New Bourbon Whiskeys To Track Down This December

While October and November were the peak months for new whiskeys releases, don’t discount December as a month for banger, last-minute drops. The end of the year always sees some killer bottles sneak onto shelves just as folks get desperate for a last-minute gift.

That means there’s some great new bourbon out there for you to try. Right now and all through the holidays!

Below, I’m calling out ten bottles of the good stuff that hit shelves recently — most of these are brand new drops (some literally within the past couple of days) with a few dropped a month or two ago that are hitting shelves more widely just in time for the holidays. They’re all new, fresh, and worth checking out.

I didn’t rank these since there’s a massive swath of bourbons reviewed on this list. It’s not really fair ranking a $60 bottle against one that’s so rare it’ll cost thousands on the aftermarket. They’re just in different leagues. That all said, this list is full of great bourbons that speak to winter vibes and gift-giving. There are even a few that are sure to win some big medals on the awards circuit next spring, so let’s dive in!

Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Bourbon Posts Of The Last Six Months

Fortuna Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Fortuna Bourbon
Rare Character Whiskey

ABV: 51%

Average Price: $85

The Whiskey:

This whiskey — a revival of a centuries-old dead brand — is from the new company founded by Heaven Hill’s Andrew Shapira with partners Pablo Moix and Peter Nevenglosky, based around the Rare Character Whiskey shingle. The whiskey in the bottle is rendered from six barrels of six-year-old whiskey that’s expertly batched and bottled with just a touch of local Kentucky water.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a beautiful sense of fresh orange blossom and nasturtiums on the nose with a lush honeycomb vibe next to stewed plums with hints of clove and allspice. The palate is luxurious with a sense of salted caramel, cherry Dr. Pepper, and sticky toffee pudding with plenty of winter spice, salted toffee, orange zest, brandy butter, and black-tea-soaked dated. The end has a sense of plum pudding with burnt sugars and orange tobacco kissed with anise and clove and rolled up with wild sage and cedar bark and wrapped in old leather pouches.

Bottom Line:

This is one of those whiskeys that was technically released back in September but is only hitting shelves now (I finally spotted them in the wild just last week at my local Total Wine). That all aside, this is fantastic whiskey that’s created for true bourbon lovers. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s truly a love letter to bourbon.

Breckenridge Bourbon Whiskey 2022 Holiday Blend

Breckenridge Blend
Breckenridge Distillery

ABV: 43%

Average Price: $46

The Whiskey:

This high-rye bourbon from out in Colorado was blended especially for the holiday season this year. The juice is rested for three years high up in the mountains before it’s batched and cut with that iconic Colorado Rocky Mountain glacial water for bottling.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a real sense of fresh butterscotch on the nose with a sense of orange dark chocolate balls, apple cider, and a nice sharp cinnamon and clove spiciness. The palate has an echo of that orange dark chocolate with a brown sugar sweetness and a touch of powdery white pepper and ground cinnamon. The end has a slight minerally edge with a dash more pepper and butterscotch next to apple cider spiked with cinnamon and orange.

Bottom Line:

This is perfectly nice. It’s like a warm wintery spiked drink with a bourbon kick that’s a perfect stocking stuffer bottle.

New Liberty Bloody Butcher 100% PA Bourbon Whiskey

New Liberty
New Liberty

ABV: 47.5%

Average Price: $62

The Whiskey:

This Pennsylvania bourbon starts off with Bloody Butcher corn sourced from Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown, PA, only 25 miles from the distillery. The malted rye and malted barley are also local and sourced from the Deer Creek Malthouse. Those grains combine to make this unique red corn bourbon that then rests for nine years before it’s batched, proofed, and bottled.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a subtle milk chocolate on the nose that leads to buttery toffee and old leather gloves next to orchards full of fruit and bark. The palate leans into apricot jam and marmalade with a touch of buttermilk biscuit and dry wild sage next to cinnamon bark and clove buds. There’s a creamy nutmeg vibe near the end that leads to a milk chocolate tobacco finish with a whisper of dry cedar bark and earthy dry moss.

Bottom Line:

There’s a nice earthiness to this one thanks to that ruddy corn base. The overall vibe is mildly sweet and unique, making this a good bourbon for someone looking to try something a little different.

