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New Whisky Releases Early May 2024

Updated: May 30

Early May 2024 whisky releases cover

In 2024, it seems to be a busy year for whisky producers. In early May, multiple big and small players revealed their newest creations for both the global travel retail and the worldwide market.


For this article, we have selected 12 new whisky releases that caught our eye in early 2024. From Islay malts and Scottish blends to Australian and American whiskies, there is a lot to look forward to. Let's start digging.



 

Ardbeg 23-year-old Y2K


Ardbeg distillery in Islay announced its new limited ultra-rare whisky series in May 2024. Referred to as 'A Glitch in the Ardware', the first release of the series, the 23-year-old Y2K, is a blend of bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks sent to a distant warehouse and went unnoticed for several years.


Crafted with some of the very first spirit of the millennium, the inaugural edition in the Ardbeg Vintage Y2K series is made from spirit distilled in the historic still that served Ardbeg for 51 years before being retired in 2001.


Ardbeg 23-year-old Y2K will be available from the distillery visitor centre on Islay in May 2024, priced at £670 (US$850). From July, the release will be more widely available in the UK and on the distillery website.


Ardbeg 23-year-old Y2K

Original Image by Ardbeg



 

Lakes Apex Revolucion & Velocity


In early May, the English Lakes distillery released two Apex premium whiskies celebrating the 'luxury of time'.


The first, Apex Velocity, investigates how the speed of ageing can be accelerated and how age statement is just a number among many variables that contribute to the taste of whisky. According to Lakes, the Oloroso-cask-matured 'Velocity outshines in its quest to create a classic sherry-matured single malt with a flavour and complexity way beyond its years'. The white-box presented whisky is bottled at 50.2%, available exclusively from Berry Bros & Rudd and is limited to 583 bottles.


The second release, Apex Revolucion, displays 'rich and aromatic textures of resplendently aged rum'. Matured in a mixture of Oloroso and PX sherry casks, the whisky is bottled at 52% ABV and limited to 702 individually numbered bottles, all available exclusively at the Lakes distillery.


Lakes Apex Velocity and Revolucion

Image by Lakes Distillery



 

Dark Lark Single Malt 2024 Edition


The first modern Australian whisky distillery, Lark, was established in 1992 in Tasmania. In May 2024, the distillery released its Dark Lark single malt, capturing the magic of 'Aurora Australis', the Southern lights.


Presented in a black matte flat flask 50cl bottle, not much is revealed about the whisky itself, including its age or barrel in which it was aged. All we know is that it presents 'layers of mocha, honeycomb, light oak and caramelised pineapple' on the palate. The bottle is offered at AU$250 (£28/ US$35).


Dark Lark single malt 2024 Edition

Original Image by Lark



 

Sullivans Cove 24-year-old


The 1994-established Tasmanian distillery Sullivans Cove has released the oldest Australian single-cask single malt to date. Revealed in mid-May 2024, the 24-year-old expression was distilled in 1999, the distillery's fifth year in operation.


The limited release was aged in a single second-fill American oak cask, HH0004. The whisky is bottled at 52% ABV and limited to only 335 bottles. The bottle, which retails at AU$2,500 (£1,220/ US$1,676), can be purchased by entering a ballot on the distillery's website.


Sullivans Cove 24-year-old

Image by Sullivans Cove



 

Redbreast Missouri Oak


Redbreast whiskey is among the many brands produced at the Irish Midleton distillery. In May 2024, Redbreast unveiled its Missouri Oak Edition, the latest addition to the American Oak Series, exclusively for the US market.


For this release, master blender Dave McCabe took the classic Redbreast recipe of bourbon and sherry-aged single pot still whiskey and finished it for 12 months in Missouri oak from the Ozark forest, coopered at Kelvin Cooperage. The whiskey is bottled at 101 proof (50.5% ABV) and is now available nationwide in the US, retailing for US$199 (£157). The English Lakes distillery released two Apex premium whiskies celebrating the 'luxury of time' in early May


Redbreast Missouri Oak

Image by Redbreast



 

Ardnamurchan The Midgie


Dedicated to the swarming Scottish little bugger, the midge, Ardnamurchan distillery in Argyll teamed up with Smidge, the UK's leading insect repellent, to release a limited edition whisky.


