BHAKTA Spirits Announces Release of Its Annual Bourbon Vintage

Founded by industry maverick Raj Peter Bhakta, BHAKTA Spirits is the world’s preeminent House of Vintages

BHAKTA Spirits unveils is annual bourbon vintage release for 2024

BHAKTA Spirits unveils is annual bourbon vintage release for 2024

BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon underwent a 125-day barrel finish in pedigreed casks of 1973 Armagnac

BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon underwent a 125-day barrel finish in pedigreed casks of 1973 Armagnac

Finished in Pedigreed Casks of ‘73 Armagnac, BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon Faces High Expectations To Surpass Last Year’s Vintage

BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon marries the best of American bravado with true French craft. When we say ‘Drink Vintage,’ this is exactly what we mean.”

— Raj Peter Bhakta

POULTNEY, VERMONT, USA, April 8, 2024 / — Championed by a category-building new brand, single vintage spirits have suddenly shot to prominence. But how does this year’s BHAKTA bourbon vintage release stack up against last year’s surprise industry blockbuster?

BHAKTA Spirits, the world’s preeminent House of Vintages, announced today the launch of its second-ever bourbon vintage, BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon (SRP $149) — solidifying the brand’s signature concept of single-year spirits into a new tradition that will see it offer allocated, collectible vintage releases on an annual basis.

Curated from the global cellars of Whistlepig Whiskey Founder Raj Peter Bhakta, this year’s annual release is a transatlantic coupling of brash American bourbon and exquisite French craftsmanship conceived to showcase the complexity, variability, and nuance that defines the vintage segment. Critics, collectors, and consumers widely see single-year spirits as the next frontier of hyper-specificity and industry innovation; BHAKTA has positioned itself as both the architect and champion of the category.

BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon is a rich, layered, and robust expression of the distillate of just one year’s harvest. After nearly a decade of initial aging, this exquisite single vintage whiskey underwent a 125-day secondary cask finish in ex-French Oak barrels which had previously held BHAKTA 1973 Armagnac (SRP $399) for more than 50 years of extended aging. Finishing casks were selected from the historic cellars of Château BHAKTA in Condom, France; BHAKTA 1973 Armagnac was recently named the “No. 1 Spirit in the World” at 2023’s Ultimate Spirits Challenge. Bottled at 105.4 proof and released at 9 years of age, BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon carries an MGP-distilled mash bill of 99% Corn and 1% Malted Barley.

Demand for last year’s inaugural whiskey vintage, the brand’s highly-awarded BHAKTA 2013 Bourbon, saw the landmark bottling sell out suddenly. The first foray into bourbon from BHAKTA Spirits Founder Raj Peter Bhakta — best known for his handiwork with rye as the founder of category-defining brand WhistlePig Whiskey — last year’s 2013 release went on a veritable awards spree at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge (Chairman’s Trophy, No. 18 Spirit in the World, 97 Points), the L.A. Spirits Awards (Best Whiskey, Best Bourbon, Best Single Barrel Bourbon, Platinum Medal), the North American Bourbon and Whiskey Competition (Highest Rating in the Competition, 97 Points, Double Gold), and the Wine Enthusiast Best 100 Spirits of 2023 (Best Cask-Finished Bourbon). Expectations run high for a repeat performance. How will this year’s drop compare?

For one, there is the inherent element of vintage variation; no two years are ever quite alike in the single-year spirits paradigm pioneered by the Vermont-based brand. And even a corn-driven bourbon raised in the American heartland can’t escape the all-powerful hand of terroir. Capturing a single moment in earthly time, vintages reveal intricate layers of flavor, equal parts exquisite and ephemeral.

“BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon marries the best of American bravado with true French craft,” says Founder Raj Peter Bhakta. “This year’s release is a little richer and even more complex than the 2013 selection, despite it once again being a 99% corn mash bill. This is a bourbon that will make you very happy. When we say ‘Drink Vintage,’ this is exactly what we mean.”

While BHAKTA’s oldest-in-the-world spirits collection offers endless barrel-finishing choices — its cellar contains nearly every Armagnac vintage back to 1868, after all — this year’s cask selection was a foregone conclusion: 1973 Armagnac. One of the House of Vintages’ finest and most highly-awarded entries, 1973 boasts accolades including “Best in Show” from the TAG Global Spirits Awards, 98 Points from the International Wine & Spirits Competition, and 99 Points from the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, where legendary critic F. Paul Pacult crowned it 2023’s “No. 1 Spirit in the World.”

Master Blender Peter Lynch composed the final spirit at the brand’s BHAKTA-GRISWOLD Campus in Poultney, Vermont, guiding the bourbon through a lengthy 125-day cask finish to further enrich its intricate flavor profile. Prior to joining BHAKTA Spirits, Lynch served as the Master Blender of WhistlePig Whiskey.

“This bourbon is quite a unique lot — these barrels were low yield, high flavor, and begging for just a little something more,” says Master Blender Peter Lynch. “After slumbering in our 1973 Armagnac casks throughout the winter, the result is nothing short of exquisite.”

Whether BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon exceeds the success and status of last year’s blockbuster 2013 vintage remains to be seen. Collectors will debate. Bottle hunters will compete. Passions may flare. Only the spirit of time knows all.

About BHAKTA 2014 Bourbon (SRP $149)

—Second-ever annual bourbon release from BHAKTA’s House of Vintages

—Aged 9 Years

—125-Day Cask Finish in Acclaimed 1973 Vintage Armagnac Casks

—Proofed at 105.4

—99% Corn, 1% Malted Barley mash bill distilled at MGP

—1500 Case Limited Release

Tasting Notes

—Aspect: Deep, Rich Amber

—Nose: Grassy & Herbaceous; Toasted Oak & Caramel

—Palate: Spicy Attack; Charred Oak, Maraschino, & Maple Syrup

—Finish: Oak Spice; Sweet Almond & Raisin Rum Cake

About BHAKTA Spirits

BHAKTA Spirits is the world’s preeminent House of Vintages. Founded by visionary entrepreneur Raj Peter Bhakta — also the founder of WhistlePig Whiskey — BHAKTA offers a luxury craft spirits portfolio of limited-release Single Vintage whiskeys, brandies, rums, and more, anchored by its ancient and awe-inspiring Armagnac holdings dating back to 1868. An innovator in the experiential hospitality space on a quest to help guests “Find Their Spirit,” BHAKTA’s destinations include historic properties in France, Vermont, and Florida. BHAKTA Spirits is headquartered on its BHAKTA-GRISWOLD Campus in Poultney, VT, the former site of Green Mountain College.

Andrew Lohse
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