Occasionally we like to put together a list of some unique bourbons, ryes, or other whiskeys that aren’t in the NC ABC system. Either North Carolina doesn’t have a relationship with the right distributors, or the distillery isn’t distributing to our state yet. This can happen with small releases, regional distilleries, and allocated products.
So without further ado, here are some recommendations for some great bourbons you could buy online or out of state, but not in North Carolina. Pro tip: order them with gift-wrapping and ship directly to your friends.
This is also a “monthly” series, but I skipped October and November. Check out August and September recommendations, as well.
Five Whiskeys You Can’t Buy in NC
1. Warbringer Bourbon
Warbringer. What a name. This brand of bourbon touts itself as “Southwest Bourbon”. Other notable distilleries in the region include Smoke Wagon and High West. Warbringer is Mesquite Smoked, strong and unique. It’s not too strong, at 98 Proof (49% ABV), and rates an 85 on distiller with a user rating of 4.1 stars. Based out of Oxnard, California, NC probably won’t be getting this anytime soon. But that’s okay, because as of today (December 10th, 2020) you can pre-order Warbringer for $60 on Mash & Grape.
2. Pinhook Rye Humor Cask Strength
We featured this one back in August but I’m reiterating the recommendation because I believe in it that much. I always like to include Pinhook in these lists if I can, because it’s one of my favorite distillers, and I’m continually sad that I can’t find them here in North Carolina. This offering, Pinhook Rye Humor Cask Strength is strong expression of a beautiful rye. This batch is the first cask-strength rye offering from Pinhook, and is a blend of only 65 select barrels (blended by Castle & Key in Frankfort, Kentucky). For a Cask Strength rye, it’s pretty affordable at only $54.99.
3. Barrell Vatted Malt
Barrell is surely a brand you’ve seen in North Carolina, with either their Infinite Barrel Project, Cask Strength Rye, or Bourbon expressions. Barrell Vatted Malt hasn’t made it here yet, but it’s an interesting expression that really tries to highlight the best of American Single Malt whiskey. In that, it’s a blend of exclusively American Single Malt whiskey from distilleries in six different states:
• Balcones Distillery, Waco, Texas
• Hamilton Distillers Del Bac, Tucson, Arizona
• MGP, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
• Harvest Distillery, Valatie, New York
• Santa Fe Distillery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
• Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn, New York
This is a unique experience that will be interesting to both bourbon and scotch fans. It’s $84 on Mash and Grape, and likely worth it if you like to experiment with new whiskeys. Check it out.
4. Fistful Of Bourbon
Your budget bottle this month is Fistful Of Bourbon. It’s only $29.99, and it should be worth the taste. William Grant & Son’s has been blending scotches for over 100 years, and is one of the largest whiskey companies in Scotland. Fistful of Bourbon is their first ever bourbon blend, mixing five different bourbons to create a smooth, easy, budget friendly daily drinker. Grab this one while you can.
5. New Riff Bottled-In-Bond
New Riff Distilling is another one of those labels I hope we’ll see in NC soon. Their distribution is pretty wide, they just haven’t quite made their way to the NC ABC system yet. Their Bottled-In-Bond offering is a classic, smooth 100 proofer (50% ABV). It’s also on the more affordable side, so it’s a great unique bottle to break out with your friends. The mashbill is all non-GMO, and is 30% rye, so it has a lot of character. It also hasn’t been chill-filtered, which lends itself to plenty of color, aroma, and flavor. Shop it now.
Save on Shipping
Shipping costs for whiskey can add up, because it’s heavy and needs special packaging. Whenever I place an order like this, I like to try and order at least two bottles, because shipping cost per bottle goes down as quantity increases. If my budget doesn’t love that idea, I’ll call up some local friends and we’ll place one order together. Teamwork!
What bourbons out there do you wish were available in NC? Any you think we’ll see soon?