. Balcones Distilling
Yes, another Texas crew is on the list
Balcones, based in Waco, has been distilling since 2009 and continues to regularly put out impressive, intense single malts, rye whiskeys, and even corn whiskeys called Baby Blue and True Blue, created from blue corn grown in nearby Mexico.
The blue corn is a perfect complement to the Texas-grown malted barley used in all of their bottles.
Each year, the upcoming whiskey brand Balcones releases its specialties, including Staff Selection, a distinctly Texas single malt with a dry finish but with a bright taste; the Rumble Cask Reserve spiked with Texas wildflower honey; and a rum cask finished single malt, which is bottled at cask strength.
It’s all bold, unique and a true experience — just like Texas itself. And you should try it yourself in a true laid-back style right now — under their mobile outdoor 1,200 square-foot tasting tent at the distillery.