Laws Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon Batch #2

Laws Cognac Finish
Laws Whiskey House

ABV: 47.5%

Average Price: $80

The Whiskey:

This four-grain bourbon starts with standard aging for two years in new American oak. The barrels that hit just the right mark are then batched and re-filled into cognac casks for additional mellowing. Once those barrels hit the right flavor profile, the whiskey is vatted into a 50-year-old French oak foeder (huge barrel, basically) where it rests for a spell before bottling. That foeder is never fully emptied, creating heritage to all the bourbon that passes through it year after year.

Tasting Notes:

This season’s nose has a sense of Earl Grey tea leaves just touched with champagne next to stewed plums and apples with a sense of Saigon cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg, and ground allspice. The palate is rich and lush with an apple butter thickness and spice next to singed cedar bark and apple bark over rum-raisin, creamy eggnog, and a whisper of pear. The end has a creamy and lush vibe that leans into vanilla and nog with a whisper of holiday cake imbued tobacco rolled with cellar oak and rich caramel sauce.

Bottom Line:

There were just north of 2,300 filled this year. That makes this a fleeting release that’s worth chasing down, especially if you’re into cognac finishes on your bourbon.

Frey Ranch Malted Grain Series 100% Malted Corn Bourbon Whiskey

Frey Ranch Malted Series
Frey Ranch

ABV: 55%

Average Price: $59

The Whiskey:

This whiskey is a unique concept from out in Nevada. The bourbon is made with 100% malted corn that’s grown and malted at Frey Ranch. That corn has to be grown in the summer to save it from frost. Once fermented and distilled, the hot juice rested for exactly five years and 10 months before it was batched and bottled as-is with a touch of local water.

Tasting Notes:

The nose on this one is wild — it meanders through floral and citrus forward notes that are kind of like an old-school West Coast IPA with dank hoppiness next to savory melon, dry smudging sage, and a hint of lard-filled tamales. The palate leans into fresh honeycombs next to orange and grapefruit peels soaked in apple cider with a fleeting sense of anise. The end really leans into the floral and citrus dank with an underlying sense of a corn field right after the harvest when everything is still green.

Bottom Line:

This is out there and delicious. It’s very unique though, so don’t expect a classic Kentucky cherry bomb. That said, if you love a good dank West Coast IPA, this is the perfect pairing partner.

Uncle Nearest Single Barrel Premium Whiskey Barrel No. 007

Uncle Nearest Single Barrel
Uncle Nearest

ABV: 60.5%

Average Price: $79

The Whiskey:

This new single barrel release — so new that’s it still pre-order only — is made with juice distilled, aged, and bottled at the Nearest Green Distillery in central Tennessee. The single barrels are chosen for their exact flavor profile and greatness and bottled completely as-is with no filtration or cutting with water to maintain that barrel’s greatness in the bottle.

Tasting Notes:

The nose opens with a strong sense of rich and dark cacao powder next to burnt caramels, black licorice, old vanilla pods, and old leather boots with a whisper of fresh nutmeg and clove lurking beneath. The palate has a lush salted caramel vibe with a rich sense of honey loaded with cinnamon sticks and a black cherry cola before a pinch of black pepper arrives. The end has a cream soda feel with spiced winter nut cakes and minced meat pies over a Cherry Coke cut with chocolate sauce that’s just kissed with chili pepper tobacco.

Bottom Line:

This is pretty damn delicious and sure to win all the awards next year.

Pursuit United Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished with Toasted American and French Oak

Pursuit United
Pursuit United

ABV: 54%

Average Price: $75

The Whiskey:

The latest release from the Bourbon Pursuit team is a blend of four to six-year-old bourbons. The three bourbons involved are a Finger Lakes whiskey (70/20/10 corn/rye/malted barley), an MGP bourbon (60/36/4 corn/rye/malted barley), and an undisclosed Tennessee whiskey (80/10/10 corn/rye/malted barley). Those whiskeys were finished in both American and French toasted oak barrels before batching and bottling with a touch of Kentucky water.

