Johnnie Walker Select Casks – Rye Cask Finish is a bit of a mouthful. But it’s an exciting new release from the scotch whisky brand. This chill-filtered blend is the first in a series of limited edition wood-finished whiskies that will be released over the coming years. And it’s on the heels of several other similar releases, in which scotch whisky brands (for example: Auchentoshan American Oak and Speyburn Arranta Casks) are experimenting prominently with American oak.

Like the above, Johnnie Walker Select Casks – Rye Cask Finish is aged exclusively in first-fill American oak, but then it undergoes a finishing process in ex-rye whiskey casks. The blend itself includes whiskies that are at least 10 years old with Cardhu single malt at the core. And it carries a 10-year age statement.

Johnnie Walker Select Casks – Rye Cask Finish pours amber-bronze in the glass. On the nose you’ll find some vanilla, grains, citrus and mild spice. Drink up for more vanilla and citrus, plus notes of wood, malt, baking spices and brown sugar. Somewhere in the middle a bit of smoke begins to show itself before quickly fading. The finish is quite spicy, but includes more of that thick brown sugar to temper the spice.

This is interesting whisky. It’s not the most balanced Johnnie Walker we’ve tried, but it’s loaded with flavor and complexity. It’s hitting shelves now, so give it a whirl.

– 46% ABV
– $45

CE Rating: ★★★

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