The 9 Best Whiskeys We Tasted in March 2023
March was a busy month for us, packed with tasting and reviewing whiskeys. In March, we reviewed 30 new whiskeys. As we do every month, we’re highlighting the best whiskeys of the bunch. Some of these are brand-new releases, while others have been out for a while but were new to us.
Without further ado, let’s get into the best whiskeys we tasted in March 2023!
The Best Whiskeys We Tasted in March 2023
Maker’s Mark Limited Release BRT-01 and BRT-02
Announced in September, Maker’s Mark BRT-01 and BRT-02 are limited-edition releases both bottled at a cask strength proof of 109.4.
The name “BRT” comes from Maker’s practice of “hand-barrel rotation” — rotating its barrels by hand from the top to the bottom of its rickhouses. The duo of whiskeys is a study in how temperature affects aging whiskeys. According to Maker’s Mark, BRT-01 is inspired by the hotter, higher floors of the rickhouses, while BRT-02 is inspired by the lower, cooler ones.
Maker’s Mark used French oak staves to “dial up” the flavors of both of these whiskeys.
We determined Maker’s Mark BRT-02 to be the superior whiskey of the pair, but both are excellent.
Bernheim Barrel Proof Wheat Whiskey
Long overdue, the barrel-proof version of the beloved Bernheim Wheat Whiskey was launched in February. The original Bernheim is a sweet, smooth, lovely sipping whiskey and one of the best-value bottles on the market.
The barrel-proof version turns up the heat with a powerful 118.8 proof point. A blend of 7- to 9-year-old wheat whiskey, this masterpiece of a wheat whiskey has a decadent texture and features notes of honey, butterscotch, oak and caramel.
To the joy of whiskey lovers everywhere, Bernheim Barrel Proof will be released twice annually.
Booker’s Pinkie’s Batch
Released in December 2022 by Beam, this was the final Booker’s release of last year. This batch is named after sixth-generation Beam master distiller Booker Noe’s dad, the original Frederick Booker Noe, who was called Pinkie by his family and friends. Bottled at a powerful 122.4 proof and aged six years, 10 months and 10 days, Booker’s “Pinkie’s Batch” was launched in limited quantities for a suggested retail price of $89.99.
Compared to other Booker’s releases, this bottling is a fairly easy sipper despite its high proof. Bold and funky on the nose with notes of peanut brittle, honey, toffee, tobacco, praline and caramel, this bourbon has a moderate, rich mouthfeel without much heat. Expect notes of cocoa, cream, toffee and Nutter Butters on the palate and a long finish, closing with notes of graham cracker, peanut brittle, caramel, tobacco and raisin bread.
Found North Batch 003
A blend of Canadian whiskies ranging from 17 to 25 years old, this is the third batch from rising giant Found North. Composed of a grain recipe of 64% rye, 32% corn and 4% malted barley, Found North Batch 003 is brilliantly rye-forward, with notes of rye bread, brown sugar, white pepper, honey, crème brûlée, orange peel, pancake syrup, honey and vanilla bean.
Reminiscent of an epic WhistlePig single-cask rye, this is a killer batch from Found North. If you can get your hands on one of the 2,792 bottles in existence, we’d recommend doing so. They sell for a suggested retail price of $135.
Takamine 8 Year Old
Distilled by Takamine in Japan, this 8-year-old expression is made using the traditional Japanese fermentation technique: koji. Koji, which is the national mold of Japan, is commonly used to break down rice in the fermentation process to create Japanese products like sake and soy sauce. In this case, though, koji breaks down barley, creating a “maltless” whisky.
On the nose, this whisky is fresh and sweet, with a pop of apple, pear, tropical fruits and some grain and caramel candies. On the palate, this whisky is light and sweet once again with a moderate mouthfeel. It’s light, easy-drinking and packed with notes of honey, peaches, orange, apple pie and pear, as well as a touch of grain and sweet cream.
Light, sweet and effervescent, Takamine manages to deliver an impressive amount of flavor despite its 80-proof bottling mark.
Takamine 8 Year sells for a suggested retail price of $99.
WhistlePig The Béhôlden 21 Year Old Single Malt
An ultra-premium release from Vermont whiskey producer WhistlePig, this is The Béhôlden, a 21-year-old single malt likely sourced from Glenora in Canada.
WhistlePig is renowned for its rye whiskeys but recently has begun delving into other realms — and succeeding. Last year, it debuted its PiggyBack Bourbon, a strong bottling. In March, it released its first single malt: The Béhôlden, aged 21 years and finished in WhistlePig rye barrels.
Packed with caramel, honey and maple cream on the nose, this is rich and full of character. On the palate, The Béhôlden delivers impressive viscosity with tons of maple, barrel char, toffee, poundcake, cinnamon, red fruits and spice. The finish is lovely and intriguing, with soft tannin, caramel, cream and maple.
Priced at $800, The Béhôlden sold out quickly and is already nearly impossible to find for that already high price.
Jack Daniels 12 Year
The oldest whiskey to come from Jack Daniel’s in the modern era, this 12-year-old whiskey is an absolute delight. Bottled at 53.5% ABV and released in March, it distinguishes itself from most other Jack Daniel’s releases with its age, proof and complexity.
Oaky and balanced with notes of sweet cream, tobacco and nectarine on the nose, Jack Daniel’s 12 expands into a thick and rich palate, opulent, savory and sweet. It brings notes of caramel, honey and banana nut muffin on the palate and finishes long with banana, caramel, heavy oak, toffee and pipe tobacco.
This is a lovely pour, and despite Jack Daniel’s releasing it at a relatively affordable suggested retail price of $80, it will be very difficult to find a full bottle of this limited-edition whiskey without spending an arm or a leg. You might be able to find a pour at a nice bar or restaurant, however.
Barrell Bourbon Batch 034
Launched in February, this is the latest bourbon from the genius blenders of Barrell Craft Spirits. This blend of 6-year, 8-year, 10-year and 15-year bourbons distilled in Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky is bold and rich on the nose with notes of nutmeg, tannin, praline, carame, fudge, stone fruit, faint cherry cordial and a touch of spice.
On the palate, batch 34 has a delightful viscosity and is full of cocoa, toffee, salted caramel, pear and cherry. The finish is dry and cocoa-forward, packed with nougat, sweet cream, espresso, peach and cherry.
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