03/03/2011 07:53 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

My Oh My! Three New Bourbons (And A Rye)!

I could make up some reasons why March is the best time of year to drink whiskey. It's nice to have a bourbon while watching Kentucky play during March Madness? An Old Fashioned is a great way to celebrate the first day of spring? A rye Manhattan is just what small business owners need after they've finished filing their corporate tax returns on March 15?

All of the above are true, but really, any time is a good time to drink whiskey. And since several new brands have hit the market in the last couple of months, there's yet another excuse to sip the amber nectar -- research. If you don't have the time, money or inclination to tear yourself away from your tried-and-true favorites, I've selflessly researched a bunch of them myself. Hey, it's the least I can do for fellow whiskey lovers.

Here are four of the more exciting whiskeys (three bourbons and a rye, to be precise) that are new to the shelves of your local booze emporium.

My Oh My! Three New Bourbons (And A Rye)!


There are plenty of new whiskeys on tap for the coming months (wait, can a whiskey be "on tap"?). I've had a chance to try two. May promises the release of Jim Beam's Devil's Cut bourbon. Apparently, the folks at Beam have figured out how to remove the bourbon that's been absorbed by the oak barrels in which it rests during the aging process. No idea how they do it, but I can tell you this -- it tastes mighty woody, and quite smoky for a bourbon as well. Interesting stuff.

And the folks at Ransom Spirits (helmed by mad genius distiller Tad Seestedt) are working on a new whiskey, wisely dubbed Ransom Whiskey, based on a mashbill for Irish whiskey dating back to 1871. It's an interesting mix of barley, rye, and a little bit of oat, which you won't encounter much in whiskey nowadays. The mix is delicious and, thanks to the oats, quite unlike anything I've had before. The whiskey hasn't finished aging (it's only been in the barrel for a few months), but even at this tender age you can tell it's going to be special.

Have you tried any exciting new bourbons, ryes, or any other spirits that strike your fancy? Had a sneak preview of upcoming editions? Disagree with the reviews here? Chime in at the "Comments" section -- your two cents are encouraged.