Tasting Notes:

Dark chocolate nut clusters (pecan and walnut heavy) mix with burnt orange, a hint of mulled wine, and rum-raising with an echo of fresh cedar on the nose. The palate has a sense of Nutella over scones with a Cherry Coke on the side while singed cedar and cherry bark mingle with clove-studded oranges and a hint of freshly cracked black pepper. The end has a nice spicy warmth and a touch more of that singed wood next to spicy cherry tobacco.

Bottom Line:

This feels like a quintessential bourbon. It’s a great sipper but really feels like it’d make a killer Manhattan with all that spiciness and cherry.

Rabbit Hole Raceking Cask Strength Double Chocolate Malt Bourbon

Rabbit Hole Raceking
Rabbit Hole

ABV: 54.9%

Average Price: $1,599

The Whiskey:

This rare release from Rabbit Hole is a five-grain bourbon that’s made with some unique grains. The standouts are chocolate malted wheat from Germany (4%) and chocolate malted barley (3%) from the U.K. combined with 70% corn, 13% rye, and 10% malted rye. That juice rests in Kentucky until it’s just right for batching and bottling completely as-is in only 1.365 bottles.

Tasting Notes:

The nose is brimming with dark chocolate cut with hazelnut, chili pepper, and orange with a molasses sweetness over cinnamon toast with a hint of sharp spearmint and maple. The palate has a sense of that hazelnut tied to cinnamon bark and black cherry tobacco with a sense of firewood bark resting in rich black dirt next to dry dark chocolate just flaked with salt. The end has a sense of old boot leather and cedar chocolate boxes just emptied and refilled with spiced cherry tobacco and eggnog-infused espresso beans.

Bottom Line:

This is a masterpiece whiskey.

Parker’s Heritage 16th Edition Double Barreled Blend 13 & 15-Year-Old

Parker's Heritage 16th Edition
Heaven Hill

ABV: 66.1%

Average Price: $175 (MSRP)

The Whiskey:

This year’s Parker’s Heritage starts off with Heaven Hill’s classic bourbon mash bill of 78% corn, 10% rye, and 12% malted barley. From there, it’s all about where and how that whiskey aged. The lion’s share, 67% of the blend, comes from a 13-year-old double-barreled bourbon from the 5th-7th floors of Rickhouse Q. 33% of the blend comes from a 15-year-old bourbon that was aged on the 2nd and 5th floors of Rickhouse II. Those barrels were batched and then bottled 100% as-is without any filtering or proofing.

Tasting Notes:

Salted toffee rolled in almonds and dark chocolate is packed into an old oak stave chocolate box and wrapped with old leather and caramel tobacco with a fleeting sense of dried ancho chilis and sour cherry juice next to singed hickory. The palate has a deep woody winter spiciness — cinnamon bark, whole nutmeg, star anise, allspice berries — next to sweet oak and dry sweetgrass with a mild sense of cherry cream soda and salted black licorice over woody tobacco. The end leans towards a sweet and salted dark chocolate with a rummy plum pudding full of dark spice and dried fruits with a fleeting sense of that dried chili on the very back end with some very old oak and leather.

Bottom Line:

This is a great addition to the Parker’s Heritage lineup. It’s deep, complex, and murky even with this rich bourbon-y heritage shining through in every nose and sip.

George Dickel Tennessee Whisky Reserve Cask Strength Aged 17 Years

George Dickel 17

ABV: 46%

Average Price: $350

The Whisky:

George Dickel 17 is back! This whiskey is made from Dickel’s classic Tennessee mash of 84% corn, 8% rye, and 8% malted barley. That hot juice is then left to rest in a single-story warehouse in Cascade Hollow for 17 long years. Finally, the perfect barrels were picked for batching and bottling completely as-is — yes, this is cask strength at 46%.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a sense of old oak staves in a dank cellar on the nose next to creamy vanilla and burnt sugars over an old rye sourdough (the stuff you get in Europe from a real bakery) with stewed apricots and plums with saffron, star anise, and cardamom with a whisper of caraway. The palate opens with a rich and spiced plum jam over scones with brandy butter and crème brûlée on the side accented by juniper and clove and a whisper of burnt orange and marzipan. The end is lush and full of creamy nuttiness that leads to an old cedar box full of winter spiced pipe tobacco with a mild chewiness and booze-soaked fruit cakes from the old country.

Bottom Line:

This is a truly exquisite whisky from Nicole Austin and ends the year on a massively high note.