The small-batch whisky was aged in a combination of Madeira, Sauternes and Bourbon casks, as well as Sherry butts. Limited to 6,200 bottles, the release will only be available in the UK through the distillery's website, visitor's centre and selected retailers for £52 (US$66).


Ardnamurchan The Midgie

Original Image by Ardnamurchan



 

Ballantine's 23-year-old Golden Hour


The Golden Hour is a new travel retail exclusive series from Ballantine's blend, owned by Chivas. The series is dedicated to exploring the blended Scotch brand’s 23-year-old whisky through different French oak cask finishes.


The first release of the Golden Hour series was finished in ex-Cognac casks, a first for the brand. Bottled at 40% ABV, the release is available in selected Asia travel retail markets for £220 (US$279).


Ballantine's 23-year-old Golden Hour

Image by Ballantine's



 

The Glenlivet Caskmakers


As a continuation of The Glenlivet's bicentennial celebrations and the release of the Rum and Bourbon Fusion Cask Selection, the distillery released The Glenlivet Caskmakers, aged in reconstructed casks. These hybrid casks are coopered in Jerez and are made by combining ex-Spanish Sherry and charred European oak barrels.


Bottled at 40% ABV, Caskmakers will be available exclusively in selected duty-free stores from May 2024, with a suggested retail price of £177 (US$225).


The Glenlivet The Caskmakers

Image by The Glenlivet



 

Royal Salute 21-year-old 2002 Vintage


Along with the launch of Ballantine's Golden Hour Series and The Glenlivet Caskmakers, Chivas also released its first-ever vintage blend of Royal Salute 21-year-old. Distilled in 2002, the inaugural limited bottling of the new series is offered at 40% ABV and retails for £184 (US$234). The 2002 vintage is available exclusively on global travel retail.


Royal Salute 21-year-old 2002 Vintage

Image by Royal Salute



 

Lagavulin 11-year-old Offerman Edition


Lagavulin released its latest Offerman Edition in May 2024. Finished in ex-Caribbean rum casks, the 11-year-old bottling is the fourth release in the collaboration series launched in 2019.


The other three releases, all bottled as 11-year-olds at 46% ABV, include Offerman Edition (2019), Offerman Edition Guinness Cask Finish (2021) and Offerman Edition Charred Oak (2022).


The fourth edition was aged for 11 years and finished for a further eight months in ex-Caribbean rum casks. Offered at 46%, the limited-edition is available on selected markets for £90 (US$114).

Lagavulin 11-year-old Rum Cask Offerman Edition 2024

Image by Lagavulin



 

Benriach 50-year-old


In May 2024, the Brown-Forman-owned Benriach distillery revealed its oldest single malt release to date: the 50-year-old. The unpeated spirit was filled into a single ex-Bourbon cask in 1966 and taken aside after 50 years of maturing - why wait eight extra years for the release is anyone's guess.


Bottled at 44.5% ABV and limited to only 37 bottles worldwide, the extremely rare Benriach has allocated five bottles to be sold through global travel retail at a price of £25,000 (US$31,330).


Benriach 50-year-old

Original Image by Benriach



 

WL Weller Millennium


Revealed in late April 2024 and officially announced in May, the WL Weller Millennium is a blend of 18 to 24-year-old vintage straight bourbon and wheat whiskeys distilled in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006. At the turn of the millennium, the newly named Buffalo Trace distillery (pre-1999 known as George T. Stagg distillery) decided to save whiskies from the afford-mentioned years in attention to bottle this special bottling.


Each bottle is a 750ml handcrafted crystal decanter crowned with a custom crystal topper hand-etched with WL Weller’s original 'W' stamp. Said to begin shipping to select retailers, bars and restaurants in June, Weller Millennium is offered at 99 Proof (49.5% ABV) as a nod to 1999 and is priced at £8,155 (US$7,500). The distillery has not revealed the release size, only stating it to be 'extremely rare'.


WL Weller Millennium

Original Image by Buffalo Trace

 

Thank you for reading The Whisky Ardvark. Be sure to check out some of our other informative articles listed below.



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