This Game-Changing Spirits Company Has Released Four of the Best Whiskeys to Drink This Winter


On November 29, Vergennes, VT-based independent bottling group Lost Lantern released its 2023 Winter Wednesday Collection, which features four whiskeys made to be enjoyed beside a crackling fireplace as snow coats the trees outside. 

“In Vermont, winter’s embrace can be especially long and cold,” Lost Lantern co-founder Nora Ganley-Roper says. “We hope the whiskies in this collection, designed specifically for the season, will bring some extra warmth and joy to all whiskey lovers during the chilly months ahead.”

A total of seven small distilleries–Cedar Ridge (IA), McCarthy’s (OR), Boulder Spirits (CO), Whiskey Del Bac (AZ), Santa Fe Spirits (NM), St. George Spirits (CA), and Kings County Distillery (NY)—created the new whiskies, which Lost Lantern bottled to bring to a national audience.

On this side of the Atlantic, there aren’t many independent bottlers. But in the UK, there are a slew of companies helping to make and distribute some of the finest brown liquor available. Independent bottlers purchase casks from various distilleries in order to release special single cask bottlings and create blends under its own label. In Scotland, this is often the only way to get certain single malts that either have limited distribution or are used as part of blends for major brands.

Related: 10 Best Bourbons to Drink in 2023

Ganley-Roper and her co-founder Adam Polonski traveled the U.S. in 2018 and 2019 to seek out interesting whiskies with the hopes of bringing that model to the U.S., establishing Lost Lantern in the process. Most of us are only familiar with the spirits behemoths who dominate the whiskey market, filling shelves at local liquor stores and giant spirits chains. Names like Jack Daniels, Buffalo Trace, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Maker’s Mark are familiar to anyone interested enough to be reading this article. But over the last couple decades, the U.S. has gone through a whiskey renaissance. While this is partly due to those major distilleries diversifying their portfolios, small distilleries—and companies like Lost Lantern—played a large part of the industry’s growth.

Lost Lantern launches quarterly offerings filled with whiskeys from California to Colorado to Texas to New Mexico and beyond. Their summer series, the Summer of Bourbon, included eight bottlings from five different states, as well as a blend. The independent bottler’s Winter collection follows their Fall 2023 collection that featured independent brands such as New Riff Distilling (KY) and Still Austin Whiskey Company (TX).

Lost Lantern headquarters in Vergennes, VT.

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Lost Lantern Winter 2023 Collection Lost Lantern Shadow Whiskey Lost Lantern Shadow Whiskey

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  • 500 Bottles
  • 126.3 proof
  • $100 per bottle
  • Distilled by Boulder Spirits (CO), Cedar Ridge (IA), McCarthy’s (OR)

A blend of peated malts from Colorado, Iowa, and Oregon, Lost Lantern Shadow offers a blend of rich oak and deep smoke flavors, with notes of roasted blackberries and plums.

$200 at Seelbach's

Lost Lantern Flame Whiskey Lost Lantern Flame Whiskey

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  • 400 bottles available
  • 113.9 proof
  • $100 per bottle
  • Distilled by Santa Fe Spirits (NM) and Whiskey Del Bac (AZ)

A blend of smoked American whiskies from Whiskey Del Bac in Arizona and Santa Fe Spirits in New Mexico, this blend evokes brightness and warmth with notes of charred oranges, chili chocolate, and smoked meats.

$100 at Seelbach's

Lost Lantern Mountain Meadow Single Malt Whiskey Lost Lantern Mountain Meadow Single Malt Whiskey

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  • 600 bottles available
  • 107 proof
  • $150 per bottle
  • Distilled by St. George Spirits (CA)

Lost Lantern worked with St. George, the oldest craft distillery in the U.S., to create a whiskey that embodies the warmth, bounty, and freshness of California. A blend of four casks, the whiskey is fresh and piney, with hints of Meyer lemon zest, white pepper, cinnamon, and jasmine.

$150 at Seelbach's

Lost Lantern Brooklyn Bakery New York Straight Bourbon Whiskey Lost Lantern Brooklyn Bakery New York Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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  • 396 bottles available
  • 133 proof 
  • $100 per bottle
  • Distilled by Kings County Distillery (NY)

Lost Lantern Brooklyn Bakery is a marriage of eight different barrels of five- and six-year-old Kings County bourbons that were blended to create a powerful, sweet, and spicy straight bourbon. It offers rich dark chocolate notes with hints of pecan pie, graham cracker, blackberry cobbler, and cherry tart.

$100 at Seelbach's

Related: Best Rye Whiskeys to Drink in 2023

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