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Top 10 spirits launches in May

May was a great month for spirits launches, with innovations in nearly every category, from a vodka made from agave to an NFT Tequila.

Top 10 spirits launches in May
A collaboration with a former rock band frontman was among launches in May

There were also launches with big price tags, such as a Scotch totalling £25,000 (US$31,329) and an Irish whiskey priced at €15,000 (US$16,300).

Here are our top 10 spirits launches from May.

Quarter Proof Three Grain Spirit

Quarter Proof Three Grain Spirit

Quarter Proof has been making spirits with lower ABVs for a few years now, but its third release – a ‘Three Grain Spirit’ that is made with vodka – coincides with a complete brand refresh.

The new release blends three UK-grown grain distillates to create a 15% ABV expression with a ‘spicy’ finish.

Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky’s Journey of the Octave

Duncan Taylor Journey of the Octave May release

Independent bottler Duncan Taylor has taken a unique approach to the ideas of small batch through its Journey of the Octave range. The brand has been re-casking whiskies in tiny octave casks. It believes that the second maturation adds character to the flavour profile, and even provides pre-octave samples alongside each purchase so consumers can taste the difference for themselves.

Few Smashing Pumpkins Bourbon

FEW Smashing Pumpkins May release

If you’re a fan of 90s alternative rock, Few Spirits has just the whiskey for you. The Illinois craft distillery has collaborated with the band’s frontman, Billy Corgan, who now runs a tea shop with his wife (rock’n’roll).

The whiskey is a four-year-old straight Bourbon that’s been proofed to 46.5% ABV using Midnight Rose black tea, offering ripe honeydew, vanilla and rose water on the nose, with sandalwood, caramel and black tea on the palate.

Avión Lucky Liquid

Avion Tequila

A few years ago blockchain technology was all the rage, but now that the hype has died down, we’re starting to see how it can be implemented into the spirits industry. Pernod Ricard-owned Avión has partnered with NFT platform BlockBar to accommodate verification of its latest release, an extra añejo Tequila matured in a single ex-Mexican Cabernet Sauvignon wine cask. Just 100 bottles are available, with the liquid allegedly having been forgotten about in a cellar for years.


SENSES_Five Whiskey Line-Up

When it comes to whisky tasting notes, we’re all used to considering the five basic flavours. But Irish whiskey brand Egan’s has gone one step further by creating five single malts based on each of the five foundational tastes. Senses is a collection of five 23-year-old expressions, with each finished in a different cask designed to showcase one particular flavour, such as a recharred cask that previously held Imperial Stout for the Bitter edition.

Benriach 50 Years Old

Benriach 50 Years Old

If you’re heading to the airport this month and have a spare £25,000 (US$31,329), keep your eyes peeled for Benriach’s oldest whisky to date. Only five are available in travel retail, so you better be fast.

The Bourbon cask was filled in 1966 and bottled after 50 years at 44.5% ABV. Tasting notes include aromas of oak, chestnut and Maraschino cherry, with honeyed dates and delicate oak spices on the palate.

Sipsmith Dear Low-Dykes Gin

Sipsmith Dear Low Dykes Gin May

After winning Sipsmith’s cocktail competition, Cygnus, last year, Sam Wilkes-Green has worked with the brand to translate his winning cocktail recipe into a gin. The result is Sipsmith Dear Low-Dykes Gin, which includes ingredients such as bay leaf, bee pollen, black, green, and pink peppercorns, as well as grapefruit and lemon peel. Only 260 bottles are available.

Teeling 40 Years Old

Teeling 40YO

The second super-old, super-pricey expression in this list comes from Irish whiskey producer Teeling. Just 140 bottles of Teeling 40 Years Old are available, with it said to be one of the oldest bottlings of Irish single malt ever released. It’ll set you back €15,000 (US$16,300) for a 700ml bottle – but can you really put a price on a “rare piece of Irish whiskey history”?

L’Époque Cognac

L’Époque Cognac

Most Cognac houses are centuries old, with nearly 200-year-old Courvoisier the youngest of the big four brands. But May saw the launch of a brand-new Cognac brand, L’Époque, which takes historical art movements as its inspiration. The producer likened creating the ‘perfect’ Cognac to ‘painting or composing a masterpiece’ – and it seemed the judges at The Cognac Masters 2024 agreed, awarding the brand a Gold and a Master medal.

Weber Ranch 1902 Vodka

Round 2 Spirits

There’s a lot of chat about alternative agave spirits that could rival Tequila, but vodka doesn’t usually come up in that conversation. Texas-based producer Round 2 Spirits hopes to change that narrative with its debut product, a vodka crafted from Mexican Blue Weber agave. The brand’s master distiller claims that the expression is “unmistakably a vodka”, but the agave adds “subtle, smooth flavour notes of tropical fruit and citrus”.

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