For everyone who wishes they had bunkered more Stitzel-Weller wheated bourbon before it was all gone, here are a few ideas about what to buy now.
If you like Canadian Whisky, Crown Royal XR will soon be gone, Diageo has announced. Crown XR was created from the last remaining batches of whiskey distilled at Ontario’s Waterloo distillery. It burned down in 1993 and XR contains the whiskey that was saved from the fire.
If you miss out, don't panic. Crown promises it has products in the pipeline that will include other rare whiskeys. They're calling it the Crown Royal Extra Rare Whisky Series.
If your whiskey monger still has any 101° proof Wild Turkey Rye left, buy it. Campari America promises it will come back next year but what they don't say is that it will probably have a new label and a new, higher price when it does. In the meantime, try the new 81° proof Wild Turkey Rye, conveniently priced the same as 101° in most places.
For the last year or so, all Wild Turkey and Russell's Reserve products
have been made in a brand spanking new distillery. Whiskey made in the
old distillery will be around for several more years, but they aren't making any more
of it, so stock up now.
If you are in or anywhere near Virginia, get yourself a bottle of Abraham Bowman Virginia Limited Edition Whiskey. The one you want is the 18-year-old bourbon. It's a limited edition, so you know it won't be around for long, and it is marrrrvelous.
By the way, the A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is officially reopening on Thursday, April 19. It never actually closed, but hasn't been open to the public for several years. Tours are now offered Monday through Friday at 10 AM and 2 PM, or by appointment. Groups larger than ten should call first. The gift shop is open weekdays from 9 AM to 3:30 PM. They do sell whiskey there.
When producers drop age statements from their labels, they always swear the product is still as old as it used to be but that inevitably changes. So if you see a bottle of Weller Special Reserve that says '7 years in wood,' buy it, because the new ones don't say that.
The current vintage of Evan Williams Single Barrel is the 2002, so if you see anything older than that, buy it. The 2002 is perfectly good too, but you'll be able to get all you want of that for at least the rest of this year.