As we bide our time awaiting an official designation for American single malt whiskey, distilleries in the U.S. have nevertheless been releasing their own bottles of the Scotch-influenced spirit. Of course, American bourbon or whiskey is typically made from corn or rye bases, with some malted barley thrown into the mashbills, but whiskey that’s predominantly barley-based is few and far between…for now. Among the biggest proponents of the category is the Macklowe, whose Black Edition: Private Collection was touted as the first luxury American single malt on the market when it launched a few years back. Well, those bottles go for upwards of $1,500. Now, the private label producer has finally unveiled a more “accessible” version of the liquid. Although it’ll still cost you more than two bills.
As opposed to the Black Edition, which is aged for nine years, the Macklowe’s Kentucky Gold Edition is aged for almost four, which allows certain notes of youth to shine through, such as ginger, tropical fruit, and honey. Unlike Scotch whiskey, which is typically aged in ex-bourbon or -sherry oak casks, the barrels used for Macklowe Gold are brand new — just like the ones used for bourbon are required to be — and charred to a level 3 as well. In all, this spirit may be reminiscent of Scotch but will be distinctly in its own class. Distilled and aged in Kentucky in small batches, the single malt whiskey is encased in a beautiful gold-framed bottle.
With the first Black Edition release just a few years ago, the Macklowe is the brainchild of Julie Macklowe, who had been a longtime whiskey collector and one of just 200 certified Whiskey Ambassadors worldwide. Seeking to fill a gap in the crowded market, she did her research and partnered with renowned Scotch blender Ian MacMillan on her new idea. Since then, the Black Edition has become a coveted bottle in the whiskey world, and we can expect the Gold Edition to do the same — although it’s considerably less expensive.
For the first time, pre-orders for Kentucky Gold Edition are available from the Macklowe’s website for $250, with a 6-bottle limit per person.