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96

The Exclusive Malts 13 year old 2002 (cask #20021), 54.2% Price: $135.00

Brand: Exclusive Malts
Category: Irish

This 13 year old malt from central Ireland is an uncommon foray into the Irish whiskey space for the Exclusive Malts Collection. Pure malt is the focus of the nose which supports that malt with tart green apple. On the palate this whiskey is a stunning mix of lush, sweet honey, salt, malt, green apple, and ginger spice. The balance and integration are nothing short of perfect. A long malty finish caps off one of the best Irish whiskeys I’ve had. (U.S. only)
(Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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95

Compass Box The Peat Monster 10th Anniversary Special Cask Strength Bottling, 54.7% Price: $120.00

Brand: Compass Box
Category: Blended Scotch Whisky

As you’d expect, solid peat is the first thing out of the glass, but this isn’t just a peat beast. Underneath are honey, dried fruit, and malt. The palate is all about balance, with honeyed malt, raisin, and oak spice all complementing smoky peat. A lush mouthfeel makes you forget it’s cask strength. A pure love note in a glass from Compass Box to Park Avenue Liquor.  (Park Avenue Liquor only)
(Summer 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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94

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Hunting Hound on Holiday 4.180 24 year old 1989, 51.3% Price: $225.00

Brand: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Category: Single Malt Scotch

From the nose you can tell this is a special whisky, with old, dark, lacquered wood, dusty cigar box, and sea salt combined with dark sweet cherry and a hint of rancio. On the palate it gets even better, with lush, dark cherry perfectly balanced and integrated with oak spice, salt, and peat smoke. There’s clear rancio in the center of it all that's utterly delicious. This stunner finishes with a long, slightly spicy, and entirely lovely finish. (Park Avenue Liquor only)
(Winter 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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93

Exclusive Malts Speyside 25 year old 1989 Cask #3,942, 48.8% Price: $200.00

Brand: Exclusive Malts
Category: Single Malt Scotch

Exclusive Malts doesn't disclose the source distillery, which doesn't matter when you’ve got a whisky that’s a gem. Apple cider defines the nose and is complemented by ginger and iris. On the palate this whisky is lush but well balanced, with honeyed apple cider, gingerbread cookie, and baked apple. In the center of all this is rancio. Ginger spice and baked apple define the finish, which is long and flavorful. Great balance, integration, and flavor. What more can you ask for? (U.S. only)
(Winter 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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93

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Pigs in Plaster 14 year old (#4.1980), 59.1% Price: $140.00

Brand: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Category: Single Malt Scotch

This single cask, distilled at Highland Park, is an excellent example of why distilleries sell off certain casks. On the nose it’s Highland Park's signature sherry and peat, but on the palate it's a beast. Monster peat smoke surfs on a lush layer of berry and malt. This builds to a peak with smoke, salt, and oak spice, bolstered by the high proof. A smoky, dry finish rounds off a monster whisky, different from Highland Park's style, but very interesting. (Julio’s Liquors only)
(Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Orangerie, 40% Price: $45.00

Brand: Compass Box
Category: Flavored Whisky & Liqueurs

Compass Box takes a fresh approach to flavored whisky by infusing Navalino oranges and spices into a blend of Highland single malt and single grain whisky. Bright and slightly bitter orange peel combines with vanilla, honey, and malt. The grain whisky gives nice support and structure along with black pepper, cinnamon, and clove spice. Great balance between the whisky and flavoring in a flavored whisky that is much more dry than sweet. Finally, a flavored whisky to get really excited about.
(Summer 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Bernheim Original 7 year old Straight Wheat, 45% Price: $35.00

Brand: Bernheim
Category: Wheat Whiskey

This select bottling of Bernheim Original comes from Warehouse Y on the 4th floor, and is non-chill filtered. Without the filtering, the nose is notably more expressive and becomes a real showcase for wheat grain, oak spice, caramel, and citrus. On the palate, this whiskey maintains a firm balance between soft and strong, with supple wheat grain entwined with caramel, oak, and cinnamon spice. A long, flavorful finish caps off a well-curated selection of an excellent whiskey. (Julio’s Liquors only)
(Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Tomintoul Reserve 37 year old, 43% Price: $600.00

Brand: Tomintoul
Category: Single Malt Scotch

Not what you’d expect from a malt at this age. Instead of oak dominating the nose, it's citrus in focus, with orange marmalade, candied orange, and even orange blossom. On the palate this whisky is light and delicate, leading with the citrus notes from the nose. This symphony of orange is followed with toffee, ginger, oak, and rancio in a combination that's well balanced and integrated. Unique for its age, a definite treat for those who prefer lighter and more delicate whiskies. (U.S. only, 600 bottles)
(Spring 2015) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Oban Little Bay, 43% Price: $75.00

Brand: Oban
Category: Single Malt Scotch

Finally, an unimpeachable counterpoint to the rally cry against no age statement whisky. Oban Little Bay is everything that Oban 14 is, and more. A rich, fruity, malty nose showcases dried apricot, dark chocolate, and salt. On the palate, Little Bay explodes with flavor, combining malt with orange, chocolate, and blackberry. Clove and oak spice join the party in the mid-palate, which shows superb balance and integration. A long, slightly dry, citrusy spice finish caps off a stunning whisky.
(Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Benjamin Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey, 40% Price: $45.00

Brand: Prichard's
Category: Craft Whiskey

Although the Prichard distillery is located in Lincoln County, it has a special exemption from using the Lincoln County Process and isn’t charcoal filtered.  The nose reflects that with bright aromas including caramel, cinnamon, and oak. The entry is sweet caramel corn followed by soft cinnamon and black pepper with a boost from some oak. A medium, slightly dry finish completes a very flavorful but still extremely easy-drinking Tennessee whiskey. This is the crown jewel of the Prichard distillery line.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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