Old Carter Announces 12 And 27-Year Old American Whiskeys

Very Old Carter 27-Year American Whiskey and Old Carter 12-Year American Whiskey.
Very Old Carter 27-Year American Whiskey and Old Carter 12-Year American Whiskey.

Old Carter Whiskey Co. has announced their first two expressions of American Whiskey, and one comes with an impressive age statement. Very Old Carter 27-Year Old American Whiskey and its 12-year old younger sibling will arrive on shelves in time for the holidays.

Very Old Carter will be released at barrel strength and from one of three single barrels. After aging 27 years, the yield is as low as you’d imagine, averaging less than 50 bottles per barrel. The proof will vary between the barrels as well, but they will be uncut and unfiltered (as is everything we’ve seen from Old Carter thus far).

“As soon as we discovered these rare 27-year old barrels, we knew that they were very special and we wanted to work with them,” says Old Carter Proprietress Sherri Carter, who founded the brand with husband Mark Carter earlier this year. “We knew we had to share them with the world soon, before the Angels took them all away! We chose to release these 27-year olds at barrel strength out of respect for their maturity and character, even though there are very few bottles in each barrel. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, and we are humbled to be able to experience it.”

When it comes to taste, the Carters compare the whiskey with a fine armagnac or cognac. “[They’re] complex, aromatic, rich and nutty with chocolate, toffee wrapped in spice, and velvety soft sassafras. We are in love with the incredible richness that these barrels offer. You get a hint of their age, but they are youthful beyond belief!” notes Mark Carter.

Old Carter 12-year American Whiskey will share a mashbill with its 27-year old sister and is bottled at 134.9 proof.  This small batch blend has notes of “crackling creme brûlée, root beer and red hots, candied bacon, a smack of leather, a whiff of tobacco and then toasted hazelnuts at the very end,” says Sherri.

“Mark and I are always in pursuit of a certain balance when it comes to flavor profile; I love aromatics and complexity, he loves power and depth. We feel that this American Whiskey delivers on all of those levels,” she notes of the 12-year release.

The two American Whiskey releases follow two batches of rye and one of bourbon, totaling five new bottlings in less than a year from the brand. While they don’t plan to maintain that pace (their 2019 calendar has only three releases scheduled, beginning with Batch 3 of Old Carter Rye next spring), they’re always willing to surprise fans if they feel a barrel is prime for bottling.

“We did not intend to release two at once,” explains Mark of the dual release. “This Fall we were working on blends for our 12 Year American Whiskey, and simply fell in love with one of the blends of the small batch as well as the older single barrels. It just made sense to let them go out into the world together. We understand that the 27 year old will be in limited quantities, so we’re hoping that the release of the 12 year small batch at the same time will allow more of our friends to experience our American Whiskey. You might think of them as a Sister Release.”

Both the 12 and 27-year bottles come from the same high corn mashbill, and will be sold only in Kentucky. Less than 150 bottles of Very Old Carter 27-Year American Whiskey will be available for an MSRP of $550. Exactly 1396 bottles of Old Carter 12-Year American Whiskey will be available at an MSRP of $180.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.