We recently released our Spring 2021 Single Cask Collection! This release, Lost Lantern’s second cohort, consists of five different single cask whiskies: three mesquite-smoked single malts from Whiskey Del Bac in Tucson, Arizona, a straight Bourbon from Balcones in Waco, Texas, and a straight rye from New York Distilling Co. in Brooklyn. All five are cask strength and non-chill-filtered, and their labels not only proudly state the distillery name, they explain why we’re excited about that distillery and that particular cask. We are very proud of our transparency!
But there’s one other thing you’ll notice about our labels for this release once you actually have a bottle in hand.
All five releases from our Spring 2021 Single Cask Collection say they’re from 2020. The Balcones bourbon, for instance, isn’t just labeled as Single Cask #8. It’s labeled as 2020 Single Cask #8. Zoom in on the image above, just above the ABV, and you’ll see.
Yet here they are, launching in April 2021. What gives, Lost Lantern?! Don’t you know what year it is?
Our Foiled Pre-Pandemic Plan Revealed
The answer rounds down to one word: COVID-19. The pandemic has had truly devastating and deadly effects across the United States and the world in the last year. Even beyond the death toll, which continues to rise, the pandemic has disrupted the routines of life all across the country. We have felt some of those effects ourselves, and we’re sure every one of you has as well.
We launched Lost Lantern on October 15, 2020. That was actually about six months later than we originally planned to launch it. We were fully geared up and ready to launch Lost Lantern American Vatted Malt and our first four single casks in April 2020. And then the coronavirus pandemic began, the world was thrown into uncertainty, and most of the United States shut down.
Yeah, April 2020 wasn’t a good time to launch a whiskey brand. So we didn’t. It was a pretty easy decision. We had to make tougher ones, like canceling our own wedding!
By October, the world had changed and we were able to pivot from a limited launch in a few states to a “sneak peek” online launch that actually let us reach more states than we ever could have otherwise.
But anyway… the launch lineup was supposed to come out in April, but the labels didn’t say April, they said 2020. So it wasn’t an issue. But what is now our Spring 2021 Single Cask Collection, was originally supposed to come out last summer! All the labels were already printed!
With the pandemic, they got pushed back until now. And what was once the Summer 2020 Single Cask Collection became the Spring 2021 Single Cask Collection.
But we chose not to reprint the labels. First off, that felt environmentally wasteful. Second, labels for small single cask releases are surprisingly expensive. We didn’t want to have to bump up the price on these by a few dollars just to update one single digit on the front label. And third, we think it’s important to acknowledge the effect that the pandemic has had—on everyone. 2020 and 2021 have not been normal years. They were not normal to live through, and they won’t be remembered as normal years even decades from now.
So our Spring 2021 Single Cask Collection has 2020 labels. You have our permission to use a fancy pen to change it to 2021 if you want. But now that you know why we didn’t change them, we hope you understand why.
The Future of 2020, Today
What about our next releases? Well, there was also going to be a Fall 2020 Single Cask Collection before the pandemic upended everything. Those casks were also ready to go–but the labels weren’t printed yet. So those will be labeled correctly. But… and here’s a little tease for those who read through long blog posts about minutiae… we actually do have ONE other cask that was already bottled with its original 2020 labels.
It will be even more confusing, because it is labeled as 2020 Single Cask #13. There is no 2020 #10, #11, or #12. That would’ve been the Fall 2020 Single Cask Collection. But this cask was originally going to come out after those, so it got lucky number 13 even though we bottled it first.
This cask is not part of the Spring 2021 Single Cask Collection, and this is the first time we’ve mentioned it publicly. When will it come out? All I can say is that it won’t be in 2020—no matter what the label says.