The 6 Best Whiskeys We Tasted in February 2023
February was a busy month for us, filled with reviewing whiskey. A lot of spirit crosses the desk here at Whiskey Raiders, and this month was no different, with brands old and new making appearances. At the end of each month, we like to take time to reflect and give a spotlight to the best whiskeys we tasted. Of all of the whiskeys we tasted in February 2023, these were our six favorites.
Lost Lantern Ironroot Republic Texas Straight Bourbon
Distilled by Ironroot Republic in Texas and bottled by the American independent whisky bottler Lost Lantern, this barrel-proof bourbon has a lot to offer.
North of 60% ABV, it delivers bold flavor, rich and oaky on the palate with notes of cola, char, toffee, buttercream, graham cracker, spicy pepper and ginger. The dry tannin lingers at the end, making for an “extraordinary example of Texas whiskey,” Whiskey Raiders spirits critic Jay West wrote in his review.
Ironroot Republic Texas Straight Bourbon retails for around $100.
GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11
The 11th edition of GlenDronach’s cask-strength bottling features heavily sherry influence, an impressive proof and a competitive price tag.
This whisky is rich on the palate with a bit of heat and notes of berries, sulfur and pepper. With this release, GlenDronach reaffirms its place in the world of scotch whisky as one of the best cask-strength bottlers on the market.
GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 11 can be found around the $100 mark from online retailers.
Clonakilty Single Batch Irish Whiskey Double Oak Finish
An intriguing blend of cask finishes, Clonakilty Single Batch Irish Whiskey Double Oak Finish is a mix of whiskey aged in ex-bourbon casks and finished in virgin American oak; and re-charred and toasted red wine casks.
Bottled at 43.6% ABV, this whiskey stands out among other Irish competitors due to its just-enough bump in strength over the typical 40%-ABV mark. On the palate, Clonakilty is sweet with notes of honey, almonds, pepper, oak, toffee, butterscotch and Werther’s caramel candies. The double-oaked character adds a complexity that isn’t often found in releases of this age.
Also, proceeds from the sale support Whale and Dolphin Conservation, making this an exceptional whiskey for a good cause.
Clonakilty Single Batch Irish Whiskey Double Oak Finish retails for $50 and can be found at many retailers.
Barrell Bourbon New Year 2023
Barrell Bourbon New Year 2023 is a blend of bourbons from eight different states — Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wyoming, New York, Texas and Maryland — ranging in age from 5 to 10 years. It was released to celebrate the arrival of the 2023 calendar year.
On the palate are honey-forward notes with plenty of oak, sweet tannin and nuttiness reminiscent of Knob Creek. It also has a warming chocolate-orange note, adding extra complexity and sweetness to the flavor profile.
Barrell Bourbon New Year 2023 has an ABV of 56.77% and retails for $85. Keep in mind, this is a limited release, so get it while you can.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 12-Year Batch A123
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof A123 is the first of three releases in 2023’s limited-edition calendar and is bottled at an impressive 125.6 proof.
On the palate, it is rich and viscous with tons of oak and char, sweet tea, pralines and a cherry cola flavor. Despite its high proof, it is smooth and syrupy without any harsh ethanol on the back palate.
This remarkable whiskey makes for an impressive start to 2023, boasting lots of cola, cherry, tobacco and oak.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof A123 can be found at most online retailers for around $85.
Found North Batch 006
Found North’s Batch 006 is a blend of five well-aged whiskies ranging from 17 to 26 years in age and bottled at 128.2 proof — the highest-octane release to date from the Canadian whisky bottler.
With a mashbill of 87% corn, it has an inviting richness on the palate with notes of caramel, raisin bread, toffee, nutmeg and cocoa. It also has notes of fresh berries, honey, light confectioners’ sugar and even a slight bit of ethanol on the palate.
Found North Batch 006 retails for $140 and can be easily found at many online liquor retailers.
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