RG Release #1 : JAWS 1 (2019)
New Riff Bourbon, 4 yr, 56.1% ABV, Barrel 15-5795
Outturn: 234 Bottles

Our first private pick was a cask strength bourbon hand selected at the ultra-trendy New Riff distillery in Kentucky with the Josephine Avenue Whiskey Society (J.A.W.S.) and Nick Taylor (Found North Whiskey). Read about our picking experience here!

New Riff whiskeys are currently unavailable (no distribution) in MA, so we had to drive the bottles AND the barrel all the way from Kentucky back to Boston.

#RG Release #2 : YOUNG AMERICANS (Spring 2020)
Privateer Rum (Rich/Fine Recipe)

3 yr (with 7 month finish in New Riff bourbon barrel)
54.2% ABV
Outturn: 225 Bottles
Released in partnership with Burlington Wine & Spirits

We dropped the JAWS 1 barrel off at the Privateer Rum distillery in Ipswich, MA … but what to age in it? Maggie Campbell arranged a tasting of 5 different barrels – we went in assuming we’d go with one of their spectacular Queen’s Share barrels but another selection was not to be denied. Finished for 7 months in the extremely “wet” JAWS 1 barrel (wrapped in plastic right after the bottling of the original bourbon), “Young Americans” hit that sweet spot of heavy bourbon influence meeting the rich backbone of Privateer Rum. It’s the ultimate crossover rum for bourbon lovers!

RG Release #3 : NOTORIOUS RUM BG (Fall 2020)
Privateer Rum
, Bottled in Bond50% ABV
4 yr (with 6 month finish in New Riff bourbon barrel)

Outturn: 230 Bottles
Released in partnership with Norfolk Wine and Spirits

Maggie judged our fearsome JAWS 1 barrel to be still frisky and hungry, so immediately after the dumping of Young Americans, we fed it a cask of Privateer’s excellent Bottled in Bond juice. To qualify as “Bottled in Bond”, a spirit must be aged 4 years minimum in a government supervised facility and bottled at 100 proof. “BiB” is predominantly a bourbon designation, and Privateer is currently the only distillery producing Bottled in Bond rum. In honor of the departed Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we dubbed this release the “Notorious Rum BG” and are donating $10 of each order to her favorite charity, the Malala Fund. While still featuring the magical bourbon sugar influence of “Young Americans”, Notorious Rum BG leans more towards a classic rum drinker’s palate.

RG Release #4 : JAWS 2 (Fall 2020)
New Riff Bourbon, 4 yr, 50.6% ABV, Barrel 16-12162

Outturn: 240 Bottles

The pandemic was no match for the Raising Glasses thirst for bourbon! Through the magic of Zoom and Fedex, we conducted a remote barrel pick session with New Riff (again with the assistance of Nick Taylor) and blasted an SUV across the post-apocalyptic quarantined Midwest to retrieve the JAWS 2 barrel. A chance encounter with a New Riff aficionado in the New Riff parking lot took note of the 101.2 proof and the grayish barrel and deemed it one of the New Riff barrels secretly aged in Louisville at the Castle and Key distillery (formerly the historic Old Taylor distillery of Colonel E.H. Taylor fame). While retaining the signature New Riff potency, JAWS 2 is perhaps lighter and more elegant than the brawny JAWS 1.

Special Collaboration : GATOR LEGS (2021)
Belgian Tripel from MadTree Brewing
9.9% ABV, 40 IBU (4.02/5 on UNTAPPD)

The final destination of our first Raising Glasses private barrel was Cincinnati’s MadTree Brewing company, where Barrel Manager Spenser Kern created a limited edition Belgian-style tripel. Reviews on Untappd.com say “Rich dark chocolate, black coffee, molasses, and dark fruit with a long, lingering finish” and “This beer is better than any corporeal experience you’ve yet had.”

RG Release #5 : INNOCENCE (expected 2022)
Port Dundas Single Grain Scotch

21 yr, 58% cask strength ABV, Outturn: 110 Bottles estimated

Our first Scotch is a spectacular cask strength single grain from Port Dundas that sadly closed in 2011 – once the existing stores of Port Dundas are gone this tremendous elixir will go extinct. While prices are skyrocketing for highly aged Port Dundas, not all barrels are created (or developed) equal! We tasted this hogshead barrel and her sister barrel and the difference was startling! “Sis” was fairly tame and muted but this barrel was vibrant, intense and luscious and an easy pick.

Single Grain Scotches are growing in popularity (and price) as they combine the complexity and sophistication of Single Malts but with the approachability of American bourbons – which makes sense as the Port Dundas mashbill consists of American corn, barley and rye (much closer to bourbon than Single Malt Scotch’s mashbill of 100% malted barley).

We commissioned Innocence’s dazzling label artwork from a young artist from Lexington MA, Mira Hsu (no relation!)

RG Release #6 : OPULENCE (expected 2022)
21 yr Port Dundas Single Grain Scotch
(21 yr Hogshead + 6 mo Oloroso Sherry Quarter Cask)
58% cask strength ABV, Outturn: 150 Bottles estimated

Being the savages we are, we purchased a brand new Oloroso sherry quarter cask (those suckers are NOT cheap) and used it to age over half of the Port Dundas for the last 6 months. The smaller size of the quarter cask accelerates the aging process (higher ratio of wood surface area to total liquid volume), imparting an oakier backbone and the rich fig & pistachio flavors of a first fill Oloroso sherry cask.

Once again, the custom label artwork is from Mira Hsu of Lexington MA!

RG Release #7 : Bohemian Rum-sody (expected 2022)
Privateer Queen’s Share rum aged in first fill New Riff bourbon barrel

How to out-do our uber-popular (and long sold out) Young Americans and Notorious Rum BG releases? Acquire a cask of Privateer’s finest distillate, the “Queen’s Share”, and give it an extra-long finish in an ultra-wet, first fill New Riff bourbon barrel (our “JAWS 2” barrel).

“Queen’s Share” is the most-prized (and priciest) rum from Privateer’s standard line and gets its name from its painstaking process of taking the richest cuts from multiple distillation runs: The first “head” cuts are harsh alcohol, the middle “heart” cuts are used for bottling, and the last “tail cuts” are overly strong and bitter. The “Queen” cuts are the last “heart” cuts, the most luxurious and flavorful cuts before the bitter tail takes over. These queen cuts are set aside and collected over time until enough can be re-distilled into the superb award-winning “Queen’s Share”.

RG Release #8 :
Linkwood Single Malt Scotch (expected 2022)
9 yr Linkwood Sherry Butt
59.4% cask strength ABV, Outturn: 400 Bottles estimated

Our latest purchase is an entire sherry butt cask of Linkwood Single Malt Scotch (butts are over twice the size of standard bourbon barrels), scheduled to be bottled at 9 years. Our sample had a gorgeously floral nose and the classic bright orchard stone fruit notes that Linkwood is prized for and of course we’ll bottle it at full cask strength to keep the concentrated flavors that put this Linkwood among the best we’ve ever tasted!

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
%d bloggers like this: