Your search returned 902 results.

97 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, 'Golden Anniversary', 50%

This bottling celebrates master distiller Parker Beam's 50 years of service by including whiskey from each of the past five decades. This is a fabulous whiskey: seamless and incredibly complex, with an impeccable marriage of youth and maturity. It’s also very even-keeled throughout -- quite different than last year’s equally impressive PHC, a 27 year old, whose personality was more like an exhilarating old wooden rollercoaster ride (and also brandished more oak). Look for candied citrus, nectarine, blueberry, and sultana anchored by a nougat center, laced with honeyed vanilla and orange creamsicle. There’s a dusting of cocoa powder, brittle mint, and cinnamon, too. Tobacco leaves, polished leather, and teasing bourbon barrel char round out the palate, emerging more prominently towards a warming finish. A classic!

Reviewed by: (Fall 2009)

96 points

Jefferson's Presidential Select (Batch #1), 1991 Vintage, 17 year old, 47%

A wheated bourbon from the old Stitzel-Weller distillery. A gentle, richly-textured whiskey, loaded with fruit and spice. Black raspberry jam, caramel apple, and papaya, along with warming cinnamon and subtle teaberry, on nutty toffee, nougat, and creamy vanilla. Spicy, polished oak finish. Superbly balanced, sophisticated, and very drinkable. An outstanding whiskey!

Reviewed by: (Winter 2009)

96 points

Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch, 55.7%

A marriage of four different bourbons, ranging from 11 to 17 years old. This, to me, is benchmark Four Roses: subtly complex, vibrant, yet fully matured, with well-defined flavors of bramble, dry citrus, soft creamy vanilla, caramel, marzipan, allspice, a hint of cinnamon, and subtle cedar-aged cigar tobacco. Soft, clean, polished oak finish. A very versatile bourbon! Your decision shouldn’t be whether to buy it, but rather how much water to add.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

96 points

George T. Stagg, 71.4%

Another excellent Stagg, and considering its alcohol level, it’s also a good value if you can get it at this price. Notes of toffee, pot still rum, nougat, dates, tobacco, roasted nuts, polished oak, and leather. Great depth and nicely balanced. A masculine bourbon of character and structure.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

96 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 1994 vintage, 47%

A crisp, robust, very dynamic bourbon. Amber-orange marmalade color. Spicy, with notes of cinnamon, spearmint, and Earl Grey tea. The spice is balanced nicely by thick toffee, rhum agricole, caramel apple, and bright citrus, with a polished leather finish. There have been some great Birthday Bourbons, but I think this is the best one to date. A whiskey deserving classic status.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2008)

96 points

John E. Fitzgerald Very Special Reserve 20 year old, 45%

Distilled at the now legendary Stitzel-Weller distillery. Rich aromas of vanilla toffee, marzipan, cocoa, nutmeg and cinnamon. Similar follow-through on the palate, with black raspberry, maple syrup, teaberry, and dusty dried corn thrown into the mix. Warming cinnamon and polished oak on the finish. The sweet notes balance and integrate nicely with the oak. An exemplary rendition of an ultra-aged wheated bourbon. Price is per 375 ml. Editor's Choice.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

96 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, 27 year old, 48%

Very well-balanced and mellow on the nose and palate.  Sweet notes of mature dark rum, toffee, nougat, and candy corn dovetail with dried apricot, golden raisin, hot cinnamon, soft mint tea, and vanilla.  Polished leather and tobacco leaves on a long, contemplative finish.  This is what ultra-mature bourbon should taste like: all the depth and complexity that comes with this much aging, without all the excessive oak.  The wood is there, but it never crosses the line.  The next closest Heaven Hill bourbon in age is the Evan Williams 23 year old for the export market.  There's no comparison.  The Evan Williams 23 year old is way past its prime.  This Parker's Heritage Collection has it easily beat.  In fact, this Parker's shows less oak and lethargy on the finish than the 129.6 proof expression of last year's inaugural 1996 vintage Parker's Heritage Collection, a whisky less than half its age.  (There were three different expressions, and I thought the other two were outstanding).
Parker Beam chose these whiskeys from the third floor of Warehouse U.  Given that the whiskeys were low in the warehouse, the average summer high temperatures were 6-10 degrees cooler than the top floor; helping to slow the aging process and the oak influence.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2008)

96 points

George T. Stagg, 69.05%

No age statement, but distilled in 1998. A beautiful expression of Stagg, and a lot of bourbon for your buck. Easy to drink with the addition of water, showing caramel, nougat, dates, dark chocolate, polished oak, along with a hint of leather and tobacco. Slightly better than last year’s release—richer, thicker, and more balanced. I’m enjoying Stagg’s more rounded, less aggressive demeanor of late. A classic! Editor's Choice.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

96 points

Elijah Craig Barrel No. 3,735 20 year old, 45%

From one barrel, and only sold in one location, but well worth the effort to procure a bottle. Nutty toffee, pecan pie, apricot, berried jam, and nougat, peppered with cinnamon, mint, cocoa, and tobacco. Warming, with polished leather and dried spice on the finish. Seamless, richly textured, and impeccably balanced. (Exclusive to the Bourbon Heritage Center at the Heaven Hill distillery in Bardstown, KY.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

95 points

Willett Family Reserve, (Barrel #81L31), 25 year old, 45.1%

Very mellow, silky in texture, and on the sweet side for mature bourbon. It’s not bold like Parker’s Heritage Collection 27 year old, which has much more oak spice and resin. Willett’s foundation of molasses and toffee is accentuated by candied fruit, fig, dusty corn, and tobacco, with mint tea, cinnamon, and vanilla peppered throughout. It’s perilously drinkable. I am impressed how these 20-plus year old Willett rye and bourbon whiskeys maintain their balance and keep the oak in check. Splendid ultra-mature bourbon. (Less than 100 bottles of this were sent to California, and not all the same barrel. Happy hunting.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2009)

95 points

Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition Single Barrel, 60%

Aged 11 years, this year’s single barrel release is a lively mix of caramel and bright, zingy orange on palate entry. Cinnamon, vanilla, and mint emerge mid-palate, leading to polished oak, baked apple, and a hint of leather on the finish. A lively bourbon, with crisp, clean flavors and nicely balanced. Another winner from Four Roses.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

95 points

Old Rip Van Winkle 'Family Selection,' 23 year old, 57%

Distilled in 1986. An excellent old wheated bourbon. Soothing oily texture, with notes of toffee, old rum, nougat, vanilla bean, candied fruit, black raspberry, corn bread, hints of Earl Grey tea, cinnamon, and nutmeg, with a smooth, polished oak finish. I recently reviewed a Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 year old (bottle #B1986) at 47.8%, which I also thought was outstanding, with a comparable flavor profile (although some earlier bottlings I tasted years ago were heavy on the oak), and it was priced at $220. Given this, you need to ask yourself if you want to pay the extra $130 or so for the higher strength, special decanter, pair of glasses, and wood box that comes with this new ORVW Family Selection. Or not.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2010)

95 points

Evan Williams Single Barrel (2000 vintage), Barrel No. 1, 43.3%

Very elegant, bright, and silky smooth, with honey-kissed summer fruits, subtle tropical fruit (papaya, coconut, pineapple), gentle caramel, sweet corn, and soothing vanilla, along with a dusting of cinnamon, nutmeg, and crisp mint. Pleasing, gently spicy finish. The most impressive aspect of this whiskey isn’t its variety of flavors (they are fairly traditional for a bourbon this age), it’s their integration and remarkable balance! It’s also perilously drinkable. I can’t speak for the other barrels, but if you can track down some bottles of Barrel No. 1, buy two! You won’t be disappointed. Let me also note what a great value this whiskey is, compared to the way other premium American whiskeys are being priced.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2010)

95 points

George T. Stagg, 70.7%

Like the William Larue Weller releases a couple years back, I felt that the Stagg releases (after being brought down in strength) were almost too easy-going. Like the new Weller release, this bourbon has improved greatly, to classic status. Clean, balanced notes of toffee, molasses, nougat, polished leather, dates, roasted nuts, cinnamon, subtle summer fruits, teasing mint, ground coffee, nutmeg, and a hint of tobacco. Long, balanced finish. An outstanding bourbon!

Reviewed by: (Spring 2010)

95 points

Parker's Heritage Collection, First Edition, 1996 vintage, 61.3%

There are two noteworthy items regarding this whiskey. It’s the first barrel-proof whiskey released by Heaven Hill for the U.S. market. It’s also the first of what will be an ongoing series of releases under the “Parker’s Heritage Collection” label. This one is rich, with thick toffee, molasses, vanilla fudge, and Heath bar. It’s also well balanced, with underlying exotic spice, summer fruit, dusty corn, and tobacco to balance the sweeter notes. Long, soothing, finish. A nicely matured bourbon of character and pedigree. (Originally reviewed in Volume 16, No. 4)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2008)

95 points

Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Four Grain, Batch #2, 46.2%

Batch #1, while a very good bourbon, didn’t quite seem to reach its potential. The flavors were there, but were not integrated and as cohesive as I would have hoped for in a four-grain, pot-distilled bourbon. Batch #2 has realized this whiskey’s full potential. The flavors I expect are all there, and they are more tightly integrated and polished. It really does taste different than any other bourbon on the market. I particularly enjoy its silky, creamy, nutty sweetness, which is balanced nicely with dry spice notes that peak on the finish. It’s very soothing and enjoyable. A whisky for bourbon and scotch drinkers alike.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2007)

95 points

Willett Family Reserve, Barrel #81L31, 25 year old, 45.1%

Very mellow, silky in texture, and on the sweet side for mature bourbon. It’s not bold like Parker’s Heritage Collection 27 year old, which has much more oak spice and resin. Willett’s foundation of molasses and toffee is accentuated by candied fruit, fig, dusty corn, and tobacco, with mint tea, cinnamon, and vanilla peppered throughout. It’s perilously drinkable. I am impressed how these 20-plus year old Willett rye and bourbon whiskeys maintain their balance and keep the oak in check. Splendid ultra-mature bourbon. (Less than 100 bottles of this were sent to California, and not all the same barrel. Happy hunting.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2009)

95 points

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch (2015 Release), 54.3%

Seamless in flavor and very elegant. A fully matured bourbon (consisting of whiskeys from 11 to 16 years in age), yet quite fresh on the palate. Lively fruit (apricot, red raspberry, tangerine) on a bed of lush sweet notes (caramel, honey-coconut crème brûlée and cotton candy), peppered with cinnamon, clove, and crisp mint. Soft finish, with lingering creamy vanilla. Not as great as the legendary 2013 release, but close.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

95 points

William Larue Weller, 68.1%

The traditionally gentle demeanor of this wheated bourbon is jazzed up with some lovely complex spice (mostly coming from the oak). Sweet notes of maple syrup, silky caramel, blackberry jam, and blueberry are peppered with notes of allspice spiked with cinnamon and vanilla. Soft leather on the finish. Great balance. A lovely whiskey! Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2013 Release.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

95 points

William Larue Weller, 66.75%

No age statement, but distilled in 1998. The only wheated recipe bourbon in the 2011 Antique Collection, and a very good one at that. Higher in strength than last year’s offering (which was 63.3%), but very similar (and equally as impressive). The most elegant and smoothest of this collection, with layered sweetness (honey, caramel, marzipan, maple syrup), fig, blackberry preserve, hint of green tea, and just the right amount of spice for balance (nutmeg, cinnamon, cocoa).

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

95 points

Laphroaig 25 year old (2008 Edition), 51.2%

The flavors evolve on the nose and palate, with peat kiln smoke, fresh asphalt, damp earth warehouses, morning-after campfire ash, and old boat dock contrasting nicely with toffee apple, crème caramel, delicate raspberry preserve, and dried citrus. Long, smoky, spicy, briny, seaweed, dirty martini-tinged finish. This whisky comes from a combination of both sherry and bourbon casks, and the marriage works. I also like that it retains some of its youthful brashness, while showing the depth that maturity affords a whisky. A delicious, well-balanced, old-fashioned Laphroaig.(Reviewing this whisky gave me an excuse to open a “fresh” bottle of its predecessor, the 30 year old, and here are my thoughts. The 30 year old is softer, mellower, drier, and more debonair. The 25 year old is bolder, more youthful, more dynamic, richer, and sweeter — bottling at cask strength really helps here. Both whiskies are very nice, but quite different in personality.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2009)

95 points

Crown Royal Noble Collection 13 year old Blenders’ Mash, 45%

If Canada made bourbon (it doesn’t), it would taste like this massive dram. The mashbill of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley is identical to that used for Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel Coffey rye. Beer still distillation and virgin oak barrels yield huge vanillas, rye spices, barrel tones, cherries, dark fruits, soaring floral esters, and gingery, peppery spices. Strong woodiness, slightly pulling tannins, and something almost chocolaty.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

94 points

Bowmore 1966 50 year old, 41.5%

The third and most exclusive release in Bowmore’s Vault Legends Collection was matured for 50 years in bourbon hogshead #5675. The nose is fragrant and musky, slightly oily, with orange peel, developing vanilla, and green citrus notes. Intense orange and peach on the palate, with black pepper, aniseed, and sweet oak. Very persistent tangy citrus fruits through the extremely long finish. No negative tannic notes. (74 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

94 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Chardonnay Aged Bourbon, 14 year old, 45%

Aged in French oak chardonnay barrels for eight years after six years in new charred oak. Notes of vanilla, crème brûlée, butterscotch, toasted coconut, bright fruit, and polished oak. Clean, gently sweet finish. The chardonnay oak aging adds a new dimension without dominating. A distinctive, stylish whisky with excellent balance.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2007)

94 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Fire Pot Barrel Aged, 10 year, 45%

The barrel was heated to 102°F for 23 minutes to dry the wood. A lush, silky-textured bourbon and very seductive. Caramel, coconut cream, marzipan, vanilla wafer and bright honeyed fruit abound, while teasing notes of tobacco, anise, subtle mint and a suggestion of bitter chocolate offer intrigue. A broad-shouldered, heavyweight bourbon with plenty of grit.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2006)

94 points

Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash (bottle 108), 58.4%

A blend of three rye and three bourbon barrels ranging from 10 to 33 years old. Powerful and mouth-coating. Initially, a French bakery, with caramel, vanilla, and torched brown sugar dominating. Then, more complex notes, such as cinnamon roll, coconut, chocolate, slight hints of oak, allspice, hints of smoked paprika, chipotle, roasted almond, and Polish sweet bread. A long finish offers fruit and nutmeg. Tasty sipper at the perfect proof.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

94 points

Russell’s Reserve 1998, 51.1%

This is the Wild Turkey limited edition bourbon we’ve been waiting for. Only 2,070 bottles exist. Deep amber hues and non-chill filtered, it opens up to straight-from-the-woods campfire smoke, caramel, vanilla, fresh-baked macaroon, leather, woodworking shop, and cigar box. But it’s not a smoke bomb or saturated in sweet; its delicate baking spices meet hatch chile, cinnamon, hints of mint and citrus. It finishes strong and long with a lingering caramel chew.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

94 points

Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1996 Vintage, 43.3%

The 11th annual vintage release of Evan Williams and, judging by the taste of this bourbon, there’s no shortage of excellent bourbon to bottle. This is a rich, seductive bourbon. Sticky toffee, maple syrup, and vanilla cream notes up front are followed by candied fruit, refreshing mint, and spicy cinnamon. Dry, resinous oak finish. Kentucky’s answer to a beautifully sherried Speyside single malt scotch. Outstanding!

Reviewed by: (Spring 2006)

94 points

George T. Stagg, 2nd Edition, 71.35% ABV

The first release of Stagg was our 'American Whiskey of the Year' for 2003. I couldn’t imagine this one being better, but it is. This is a textbook example of what older, more mature bourbon should taste like: great depth and maturity, yet nicely balanced without excessive woodiness on the palate. It is spicier and creamier on the nose than the first bottling with more vanilla tones and not quite as dry on the finish. Indeed, it hints of a softer, gentler side. But with a name like Stagg, it can be nothing more than a hint. Other flavors you’ll enjoy in this bourbon include spearmint, teaberry, candied fruit, leather, and toffee. Given its high proof and reasonable price, it’s also a great value. (Like Campbell’s soup, just add water.)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2004)

94 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 year old wheated bourbon from floor #5, 45%

Buffalo Trace distilled a wheated bourbon and aged barrels from the same distillation date on three different floors (1, 5 and 9) for 12 ½ years to see what the differences would be. This is similar to an experiment they conducted last year using a rye mashbill bourbon. As you will see, the higher the floor, the more intense the flavors, and the greater the wood influence. Nicely balanced flavors, and complex. Spices dance on the palate (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg), balanced by underlying caramel and butterscotch, and subtle honeyed orchard fruit. Lingering, well-rounded finish. A fabulous wheated bourbon!  Price is per 375 ml. Editor's Choice.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

94 points

Four Roses 2017 Limited Edition Small Batch, 53.95%

This is an ode to this bourbon’s old-school style that, post-caramel and cinnamon, is balanced with dried blueberries, sweet cornbread, nutmeg, saffron, citrus, and slight hints of chipotle, ginger, and clove. Under the beautiful spice come vanilla cake batter, almond butter, and salt water taffy that walk it to a finish that just doesn’t quit. It’s the vanilla-forward finish that makes this an upper-echelon whiskey. (13,800 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

94 points

Glengoyne, 40 year old, 45.9%

Aged in sherry butts, which is a departure from some of the older Glengoyne vintage samples I have which show more bourbon barrel characteristics. It is a very fruity, spicy, textural dram, with spiced apple, red raspberry, strawberry, plum, golden raisin, fried plantain, and creme brulee. Good grip on the finish, with grape stems and warming spice (cinnamon, cracked peppercorn, and clove). I love the balance on this whisky. It has aged very gracefully. (Limited to 250 bottles worldwide.)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2010)

94 points

Knappogue Castle 21 year old, 46%

A limited-release vatting of triple distilled, bourbon cask-matured spirit distilled in 1994 and 1996. This immersive and intense whiskey has waves of honey and fruit sweetness, floral and herbal notes, melting butter on fruit scones, macaroon bar, vanilla pod, candied grapefruit peel, and faint wood spices. Sharp orange, kumquat, and lime flavors mingle with honey, vanilla fudge, and barley sugar. Spices peak and retreat ahead of a sweet finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

94 points

Wild Turkey American Spirit, 15 year old, 50%

A clean, well-rounded bourbon packed with flavor. Deep amber, with tinges of gold. Rich, silky aromas, with thickly textured, seamless flavors on the palate. Incredibly smooth, too, with interwoven notes of toffee, molasses, creamy vanilla, and candy corn. Underlying lush fruit, cinnamon, and fresh mint -- especially on the finish -- round everything out. Some of the previous “extra matured” Wild Turkey whiskeys have occasionally shown their age on the finish, being a little heavy on the oak. Not this one. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2008)

94 points

Wild Turkey Tribute, 15 year old, 50.5%

A special bottling of Wild Turkey to celebrate Master Distiller Jimmy Russell’s 50 years of being in the bourbon business. Jimmy will be proud to be associated with this bottling. In many ways, this bourbon is a lot like Jimmy: mature, yet with plenty of spunk and character, and a pure joy to be with. This is a big, chewy, full-bodied bourbon with lovely sweet notes (maple syrup, molasses, caramel and candied fruit) balanced by dry spice notes (cigars aged in cedar, evergreen, polished leather). For bourbon drinkers who love intensity in their bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2004)

94 points

White Bowmore, 1964 vintage, 43 year old, 42.8%

I like this Bowmore better than all the previous bourbon oak-aged, ultra-mature Bowmore whiskies that have been released over the past fifteen years (there have been several). The oak is always present, but not dominant. The whisky really evolves on the palate, just like the Black Bowmore releases. This emphasis here is on fruit, bright fruit: peach, tangerine, mango, ripe melon, and pineapple. There’s a soft, gentle side to the whisky, too, enhanced by sweeter notes of pancake syrup, orange creamsicle, and white chocolate. Heavy oak notes emerge, along with teasing, earthy smoke, to give the whisky depth and bottom notes. The smoke and oak linger long on the finish. Very contemplative. In short, an outstanding whisky, but not quite reaching the excellence of Black Bowmore.
   (Allocation information: 732 bottles available worldwide; 40 bottles are being allocated for the U.S., half of the quantity of Black Bowmore which was released earlier this year.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2008)

94 points

Ardbeg Uigeadail, 54.2%

Launched in 2003, Uigeadail remains one of Ardbeg’s core offerings. Matured in a mix of sherry and bourbon barrels and bottled at cask strength. Peppery peat, warm tar, coffee grounds, machine oil, and black pepper on the nose. The palate is complex and rich, offering orange segments sprinkled with sea salt, dark chocolate, malt, and ever-present sweet peat. Nicely balanced. Lengthy in the finish, with smoky caramel.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

94 points

William Larue Weller, 67.7%

Distilled in 2003. Weller is the only wheated bourbon in the Collection, with wheat replacing the rye found in most other bourbons. It’s a very impressive representation, too. Notes of nutty toffee, black raspberry, blueberry, green tea, cinnamon, and vanilla. Soft, lingering oak on the finish. Like last year’s release, this is a soothing whiskey with a gentle demeanor. Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2016. Editor's Choice.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

94 points

Midleton 175th Anniversary Bottling, 26 year old, 40%

Deep amber color with shade of ruby. Sweet aromas of ripe fruit, oak, caramelized sugar, rum, and creamy vanilla. Full in body for an Irish whiskey, with a silky, creamy texture. Voluptuous flavors of burnt sugar, rum, honeyed fruit, creamy vanilla, and spice cake.
   Style: Irish pure pot still whiskey.Price: approximately $600. Extremely limited availability-around 400 bottles for the United States. 
   Here's a whiskey the blends the old with the new. The whiskey was distilled at the old Midleton distillery, which has been dismantled. After spending most of its life in sherry and bourbon casks, it was then finished off in port pipes. It maintains its Irish-ness, its pot still character is both satisfying and reassuring, and the port pipe aging introduces flavors that make the whiskey very intriguing. An outstanding product!

Reviewed by: (Winter 2001)

94 points

Knob Creek Single Barrel, 9 year old, 60%

This new single barrel expression of Knob Creek tastes very similar to the original “small batch” Knob Creek (when brought down to the same alcohol level). If anything, it’s slightly drier, more elegant, not as heavy on the palate, and more sophisticated — but I am reaching here. The similarity is a good thing, because I really enjoy the original expression. Keeping in mind that no two barrels are exactly alike, your decision to purchase the single barrel might just come down to whether you want to pay a little more for a higher strength version, and whether knowing that it might taste a little different than the standard small batch bottling excites you. This is a stylish, big, broad-shouldered bourbon with a thick, sweet foundation (nutty toffee, pot still rum, maple syrup) peppered with spice (cinnamon, but also vanilla and evergreen) and dried fruit. Dry, warming, resinous finish. (Incidentally, I would rate the small batch within a point or two, and the tasting notes would be very similar.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2010)

94 points

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask, 57.1%

This is the pick of the bunch, the whisky equivalent of Fountains of Wayne; an effervescent dessert whisky, which from the first aroma to the final finish is a consistent mix of vanilla, coconut, and overripe banana, sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)

94 points

Elijah Craig 21 year old Single Barrel (No. 42), 45%

Surprisingly reserved on the oak spice; it tastes like a bourbon half its age. Soothing in nature, with layers of sweetness (honey, vanilla cream, caramel, nougat), lively complex fruit (coconut, pineapple, ripe peach, honeydew melon), and gentle cinnamon. Soft, creamy finish. A whiskey that has aged very gracefully. Delicious! (This is a single barrel; every barrel is unique.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

94 points

The Balvenie Tun 1401 (Batch #3), 50.3%

A combination of three sherry butts and seven bourbon casks. This is a complex, dynamic whisky, loaded with lush, layered ripe fruit (red berries, tropical fruit, honeyed apricot, raisin), toffee, oak resin, polished leather, and well-defined spice notes (cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, clove). Long, warming finish. (Exclusive to the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

94 points

Eagle Rare 17 year old (bottled Spring 2013), 45%

Often overlooked in this portfolio because it isn’t barrel proof. The last few years of this bourbon have been wonderful. This year is no exception, with a bit more spice. Notes of nutty toffee, caramel, creamy vanilla, and pot still rum, with interwoven hints of oak resin, dried spice, tobacco, and honeyed fruit. Hint of barrel char and anise for intrigue. Delicious! (And actually 19 years old, even though it bears the traditional 17 year age statement.) Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2013 Release.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

94 points

Michter’s 20 year old Straight Bourbon 2018 (Batch 18I1371), 57.1%

Age is readily apparent, not as weariness, but sheer intensity—like a Vise-Grip handshake from an old man. The flavors come in rapid waves, first on the nose with pipe tobacco, dark chocolate, sassafras, cassis, licorice, orange peel, and menthol-like hints of solvent. Then chewy fruit and drying oak harmonize on the palate, the dark berry fruits playing off the refined oak with its cedary spice. The drying finish echoes of rustling autumn leaves and plum skins. Exquisitely balanced and muscular.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

94 points

The Macallan Fine Oak 17 year old, 43%

Another of the Fine Oak series (aged in both bourbon and sherry casks), which will debut in the U.S. in March. Of the five Fine Oak expressions that will be in the U.S. (10, 15, 17, 21, and 30 year old), this is my favorite, slightly besting the 15 year old. Lovely sweet notes (creamy vanilla, light toffee, marshmallow, shortbread, and a kiss of honey) are accompanied by bright fruit (multi-layered citrus) and potpourri of dried spices, along with a hint of nut and wisp of smoke. A very refined and sophisticated whisky.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2006)

94 points

William Larue Weller, 67.3%

Distilled in 2003. Weller is the wheated bourbon in the Collection, where wheat replaces the rye found in most other bourbons. The sweetness is balanced nicely by a solid peppering of oak spice. Notes of toffee, maple syrup, fig, black raspberry preserve, cinnamon, and vanilla. Lingering oak and polished leather on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

94 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection, 14 year old, Fine Grain Oak, 45%

Aged in slow-growth wood. I love the balance in this whiskey, with all the flavors presented harmoniously. Rather lively for a bourbon approaching 15 years. Notes of bright fruit (peach, kiwi, golden raisin), soft vanilla, crème caramel, lemon meringue, and coconut macaroon, then drying out nicely to a rather sophisticated, cinnamon-tinged, polished oak finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2009)

93 points

Kavalan Bourbon Oak, 46%

Surprise, surprise. This is like the school's best pitcher, who then steps onto the football team and throws for a game-winning touchdown. This is a whole new side to Kavalan. Remember Faith No More doing “Easy”? Having out-sherried and out-bourboned us with kickass rock-n-roll whisky, Kavalan goes for gentle and croony, with vanilla and honey. The coup de grace? Apple pie and cream morph into licorice and menthol. Exquisite.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2013)

93 points

Port Ellen, 30 year old (2009 Release), 57.7%,

Port Ellen whiskies are just going to keep getting rarer and more expensive. This old-fashioned whisky is beginning to show its age, but is still holding up nicely. It’s clean, with no excessive oak, and a soft, sweet maltiness for balance. Earthy and rooty at times, with tarry rope, beach pebbles, leafy smoke, bourbon barrel char, black licorice, lemon peel, and hints of shellfish and diesel fumes (like following a boat in the ocean). Long, smoky, lightly briny finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2010)

93 points

Four Roses Single Barrel (No. 29-50), 50%

This big, sweet, warming bourbon strikes all the right chords. Sizzling sweet corn meets generous oak, like dusty old books, but the bright peach nectar, wet walnuts, and vibrant spice beam through in abundance. Unctuous and concentrated on the palate, it evokes cinnamon-dusted peach pie, with hints of clove and pepper on the finish. A solid and seamless whiskey, with fruit, floral, oak, and spice in perfect harmony.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

93 points

The Dalmore 50 year old, 40%

This veteran Dalmore was matured successively in bourbon casks, Matusalem oloroso sherry casks, colheita port pipes, more bourbon wood, and finally, Champagne casks. The nose offers orange marmalade, vanilla, milk chocolate, maraschino cherries, white pepper, and a hint of black treacle. Sweet sherry and sultanas on the early palate, with developing prunes and licorice. The finish is extremely long, with increasing licorice, plain chocolate, wood spice, and tannic oak. (50 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

Elijah Craig Single Barrel (Barrel No. 13) 20 year old, 45%

All the current Elijah Craig 20 year old releases in distribution are single barrel offerings. I’ve tasted a few, and they vary to a degree. This is my favorite so far. Yes, there’s a lot of oak here (resinous, spicy, leathery, tobacco-tinged), but it’s on a bed of layered sweetness (nutty toffee, caramel fudge, maple syrup) that supports and marries with the oak. An ideal postprandial bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

93 points

Redemption Barrel Proof Rye 10 year old, 55.1%

Redemption delivers a 10 year old, barrel proof rye (sourced from MGP); the bottled whiskey is mingled from only six barrels. Nose of hot, bitter rye spice and caramel with oak. Great whambam! feel of sweet whiskey followed immediately by oily, spicy rye, which then controls the flavor and finish without dominating. Not over-oaked, and these older MGP barrels are finally showing what 95% rye can do. At 6 years, it could be a high-rye bourbon; this simply shouts rye. Fascination.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

93 points

Booker’s 30th Anniversary, 62.9%

This is a whiskey that knows exactly what it wants to be, a rambunctious bourbon that throws the full weight of its barrel behind a flavor-packed punch. Lots of dry, charred-matchstick oak meets chewy fig and dried fruits, fudge brownie, and fresh meadow, with hints of banana and furniture polish in the aroma. Brawny and unapologetic on the palate; peach syrup and baked apples meet a torrent of spices as the moreish finish oozes on like chocolate lava cake. Collectible

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

93 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Spring 1990, 46.5%

Style: Bourbon Color: Antique amber Aroma: Thick, lush, very complex and nicely balanced. Notes of polished leather and oak marry nicely with the toffee and caramel. Tobacco, raisins, and dates, add complexity and diversity. Palate: Bold and voluptuous, with notes similar to its aroma. Long, soothing finish.
   General Comments: A big, broad-shouldered bourbon jam-packed with flavors that just won't quit. Most bourbons of this age and intensity are too woody. Not this one. It is very well-balanced from beginning to end. Bravo! Price: upper $30s. Available nationwide but produced in limited quantities.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2004)

93 points

Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year old, 45.2%

Similar in many ways to the 15. Less vibrant, more mature. Less corn, more maple syrup. Less nutmeg, more teaberry. The most elegant, sexy and stylish of the three and the best dovetailing of flavors. You might think that $90 is a lot of money for bourbon, but this whiskey is fairly valued when compared to other spirits of this age.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2005)

93 points

Doc.52 9 year old Straight Bourbon, 53%

Prepare for sensory overload. Aromas of peanut butter blossom cookies, molasses, creamed corn, iced tea, cassis, and marmalade hint at the decadence of the palate, which is mouth-filling and chewy. Its flavors hit all the high points of outstanding bourbon: big and bold grain, chocolate, wet walnuts, orange and cherry Jello, nutmeg, cinnamon, white pepper, tobacco leaf, and waves of oak. Nuts, nuts, and more nuts on the finish, with espresso, chocolate, and drying oak. Sourced from an undisclosed Tennessee distillery. 186 bottles; Doc’s Wine, Spirits & More exclusive

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

93 points

Ardbeg An Oa, 46.6%

Ardbeg's first standard release in nearly a decade, An Oa is matured in virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez, and bourbon barrels, with component whiskies married in the distillery's French oak 'Gathering Vat.' The nose offers sweet peat, smoky lemon rind, ginger, and angelica. A soft and sweet palate entry is followed by hot peat, black tea, peppery cloves, and aniseed. Black pepper lingers through the long, smoky finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

Evan Williams Single Barrel (Barrel No. 1) 2004, 43.3%

Polished and nicely balanced, with caramel as the main note, followed by candied fruit, soft vanilla, sweet corn, and nougat. Subtle spice (ginger, cinnamon) and gentle oak on the finish round out the sweet notes. Easygoing demeanor and very drinkable. Great value too! A very pleasing, versatile bourbon. Value Pick.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

93 points

Bruichladdich 1984, 43.7%

This 32 year old bottling was aged in twelve bourbon barrels and re-casked into fresh bourbon wood in 2009. It offers a nose of canned peaches, dates, marzipan, and a hint of milky coffee. Rich fruit flavors lead on the palate: peach, pineapple, and mango, with vanilla and nutty oak. Slowly drying in the finish, with warming spices. Sometimes good bourbon casks are all you need. (3,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

93 points

Suntory Yamazaki 18 year old, 43%

Deep, mature in nature, and very complex. Notes of polished leather, maple syrup, and dark pit fruit, with suggestions of tobacco smoke, wood shavings, and unsweetened chocolate. References to fine old bourbon and ultra-matured pot-still rum provide intrigue. Proof that Japan produces some outstanding, distinctive whiskies. Nicely done!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2006)

93 points

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003 Vintage (Barrel No. 1), 43.3%

Silky smooth. Lush honey notes married with bright orchard fruit and candied tropical fruit. Soft vanilla, mint, and cinnamon round out the palate. Seamless and perilously drinkable. Proof that a bourbon doesn’t have to be old, high in alcohol, or expensive to be good. Editor's Choice & Value Pick

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

93 points

Michter’s 20 year old (Barrel No. 1646), 57.1%

A soothing bourbon, with maple syrup, blackberry preserve, polished leather, roasted nuts, marzipan, vanilla toffee, dusty dates, subtle tobacco, and a hint of pedro ximinez sherry. Soft, flavorful finish. The oak is kept in check, with layered sugars and fruit for balance. The price of admission is steep, but this whiskey is very satisfying.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

93 points

Laphroaig Triple Wood, 48%

Initially aged in bourbon barrels before being transferred into quarter casks, and ultimately oloroso sherry butts. The sherry influence adds an additional dimension to the quarter-cask style, hence an oily nose of dates, vanilla, tropical fruits, and bonfire smoke. The palate is drier than might be expected, with Laphroaig iodine, barbecued meats, muted sherry, and peat smoke. The finish comprises dried fruits and lots of oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

93 points

Eagle Rare 17 year old, 45%

Often overlooked by collectors because it’s not as high in alcohol as most of its siblings, it’s superior to last year’s release, which I felt brandished more oak on the finish than needed. Caramel, rhum agricole, golden raisin, and dried citrus segue into polished oak, along with a wisp of honey and cinnamon on the finish. Well rounded and subtly complex. An exceptional bourbon. Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2016.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

93 points

The Dalmore 45 year old, 40%

Initially matured in bourbon barrels, then transferred to two Graham’s port colheita pipes from 1961 and 1963. Finally, it was married in first-fill bourbon casks. Wood resin, canola oil, sultanas, and red currants on the nose. Medium-bodied, with sweet resin, honey, and sherry on the palate, turning to treacle and raisins. The finish is very long, with dark chocolate and spicy oak tannins. (500 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

93 points

Belle Meade 10 year old Sherry Cask Finish, 53.2%

Whoa...this sherry-finished bourbon offers an up front impression you don’t find in American whiskey: marzipan meets ground-up raw almonds sprinkled over pistachio gelato. Then caramel, nuanced cinnamon, delicate vanilla, and a slight hint of campfire smoke. It’s supremely complex, with the third layer being honey, dried apricot, dried pear, figs, and prunes over a sublime nuttiness and rich caramel. The finish lingers with salted-caramel cashew. If this is the future of barrel-finished American whiskey, let there be more. (Jack Rose Dining Saloon private selection)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

93 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection (2010 release), 10 year old, 63.9%

Soft, sweet, and very smooth. Richly textured layers of caramel, toffee, vanilla fudge, nougat, maple syrup, and rhum agricole. Blackberry, date nut bread, cinnamon, subtle cocoa, and nutmeg add complexity. Clean, polished, and perilously drinkable. A delicious wheated bourbon! (Not quite the complexity of the 2009 William Larue Weller (a benchmark wheated bourbon which I rated a 96), but getting close.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2010)

93 points

Booker’s 2018-02 “Backyard BBQ,” 64.4%

Typical of Booker’s this bourbon shows lots of concentration and muscle, oozing with caramel and maple syrup, with hints of lavender and bouquet garni. Flavors explode on the palate, with more herbal complexity, root beer barrel candy, green almond, black cherry, and a big rush of dark, bitter-sweet burnt sugar and caramel. Lovely baking spices and lots of toasty oak linger on the long finish. The youngest barrel in the blend is just over 6 years, 2 months of age. Editors’ Choice

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

93 points

Glen Moray 25 year old Port Cask Finish, 43%

Distilled in 1988 and finished for an unspecified period in port casks after lengthy maturation in bourbon barrels. Floral, perfumed, and very enticing on the nose. Vanilla fudge, cocktail cherries, polished oak, and gentle spices. Soft and sweet on the palate, with vanilla, overripe orange, cinnamon, and milky coffee. Long and slightly peppery on the finish, with persistent drying fruitiness. Complex and extremely accomplished.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

93 points

Wiser’s Last Barrels, 45%

Distilled in May 2001 from a bourbon-style sour mash, this whisky was intended for blending. However, times change and Wiser’s recently vatted all 132 barrels as an Ontario exclusive. High esters, sweet pitchy resins, clean wood, caramel, barley sugar, floral notes, burley tobacco, green grapes, and Granny Smith apples. And that’s just the nose. Rich toffee, vanilla, brisk white pepper, ripe black fruits. Lingering, peppery, caramel corn finish. (Canada only) C$65

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

93 points

Doc.52 14 Year Old Straight Bourbon, 60%

A scrumptious nose, with PayDay candy bar, honey on toast, crème brûlée, cherry fruit leather, creamed corn, root beer, and horehound candy, paves the way for the robust flavors that unfold on the palate: cherry Coke, roasted peanuts, earthy oak, and layers of spices. You can taste the age here, encased in complex balance, a chewy texture, and pleasingly high proof. 144 bottles

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

93 points

Wiser’s Red Letter 2013 Release, 45%

Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, candy sweetness, and strong bitter grapefruit pith overtake an initial dry dusty rye. After years in an assortment of bourbon barrels, new wood is used to tame the rugged rye notes while adding complexity and breadth. The oak has left obvious traces behind, with barrel notes and hints of fresh-cut firewood. Candied, in the vein of Wiser’s Legacy, but sharper, harder, and much crisper. Canada’s non-chill filtered reward for being Wiser’s biggest fan. (Canada only.) C$99

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

93 points

Eagle Rare 17 year old, 45%

The most underrated of the five in the 2011 collection, but this year’s release (like last year’s) is very lovely bourbon. Perhaps just a bit softer than last year, but with a similar profile: very even keeled and nicely balanced, with sweet notes (vanilla, toffee, añejo rum) peppered with soft orchard fruit and spice (cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, hint of mint), polished oak, and subtle tobacco.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

93 points

Booker’s 2018-03 “Kentucky Chew,” 63.35%

Originally touted by Booker Noe, the “Kentucky Chew” is a way of tasting whiskey: swishing it around your mouth, then swallowing and smacking your lips—an urge that’s hard to resist with this intensely flavorful bourbon. Aromas of peanuts, cherry cola, candied ginger, blackberry jam, and curing tobacco are echoed on the palate, which has grape jelly, blueberry pie, peanuts in Coke, Mexican hot chocolate, and a hint of licorice. The finish is warming, lengthy, and sweet, with a lift of cherry and spice undercutting chocolate and oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

93 points

Angel’s Envy, 43.3%

Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey finished in a port pipe. This is veteran master distiller Lincoln Henderson’s newest creation, and it’s a beauty. Richly textured, silky, and well-rounded, with ripe berried fruits, candied tangerine, light toffee, maple syrup, and creamy vanilla, sprinkled with spice (cinnamon, hint of mint). Smooth, silky finish, and dangerously drinkable! The port pipe notes dovetail perfectly. Lovely just the way it is, but it’s begging for a cigar. My only gripe: why not 45 or 50% ABV? But I’m splitting hairs. I really enjoy this stuff!

Reviewed by: (Spring 2011)

92 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Extended Stave Drying Time, 45%

Richer and fuller when compared to the Standard Stave Drying Time variant in this Experimental Collection. Sweeter too, with creamy layers of vanilla and caramel. The extended drying time influence tames the dried spice and oak resin and is proof that extended stave aging really benefits older bourbons that might otherwise be dominated by oak. Sadly, with whiskey in such demand, I doubt many bourbon producers will take the time to age the staves longer. Price per 375 ml.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

92 points

1792 Full Proof, 62.5%

No age statement on the label, but aged for 8 1/2 years. Bottled at the same ABV as its entry proof into the barrel. Lush and mouth-coating. A pleasingly sweet bourbon, with caramel, nougat, and chewy toffee, mixed with ripe orchard fruit, golden raisin, and creamy vanilla. Soothing finish. A wonderful way to end a meal. (With a cigar, perhaps?) This is a beautiful bourbon and a great value given its quality, ABV, and price.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

92 points

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve (No. 3405), 60%

Think caramel bomb. Once you pass the crème brûlée, caramel chew, and other variations of the confectionary, vanilla custard, pumpkin, toasted pecan, raisins, light German chocolate cake, praline, tobacco, cigar box, sandalwood, and earth surface. It’s mouth-coating, covering every inch, tingling from the palate’s roof to the back of the neck. The incredibly long finish sits there with caramel. The only knock here is that caramel can be overwhelming, but it’s also bourbon’s staple note. (New Hampshire only)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

92 points

Yellowstone 2016 Limited Edition Bourbon 7 year old, 50.5%

A blend of 7 and 12 year old bourbons, married in new toasted barrels. Vanilla, caramel-coated berries, orchard fruit, cinnamon, soft mint, and teasing toasted coconut-spiked chocolate. Dry, spicy oak finish. Nicely integrated. Excellent combination of youth and maturity.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection Zinfandel Aged Bourbon, 14 year old, 45%

Aged in Zinfandel barrels for eight years after spending six years in new charred oak. Intriguing spice (mint, cocoa, cinnamon), along with molasses, roasted nuts, and delicately textured fruit (blackberry, boysenberry). Nice interplay between the fruit, sweet notes, and dried spice which emerges on the second half of the palate.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2007)

92 points

Baker’s, 53.5%

Rich, multi-layered nose: vanilla, cornmeal, berries (black raspberries, wineberries), and broad-shouldered oak. Powerful, but not overproof hot in the mouth; controlled. The berries sing a high counter-melody over the corn-oak beat as the whole experience rocks along. It’s powerful, sweet, authoritative, and finishes with a reprise of it all: berries, corn, vanilla, and stronger oak. Mature, complete bourbon with a 7 year age statement, and a real sleeper in the Small Batch Collection.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

92 points

Belle Meade Cask Strength Reserve (Batch No. 5), 56.8%

Oak, corn sweetness, and tropical fruit collide in this powerful bourbon that suggests grilled pineapple and charred corn on the cob. It handles the proof well, but be prepared for a no-holds-barred tongue lashing of licorice, bitter citrus pith, and oak, before a heaping spoonful of butterscotch pudding quells the heat. Reveals even more flavor with water—blueberry muffin, clove-studded orange, and cedar shingle.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

92 points

Wyoming Barrel Strength Bourbon (Barrel 443), 58%

An authoritative nose: deep oak structure, cracked corn, warehouse reek. Minty and lively, but deep and almost ponderous at the same time, and not anywhere near as hot as expected. A bare hint of mustiness (which a bit of water helps wash out) keeps it from being truly exceptional, but this verges on greatness. A show-stopper.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

92 points

Knappogue Castle 12 year old Limited Release, 40%

Triple distilled and fully matured in bourbon casks, this single malt has a sweet, soft, and inviting nose of crisp green apples, vanilla custard, and lemon butter biscuits. Soft lemon meringue pie on the palate. Sweeter orange breaks through with a little spice on the fringes, then hits its stride with dried fruits and baked apple. A final flourish of spice and candied peel rounds off this excellent whiskey. Value Pick

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

George Dickel Barrel Select, 43%

The newest member of the portfolio and worth every penny. It’s the distillery’s "super-premium" offering, produced in small batches and (for now anyway) small quantities. It is my favorite of the three Dickels from a pure taste perspective, with a lushness, roundness, sophistication and grace not often seen in a bourbon or Tennessee whiskey. All of the flavors of the other two Dickels are in here, and they’re in perfect balance and very tight. (Note: my review was from the first bottling, which was a rectangular-shaped bottle with white lettering. There has since been a second bottling, which I have not yet tasted.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2006)

92 points

Lost Prophet 22 year old, 45%

The fourth release (and best so far) in Diageo’s Orphan Barrel series. This bourbon was distilled at what was then called the George T. Stagg distillery (now Buffalo Trace) and spent the last several years maturing at Stitzel-Weller. It’s nicely balanced and not over-oaked, with spice (clove, cinnamon), oak resin, and leather, along with sweet notes (honeyed fruit, soft vanilla, coconut custard) and a nice creamy texture. Better than most 20-plus year old bourbons on the market.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

92 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 year old wheated bourbon from floor #9, 45%

Buffalo Trace distilled a wheated bourbon and aged barrels from the same distillation date on three different floors (1, 5 and 9) for 12 ½ years to see what the differences would be. This is similar to an experiment they conducted last year using a rye mashbill bourbon. As you will see, the higher the floor, the more intense the flavors, and the greater the wood influence. Darker, more intense and mysterious in personality when compared to its two siblings. Notes of barrel char, roasted nuts, polished oak, and tobacco, peppered with dried spice. Fortunately, sweet notes of toffee, maple syrup, and caramel stand up to the dry notes and provide balance. Price is per 375 ml.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

92 points

Kavalan Ex-Bourbon Cask Strength Single Cask, 57.8%

Delicately complex. Dried vanilla, pineapple, toasted coconut, tangerine, and cream. A kiss of honey and polished oak on the finish. Quite lovely and very versatile; it would make a delicious pre-dinner dram. (Julio’s Liquors and Loch & K(e)y exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Kilchoman 'Inaugural Release,' 46%

Aged 2.5 to 3 years on bourbon casks and then finished in sherry casks for 6 months. Wow, this is quite stunning! Old-fashioned in many respects: oily texture, with rooty, layered peat smoke, coal tar, shoe polish, and hints of wet sheep as the foundation for a complex array of additional flavors: toffee apple, caramel fudge, blackberry jam, golden raisin, grist, bourbon barrel char, and licorice root. Long, smoldering ember, dried herb, light toffee finish. It’s all balanced perfectly, and very mature for its age. If you like smoky whiskies, track one down. (Not available in the U.S.) £37.00

Reviewed by: (Spring 2010)

92 points

Rowan's Creek, Batch 03-59, 12 year old, 50.05%

Beautifully balanced, like Kentucky Vintage, but more complex and with greater depth. It’s also not as boldly dry as Pure Kentucky XO. Rather, it is softer and more seductive. This is splendid bourbon! It would be a shame to adulterate this bourbon in any way-don’t even think of mixing it. Find yourself a quiet moment, pour yourself a measure, and savor.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2005)

92 points

Van Winkle Family Reserve, 18 year old, 52.6%

Style: Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey Color: Deep amber Aroma: Deep, very mature, dry and spicy (especially spearmint), with underlying notes of ripe fruit, polished oak, and leather. The aroma is so thick, you almost need a knife to cut through it. Palate: Rich, thick, and chewy in texture-sweeter up front, then drying out towards its finish. Rather bold in flavors that are identical to its aroma, but never overpowering. Soothing, satisfying finish that seems to linger on forever.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2003)

92 points

Vintage Bourbon, 17 year old, 47%

Notes of "rummy" molasses, Sugar Daddies, red currant, citrus peel, sandalwood, polished leather, and vanilla cream. Subtle, teasing black licorice and brittle mint emerge from time to time. Well-balanced, with all the flavors sharing the limelight. A beautiful example of mature bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2006)

92 points

Ardbeg Alligator, 51.2%

Similar to the standard Ardbeg 10 year old, except that a portion of the whisky was aged in heavily charred barrels (referred to as an “alligator” char). An aggressive whisky — even for Ardbeg — with a leathery texture throughout. Dynamic too, with coal tar, soot, bourbon barrel char, espresso, cocoa, licorice root, smoked fish, and a hint of ginger. There’s a nice creamy vanilla underbelly to balance the aggressiveness and (at least partially) muzzle the Alligator.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

92 points

Amrut Double Cask Batch 3, 46%

The dark chestnut liquid results from maturation in bourbon and port casks, and it has an equally enticing nose: squishy prunes, dried fig, blackcurrant, sour cherry, apple tarts, and nutmeg. The concentration of fruit on the palate circulates around dark cherry, red apple, and raspberry flavors. Then vanilla, caramel, and milk chocolate flood the mouth and everything turns deliciously gooey. Go on, give in to your urges. (240 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

92 points

Glen Garioch The Renaissance 3rd Chapter 17 year old, 50.8%

The Renaissance began with a 15 year old expression and charts the same spirit as it continues to mature. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks, the 3rd Chapter exhibits a sweet and sophisticated nose of honey, milk chocolate, Brazil nuts, toffee, and ripe peaches. Supple on the palate, with luscious orange and peach notes, vanilla, oak, and subtle spice. Plain chocolate-coated orange confectionery in the finish, with caramel and ginger. Balanced and delicious! £100

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

92 points

Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 5, 52.6%

A mix of 29 bourbon and sherry casks that were mingled for 3 months in Balvenie’s bespoke marrying vessel, the Tun. Fragrant oriental spices on the nose: ginger, cinnamon, fresh orange juice, and brittle toffee. Full and smooth on the palate, with sweet sherry and spicy Jaffa orange. Long in the finish, with dark chocolate, oak tannins, raisins, and licorice at the close.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

Bruichladdich 1985, 48.7%

Originally filled into 22 third-fill bourbon casks, this 32 year old was re-casked into first-fill bourbon barrels in 2012, then finished in French oak wine barrels. Fresh peaches on the nose, with vanilla fudge, honey, and ginger. Fruity and spicy on the luscious palate, with orange, cinnamon, and coconut. Long in the finish, with ever-present fruitiness, plus prickly chili notes. (4,200 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

92 points

High West Bourye (Batch 17A09), 46%

Straight bourbon and rye whiskeys aged from 10 to 14 years, this nicely balances its dry oak, almost cedary, aromas with bourbon sweetness and a rye finish. The initial hit of orange peel, caramel, and vanilla flan yields to a spicy finish of lemon zest, peppercorns, and ginger.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

92 points

The Dalmore 40 year old, 42%

This was initially matured in American oak bourbon barrels, then spent 7 years in 30 year old Matusalem sherry butts before 2 years of finishing in first-fill bourbon casks. The nose yields orange marmalade, wood resin, toasted brioche, and cocktail cherries. Apricot fruitiness on the early palate, then vanilla, ginger, and treacle. The finish is medium in length, with orange peel, fennel, and gentle spices. (750 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

92 points

Bushmills Madeira Finish, 21 year old, 40%

Deep amber color. Richly flavored aroma, with notes of toffee, raisins, dates, honeyed malt, and demerara rum. Medium in body and richly textured. Toffee & rum-like flavors entertain the palate first, followed by chocolate covered raisins and dates. The whiskey then begins to dry out mid-palate, as the 21 years in oak becomes evident, contributing notes of vanilla and subtle mint. Dry finish with lingering notes of oak and polished leather. Style: Irish single malt whiskey. Price: about $120. Available in select markets. This is a delicious whiskey that should appeal to both the Irish and Scotch whisk(e)y drinker. Aged initially in sherry and bourbon casks, the whiskey was then finished in Madeira casks. It is complex in flavor and very well balanced. It is one of the best Irish whiskeys on the market. This whiskey has been a long time comin', but it was worth the wait.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2003)

92 points

William Heavenhill 225th Anniversary Edition, 63.8%

Aged for 225 months (18 years, 9 months). Only 225 bottles available, and only at one location: Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, KY. This is a lot of money for a bourbon, but if you do buy a bottle, you’re going to enjoy it. It’s spicy (especially on the nose), with cinnamon bark, spearmint, and nutmeg. The spice is balanced by an array of sweeter fruit notes (bramble, ripe orchard fruits), vanilla custard, fig, molasses, cola, and charcoal. Soft on the finish. Very polished and well-balanced. It’s much more mellow when compared to Heaven Hill’s other recent ultra-premium release, Parker’s Heritage Collection 27 year old.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2009)

92 points

Amrut Portonova, 61.2%

This release is a port version of Amrut’s Intermediate Sherry — a sort of port pipe sandwich. The spirit is matured in both unused casks and bourbon casks, then spends a few months in port pipes, and then returns to bourbon casks. The result is a Pink Floyd show of a whisky: vibrant, colorful, complex, and nearly too much. A blackcurrant and wispy, smoky nose gives way to an intense and bittersweet mix of chili, blackcurrant, oak, damson, dark chocolate, and peat. Astounding.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

92 points

Backbone Bourbon Uncut Straight (Batch 15), 58.3%

Oh boy! Rising rolls, cakes baking in the oven, whipped cream, icing, citrus, and chocolate fill the nose. Then the palate confirms this tapestry of goodness with vanilla cake batter, brown-sugar butter over yeast rolls, caramel icing, and cinnamon sprinkles. If not for a backbone of beautiful spices layered in between, this whiskey stands as a confectionery delight. As it is, the velvety structure, concentrated notes, and long spicy finish make it a must-have sipper.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

92 points

Michter’s 10 year old Single Barrel Bourbon (2018 Release), 47.2%

There’s evident age here, with dried leaves, old suede jacket, and dusty oak at the forefront, but underlying that maturity is plenty of dried fruit, figs, and cola. It pours broad and mouth filling, exuding both power and grace as it delivers caramel, tobacco, and a mélange of baking spices—cloves and nutmeg. The solid wood structure and oak tannins are here in abundance, but never out of balance.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

Glen Moray Mastery, 52.3%

Glen Moray is celebrating its 120th anniversary with Mastery, a vatting from 1978, 1988, 1994, 1999, and 2001. Maturation—and finishing—has occurred in a mix of bourbon, sherry, madeira, and port casks. Resinous sherry, smoky red wine, caramel, and vanilla on the nose. Voluptuous on the palate, with sherry, succulent stewed fruit, soft toffee, and cocoa powder. Long in the gently spiced finish, with port-soaked oak. (1,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

92 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection Promise of Hope 10 year old, 48%

From a single barrel, but the barrel number is (unfortunately) not specified. It’s nicely matured, deftly balanced, and complex, with a wide range of fruit, layered sweetness, and a cabinet full of spice, especially mint. Easy to drink—I’m enjoying it immensely without adding any water—and deceptively beautiful; there are no fancy bells or whistles here. Great bourbon, honoring a great master distiller.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

92 points

Longrow 18 year old, 46%

This limited release was matured in 60% refill sherry butts and 40% fresh bourbon barrels. Initially sweet vanilla and ripe apple notes on the nose, giving way to chimney soot and dry peat. The palate is very full and oily, with honey and vanilla merging with smoked haddock, charcuterie, and more overt peat. Licorice, coffee beans, brine, chili, and peppery peat in the lengthy finish. (4,500 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

92 points

Laphroaig 28 year old, 44.4%

Aged in quarter casks, bourbon barrels, and sherry butts for 27 years, then finished in sherry casks. Red apples and honey on the nose, where the characteristic Laphroaig phenolic attack becomes muted with time. Dried fruit, malt, and vanilla on the palate, along with subtle notes of iodine and warm tar. Developing brine, dark chocolate, and licorice leading into a dry, smoky, peppery finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

92 points

Midleton 1991 Single Cask, 55.2%

From this first-fill bourbon cask emerge light, delicate, aromatic fruits: think white peach, poached pear, and lychee with creamed coconut, nutmeg-spiced latte, Simnel cake, Chinese five-spice, and richer apple notes. A seemingly chaste dram that begins with honey, egg-washed brioche, stewed pears, and slender pink rhubarb before innocence is lost as sweet bursts of fruit explode, while dark vanilla, clove, rum and raisin, chocolate, and rye divert the action. Dried apple with Christmas spices marks the finish. (186 bottles, The Whisky Exchange only) £245

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

92 points

Murray McDavid (distilled at Linkwood) 1973, 46%

Style: Speyside single malt scotch Color: Honey gold Aroma: Subtly complex. Floral (especially roses). Honeyed vanilla sweetness. Subtle notes of bourbon and bakers chocolate. Murray McDavid (distilled at Linkwood, 1973, 46%) cont. Palate: Nicely balanced and with great depth. Again the honey and vanilla, which marries beautifully with the floral, herbal, subtly fruity notes. Almonds and dried spice on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2004)

92 points

Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch No. 2 Bourbon Cask and Rye Finish, 40%

Try this in your next Manhattan. Heather honey sweetness, Belgian waffles, cinnamon, rye spices, creamy vanilla, peppercorn, and dried porcini emerge after the 6-month rye cask finishing period. Sweet caramel oozes over the tongue, Highland toffee and Orkney fudge hold the spices in check. Banana candy and deep citrus acknowledge the Dufftown single malt component. The most accomplished Blender’s Batch to date. Emma Walker has nailed it. (Travel Retail exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

92 points

Booker’s 2018-04 “Kitchen Table,” 64%

A classic bourbon nose, as butterscotch hard candies meet oak, creamed honey, beeswax candle, licorice, and wood char. At full proof this really blows the doors off, and a splash of water cracks open the peanut brittle flavors, buttery biscuit, root beer spices, and oak. The finish rides on for minutes, a mouthful of Peanut Chews, dark berries, and smoky plum, with scorched campfire marshmallow.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

92 points

Rebel Yell Single Barrel 10 year old (barrel 5043515), 50%

With the quintessential traditional bourbon bouquet, it’s caramel and vanilla all day, with honey, oak, brown sugar, and freshly baked corn muffins following. Then pure bliss, striking powerful mouth-coating notes of crème brûlée, fried dough with powdered sugar, raspberry tarts, and maple syrup. The long finish offers a beautiful pecan pie note. Delightful to sip.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

92 points

The Dalmore 35 year old, 40%

This is comprised of whisky aged in a bourbon barrel, a 30 year old Matusalem sherry butt, and a Colheita port pipe. Figs and malt on the early nose; resinous, with tangerines, vanilla, and soft leather. Slightly thin on the palate, but very smooth, with spiced orange, dates, and coffee grounds. Dries very slowly in the finish, with persistent orange, a sprinkling of black pepper, and a suggestion of mouth-drying oak. (1,000 bottles per year for five years)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990, 43%

The first release in Glenmorangie’s new Vintage Collection, named Bond House No.1 after the 19th century warehouse that became the distillery’s new stillhouse in 1990. Matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. Mandarins, honey, and vanilla on the floral nose. Very smooth on the palate, with malt, vanilla, more honey, and milk chocolate orange. Attractive soft oak notes and gentle herbal spice in the medium to long finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Glengoyne 35 year old, 46.8%

Glengoyne 35 year old has been aged in sherry casks and just 500 decanters have been released. The nose offers sweet sherry, maraschino cherries, honey, sponge cake, marzipan, and soft fudge, turning to caramel in time, with a whiff of worn leather. Slick in the mouth, with spicy dried fruit, and more marzipan and cherries. Long in the finish with plain chocolate cherry liqueur; still spicy. Finally a buttery, bourbon-like note. No negative cask connotations in this well-balanced after-dinner dram.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

92 points

The Balvenie Tun 1401 (Batch #2), 50.6%

A vatting of selected casks located at Balvenie’s No. 24 warehouse in Dufftown, this is made up of seven ex-bourbon casks and three butts whose ages range from 1967 to 1989, all of which are then ‘married’ in a large vat (aka a ‘tun’). There’s classic Balvenie honey, along with macadamia, pistachio, and caramelized fruits. As it opens, it shifts into a high-class gentleman’s cologne: musk and sandalwood with some mulberry to add depth. Elegant and magnificent. £165

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

92 points

The Glenlivet 21 year old Archive, 43%

This expression is reputed to contain some whisky up to 40 years old and was matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. The nose offers overt sherry influences, with fruit malt loaf, maple syrup, honey, and old leather. Full and slightly oily on the rich palate, with toffee, raisins, Brazil nuts, and fresh cake mix. Dusty spices and oak in the relatively dry finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

91 points

Benromach 1975, 49.9%

This vintage bottling was distilled during the 1970s and spent 41 years in a refill bourbon hogshead (#3434). Spicy on the early nose, with fresh oak. Increasingly malty, with ginger and apricot. The palate is rich and full, with Jaffa orange, stewed apples, cocoa, and pipe tobacco. Plain chocolate and increasingly tannic oak in the finish. Ultimately, warming spicy citrus fruits and smoky black pepper. (162 bottles) £1,250

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

91 points

Glen Scotia 25 year old, 48.8%

Maturation took place in refill bourbon casks before a final 12-month period in first-fill bourbon casks. Lemon, ginger, pine resin, and a hint of sea salt on the nose, then banoffee pie develops. Luscious on the palate, with subtle spice, a touch of ashy smoke, and principally big orchard fruit notes. Drying in the lengthy finish, with a wisp of smoke, brine, and peppery oak. Glen Scotia at its characterful best.£250

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

91 points

Elijah Craig Small Batch Single Barrel Bourbon 10 year old, 47%

Subtly complex and nicely rounded. A bed of sweetness (caramel, vanilla) peppered with honey-kissed fruit, golden raisin, and a hint of marzipan. Pleasing oak grip and dried spice on the finish. A great value for such a high-quality bourbon. (Loch & K(e)y exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

91 points

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1993, 43%

The third release in Glenmorangie’s Bond House No.1 Collection spent 10 years in bourbon casks before being transferred into Bual madeira casks for 15 years of secondary maturation. Spicy nougat and ginger on the nose, stewed apricots, and a hint of bonfire smoke. Viscous on the palate, juicy, with strawberry liqueur chocolates. Spices linger long in the finish, with damsons and dark chocolate. (Travel Retail exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Bowmore Vault Edition Atlantic Sea Salt (First Release), 51.5%

This is the first of four bottlings in the Vault Edition series and was matured in bourbon barrels in the distillery’s famous No.1 Vaults. Nectarines in brine on the nose, with iodine and sweet spices. Medium-bodied on the palate, with peaches, vanilla, salt, and slightly bitter orange. Lingering orange notes in the finish, with cocoa powder and lots of salt. This expression lives up to its name!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

91 points

The Sovereign (distilled at Cambus) 50 year old 1964, 49.2%

You really don’t see many of these. Pear drops, stewed apple, strawberry jam, fragrant rhubarb stems, and vanilla pods. Neat, there’s a tacky sweetness of hard candy, with bitter skins of damson and green plum, sloes, and custard creams. Counteract this with water to bring out acetone, cake mix, and sweet bourbon notes of vanilla and creamed coconut. Then it is triumphant. Dry oak and dark vanilla complete one of the longest finishes I’ve savored this year. (111 bottles) £420

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

91 points

Heaven Hill Select Stock Barrel #44823, 64%

An 8 year old wheated bourbon, finished 27 months in Frapin cognac casks. A dark, opulent nose: cocoa, crushed sweet cherry, and vanilla custard, laced with cinnamon and fired with the alcohol heat. My, my…it’s even enjoyable at full proof, and delivers the sweet promise on a solid bed of oak and heat. Heaven Hill’s getting good at these finishes. Expensive, but impressive. (Kentucky Bourbon Affair bottling; others are similar—Heaven Hill’s Bourbon Heritage Center only)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

91 points

Blade and Bow 22 year old, 46%

This whiskey includes bourbon distilled at Buffalo Trace and Bernheim; its final aging was at Stitzel-Weller. Sweet and rich, with a mouth-coating velvety texture. Deeper and more polished than its younger NAS sibling (see below). Caramel, cocoa powder, lush orchard fruit, kiwi, Seville orange, fig, and honeyed vanilla, balanced by drying oak. Distinctive in character. Best after a hearty meal.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

91 points

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep, 43.4%

A very pricy (for Wild Turkey) 17 year old whiskey honoring master distiller Jimmy Russell. Nose is hot for the proof, with oak, dried barrel drool, warm dried corn, tobacco barn, and teaberry. Entry is not hot; rather, a thread of sweet syrup spreads out into thoroughly integrated corn and oak. Finish slides into drier oak. A fascinating journey through bourbon flavors, this is both lighter and more complex than expected. I still prefer younger Wild Turkey, but…

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

91 points

Yellowstone Kentucky Straight Bourbon 2018, 50.5%

Lavish oak aromas display sawdust, sandalwood, baking spices, and Christmas cookies, but lurking underneath is lots of dark fruit—black cherry soda, blueberry muffin, and cassis—tinged with root beer barrels and alpine forest. A truly pretty, complex, and delicious whiskey, although the oak feels like it’s just a bit overdressed. Finished in charred wine barrels. (12,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection “Blend of Mashbills”, 65.8%

A blend of two different 11 year old bourbons—one being a rye-based bourbon, the other being wheat-based. The wheat lends drinkability, while the rye contributes a spicy zing. The combination works very nicely, with light toffee, nutty caramel, nougat, soft orchard fruit, black cherry, vanilla, and cinnamon. (Note: this is the first of three different batches that will eventually be bottled.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

91 points

Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon, 45%

Many distilleries have released bourbon finished in a second barrel, but it’s Prichard’s who was savvy enough to copyright the term “double barreled.”  As you’d expect, the nose is big oak, blending darker, more seasoned oak with lighter, new oak. The palate is unexpectedly balanced, with lush, sweet caramel in perfect sync with spicy oak, black pepper, clove, and cinnamon. That wonderful balance follows through to a medium finish that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve been chewing on a barrel.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

91 points

The Dalmore Mackenzie 1992 Vintage, 46%

A tribute to the Mackenzie Clan. Aged in bourbon barrels for 11 years, and then aged an additional 6 years in port pipes, creating a rich, voluptuous, robust Dalmore expression. Notes of toffee, molasses, caramelized nuts, pancake batter, fig cake, and chocolate-covered citrus. Subtle glazed ginger and orange marmalade add complexity. Polished oak, tobacco-tinged finish. Very dynamic and never sappy or cloying. Save this one for after dinner.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2010)

91 points

Tullamore D.E.W. Special Reserve 12 year old, 40%

This blends bourbon and oloroso cask-matured elements drawn from every style of Irish whiskey. A mouthwatering dram with warm, creamy toffee, ripening yellow banana, wood spices, toasted coconut, spiced stewed apple, and cinnamon sticks. A delicious sip reveals a smooth medley of malt, chocolate, gentle spices, Brazil nut, and dried fruit, which sidles into a long finish of chocolate-covered raisins and deep, resonating spice. No reservations; this is special.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Armorik Sherry Finish, 40%

Sticky short ribs from the churrascaria, black pepper, allspice, and a little leather. This is a richly savory whisky with a substantial mouthfeel that’s never chewy. It was matured for 4 years in bourbon wood, then finished in oloroso sherry casks, creating a palate of figs, mixed peel, dried chili flakes, mocha, and whole black peppercorns. Perfectly weighted, right down to the ristretto finish with whole wheat digestive biscuits. Bold, audacious, and voluptuous.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

91 points

Glen Scotia 18 year old, 46%

New for 2017, this was matured for 17 years in bourbon casks before being finished in oloroso sherry casks for 1 year. The nose is fragrant, with prunes, oranges, vanilla, and faint wood polish. Ultimately, ozone. Silky palate delivery, with sweet sherry, honey, and dark chocolate-coated orange fondant creams, then a note of angelica. The finish offers spicy plain chocolate and a suggestion of sea salt. £86

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

91 points

Jura One and All, 51%

This limited edition 20 year old assemblage was matured in bourbon barrels, sherry casks, Cabernet Franc casks, Cabernet Sauvignon casks, and Pinot Noir barriques. Rich and sweet on the nose, with marzipan, apricot jam, and fresh pineapple with vanilla custard. Silky, with ginger, cherries, and caramel on the palate. The finish is long, with black pepper, licorice, and slightly tannic oak. (5,000 bottles) £120

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

91 points

Woodford Reserve Distillery Master's Collection Four Grain, 46.2%

The first four-grain, 100% copper pot-distilled bourbon in many decades. The flavors are distinctive, silky-textured, and seamless. Bright fruit notes of berries and citrus are balanced nicely by maple syrup, caramel and toffee. The whiskey is quite nutty too and delicately spiced with vanilla, mint, and cinnamon. It finishes pleasingly smooth and polished.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2006)

91 points

Balblair 1995, 46%

The latest Balblair release is a 1995 vintage expression, exclusive to global travel retail outlets. Matured in second-fill bourbon casks, Balblair 1995 is non-chill filtered and naturally colored. Initially very fruity on the nose, with peaches and carnations, icing sugar on bonbons, then a faint sprinkling of black pepper. Stewed fruits on the early palate, full and confident, with developing spices and brittle toffee. Relatively lengthy in the finish, with dark chocolate and soft oak. Price is per 1 liter.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

91 points

Old Pulteney 40 Year Old, 51.3%

The oldest bottling of Old Pulteney to date has been matured in American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks, and was personally bottled by distillery manager Malcolm Waring. The nose of this highly accomplished veteran is fragrant and waxy, with cooking apples, milk chocolate orange, Christmas spices, vanilla, and fudge. Initially, the substantial palate offers spicy fresh fruits, seasoned timber, then a hint of brine, with sultanas and plain chocolate. The finish is figgy, gingery, and sherried. £1,490

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

91 points

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 011), 57.4%

At 6 years old it’s hard to believe this could get any better with more time in the barrel. It begins with an explosion of honey, warm graham crackers, cinnamon, nutmeg, and marzipan. Then it’s saddle leather, pumice, caramel-covered popcorn, and jalapeño-and-peach jam spread over a flat tamale. More baking spices develop as the whiskey finishes long with a lovely salted-caramel note.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

91 points

Ailsa Bay, 48.9%

The first release from Ailsa Bay distillery is an NAS peated single malt. The new make spirit initially spends 6 to 9 months in 24 to 100-liter Hudson Baby Bourbon casks. It’s then transferred to virgin oak, first-fill, and refill American oak casks for several years. The ultimate vatting is non-chill filtered. A sweet, smoky nose with almonds and walnuts leads into a palate featuring citrus fruit, spicy peat, and cereal notes, with cocoa and soft oak in the finish. (UK and Nordic availability) £55

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

91 points

Lombard Jewels of Scotland (distilled at Springbank) 21 year old 1991 Cask No. 172, 49.7%

Aged in a bourbon hogshead, allowing the distillery character to shine through. Fresh, lively and inviting (especially for its age), with a complex array of tropical and summer fruit, peppered with brine, vanilla, and a hint of baker’s chocolate. An oily texture adds weight. Dry, deliciously appetizing finish. An excellent aperitif whisky, but enjoyable anytime. (D & M Wines and Liquors exclusive.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

91 points

Kilchoman 2009 Vintage, 46%

Matured in a combination of oloroso sherry butts filled in 2008, and bourbon barrels filled in 2008 and 2009. The nose is initially flinty, with lemongrass, fabric Band-Aids, fudge, and vanilla. Ultimately the lemon is joined by Jaffa orange juice. Supple and sweet on the palate, with developing nutmeg and white pepper. Peppery in the finish, with plain chocolate and aromatic peat smoke. (840 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

Ardbeg Twenty Something, 46.3%

This 23 year old expression was released for the Ardbeg Committee. It includes whisky matured in sherry and bourbon casks. Sweet asphalt, bonfire smoke, lemon sponge drizzled in iodine, and background cinnamon on the nose. Succulent, sherried, and chocolate-coated orchard fruits on the oily palate, with vanilla and sweet peat. The peat dries slowly in the finish, with developing licorice, kippers, and peppery oak

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

Laphroaig Quarter Cask, 48%

This expression is aged for approximately 5 years in bourbon barrels before spending a final few months in quarter casks. Characteristic tar, engine oil, and ashy peat on the nose. Oily and full on the palate, with sweet grain notes, cinnamon, seaweed, hot peat, and black pepper. The finish is long and powerful, with persistent peat and chili, plus a sprinkling of sea salt.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

Bushmills Bourbon Cask #8141, 56.5% ABV

This is what the standard Bushmills Malt 10 year old should taste like. A classic Irish whiskey nose. Deliciously sweet creamy notes of vanilla, marshmallow, honey, powdered sugar, and polished oak. Faint tropical fruit notes emerge from time to time. Very clean on the palate, with a dry, bourbon-like finish. Those extra few years in wood, along with being non-chill-filtered, add richness, depth, and complexity.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2004)

91 points

Booker’s 2016-01 “Bluegrass Batch,” 63.95%

If Picasso sketched bourbon, it would look like Booker’s, with deep golden and auburn hues. But higher-proof color can deceive. Not here. Think bourbon warehouse: oak, caramel, tobacco leaf, cinnamon, vanilla; floral with hints of honey and blueberry. And then it really comes alive. Oh, baby! Candy corn, crème brûlée, maple syrup, nutmeg, and traces of chipotle and cayenne. The proof strength doesn’t show. I recommend this batch neat for full, unrelenting flavor.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

91 points

Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Seasoned Wood, 50%

A wheated recipe bourbon that was aged in experimental barrels with staves utilizing various methods of seasoning. Oak spice is important with a wheated bourbon, as there is no rye to balance the sweet notes, and this whiskey does a great job here. Delicate in personality, with nutty caramel, dried citrus, and golden raisin segueing to polished leather, warming cinnamon, clove, and hints of a cigar humidor.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

91 points

Michter’s 10 year old Single Barrel Straight Bourbon (No. 16B233), 47.2%

Released in the spring of 2016. True balance and consistency from nose to finish, showing toffee, saltwater taffy, cinnamon Jolly Rancher, crème brûlée, nutmeg, toasted pecan, chocolate, fruit, delicate spice. Hints of pear, peach, and apple. I love the coffee and hazelnut on the long finish. I wonder if the taste would improve in the 107 to 111 proof range. As it is now, this is a must-have sipper.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

91 points

Old Bones 10 year old Reserve, 55%

This straight bourbon is a race of notes trying to outrun each other. Out of the gate, it’s caramel and vanilla, with a bevy of fruit, soft florals, and chocolate slightly trailing. Oak and smoke take the lead on the first turn, then an explosion of butterscotch and Spanish flan setting the pace. Then graham crackers, marshmallow, and melted chocolate eye the prize, with rich, rounded caramel custard taking the long route to the finish line. Definite contender!

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

91 points

The Last Drop 1965 Blend 48 year old, 48.6%

Originally blended, then recasked into fresh bourbon wood three decades ago, the nose of ripened peaches, cooked pear, pecan nuts, menthol, clove, and vanilla make for a compelling combination. A surprising lift of red summer fruits as this bright whisky sashays around the mouth, the complexity measured out in installments; plum sauce, toasted oak, coffee bean, gingersnaps, clove, licorice, and hints of savory juices. It dances on and on with the whirling wood spices in no hurry whatsoever. (592 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

91 points

Metze’s Select, 46.5%

Old school spicy nose, almost archetypal scents of sweet teaberry, cinnamon, and spearmint hard candy, with a firm, warm alcohol backing. True in the mouth: I’m tasting just what I smelled, all on a full bed of corn sweetness, floating off into a warm finish. Could it be more complex? Yes, but it’s beautifully balanced, and not the over-oaked shellac that passes for mature bourbon these days. If this was under $30 a bottle, I’d marry it. (6,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

91 points

High West Campfire, 46%

This hybrid of bourbon, rye, and blended malt scotch is the dusty trail made liquid flesh. Smoke and cooked meat up front, balanced by sizzling rye spice, red fruit, and dark chocolate. Seaweed, salt spray, and peat are happy to share the spotlight. Barbecue ribs dry-rubbed with paprika, chili powder, and clove, with a smoldering finish. Hot, powerful, and beguiling. A great improvement over earlier releases (2016 batch).

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

91 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 1997 Vintage, 12 year old, 47.5%

Big and spicy, but contrasted by layers of sweetness. Vibrant dried spice (warming cinnamon, crisp mint, nutmeg, and cigar box), caramel, nougat, black raspberry, dried citrus, and a hint of chocolate fudge laced with coconut. Very warming on the finish, with a nice resinous grip without being over-oaked. A very dynamic whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2010)

91 points

Kirkland 7 year old Tennessee Straight Bourbon (Batch T-1796), 51.5%

Orange zest, cocoa powder, toasted marshmallow, spiced root beer, peanuts in the shell, and pure vanilla bean on the nose, along with the pleasant aroma of standing inside a dusty old barn. The body has heft and purpose, weaving together orange marmalade, corn cakes, root beer, horehound candy, gingerbread spices, and blueberry jam, with well-integrated oak throughout. Unlike other contenders, this hits the perfect proof. (Costco)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Bulleit 10 year old, 45.6%

Earthy, leathery, and spiced, this bourbon shows nice maturity and polish, evoking a well-worn wood-paneled barroom. The flavors offer good intensity and concentration, striking a nice balance of sweet and savory notes, as spicy cedarwood and cigar box come draped in toffee. Water releases some vivid chocolate, vanilla cream, and clove-studded orange. Nice verve, fine balance, and evident maturity.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon (2013 Edition) 12 year old, 49%

A delicious base of creamy vanilla and rich caramel, complemented by tropical fruit (coconut, pineapple, ripe mango), golden raisin, and raspberry preserve, and jazzed up with spice (cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg). Polished oak on the finish. The flavors are nicely integrated. My favorite of the last several annual releases.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

91 points

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve (Lot 252), 40%

Finished in wet, freshly dumped bourbon barrels, Double Barrel shows strong bourbonesque vanilla and a slippery, almost syrupy lushness. This latest batch is even creamier than the early ones made by John Hall himself. After a deceptively simple start, a mouth-filling toffee sweetness broadens into ripe tropical fruits with fleeting under-notes reminiscent of earthy dragonfruit. Hot, peppery flares punctuate the soft fruitiness as it moves to the fore and the creamy mouthfeel subsides.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

91 points

Kilchoman 100% Islay 8th Edition (2018 Release), 50%

This expression was distilled from Optic barley grown and malted (to 20ppm) at Kilchoman and matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. A whiff of smoke, lemon curd, vanilla, and allspice on the nose. Supple in the mouth, with baked apples, sherry, and fruity peat. Spicy dark chocolate and nutty oak on the finish. Richer and more rounded than previous editions, thanks to sherry cask influence.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

91 points

Cotswolds 2014 Odyssey Barley, 46%

It’s quite a tick list for their first single malt: 100% locally grown floor-malted barley, long fermentations, unusual yeast strains, innovative distillation cuts, and bourbon and shave-toast-rechar red wine casks. Honey, sugar-sprinkled shortbread, peach tarts, marzipan fruits, glacé apricot, finely shredded citrus peel, and young pink rhubarb. Flavors of heather honey, chili flakes, Christmas spices, caramelized sugar, malt; then marmalade, dried red fruits, and cappuccino. A great all-rounder. More please! (960 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection Barrel Finished 10 year old, 50%

Heaven Hill’s first wood-finished bourbon. Finished for several months in cognac casks (reminiscent of Beam’s Distillers’ Masterpiece offering around a decade ago), which show nicely without dominating. Very silky and smooth in texture. Notes of graham cracker, dark fleshy fruit (ripe grape, blackberry brandy), light toffee, maple syrup on pancakes, and creamy vanilla. Great balance, distinctive, and perilously drinkable for 100 proof.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

91 points

The Dalmore 1969 42 year old, 45.5%

Initially filled into an ex-bourbon cask, then transferred into a Gonzales Byass oloroso ‘Matusalem’ sherry butt in 2005 for four years, before a final two years in a freshly-emptied bourbon barrel. The nose is initially floral, with overripe Seville oranges, figs, ginger, and cocoa powder. Peaches and almonds on the palate, before dark fruits and salted nuts appear. Drying oak is held at bay, and the final note is fat and figgy. Cask number 14; 233 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

91 points

Box The Festival 2014, 53.5%

Disgorge bourbon quarter-casks after 3 years and fill them into sixteen virgin American oak 40-liter casks that have been made from air-seasoned wood, medium toasted then charred, and what do you get? Maple syrup, pecan pie nuttiness, piercing vanilla, fluffy cotton candy, and the char note of the dome of a well-fired fruitcake. The palate chews through nut brittle, butterscotch, praline, nutmeg, baked banana, and active wood spices, with the sweetness of a good bourbon. Respect. (700 bottles) 889 SEK

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

91 points

Celtic Cask Aon, 46%

It’s like Mom’s apple pie in a glass. This whiskey was distilled at Cooley and spent 14 years in bourbon, then 2 years extra maturation in an 80 year old Palo Contado sherry cask from Bodegas Emilio Hidalgo. Brown sugar, baked apples, warmed almonds, chocolate jimmies, nutmeg, vanilla, and cardamom. Sherry flavors caress, with apple, spun sugar, candied peel, sultanas, stone fruits, and the fruitiness of Scharffen Berger bars. Gracefully wanes, meditating on the red and black fruits. (711 bottles) €250

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

91 points

Kornog Roc’h Hir, 46%

Made by the sea in Côtes d’Armor on direct-fired small stills attached to worm tubs, which the French elegantly call condenseurs serpentins. This has smoked fish, iodine, pine forests, driftwood, lemon zest, and clean medicinal qualities rather than peatiness. Waxed lemon, light fudge, lemon bonbons, and vanilla from the bourbon barrels ride a crescendo of pepper and ginger before smoke obscures all before it. A match for any Islay.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

anCnoc 35 year old Second Release, 41%

Non-chill filtered and matured exclusively in bourbon casks. Very floral on the nose, with toffee and spicy new leather. Soft and slightly smoky in the mouth, with vanilla and spicy, ripe pears.  A touch of licorice leads into a long, slightly drying finish. (670 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

BenRiach 25 year old, 46.8%

Matured in a mixture of oloroso sherry, bourbon, and virgin oak casks. Honey, vanilla, and tropical fruits on the spicy, aromatic nose, with just a hint of oak. The honey and vanilla carry over to the palate, where they are joined by peaches, drinking chocolate, and subtle sherry. The finish dries steadily, with long-lasting citrus fruit. A stylish, complex dram.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

90 points

Balvenie DoubleWood 25 year old, 43%

This limited edition bottling celebrates the 25th anniversary of the DoubleWood releases. DoubleWood malts are initially matured in bourbon casks before a second period in European oak sherry casks. Classic Balvenie honey, orchard fruits, toffee, and oak on the nose. The palate is voluptuous, with orange, honey, ginger, and milk chocolate. Spicy sherry in the rich, long finish. (3,600 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Barrell Dovetail Cask Strength (Batch 001), 61.45%

There’s personality galore in this blend of 10 year old Indiana whiskey finished in cabernet sauvignon casks and 11 year old Tennessee bourbon finished in rum casks and port pipes. Caramel, honeycomb candy, See’s molasses chips, peanuts, graham crackers, cola, mature oak, and a little dill on the nose. The palate is chewy, with dried cherries, grape soda, root beer candy, roasted walnuts, dark chocolate, black pepper, ginger, graham cracker, cinnamon cookie, and lush leathery oak. Good development, if you have the patience to linger.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

High West Campfire (Batch 18D17), 46%

High West has changed the recipe for Campfire to include its own-make rye, along with sourced rye, bourbon, and peated malt whisky from Scotland. The nose is sweetly spiced and subtly smoky, with Lapsang souchong tea, kelp, beach bonfire, cigar box, orange peel, cinnamon, white pepper, and crème brûlée. Sharply herbal at first taste, it warms up to reveal orange oil, cherry cola, cough syrup, cigar wrapper, iced tea, roasted walnuts, caramel, and savory smoke. Chili heat on the finish is balanced by oak, dark chocolate, tobacco, and grilled apple.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Old Pulteney 18 year old, 46%

This replaces the 21 year old expression. Initially matured in bourbon and second-fill American oak casks, and then in Spanish oak oloroso butts. Rich, warming aromas of cinnamon, honey, oak, and milk chocolate. The chocolate darkens on the full palate, with contrasting ripe pears and crème brûlée. A hint of brine, along with citrus fruits and light oak in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Buffalo Trace, 45%

Light bronze color. Thick, mature aromas, with notes of subtle spice (vanilla, mint), toffee, light molasses and leather. Adding a little water revealing notes of teaberry, anise, and dark candied fruit. Pleasantly sweet at first in flavor, with notes of brown sugar and spice (vanilla, mint), becoming dry with enveloping flavors of oak and leather. With a little water, more subtle flavors are revealed, including toffee, dark fruit, and anise. The whisky finishes long and dry with significant depth. This is a big exciting bourbon, full of character from the distillery previously known as Ancient Age. The price is right too-if you can find the whiskey to buy it.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2000)

90 points

Fettercairn Fior, 42%

Released with no age statement, Fettercairn Fior contains 15 percent heavily-peated whisky matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, along with a proportion of 14 and 15 year old spirit. The result is a bold and complex whisky with real nose presence; smoke, sherry, toffee, vanilla, and oranges merge on the nose, while the palate showcases more smoke and toffee, plus spices, oak, and licorice in the lengthy finish. £36 Not currently available in the U.S.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2011)

90 points

Dillon’s Three Oaks, 43%

Hail the new distillers who have so broadened the profile of rye whisky. All rye grain, some matured in new American and Canadian oak and some in bourbon barrels, yields a complex palate woven into sweet citrus reminiscent of Grand Marnier. Fresh linen with the waxiness of a wet oil painting, tart gooseberries, creamy vanilla caramels, nutty cereals, and peppery spices. Finishes sweet with ripe fruit, white pepper, and halva.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Classic Cask, 13 year old, 1991 Vintage, Batch GL-109, 45.4%

A remarkably balanced bourbon. Evolving notes of maple, vanilla, mint, dried fruit, coconut, and polished oak with a hint of leather on the finish. Very clean and drinkable too-especially for a 13 year old bourbon. Only 726 bottles were produced, but it’s worth tracking down one of the remaining bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2005)

90 points

Delilah's '13' Bourbon, 13 year old, Batch #1, 50%

One of the leading bourbon-specialty bars in the U.S., located in Chicago, finally has its own single barrel bourbon. The flavors are nicely balanced, and there’s a soothing, creamy texture throughout the palate. Sweet notes of coconut cream, vanilla fudge, and honeycomb are enhanced by a complex array of more delicate notes of spearmint, green tea, golden raisin, dusty corn, cocoa, and oak resin. This time, “13” is a lucky number.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2007)

90 points

The Dalmore Ceti 30 year old, 45%

The Dalmore spirit that comprises Ceti comes from a mix of bourbon and sherry casks, with bourbon wood predominating. 23 years of maturation in American oak were followed by seven years in 30 year old Gonzalez Byass Matusalem oloroso sherry butts. The result is a nose of old leather, hessian, sandalwood, vanilla, plain chocolate, and ripe Jaffa oranges. Very full-bodied, with burnt orange, pineapple, and sticky toffee, while the finish offers ginger, orange wine gums, and old oak. 1,000 bottles. £1,250

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

90 points

George T. Stagg, 70.9%

Stagg is so smooth, it’s quite drinkable at higher proofs. On the other hand, when you bring it down to the strength that you would normally drink your whiskey, it’s almost too easygoing (I made the same comment about last year’s William Larue Weller bottling). The main theme to this whiskey is lush toffee sweetness and, like last year’s expression, some vanilla fudge, nougat, and molasses. Underlying notes of dates, tobacco, dark berried fruit, spearmint, and a hit of coffee round out the palate. Given the higher strength, it’s a true value bourbon -- almost like getting two bottles in one. A very nice whiskey but, when brought down to comparable strength, the Eagle Rare 17 has more complexity.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2009)

90 points

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength (2015 Release), 63.95%

The Angel’s Envy Cask Strength port cask finished bourbon has developed a cult following, and it’s easy to see why. Jumping out are marshmallow, caramel, vanilla, roasted nuts, with a hint of cardamom, coffee, and nutmeg, but true beauty lies in the pronounced pumpkin pie, dark chocolate, raw pine nut, caramel, and sweet maltiness. I’d love for this whiskey to finish longer, but it does give a hint of nutmeg toward the end. Sourced whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

90 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 year old bourbon from floor #5, 45%

Each of these three bourbons was distilled and bottled at the same time, and aged in the same warehouse for 12 years and 3 months. The main variable was the floor they were aged on. In theory, the higher up in the warehouse, the greater the temperature variation, and the more wood influence. Does the experiment support this general concept? Yes, with the sweet spot being the middle floor. Similar sweet notes as its sibling aged in floor #1 (caramel, honey, ripe fruit), but with an additional layer of dried spice (cinnamon, vanilla, clove) to accompany it. It has all the components of a fine bourbon, and it’s also nicely balanced, with good oak grip on the finish. The best of the three. Price is per 375 ml

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

90 points

Abraham Bowman Pioneer Spirit Virginia Whiskey (distilled 1993, bottled 2011), 69.3%

Distilled at Buffalo Trace in Kentucky but aged mostly in Virginia at the A. Smith Bowman distillery. This is a bold, hearty bourbon: not elegant or refined, rather a bit mean and moody at times. Sweeter, gentler notes of vanilla, caramel, nougat, mocha, and candied fruit wrestle with more aggressive tobacco, leather, and damp forest floor notes. Warming, cinnamon-tinged, gripping finish. A rewarding whiskey for those with an adventurous soul.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

90 points

Evan Williams Single Barrel, 1997 Vintage, 43.3%

A bright and lively bourbon. Nicely balanced, too, with notes of caramel custard, red licorice, orange marmalade, golden raisin, and coconut cream, underpinned by crisp rye and tantalizing cinnamon. A gently sweetish whiskey -- not cloying in any way. In fact, it’s very drinkable. And it’s a whiskey that demonstrates great harmony between youth and maturity.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2007)

90 points

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 015), 53.8%

It opens with a crust of salt and Flintstones vitamins in honey, almond paste, and caramel. Then pumice, pear, canned peaches, and baked apples jump into the mix, followed by Nutella, Cheerios, candied pecans, and chocolate. As the medium to long finish sets in, slight hints of smoke appear and suggest it would pair great with a bold cigar. A drop of water only makes it better.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

90 points

Parker’s Heritage Collection 2018 Orange Curaçao Finished, 55%

This is sure to be a divisive edition, but once you open your mind to the idea, it’s hard to argue with the titillating aromas and seductive sweetness that curaçao casks bring. Resembling a bourbon liqueur, the nose is replete with tangerine, orange peel, tropical fruit, and nougat. The palate circles back to classic bourbon notes that manage to find balance with the candied orange nose.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Low Gap 2 year old Rye, 44.1%

A malted rye whiskey, aged in new, bourbon, and Germain-Robin cognac barrels. Cereal grains are the star of this nose, which supports the rye grain with oak and cinnamon spice. The palate follows the grain-focused nose and is a carefully crafted love note to rye grain, featuring multi-grain cereal, cinnamon, ginger, sawdust, and a touch of oak. The finish is all dark chocolate, rye grain, and cinnamon spice; a delicious, close to expertly-crafted whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

90 points

Knappogue Castle 16 year old Twin Wood Limited Release, 40%

The Twin Wood release is the result of refilling this triple distilled single malt from its bourbon casks into oloroso casks for a 21-month finishing period. This produced a wonderfully dry nose of macadamia nut, pepper, and baked apple crumble. Rich sweetness, more sherry fruit, and raspberry, which develop with plum notes, some bitter fruits, old chocolate, and a little heat. Fruity sweetness is maintained through the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, 40%

This just makes me happy. The nose brims with pure blossom honey, a dose of vanilla, whole peach, butter toffee, and an uplifting floral bouquet. A soothingly sweet and syrupy smooth concoction; this light-bodied whiskey of honey, caramel, and toffee feels like it should be dispensed with kindness in regular doses from a medicine spoon. The epitome of uncomplicated, easy-drinking, bourbon cask-matured whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Penderyn Bourbon single cask, cask strength, 61.2%

The unusual distilling process and some maturation in Madeira casks has given standard Penderyn a liqueur-like, perfumey quality many whisky fans don’t care for. This is a single bourbon cask bottling of the 11th cask the distillery ever filled, to mark its 10th anniversary, and is less cloying, less feminine, and more gutsy than the standard version. It’s also very palatable and of excellent quality. Some will make it to America, but the price tag will deter all but the most passionate.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2011)

90 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 year old wheated bourbon from floor #1, 45%

Buffalo Trace distilled a wheated bourbon and aged barrels from the same distillation date on three different floors (1, 5 and 9) for 12 ½ years to see what the differences would be. This is similar to an experiment they conducted last year using a rye mashbill bourbon. As you will see, the higher the floor, the more intense the flavors, and the greater the wood influence. Gentle and easygoing. Creamy texture, with layered sweet notes of caramel, vanilla, marzipan, and crème brûlée. Soft background spice lingers on a delicate, soothing finish. Price is per 375 ml.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

90 points

Murray Hill Club Blended Bourbon, 51.5%

This Jos. A. Magnus & Co. release marries 18 year old and 11 year old bourbon with 9 year old light whiskey. Rich oak on a nose that offers butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, and sugared pecans, along with red fruit, baking spice, and black pepper. The palate reveals more vanilla, as well as almonds, honey, toffee, and gingerbread. Chocolate, baking spice, pepper, leathery oak, and tobacco leaf complete a long, sinewy finish that shows its maturity well.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Rock Town 5th Anniversary Arkansas Straight Bourbon, 50%

Aged for 4 years and bottled in bond, this bourbon has a mash of Arkansas grown grains, including 73% corn, 9% wheat, and 18% barley. Dark amber in color, a robust nose spotlights cinnamon, oak, and black pepper. The palate is an enjoyable journey from sweet caramel corn to spicy cinnamon and oak. Cinnamon is the star in the mid-palate, where it’s well supported by the underlying alcohol. A long and slightly dry finish caps off a craft whiskey done right.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

90 points

Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel, 45%

An elegant bourbon, and very drinkable too! Its flavors are clean and tight, with bright fruit (nectarine, tangerine, pineapple), soft coconut, honeyed vanilla, cotton candy, and subtle gin botanicals. Polished leather and a hint of dark chocolate on the finish. Great anytime. (Exclusive to Capital City Package.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2013)

90 points

Box Dálvve, 46%

The first core bottling from Box is named after the Sami people’s word for winter. It’s around 5 years old and matured in bourbon casks, with 24% of the composition using malt kilned to 39 parts per million. Smoky peats and smoked ham in harmony with blossom honey, lemon zest, and pistachio shells. Vibrant orange and lemon notes settle to creamy toffee and Edinburgh rock, the last drops of citrus squeezing out in the finish. 479 SEK

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Evan Williams Single Barrel 2007 Vintage (Barrel No. 724), 43.3%

Aged slightly more than 9 years. (The annual single barrel releases jumped last year from approximately 10 years old to 9 years old, with both a 2005 and 2006 vintage released in the same year.) A mélange of fruit (apricot, candied citrus, pineapple, golden raisin) spiked with fresh mint and cinnamon on a bed of caramel and vanilla. In true form, this bourbon is flavorful and well-rounded.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

90 points

Smooth Ambler Contradiction Bourbon, 50%

Generously oaked, with toasty oak drive delivering brown spices and earthy dried apple on the nose. The palate pours sweet and rich, with warm corn porridge underscored with dark molasses and maple flavors. There is a lot to like here, from the boiled peanuts to a spiced palate, as the young, house-made whiskey imparts its verve to the 9 year old Indiana bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

90 points

Glen Moray 15 year old, 40%

Aged in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks; the nose is initially relatively reticent, slightly earthy, with a hint of drinking chocolate, emerging sherry notes, and subtle orange. Toffee, more chocolate, and spicy dried fruits on the relatively full-bodied palate. Long in the finish, with wood spices.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Willett Single Barrel Estate Reserve, Barrel # A-4614, 47%

Bottled in a glass pot still decanter. Soft and elegant on the nose and palate, and very well balanced. An incredibly drinkable whiskey. There’s no age statement on the bottle, but it was bottled at just the right time, based on its great balance of flavors. Notes of vanilla, coconut, and crème brulee provide a base for emerging notes of cedar wood shavings, cinnamon, soft mint, and a hint of fennel. A very graceful bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

90 points

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2010, 50%

Quantities of Optic and Oxbridge barley varieties were grown on eight Islay family farms during 2009, and the following year this grain was distilled, then matured in bourbon and French wine casks. The nose offers ginger, melon, malt, sweet (lit) pipe tobacco, freshly baled straw, resin, vanilla, and spice. Chewy in the mouth; oily, with toffee spices and youthful oak notes. The finish features oysters with lemon squeezed over them.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Limeburners Port Cask, 43%

Aromas of black grape, sultana, fresh plum, and fennel seed arouse the senses. The Australian port-cask finish coats the bourbon characteristics, enriching rather than saturating, draping raspberry and cherry around caramels and runny honey. Sultana notes pull ahead, the whole experience becoming buttery in the final stretch as the spices balance out. More spice to the fore on the finish, pumping in the pepper while serving up rich cooked fruit. A highly respectable effort. A$135

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

90 points

Deanston 40 year old, 45.6%

This veteran expression from Deanston Distillery was matured in refill bourbon casks before spending no fewer than 10 years in oloroso sherry butts. Rose petals, fresh pineapple, clotted cream, cinnamon, and dusty oak on the enticing nose. Unctuous in the mouth, with apple pie, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and ginger. Drying slowly to pleasing fruity, tannic notes. Extremely long finish, with a persistent citric tang. (Less than 500 bottles globally)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Springbank 21 year old 2014 release, 46%

The latest limited release of 21 year old Springbank has been matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. Sherry and bourbon notes are well integrated on the early nose, which follows up with succulent tropical fruits, toffee, and a whiff of earthy peat. The palate is complex, confident, and oily, with dry sherry notes, almonds, figs, vanilla, wood smoke, and a hint of the sea. The lengthy finish boasts caramel, cinnamon, brine, and soft peat. £182

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

90 points

High West Bourye, Batch #1, 46%

This is a blend of straight bourbon and two straight rye whiskeys: thus the name. Very interesting indeed. But how does it taste? It’s clean, crisp, and quite vibrant (especially on the nose). The rye note is evident throughout. It starts out more like a high rye-content bourbon, with the molasses, caramel, coconut cream, sweet corn, and honey-kissed fruit marrying nicely with the dried spice (vanilla, cinnamon, brisk mint). But then on the latter half of the palate, the rye really kicks in. The whiskey gets bold, the rye becomes intense (almost piercing), with a dried spice finish. Some whiskeys are even keeled throughout. This one is more of an adventure. Not complex enough for “classic status” (>95), but a very distinctive, enjoyable whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2010)

90 points

Benromach Triple Distilled 2009, 50%

Benromach’s first triple-distilled single malt was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. The nose offers peaches with a wisp of sweet smoke, vanilla, and a hint of lime. Voluptuous and very sweet on the palate; intense sugary orchard fruits and stem ginger, with the characteristic Benromach peat smoke dialed back. The finish embraces insistent black pepper, nutmeg, and very mild peat. £45

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

90 points

The Glenlivet Nàdurra 16 year old, 57.2%

Aged exclusively in first-fill bourbon casks and bottled unfiltered and at natural cask strength. This takes the usually subtle Glenlivet and makes it more vibrant, amplifying its flavors while accentuating the bourbon oak. Tight notes of honeyed malt, vanilla bean, toasted oak, bright fruit, and nuts, are peppered with more subtle floral and spice notes. Dry, spicy finish. A Glenlivet with pizzazz.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2006)

90 points

Armorik Millésime 2014, 55.7%

This third single cask release was distilled in 2002 and spent two-thirds of its maturation in oloroso after 4 years in bourbon wood. The nose brings cranberry, bramble, smoked meats over a pit fire, stewed apple, Worcestershire sauce, and damp sphagnum. The taste is silky, displaying an array of citrus and red berry fruits. It’s amazingly gentle and tender given the strength. Water brings cider apples, ginger, and spices with a finish of bubblegum and boiled mint candies. €90

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

90 points

Jura One For You 18 year old, 52.5%

This is the final release in a three-part series that began in 2016 with One For The Road, followed by One For All. Initially aged for 18 years in bourbon barrels, then finished in virgin American oak quarter casks. The nose features tinned peach segments, coconut, and white pepper. The palate offers caramel, marzipan, almonds, and sultanas. Dark chocolate, raisins, and black pepper in the finish. £130

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Doc 52 Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 55%

On the nose, cherry tart baked over a fireplace: rich red fruit with a whiff of soot and some chalky minerality. A lot of warmth on the palate, with biscotti, almond, toffee, and warm caramel apple topped with sweet vanilla cream, and chocolate ganache on the side. Good, creamy texture, with some sharp peppery tinges. A 9 year old Tennessee bourbon selected by and bottled for Doc’s Wine, Spirits and More in Memphis, Tennessee. (152 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

90 points

BenRiach Temporis 21 year old, 46%

Temporis is a peated variant of BenRiach, and like its unpeated 21 year old stablemate it was matured in a mix of four types of barrels: bourbon, virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez, and oloroso sherry. Sweet leather and peat on the nose; emerging vanilla and woodsmoke. Quite muscular on the palate, where orchard fruits are balanced by drying oak. White pepper and aniseed in the relatively long finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

Bruichladdich Octomore 08.3, 61.2%

One of four Octomore 08 Masterclass releases, this was distilled in 2011 from Islay barley peated to 309 ppm. Fifty-six percent of the spirit was matured in first-fill bourbon casks, while the remainder was aged in European oak wine casks. Barbecue smokiness on the nose, with wet peat and citrus fruitiness. On the palate, earthy peat, full-bodied red wine, and milk chocolate. Peat smoke to the fore in the finish, with ginger and chili. (18,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

90 points

Barrell 11 year old American Whiskey (Batch 004), 60.3%

A blend of whiskeys finished in rum and rye barrels, it’s molasses-forward with quick introductions of clove, vanilla, flowers, and strawberry. Green apple and ginger cookies appear before a burst of caramel chew, herbs, and chewing tobacco. At times fascinating for its rye, bourbon, and rum qualities, albeit a little hot, it’s a must-pour for a spirits lover.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Small Batch Bourbon, 50%

If you wondered when you saw “50%,” this is indeed bottled in bond whiskey, with all the requirements that go with it. The nose is just this side of hot and brings parched corn, sawn maple wood, spicy hard candy, and dry spearmint leaf. Bright and spicy on the tongue; more candy and honey, and hints of teaberry and licorice that develop into the finish. A better package of flavor and price than the earlier Taylor releases; quite enjoyable.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

90 points

Maker’s 46, 47%

This is original “red wax” Maker’s Mark that received additional aging in barrels containing internal “seared” French oak staves. The original Maker’s Mark, being a wheated bourbon (instead of rye, which is typically used), is rather mellow and easy-to-drink. The French oak staves in “46” add firm, complex dry spices (led by warming cinnamon, followed by nutmeg and clove), herb (a suggestion of Green Chartreuse, perhaps?), and some polished leather “grip”, which dovetails well with Maker’s trademark layered sweetness (caramel, vanilla, a hint of honey). I’m also picking up some dried fruit in the background. The seared oak stave influence is somewhat aggressive, but never to the point of being excessive.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2010)

90 points

Port Askaig 14 year old Bourbon Cask, 45.8%

This limited edition was distilled in 2004 and aged in eleven first-fill bourbon barrels. Warm lemon juice, rock pools, new tweed, and new leather, plus peat smoke and charcuterie on the nose. The palate is robust, sweet, and fruity, with spicy orange, vanilla, caramel, and earthy peat. Long in the finish, with light tannins and peat coated with stewed fruits. (420 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye, 47%

With a mashbill of 70% rye, 18% corn, and 12% malted barley, this rye doesn’t disappoint. Butter-toasted rye bread and vanilla, with hints of herbs and campfire smoke. Then fruit…a lot of fruit: pear, banana, pineapple, followed by a bevy of sweets—caramel, butterscotch, and toffee, mainly—with a delightful cinnamon bread finish. This skews more toward bourbon than the Indiana ryes, and that’s a good thing.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

90 points

Barrell Bourbon 13 year old (Batch 009), 56.05%

Think of an Almond Joy candy bar: coconut, almond, and milk chocolate, followed by the candy bar’s rival flavors: caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch. Then oak, leather, cigar box, marmalade, grape jelly, a plethora of baking spices, and toffee. This beautiful study of barrel strength bourbon needs no water. Caramel in all forms, from candied to syrup, follows this home for a long and delightful finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

90 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2016, 48.5%

Complexity right off. Cherry candied nuance, smoke, caramel, French toast, vanilla, and apricot, but then an explosion of marzipan coats the palate with vanilla, freshly baked rye bread, and hints of brown sugar, nutmeg, toasted almond, and bittersweet chocolate. Finally, cherry cola and herbs walk you to a lovely, long, bitter finish with warm undertones. This is a year-round front porch sipper.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

90 points

Bruichladdich 10 year old, 46%

The first 10 year old distilled by the current owners back in 2001. Lovely marriage of both bourbon and sherry casks, and quite fresh, with a maturity resembling a 12 year old, rather than 10. Smooth on the palate and very drinkable, with creamy vanilla, honeycomb, banana bread, bright lemon, melon (honeydew, cantaloupe), tangerine, candied ginger, and delicate brine. With all the Bruichladdich razzle-dazzle over the past decade, we can embrace this unpretentiously delicious Laddie with open arms.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

90 points

Compass Box Delilah's, 40%

A special bottling in recognition of Chicago's outstanding alternative rock venue Delilah's, and like that venue this is full of character, color, grit, and determination. It's sweet but never cloying, soft and honeyed but gutsy, and there are peppermint, licorice, and fresh hay notes in the mix, too. It's spent time in bourbon wood and that shows. A departure for Compass Box, but a healthy one.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

90 points

Abraham Bowman High Rye Bourbon, 50%

“Contains five times more rye than A. Smith Bowman’s standard bourbon recipe,” aged 7 years and 9 months. A lean bourbon nose: sweet grain, leather, pepper, oak. Zing in the mouth! Quite spicy, with a smooth, oily feel, notes of dried apple and split fruit-tree branches, and a driving but welcome heat that lines straight through to the long, dry finish. Bold, interesting, and worthy of repeating! Limited release; mainly in Virginia.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

90 points

Yellowstone Limited Edition, 52.5%

Blends 7 and 12 year old bourbons, and a 7 year wheater, in a beautifully packaged tribute to the old brand. Typical nose—cinnamon Red Hots, milled corn, oaky zest—in balanced harmony. Beautiful stuff on the tongue: warm but not hot, expansive corn sweetness that lightens the cinnamon’s intensity, some clove, some oaky dryness. The warm finish only ends after a long embrace. Pricey for 7 year old bourbon, though; is this the future? Sourced whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

90 points

Henry McKenna Single Barrel 10 year old (cask #4535811), 50%

At 10 years old and 50% ABV, you’d expect this whiskey to pack a power punch, and while it does present solid oak and beautiful cinnamon spice, it does so with great finesse. This barrel of Henry McKenna is a great showcase of many classic bourbon notes: caramel, cinnamon, oak, orange, clove, and kettle corn. The flavors are well integrated, balanced, and backed by a wonderfully lush undertone. A solid finish that cools slightly caps off a textbook affable whiskey. (Drink Up New York only)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

90 points

Larceny, 46%

Lots of dried fruit, figs, and caramel lead off this bold but balanced bourbon, as dark berry fruits smack of sweet crème de cassis on the palate. There’s a good bit of spice here, like hot and spicy peanuts, that meets the sweet fruit and vanilla. Shows great length and nice polish on the finish with its dusty oak and cocoa.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

Bernheim Original 7 year old Straight Wheat, 45%

Wheated bourbon fans will enjoy this wheat whiskey with its distinctly bourbon nose of sweet cornbread and new oak, topped off with mint and pine aromas. It starts soft on the palate, but flavors build nicely as it rolls along, delivering graham cracker, citrus fruit, pecans, and cake batter. It remains really fresh and lovely, as caramel corn and drying cocoa powder emerge on the finish. A well-crafted and easy-drinking alternative to bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

The Balvenie 30 year old, 47.3%

A special Balvenie to honor Master Distiller David Stewart’s 30 years working at the distillery. This is a big and brooding dram. The aroma suggests it is aged in both bourbon and sherry oak. It’s complex and richly flavored (sweeter up front and increasingly dry towards its finish), with notes of honey, candied fruit, thick cut marmalade, vanilla, almonds, and prominent spicy oak notes. I’m picking up plenty of sherry in this new expression, which I like. It finishes firmly dry, with notes of spice and tannin. While I enjoy this whisky a great deal, you might want to seek out the Balvenie 25 year old (which I rated a 93) while the odd bottle is still available. It is slightly more rounded on the palate, and less than half the cost.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2005)

90 points

Elijah Craig 23 year old (Barrel No. 26), 45%

Yes, 23 years is a long time to age bourbon. And yes, there’s plenty of oak influence. But there’s an underlying sweetness that balances the oak spice (with this particular cask; others may vary). Chewy in texture, with toffee, dates, fig cake (with nuts), barrel char, tobacco, leather, and a dusting of cocoa.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

90 points

Oppidan Smoke + Sea Bourbon, 46%

Sweet smoke mingles with lemon curd, milk chocolate, roasted marshmallow, and vanilla-frosted yellow cupcake on the nose. The palate has a rubbery peatiness, yet the flavor remains fresh, with cherries and grapes, roasted nuts, salted caramel, and milk chocolate. It all wraps up with the ashiness of pipe tobacco and lengthy saline minerality. Beguiling and moreish—a whiskey worth lingering over. (3,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

Ardbeg Twenty Something 22 year old, 46.4%

Distilled in the spring of 1996, this was matured in bourbon barrels and yields a nose of exotic spices, heather in bloom, soft aromatic peat, and grapefruit sprinkled with iodine. Well-mannered peat, brine, orange peel, vanilla, and black pepper on the palate. The finish is long, smoky, and peppery.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Jura 1977 Vintage, 46%

This vintage expression from Jura has been matured in three first-fill bourbon casks and then finished for one year in a ruby port pipe. Just 498 bottles have been released. Apricots, pineapple, caramel, butterscotch, sultanas, and white chocolate on the nose. The palate is warm and spicy, with subtle pine and citrus fruits, along with coconut and a hint of peat. Long in the finish with more vanilla before dried fruits and oak kick in. The delicate peat remains.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2013)

90 points

Forty Creek Double Barrel Reserve, 40%

Similar to the standard Forty Creek Barrel Select, whiskymaker John Hall produces three different whiskies (rye, corn, and malted barley), ages them separately, and then marries them for a period before bottling. Unlike the Barrel Select, with Double Barrel Reserve, the resultant whisky is married in first-fill bourbon barrels rather than sherry casks. The result is a rich vanilla creaminess that coats the palate. Mixed in, you’ll find coconut, marshmallow, citrus, and pineapple, with emerging toasted pecan, dried spice, and dusty corn on the finish. Quite soothing and dangerously drinkable. My favorite so far from the various Forty Creek releases.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2009)

90 points

Tomatin 30 year old, 46%

This expression has been finished for an unspecified period in first-fill bourbon barrels. The nose is floral, with gentle spices, honey, developing mangos and apricots, with vanilla ice cream, plus coconut. Sweet and smooth on the palate, with tropical fruits, more vanilla, and honey, plus old leather, and developing plain chocolate. The finish is long and drying, with slightly astringent oak and wood spices. (600 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

The Dalmore 1979 33 year old, 48.5%

This expression of The Dalmore Constellation spent its entire 33 years of maturation in an ex-bourbon cask, with no additional finishing. The result is a nose of ripe peaches and pears, honey, and vanilla. Full-bodied, rich, sweet, elegant, yet substantial on the palate, with pineapples and fudge. Oak and aniseed slowly build, but the wood is held at bay. Long and warming in the finish, with soft spices. Barely drying. Cask number 594; 199 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

90 points

Kornog Sant Erwan 2016, 50%

Every May, Jean Donnay searches for an exceptional single cask to bottle in honor of the patron saint of Brittany. This fresh bourbon barrel was an inspired pick. Summer honey, creamed coconut, honeysuckle blossom, vanilla panna cotta, and an attractive turf-rich peat note leap from the glass. Tart and juicy, with tangerine imbued with peat, its journey takes on a delicious malty and chocolate character, arriving at a delectable final plateau of nutmeg. He’s found superb balance this year. €95

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

90 points

Crown Royal Blender’s Select, 45%

Crown Royal develops its bourbon-like house style by using an American-style mashbill of 64% corn, 31.5% rye, and 4.5% malted barley for one of its many component whiskies. From this single component, blender Mark Balkenende selected mature whisky exhibiting sweet flowers, pear juice, vanilla, fresh grain, mild barrel tones, clean dry wood, brisk spices, and a long, glowing finish. Very floral, fruity, and quaffable. ($55CAD; Ontario only)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

90 points

Ardmore, 30 year old, 53.7%

The oldest Ardmore I have tasted. Smartly bottled at cask strength and not chill-filtered. (The entry level Ardmore “Traditional” is at the opposite end of the age spectrum, tasting quite youthful.) My initial concern with this 30 year old was: would the wood dominate the lovely floral, smoky notes I enjoy so much with Ardmore? The wood is certainly present, but the smoke still comes through. There’s a gently layered sweetness that complements the smoke (toffee, deep caramel, subtle honey), licorice root, bourbon barrel char, coffee grounds, and high cocoa chocolate, with subtle dried citrus and a suggestion of floral soap. Dry finish, with more bourbon barrel char and licorice root. Considering that Ardmore has historically been a blending malt, most of the stocks right now are much younger. This is a rare treat. It’s a wee bit thin in body and a little on the dry side from 30 years on wood for me to rate it in the mid 90s, but it’s still a very enjoyable whisky.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2009)

90 points

Knappogue Castle Twin Wood, 16 year old, 40%

The latest limited release from this brand. This whiskey spent most of its life aging in a bourbon barrel and then spent 9 months in sherry casks. (“Twin wood” is synonymous with “finishing.”) This one’s triple distilled (think Bushmills distillery) and is the first Knappogue Castle to be aged in two types of wood. It’s a very nice whiskey, with an array of bright fruit lying on a bed of creamy vanilla, toasted nuts, marshmallow, marzipan, and powdered cocoa. Excluding the original 1951 Knappogue Castle release (from the long gone B. Daly distillery), this is my favorite of the “modern day” Knappogue Castle whiskeys.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2011)

90 points

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 017), 56.25%

A selection of bourbons distilled and aged in Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky. Drying autumn leaves on the nose, along with leather, tobacco leaf, ginger snaps, cherries, nutmeg, black tea, vanilla, toasted coconut, and light orange. The mouthfeel is rich, and leads with coconut and unsalted butter, then cinnamon, cloves, red apple, oak, and more orange. Minerality, peppery heat, and tobacco on the finish, as well as dark chocolate and cherry.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Celtic Cask Cúig 1991, 46%

Despite the vintage statement, this is 13 year old single pot still matured in first-fill bourbon. Apparently, it was MIA for eight years before being bottled. Peeled apples, crackerbread, Quaker oats, ripening pears, cappuccino sprinkles, and lightly toasted spices make for a well-composed and inviting prospect. Enveloping and oily with tarte aux pommes, fruit polos, allspice, and ground ginger. After a brief effervescent fizzle, it expands to become creamier and the spices carry on long after you have swallowed. €350

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

90 points

Barrell Bourbon Cask Strength 15 year old, 52.55%

A blend of straight bourbons at least 15 years old. A fragrant, complex nose of oak, baking spice, cherry pie, cooked pears, and bitter lemon, with underlying notes of cigar box and dunnage house floor. The palate is creamy and sweet, offering caramel, chocolate frosting, coconut shavings, a fruity note of sweet raspberry, and chili pepper. A finish of tobacco leaf, dark chocolate, and more spiciness as a final note.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Willett Single Barrel Cask No. 2504 9 year old, 56.6%

Very graceful, with a nice balance of youth and maturity. Gently sweet notes of toffee, fig, nougat, and maple syrup, spiked with cinnamon and vanilla. Dark berried fruit and a hint of coconut round out the palate. Perilously more-ish bourbon with a very easy-going demeanor. (A Park Avenue Liquor exclusive.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

90 points

Breckenridge Bourbon, 43%

WHACK! The spicy smack of the nose sends me to check the mashbill; sure enough, this is 38% rye. The nose fumes with youthful zest: cinnamon, bright mint, sun-warmed green grass. Pour some on the palate for more explosive entertainment; sweet cinnamon red-hots burst, corn pops, and the oak burns on into the rye-high finish. This is one excitable boy of a bourbon, and it’s got me humming along. Impressive.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2013)

90 points

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 Second Limited Edition, 57.3%

Distilled in December 2005 using malt peated to a whopping 167 parts per million, this was matured in a mix of bourbon and Grenache Blanc casks. Old warm leather, rich smoke, developing peaty peach, chocolate-coated toffee, pipe tobacco, and iodine on the powerful nose. Huge peatiness in the mouth, oily, smoky orchard fruits, developing ginger nuts, and sea salt. Warming in the finish, with licorice, gunpowder tea, and ashy peat.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Port Charlotte 10 Second Limited Edition, 50%

This was matured in first-fill sherry, bourbon, French wine, and tempranillo casks. Initial brine on the nose gives way to malt and orchard fruits, sweet smoke, and buttery malt. Sweet, medicinal smoke notes on the early palate, then toffee and peaches drying to aniseed and chili. Long and prickly in the finish, with licorice and black pepper. A complex rendering of Port Charlotte.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

The Dalmore 25 year old, 42%

Dalmore 25 year old comprises spirit matured initially in American oak casks, some of which is then transferred into first-fill bourbon barrels, while the remainder goes into Palomino fino sherry butts. The two batches are then reunited in bourbon barrels before a final finishing in tawny port pipes. Vanilla, figs, toffee, and ripe oranges on the festive nose, while the palate features more orange, peaches, milk chocolate, and sherry. The chocolate darkens in the lengthy finish, with ginger and licorice.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

90 points

Abraham Bowman Gingerbread Beer Finished Bourbon 7 year old, 45%

Aged, then finished, in Bowman barrels that held Hardywood Park brewery gingerbread stout in between. A beautifully spicy bourbon—but not aggressively so—with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. The spice is presented on a bed of layered sweetness (vanilla, caramel, and soft maple syrup), rounded out by subtle candied fruit and nuts. Nicely rounded, fun and easy to drink. One of my favorites so far from Bowman.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

89 points

Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon 12 year old, 50%

Quite lush—the port influence is clearly obvious and adds a degree of opulence to this bourbon. Notes of ripe cherry dipped in caramel, then light molasses, blend in with more traditional bourbon notes of vanilla and spice. A pleasant diversion from the bourbon norm, and ideal for postprandial consumption. (It begs for a fine cigar, for those inclined.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

89 points

BenRiach Cask Strength (Batch 2), 60.6%

This includes whisky distilled in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and matured in a mixture of bourbon, oloroso, and virgin oak casks. Honey, apple blossom, ginger, and nutmeg on the nose, which then exhibits damp tweed, and finally, hot butter. Sweet on the full palate, with milk chocolate, honey, ripe peaches, almonds, vanilla, and caramel. Quite long in the finish, with zesty apple notes.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

J. Henry & Sons 5 year old Wisconsin Straight Bourbon Bellefontaine Reserve, 51.72%

Vanilla frosting on the nose contrasts with notes of dried flowers, as well as lime, orange, and a floral back note. The palate offers more citrus, along with brown sugar. The finish is smooth and balanced, with dark chocolate and bitter espresso notes hitting home in counterbalance. The flavor opens up with water, revealing a hint of coconut before a long finish of chocolate and baked apple.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Bulleit Barrel Strength, 59.7%

High rye is evident, with rounded baking spices up front, leather, muted caramel, vanilla, and a hint of tobacco. This ABV beast coasts with the warmth and richness of crème brûlée, toffee, cinnamon rock candy, fruit, and nutmeg. Oh wait, there’s more. Smoke kicks in toward the end with marshmallow undertones and more cinnamon, finishing strong with lasting spice. This is a cask strength sipper or a lovely bourbon on the rocks.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

89 points

Mortlach 12 year old Wee Witchie, 43.4%

The youngest of the 2018 Mortlach trio, this is named after the distillery’s famous small spirit still. Maturation has taken place in sherry and bourbon casks. Baked apricots and ginger on the nose, with black pepper, lots of milk chocolate, and an herbal note. The palate is mildly savory, with more milk chocolate, vanilla, orchard fruits, and cinnamon. Lingering chocolate ginger in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Old Pulteney 15 year old, 46%

This expression replaces the previous 17 year old, and has been aged in bourbon and second-fill American oak casks, followed by a period in first-fill Spanish oak oloroso butts. Sherry is immediately obvious on the nose, with fresh-baked fruitcake aromas, honey, and allspice. The palate is sweet and spicy, with Jaffa orange segments dipped in sea salt, toffee, and dark chocolate. Orange and oak in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Tobermory 2005 Fino Cask Finish, 55.1%

After 10 years maturing in bourbon casks, this expression from the 2018 Distell Malt Collection was then aged for a further 2 years in fino sherry hogsheads. The nose offers white wine, sultanas, ginger, and cocoa powder, plus white chocolate and tangerines. The palate is full, with sweet orchard fruits, ginger, and cinnamon, balanced by dry sherry. The finish is medium in length, with black pepper and cocoa. (1,710 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

John J. Bowman Single Barrel, 50%

Triple-distilled bourbon from Virginia. Actively aromatic, blowing right out of the glass: tart berries, hot corn, oak, and stick cinnamon. Hot, but surprisingly soft and light for 50% (triple distillation?), with sweet corn and more of the berries, wrapped in oak and a touch of char. Everything persists to the finish, including the heat, leading to a twist of oak at the end. Manages to be big but light at the same time.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

89 points

Signatory (distilled at Balmenach) 1988, 55.6%

It’s a crying shame that this great distillery is so rarely seen. Here, a bourbon cask has reduced the meatiness and amplified the fruity component, but these are fruits with depth and power, allied to dried flowers. The mango-like sweetness is reduced to syrup; there’s light plum jam and some old paper. Sweet on the tongue, with crystallized ginger, apricot, and a finish of spice, and the strange sweetness of licorice root. (The Whisky Exchange only.) £84

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

89 points

Redemption Wheated Bourbon, 48%

Chocolate, vanilla cream fried pie, and herbs offer insight into this opening round of a fabulous whiskey. Cornbread, pecan pie, roasted walnuts, and chocolate-flavored coffee hit mid-palate, followed by cinnamon roll, pumpkin spice, and mint. But the finish falls slightly short, only offering a hint of caramel.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Woodford Reserve 2017 Master’s Collection Cherry Wood Smoked Barley, 45.2%

A bourbon made with cherrywood-smoked barley in the mash. When chocolate and cherries meet, instant joy can only be improved with roasted nuts sprinkled on top. That’s what happens here. It’s all there in the opening round, followed by toasted oak, tangerine, pumpkin latte, caramel-covered popcorn, and more cherries, from jam to pitted dark cherries and maraschino to cherry fried pie. If you love cherries, this is a must-have.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Glen Moray Fired Oak 10 year old, 40%

To create Fired Oak, Glen Moray spirit has been matured in bourbon casks for almost a decade, before a 10 month finish in heavily charred virgin American oak casks. Canned pineapple, honey, and vanilla on the nose, with a hint of lemon. An initial citric zest on the palate, then soft toffee, newly sawn timber, cloves, and cinnamon. Licorice, lively spices, and slightly smoky oak in the medium-length finish. £40

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Inchmoan Vintage 1992, 48.6%

A peated malt from Loch Lomond, this vintage expression spent 25 years in refill bourbon barrels. A delicate, mildly smoky nose, with vanilla, gentle spice, black pepper, and a subtle medicinal characteristic. Soft and fruity on the palate, with encroaching earthiness and dry peat smoke. The smoke lingers in the lengthy finish, with vanilla, aniseed, and spicy, slightly tannic oak.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

89 points

Dublin Liberties Copper Alley 10 year old, 46%

Here’s a perfect example of a bourbon-matured whiskey lit up by a sherry finish; you can sense the toffee aromas swathed in dark sherry, yielding flavors of raisin and fig. A beautiful velvety texture with flavors of cherry, dark orange, rich notes of chocolate-dipped dark berries, toffee sweetness, and wood spices. When a bitter note creeps in, swallow and enjoy the short finish of currants and mixed peel.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon, 46%

A lovely balance of oak, clove, and sweetness come together on the nose, while the flavor shows both big impact and refinement. Oak-driven in style, with plenty of tannins and tobacco leaf, but the sweetness and structure stand up, pouring flavors of pecan, caramelized nuts, and toasted spices, with hints of pine before the persistent finish. A very solid and nicely polished bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, 40%

This is a 70/30 blend of aged single malt whiskey and single pot still whiskey (though no grain whiskey), matured in bourbon barrels for around 7 to 9 years. Revel in the spicy aromas of clove, cinnamon, and star anise balanced with green apple, blossom honey, and dry, oily vanilla pods. The mouthfeel is weighty and dense from the pot still, yet rich in honey, spice, and vanilla, with a tongue-enveloping finish of custard cream biscuits.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

89 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, Fall 1990, 44.5%

Style: Bourbon Color: Honey gold Aroma: Subtle. Clean. Delicately spicy, with notes of vanilla, mint, citrus, and golden raisin. Palate: Like its aroma, with a pot pourri of spices on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2004)

89 points

New Riff Bottled in Bond Bourbon, 50%

Fresh and delicate on the nose, with stone fruit—especially peaches—white pepper, orange Creamsicle, and spice. A generous oak backbone provides the foundation for plums, nectarines, black pepper, clove, chamomile tea, and piney cedar that sweeps into a dry oak, cocoa, iced-tea finish. Although a bit hot at times, the balance and array of flavors is an outstanding coup for this young distillery.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof 12 year old, 67.1%

Quite dark in color, turning cloudy with water. Don’t let that deter you. A thick, chewy bourbon, with layers of nutty toffee, nougat, cocoa, and toasted marshmallow, peppered with cinnamon and vanilla. Oak and leather on the finish dry out the whiskey nicely. Not the most refined bourbon, but the flavors it delivers make up for it.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2013)

89 points

Triple Eight Nor'easter Blended Bourbon, 44.4%

This blend of bourbons (both sourced and house-made) is partly finished in PX sherry casks, and that influence makes itself known through aromas of candied pecans, honey, raisins, figs, oranges, and white pepper, along with cigar wrapper, rose petal, and some minerality. The palate is replete with roasted corn, dried dates, candied almonds, oranges, raspberry-jam cookies, cinnamon bark, and plenty of oak—a flavorful and elegant combination with silky mouthfeel and good balance.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Crown Royal Blenders’ Mash, 40%

Recently, Crown Royal began bottling some of the 50-odd whiskies in its core blend. Hand Selected Barrel and Northern Harvest Rye each peeked behind the blenders’ curtain. Now Blenders’ Mash (originally called Bourbon Mash) unveils the woody vanilla signature of Canada’s bestseller. This approachable, creamy, medium-bodied whisky bathes in sweet vanilla and mild oak tannins, seasoned with peppery spices and fruity-floral esters. Incredibly long, creamy, vanilla finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2017, 48%

A beautiful opening of oak, butterscotch, and fruit quickly becomes more pronounced in banana and pineapple. Then baked apple, Bananas Foster, caramel pudding, and salt water taffy. Hints of smoke and paprika lurk, but marzipan and orange blossom honey nail the landing. The finish doesn’t hold up to the palate, only offering a hint of caramel. Very good, but not quite outstanding.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

89 points

Knob Creek Smoked Maple, 45%

Booze candy from Beam? More like bacon in a glass: the sweet smokiness invaded my dining room (definitely the last tasting of the day). Richly smoky-sweet, with a clear balance of maple over corn; like a rustic breakfast of bacon, pancakes, and whiskey! The maple’s restrained and authentic, the 45% keeps it from being too sweet, and there’s plenty of good bourbon flavor here, especially at the finish. Lush, tasty; if you have to do flavors, here’s how.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

89 points

Glenmorangie 18 year old, 43%

This is part of the distiller’s Extremely Rare range, and has been matured in bourbon casks for 15 years, before a third is transferred to oloroso sherry casks for 3 years. Dried fruits, icing sugar, honey, lemon cheesecake, and floral aromas on the nutty nose. The palate offers figs, crème brûlée, cinnamon, more honey, and citrus fruit. The finish sees citrus fruit and oak merge nicely.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Yellow Spot, 46%

It works like this: triple distilled single pot still whiskey matured in bourbon, sherry, and Malaga casks, which produce a complex drink with aromas of red fruits, spice, nutmeg-dusted custard tarts, blossom honey, dried raspberry, clotted cream, cracked black pepper, and sweet flowering jasmine. The sweetness and nutmeg flavors are swallowed up by an overwhelming force of clove, with a finish of bitter nut oils and burnt toast.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

William Larue Weller 12 year old, 61%

Keeping in the Weller tradition, this one is a wheated bourbon. Some wheated bourbons, although easy to drink, can taste a bit too sweet without the spicy rye notes in there. The better ones are often aged a little longer and/or bottled at higher strengths, where the wood and alcohol accompany the sweetness. You’ll find soothingly rich toffee, caramel fudge, dates, and nougat brightened up by berried fruit, and a hint of dusty corn. Gently sweet finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2006)

89 points

Kilchoman Spring 2011 release, 46%

A marriage of 3 and 4 year old whisky aged in first-fill bourbon barrels, with the 4 year old portion being finished in oloroso sherry casks. Among the best of the Kilchoman releases to date. The first-fill bourbon packs a flavor punch, while the sherry softens, rounds, and adds complexity. Barrel char, burnt raisin, boat dock, and tarry rope, softened by caramel and enhanced with notes of tropical fruit. Surprisingly mature for its age and very distinctive.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

89 points

Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve, 10 year old, 50.5%

Amber chestnut color. Mature aromas of oak, vanilla, toffee, and leather. A heavyweight bourbon with a huge flavor profile-oak, leather, and molasses, turning quite dry with a spicy, nutty finish that is very long and warming.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2001)

89 points

Glenmorangie Milsean, 46%

Milsean is the latest Private Edition release from Glenmorangie. After initial bourbon barrel maturation, the whisky spent several years in heavily-toasted Portuguese red wine casks. Fresh fruits on the early nose, with ginger and a hint of musk. Coconut and icing sugar emerge. Smooth and rounded on the palate with a big fruit hit that becomes more citric in time, plus lively oak spices. Lingering in the finish, with persistent spice. Finally, plain chocolate and chili.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

89 points

W. L. Weller 12 year old, 45%

A “wheated” bourbon, meaning that it doesn’t have the spicy rye notes found in a more traditional “ryed” bourbon. A pleasantly sweet, easy-going, well-balanced experience. Creamy vanilla, caramel, candied corn, and ripe berried fruit , along with more subtle notes of glazed orange, cocoa powder, and wood shavings. If I were going to ease a new bourbon drinker into the category, I might pick this one. (Bottled for Binny’s Beverage Depot).

Reviewed by: (Fall 2008)

89 points

Forty Creek John K. Hall Small Batch Bourbon, 40%

Created by distiller John Hall to celebrate his fifteen years of making whisky. It really is a whisky that defies categorizing. More body than most Canadian whiskies; softer and less aggressive than bourbon. When compared to Forty Creek Barrel Select (John’s standard whisky), it’s richer, more velvety, and sweeter on the nose and palate. Notes of toffee, silky caramel, mixed nuts, exotic spice, and a hint of marmalade. A soothing, almost rummy, very drinkable whisky.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2008)

89 points

Glenmorangie Tain L'Hermitage Wood Finish 1975 Vintage, 46%

For those of you drinking whisky long enough, it was a Glenmorangie Tain L’Hermitage 1978 Vintage that kick-started this whole exotic finish trend by Glenmorangie about 10 years ago. That one wasn’t sold here in the U.S., but this one is (although this one costs about four times as much as the original one did when it was released). Both were racked in used bourbon barrels before being finished in Hermitage red wine casks from northern Rhone. The best of these limited release Glenmorangies, like the Fino Sherry Finish expression several years ago, add complexity and intrigue without masking Glenmorangie’s lovely subtle complexity. This one does a pretty good job of it, although there’s a lot of fruit here (an obvious contribution of the wine). Complex fruit, with notes of plum, raspberry, nectarine, blueberries, and a hint of lemon. Underneath the fruit, there’s nougat, dark chocolate and cocoa. Towards the finish, the whisky becomes nicely dry with oak lingering on the palate.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2005)

89 points

Boone County Distilling Eighteen 33 10 year old, 45.4%

First it’s oak and leather, then spices of a different sort dominate, such as anise, fennel, and caraway. Then, the usual suspects in a bourbon of this age: caramel, vanilla, leather, oak, nutmeg, and slight hints of off-the-beaten-path notes: black pepper and sage. After a lovely medium-to-long finish with a strong note of toasted pecan, this is, for sure, a good, though not great sipping whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

89 points

Single Cask Nation (distilled at Tormore) 21 year old, 49%

This was distilled in February 1996, matured in a second-fill bourbon barrel, and bottled in April 2017. The nose yields nectarines, vanilla ice cream, fudge, and milk chocolate. Smooth and rounded on the palate, with ripe apples, toffee, walnuts, and ultimately, a hint of lemon, plus black pepper. Nutty and subtly spicy in the lengthy finish. (156 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

89 points

A.D. Rattray (distilled at Highland Park) 19 year old 1992, 48.8%

Many of the independent H.P. bottlings are aged in bourbon casks, and, like this one, exhibit creamy vanilla, honeyed malt, and citrus. I’m also picking up some more subtle heather, brine, coconut, and nougat. This one is clean on the palate and shows nice balance, with enough dry oak on the finish to counter the whisky’s sweeter notes. (A D&M Wines & Liquors exclusive.)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)

89 points

Jim Beam Single Barrel, 47.5%

More oak, intensity, depth, maturity, and character than the standard Jim Beam white. Darker sugars too, showing more caramel and light toffee, less honeyed corn and vanilla (although those notes are certainly still present). Subtle mint and cinnamon spice, along with soft fruit and light tobacco on the finish round out the flavor profile. A bourbon comfortably positioned between Jim Beam white and the more premium Signature Series releases.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

89 points

Glen Grant 15 year old Batch Strength, 50%

Described by its distillers as “the most intensified expression” of Glen Grant, this was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels and is non-chill filtered. The nose is fresh and floral, with rose petals, Turkish delight, and cinnamon. Supple on the palate, clean and fruity, with developing soft toffee, pear drops, ginger, and a floral carryover from the nose. The finish is medium in length, with slightly astringent oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Oban 21 year old, 57.9%

Rather than the customary bourbon cask, this was aged in refill European oak butts. The nose is delicate, with brittle toffee, vibrant orange, pineapple, and a hint of barley. Mellow and fruity on the palate, with apricots, soft toffee, and table salt. Gingery oak and cocoa in the lengthy, slightly minty finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Angel’s Envy Cask Strength (2012 Release), 61.85%

A limited-edition (600 bottles), cask strength version of Angel’s Envy. More alcohol and more portwood influence than that standard release. Rich and lush in texture, with a sweet personality. Notes of ripe berried fruit, maple syrup, honeyed tangerine, vanilla, and background spice. Distinctive, with a soothing, velvety finish. I’d prefer less port influence, more aligned with the standard release, but it’s still a very enjoyable bourbon. Best after dinner, with a cigar.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

89 points

Russell’s Reserve Small Batch Single Barrel, 55%

Clean on the palate, with honey-kissed citrus, summer fruits, crisp mint, and cinnamon, balanced by creamy vanilla and soft toffee. A solid bourbon that’s nicely rounded and vibrant. It’s very much with the current trend of American whiskeys toward no age statement; youthful and playful in nature, and versatile.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

89 points

Abraham Bowman Port Finished Bourbon, 50%

One of the debut whiskeys at WhiskyFest New York 2012, this was finished in a barrel that held Virginia-made port…after it was used to age Bowman whiskey, a boomerang finish. The nose gives baking chocolate, tropical flowers, and yes, some of that port. Peppery and port-edged on the tongue, solid fire from the 100 proof, fat corn and fruit in the middle of the palate. Busy, but purposeful. There’s a lot here and it’s all working together.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

89 points

Arran The Devil’s Punch Bowl Chapter II: Angels & Devils, 53.1%

Chapter II of Arran’s The Devil’s Punch Bowl embraces whisky from a total of 27 casks. These are seventeen oloroso sherry hogsheads (from 1997 and ’98), six standard bourbon barrels (2002), and four peated bourbon casks (2004). Juicy dark berries, malt, and soft cinnamon on the nose. Robust and fruity on the palate, with more dark berries, plain chocolate, a suggestion of vanilla, and black pepper. Long and drying in the earthy, mildly smoky finish, with aniseed and licorice.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

89 points

Arran The Devil’s Punchbowl III The Fiendish Finale, 53.4%

The third and final expression in Arran’s Devil’s Punchbowl trilogy of limited releases is a multi-age bottling, matured in eight oloroso sherry butts, eight French oak barriques, and five bourbon barrels. Only 6,660 bottles are available. Figs, dates, citrus fruits, and honey on the nose, with developing savory notes. Silky sherry, lively cinnamon, and red berries on the palate, with a hint of wood smoke. Lengthy in the finish, with spicy oak.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

89 points

Murray McDavid

Yellow gold color. Fresh, floral aromas (reminiscent of a spring garden), creamy vanilla, honey, heather, subtle fruit, and a hint of toasted oak. Elegant and nicely balanced. Medium in body, but richly so. Richly flavored, too, and nicely balanced, with notes that echo the aromas. In fact, this is one of the most balanced whiskies I've had in quite a while. A hint of salt, spice, and seaweed on the finish linger on indefinitely. This whisky is a pure joy to drink and demonstrates why Highland Park is so highly regarded. The fact that it was aged in a bourbon cask allows this whisky's more subtle notes to be fully appreciated. Quite delicious!

Reviewed by: (Fall 2003)

89 points

Mossburn Signature Casks Series Island Blended Malt, 46%

Smoke and spice and all things nice. With Mossburn Cask Bill #1, the blenders created a finishing cask using first-fill bourbon staves with heads of heavily toasted virgin European oak. Baked citrus with some fresh grapefruit sharpness, raw butternut squash, and a cool line in salty smoke. The palate riffs off wine gums, citrus, savory smoke, bitter roots, pepper, and clove, leaving a long, smoky finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Heaven’s Door, 45%

This Tennessee-distilled bouron tastes of crusty cornbread leads off this sweet-styled bourbon brimming with Bit-O-Honey, Peanut Chews, and banana taffy. While the bold sweetness and stone fruits take the lead, there is enough tobacco-laced tannin and spice to back up and balance the initial sweetness, as char-grilled corn flavors take this across the finish line and make it decidedly more-ish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

High West Bourye (batch #1446), 46%

Back on the market again, but with a tweaked formula (a blend of 9 year old bourbon with 10 and 16 year old rye whiskeys). This Bourye sports a rye freshness, crispness, and zing. Notes of cinnamon and mint are balanced by caramel, vanilla, and bright glazed fruit, with a lingering honey-rye finish. It leans more toward a rye whiskey than a bourbon in flavor profile. Sourced whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

89 points

J.P. Wiser’s Union 52, 45%

The nose is focused on cereal, hints of fresh ripe cherries, cooked fruit salad, herbs, and overt, bourbon-like charcoal. Take a sip though, and big, beautiful tones of real peat reek rush to the fore on the palate. These are sustained by sweet barley sugar, candied fruit, dry cereal, and a lush mouthfeel. The smoke, incidentally, comes from a few drops of real scotch added at blending. Very moreish. (British Columbia exclusive) $65 CAD

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

89 points

Port Charlotte PC7, 61%

Aged in a combination of sherry and bourbon oak. Bold and fresh, bursting with testosterone. Notes of damp kiln smoke, tar, wet sheep, roasted chestnuts, and pine forest bedding, along with more subtle pear, espresso, anise, and brine. Sweet notes of vanilla, fig cake, and maple syrup serve up balance and complexity. Appetizing brine and tar finish. It’s more mature than last year’s PC6. Earthier and less fruity, too! Plus, I feel that the sherry notes in PC7 integrate better than the Madeira notes from PC6. But my favorite is still the original PC5 for its purity, balance, maturity (for its age), and pristine character. (I lined up all three yesterday and tasted them side-by-side.)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2009)

89 points

Kilchoman 100% Islay 7th Edition, 50%

As with previous releases, the 7th Edition of 100% Islay is produced from barley grown and malted at the distillery. Matured in fresh and refill Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels filled in 2010. Smoky ripe pears, wood preservative, vanilla, and apple purée on the nose. Fresh citrus fruit, buttery toffee, and ashy peat on the palate. The lengthy finish features licorice and cigarette ash.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

89 points

Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned Sour Mash (105 Entry Proof), 45%

Light in body, with creamy notes of vanilla and honey married with orchard fruit. All this is balanced by warming dried spice on the finish. Very enjoyable. Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection French Oak Barrel Aged Bourbon 2015 Release. Price is per 375 ml.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

89 points

Balcones True Blue 100, 50%

Made from roasted Hopi blue corn. The nose says bourbon—sweet, corn, faint maple—but with big notes of stone fruits. It's lush. Mouth veers off in another direction with floury corn, oaked complexity, an herbal component, like crushed stems of wildflowers, and cinnamon/allspice notes. The finish is suddenly mellow, with a seductive creaminess high in the back palate. Even at a young 50%, never really fiery. Wonderfully complex, and not over-oaked; beautiful stuff.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

89 points

Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish 2018, 50%

Having previously released bottlings that were fully matured in sauternes casks, Kilchoman has now launched one where initial maturation took place in bourbon barrels, followed by 5 months of finishing in sauternes hogsheads. Unpeeled Jaffa oranges on the initial nose, floral, with a whiff of iodine and earthy peat. Tangerines, milk chocolate, lively spices, and bitumen combine on the palate. The finish is long, smoky, and perpetually spicy.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Smooth Ambler Big Level Wheated Bourbon, 50%

The name should give some indication: this is a big, brawny whiskey. Aromas of orange peel, iced tea, toasted coconut, peanut, honey, and molasses spar with grain and dry firewood. The palate delivers oak, more grain, orange oil, menthol, roasted nuts, iced tea, cherries, and cola. Tobacco, leathery oak, and bitter chocolate tie everything together on the finish, which is especially enjoyable with a few drops of water added.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Port Charlotte MRC: 01 2010, 59.2%

Distilled from Scottish barley in 2010, this was matured in first-fill bourbon casks and second-fill French wine casks before finishing in Bordeaux French oak. Fruity peat, salty vanilla, heather, toffee, and malt on the nose. Peaches and pineapple wrapped in peat, with marshmallows and rock salt on the supple palate. A whiff of iodine in the finish, with berries, cloves, licorice, and spicy oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Hillrock Double Cask Rye Barrel 19, 45%

Rye spice is the first thing on the nose: cinnamon-spiked hard candy, hot and juicy. Beautifully oily and bitter rye character slides across the tongue on a wave of sweet caramel and vanilla. Young, but in the eager intensity of rye, not the clumsy heat of bourbon. Rye shines here, from the first whiff to the last bitter curl on the tongue, and the wood deftly sweetens and soothes. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

89 points

Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 year old, 43%

Following a decade in bourbon barrels, Lasanta is finished for 2 years in oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. Caramel, milk chocolate, and hazelnuts merge on the nose with the spicy dried fruit and orange notes associated with sherry wood maturation. Spicy sultanas, and damsons on the full, sweet palate, with more caramel, milk chocolate, nutmeg, and oak. The finish is long and smooth, with dark chocolate and wood spices.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Signatory (distilled at Aberlour), 20 year old, 1990 vintage, (Cask No. 101777), 56.1%

Matured in a bourbon hogshead. Floral nose. Soft, creamy, and elegant, with honeyed malt, custard, subtle butterscotch, and delicate fruit (orange, peach) peppered with spice (powdered vanilla, nutmeg). Well-balanced, gently dry, and easy drinking. A charming whisky (for a lazy Sunday afternoon, perhaps?)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2011)

89 points

BenRiach 21 year old, 46%

BenRiach’s latest release was matured in a combination of four diverse cask types: bourbon, virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and red wine. The nose offers tangerines, milk chocolate, and spicy vanilla. Peaches, Brazil nuts, raisins, dates, and more chocolate on the palate, with red berries in the background. The finish is medium in length, with cocoa powder and ginger. £125; Not available in the U.S.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

89 points

The Dalmore 1973 38 year old, 48.1%

Primary maturation took place in an ex-bourbon cask, then from 2006 in a cask sourced from the vineyard of Chateau Haut Marbuzet, previously used to hold Cabernet Sauvignon. A final three years were spent in a newly-emptied bourbon barrel. Gingerbread, summer berries, and fig rolls on the nose. Fudge and vanilla. Black cherries, raisins, lots of lively spice, and a red wine ‘edge’ in the mouth. Freshly-baked ginger cake in the long, spicy finish. Cask number 10; 223 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

89 points

The Dalmore 1991 20 year old, 57.9%

After initial maturation in American white oak, this 1991 expression was filled into a 15 year old Lepanto brandy cask from Gonzales Byass in May 2003, ultimately being re-racked into a fresh ‘distillery run’ bourbon barrel in August 2009. Caramel and white chocolate on the nose, malt, fudge, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then burnt treacle and hot brandy. Malt, sweet spice, almonds, bananas, and fudge on the palate. Spicy fruits in the lengthy Armagnac-like finish. Cask number 1; 233 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

89 points

Amrut Intermediate Sherry, 57.1%

Aged in bourbon casks, then sherry casks, then finished in bourbon casks. An interesting (and original?) approach, but is it worth all the effort? I think so. The sherry notes are clean, not cloying, and there’s plenty of oak resin on the palate for texture, and to balance the sherry’s sweetness. Liqueur-ish fruit (orange, raspberry, cherry, caramelized peach), along with a good peppering of dried spice (vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, anise). Distinctive resin on the finish props up the rest of the flavors.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2011)

89 points

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 016), 52.9%

A blend of 9 year and 9 month, 11, and 15 year old barrels from Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky. The combination creates complexity and balance, starting with an aromatic nose of toasty oak, cherry, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried orange, leather, and cigar ash. The palate follows with notes of semi-sweet chocolate, espresso, peach cobbler, and a hint of coconut. It concludes with a finish of more chocolate and subtle notes of fruit.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Clan Denny Speyside, 46%

If big smoke and peat don't float your boat and you'd rather metaphorically skip through a summer orchard while drinking whisky, then the Speyside version of Clan Denny is the full fruit bowl. The mixing of malts means that sherry and bourbon Speysiders get a say, so it's the complete package, and there's lots going on. Ultimately, though, it's not quite as focused as the Islay. Damn close call, though.€36

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

89 points

Heaven’s Door 10 year old Tennessee Bourbon, 50%

Bit-O-Honey candies, spearmint, and beeswax introduce this seductively sweet whiskey. On the palate, more honey notes, green apple Jolly Rancher, and grape jelly continue the vivid sweetness, augmented by the sweet nuttiness of marzipan and honey peanut butter. A nicely executed and pretty whiskey, finishing with candied almonds.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

BenRiach 22 year old Moscatel Wood Finish, 46%

This limited edition bottling is non-chill filtered and initially matured in bourbon barrels before an unspecified period of finishing in sweet Moscatel fortified wine casks from Spain and Portugal. Sweet grapes, dates, cinnamon, salted butter, wax polish, and printer’s ink on the nose. Viscous on the palate, with ripe plums, honey, plain chocolate, white pepper, and worn leather. The finish is long and fruity, with drying oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Lone Whisker 12 year old, 46.9%

A sourced whiskey named for man’s best friend, this well-aged bourbon is layered with sweet and spiced aromas and flavors. PayDay candy bars, red Twizzlers, honey, caramel chews, and gingerbread mingle with iced tea, pipe tobacco, and peanut shells on the nose. Flavors of bitter orange, cherry soda, grape jelly, and roasted pecans are balanced by rich oak, cinnamon, and iced tea, with gingerbread spices and bittersweet chocolate on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Speyburn 25 year old, 46%

The oldest expression available from Speyburn, this has been aged in a mix of American oak fino sherry and bourbon casks, and is non-chill filtered. Vanilla, honey, lemon, and spice on the fragrant nose. Quite full-bodied and creamy on the palate; nutty, with malt, honey, and citrus fruit. The citrus fruit becomes spicier in the medium-length, oaky finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Bowmore Fino Cask, 1964 Vintage, 49.4%

Amber-gold color. Exotic tropical fruit aromas (citrus, melon, coconut), with interwoven notes of almonds, pear, honey, and subtle peat smoke. Light to medium in body, and very delicate in nature. On the palate, the whisky begins sweet (especially honey), followed by a basket of exotic fruit and nuts similar to its aroma, becoming drier and distantly smoky on the finish. This Bowmore Fino Cask, a whisky which has aged very well indeed, is the first of three limited edition 1964 vintage Bowmore whiskies to be released over the next year. The two to follow in 2003 have been aged in bourbon oak and oloros sherry casks.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2003)

89 points

Bowmore Voyage, 56%

Copper color with shades of ruby. Intriguing aromas of sweet plum, grapes, citrus, peat smoke, seaweed, and brine. Full-bodied and somewhat viscous. Flavors of ripe fruit (plums, grapes, citrus), followed by a burst of more traditional Bowmore flavors (peat smoke, brine, seaweed), finishing with lingering notes of prunes, dates, baker’s chocolate, and licorice. While there is no age statement, this whisky was aged for 12 years in bourbon barrels, followed by an additional 18 months in ruby port casks. I believe it is the first distillery bottling to marry port with the traditional flavors of an Islay whisky. Because of this, it is best to keep an open mind when trying this whisky, perhaps even having more than one go at it before rendering a verdict. I suspect the more you try Voyage, the more you will like.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2001)

89 points

Bowmore Claret (56%)

Amber with orange and ruby hues. Aromas of Islay peat smoke, wine fruit, and background floral and spice notes. Flavors reveal more of what the aroma suggests-peat smoke, fruit, and floral/spice notes-with a balancing oak and subtle sea salt and seaweed. The peat smoke particularly comes in on the finish, lest one forgets where Bowmore hails from.
   Style: Islay single malt Scotch whisky. Price: approx. $90. Availability: only 480 bottles for the entire United States, with the remainder of the 12,000 bottles going to Duty Free. 
   There is no age statement on the label, but this whisky has been aged for 12 years in traditional bourbon and sherry barrels, and then finished off for 18 months in Bordeaux (Claret) wine casks. The wine fruit certainly is evident and, like the Glenmorangie Claret Wood Finish offered a year or so ago, will appeal to those with an open mind and willingness to accept new flavors in whisky. Purists will say it detracts from the distillery's character. I believe it's the first smoky whisky that attempts to marry these flavors with claret fruitiness.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2000)

89 points

Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr. Barrel Proof, 67.25%

The fourth in a series of limited-edition Taylor bottlings, and the first barrel-proof release. Layered sweet notes of caramel and nougat, with bright orchard fruit (especially nectarine), dried spice (vanilla, mint), and pencil shavings. The dried spice notes linger on the finish, along with tobacco. Bourbon with attitude.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

89 points

Braunstein Library Collection 11-2, 46%

Gently peated malt was distilled and matured in bourbon and new American oak casks by Claus and Michael Braunstein. A refined nose of smoked duck terrine, with fudge, gentle vanilla, and lime zest underneath. Rather elegant, with a note-perfect balance between the smoke and the sweetness. There’s a huge explosion of mandarin, Milka chocolate, sharp citrus, espresso, treacle, licorice, and dry, wrinkly dates. The finish of rich, black coffee is smooth, sultry, and long. 795kr

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

89 points

Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten Second Limited Edition, 50%

Matured in first-fill sherry, bourbon, and French wine casks. Clean and fresh on the early nose; crisp green apples, vanilla, and floral notes, with just a hint of maritime influence in the background. Smooth on the palate, with spicy pear, honey, and ripe peaches; soon quite drying. The floral finish lingers, with spicy honey, drying spices, and ultimately a hint of smoke. (18,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Arran Malt The Millennium Casks, 53.5%

The Millennium Casks is a non-chill filtered vatting of 45 Arran casks filled on December 31, 1999 and January 1, 2000; 35 bourbon barrels and 10 sherry hogsheads. A spicy, floral nose with sherry, honey, coconut ice, orange, fudge, and ultimately raisin notes. Smooth and luscious on the palate, with apple pie and custard, plus a sprinkling of cinnamon. Long and spicy in the finish, with oranges, a hint of black pepper, licorice, and drying oak. (7,800 bottles). £65

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

89 points

Balblair 1990 (2nd release), 46%

The oldest of Bablair’s current core bottlings was distilled in 1990, and after maturing for 21 years in bourbon casks it was transferred to oloroso sherry butts for a further 2 years prior to bottling. Citrus fruits, furniture polish, cloves, cinnamon, and parma violets on the nose. A silky mouthfeel, spicy, with dark berries, dates, and rich sherry. Slowly drying, with aniseed and dark chocolate in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

89 points

Last Drop Distillers (distilled at Glen Garioch) 1967, 45.4%

This is the first single malt to be released by the Last Drop Distillers, and the Aberdeen-shire veteran is old-style, well-peated Glen Garioch. Unusually, it was matured in what the bottlers describe as “a bourbon-style remade hogshead cask.” Just 118 bottles are available globally. Fruity and herbal on the nose, with apples, marzipan, ginger, linseed, and a hint of camphor. Complex and distinctive. Surprisingly vibrant fruit notes fill the perfumed palate, with allspice, before it starts to become tannic. Ultimately very mouth-drying, with subtle smoke, and a fatty spice note at the very end.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

89 points

The Famous Grouse Bourbon Cask, 40%

Compared to classic Grouse, this has more caramel notes, additional sweetness, and a greater delivery of lemon, vanilla, toasted coconut, and finely shredded orange peel. It’s lightly structured, drier, and comes with less-pronounced spices. Sipping reveals sweet light citrus, smooth caramel, vanilla sponge, apricot, soft fruits, and chocolate macaroon bars, with a late development of spice. Sweet caramel hangs on the lips. This is an easygoing, feel-good whisky.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

The Famous Grouse Smoky Black, 40%

Peated Glenturret lies at the heart of Smoky Black, but where will the master blender find her smoke when the distillery is sold? Contemporary bottlings are rich, warming, and comfortingly smoky, with chocolate, malt, cocoa, burnt fruitcake, and baking spices. Medium-weighted blend with malt, chocolate, and bourbon biscuits, interwoven with smoke, then cherry, baked apple strudel, and chocolate desserts. Dry smoke, ginger, pepper, and dark chocolate to finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

88 points

Bowmore Tempest (Second Release), 10 year old, 56%

The first Tempest to be imported to the U.S. Aged exclusively in first-fill bourbon casks. With the bourbon cask, and relatively young age, you can really feel all the Islay love. Bracing, with plenty of sea character, along with honeyed vanilla, citrus, floral notes (especially lavender), rumbling peat smoke, tobacco, and resinous oak on the finish. A bit steep in price for a 10 year old, but very dynamic.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2011)

88 points

Aberlour 16 year old, 40%

Both bourbon and sherry casks were used for aging. Stewed fruits, butterscotch, and soft spices on the nose. Silky palate delivery, with honey, dark chocolate, light sherry, and cloves. Lingering finish, with citrus and allspice.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

88 points

Longrow Red, 52.1%

This 11 year old bottling of Longrow from Springbank distillery was matured for seven years in refill bourbon casks before being filled into cabernet sauvignon hogsheads for a final four years. 9,000 bottles are available. The nose offers buttery smoked haddock, coal tar soap, citrus fruit, and new leather, with background notes of soft peat. Mouth coating, with rich peat on the palate, plus fruity spice and developing licorice notes. Long in the finish, with persistent peat smoke and, finally, red currants. £50

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

88 points

Bowmore 27 year old Port Cask, 48.3%

Port Cask is the third and final release in Bowmore’s Vintner’s Trilogy. It was matured for 13 years in bourbon barrels, then 14 years in port pipes. Woodsmoke and blackcurrant on the mildly medicinal nose, with developing sea salt and vanilla fudge. Smoky dried fruit on the palate, with a hint of brine. Old oak, antiseptic, and black pepper in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Filibuster The Boondoggler, 45%

Billed as a whiskey that combines elements of bourbon and rye, the nose blends pine forest, lime, green cardamom, coriander, orange, cinnamon, and raisins. The palate is a balance of freshly baked cinnamon buns, chocolate, pistachio, baked apple, cloves, and cracked pepper. The finish is punctuated by sweet vanilla syrup and bitter orange, pipe tobacco, and light pepper. Smooth and pleasant, it perhaps could use more aging, but is well executed nonetheless.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

88 points

Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish, 56.4%

This 9 year old Deanston spent almost 8 years in bourbon barrels before being transferred into French brandy butts for a final 2 years of aging. Cognac notes on the early nose, rich and spicy, with toffee, nutmeg, instant coffee, and rhubarb crumble. The palate is sweet, smooth, and buttery, with brandy, honey, and polished oak. The finish dries with licorice and chili warmth, then, finally, tangy dark berries. (3,432 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Tomatin 15 year old Moscatel Limited Edition, 46%

Distilled in 2003, this expression spent a decade maturing in bourbon barrels before a further 5 years in first-fill Portuguese moscatel wine barriques. It was bottled without chill-filtration. The nose offers fragrant spices and red apples sprinkled lightly with white pepper. Very fruity on the supple palate, with strawberries-and-cream notes, background citrus, almonds, and slightly musty oak. Black pepper and figs in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Old Pulteney 25 year old, 46%

This 2017 release spent 22 years in bourbon casks before a final 3 years in oloroso sherry Spanish oak butts. Bright fruits on the nose: orange, lemon, and lime, with vanilla, soft toffee, and plain chocolate. Supple and silky on the palate, with sweet orange notes, more vanilla, and cocoa powder. Cocoa, nutmeg, dry sherry, and wood spices in the lengthy finish. (450 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

88 points

Springbank, 10 year old, 50%

Very powerful and quite different from the 10 year old, 46% bottling reviewed below; this tastes as if it is taken entirely from bourbon oak-aged Springbank. There’s fresh brine, creamy vanilla, honey, and coconut throughout, and it lacks the waxed fruit nature of its sibling. Mouthcoating in texture, with a long appetizing briny finish. Very clean -- and quite polished too, for such a powerful whisky. My choice of the three.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2007)

88 points

Balblair 2001 Vintage, 46%

Balblair 2001 Vintage is the first distillery bottling to be non-chill filtered, noncolored, and offered at 46%. It is 10 years old and has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels. The nose offers lemonade, vanilla, allspice, and developing milk chocolate and caramel notes. Clean and straightforward on the palate; sweet and spicy, with tangerines, eating apples, toffee, and more milk chocolate. Cocoa powder in the spicy, relatively lengthy finish. £33

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

88 points

Glenmorangie 15 year old Nectar d’Or, 46%

Previously offered as a 12 year old, it now has an extra three years of secondary maturation, after a decade in ex-bourbon casks. The ‘finishing’ casks are ex-Sauternes barriques. Lemonade, icing sugar, vanilla, nougat, and maple on the nose. Progressively sweeter. Rich and sweet on the palate, notably fruity, with spicy orange and brittle toffee. Medium length finish, with milk chocolate-coated ginger and lingering toffee. £39

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

88 points

Old Pulteney WK499, 52%

This is the second travel retail-exclusive expression of Old Pulteney to use the registration of a Wick fishing vessel in its name, in this case the Isabella Fortuna, a herring drifter dating from 1890. This expression bears no age statement and was matured in bourbon casks. Floral and fragrant on the nose, with honey, vanilla, zest of lemon, and a hint of salt. The palate features fresh fruit salad, coconut, and sherbet liveliness. Summery. Medium length in the spicy finish. £35 (1 liter)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

88 points

Eagle Rare 17 year old (Fall 2006 release), 45%

Sweeter notes of pecan pie, dates, sweet corn, candied fruit, and English toffee combine with dried spices -- cinnamon heat, vanilla, and mint -- which crescendoes on its long, dry finish. A nicely matured bourbon with decent weight to it. Some of the expressions in the earlier part of the decade were a little heavy on the oak, but the last couple of years have shown greater balance.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2007)

88 points

1792 Sweet Wheat Bourbon, 45.6%

Barton 1792 distillery’s first-ever wheated bourbon, where the wheat replaces rye as the ‘spice’ ingredient (similar to Weller and Maker’s Mark). A sweet and fruity whiskey, with vanilla wafer, cotton candy, caramel custard, blackberry, and ripe peach. Soft oak spice and polished leather on the finish keep the sweetness in check. Very gentle in personality; a great starter bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

88 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 year old bourbon from floor #1, 45%

Each of these three bourbons was distilled and bottled at the same time, and aged in the same warehouse for 12 years and 3 months. The main variable was the floor they were aged on. In theory, the higher up in the warehouse, the greater the temperature variation, and the more wood influence. Does the experiment support this general concept? Yes, with the sweet spot being the middle floor. Soft and sweet, oozing caramel, honeyed vanilla, and gentle, ripe orchard fruit. Soft, gently sweet finish. Not the most complex of the three in this experiment, but it’s very easy-going and soothing on the palate. A nice pairing for a cigar, where the sweet notes will marry nicely with the cigar’s dried spice. Price is per 375 ml.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

88 points

Arran Malt 16 year old, 46%

As it progresses toward the ultimate goal of an 18 year old expression in 2015, Arran has released a 16 year old, matured in 30 percent sherry hogsheads and 70 percent bourbon casks. The edition is limited to 9,000 bottles. The nose features malt, milk chocolate, and honey, with a citric edge. The palate mirrors the nose with more malt, honey, and milk chocolate, plus ginger, nutmeg, and spicy oak. Spiced fruits in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2013)

88 points

Breaker Bourbon, 45%

This bourbon is a blend of whiskeys aged a minimum of 5 years, with part of that time spent in California's Central Coastal hills. Breaker leads with a strong oak nose supported by cinnamon and caramel. On the palate, the maritime impact is there: it’s softer and less oaky, with a good balance of cinnamon, caramel, and a touch of clove. Breaker is a very restrained and understated bourbon, but that’s also what makes it so damn likable. Sourced whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

88 points

Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 'Double Barreled,' 1997 Vintage, 45%

Nice effort overall. My gut feeling is that this whiskey might have been better a couple years ago, but I wouldn’t call the second barrel impact excessive. It’s rich and smooth, with sweeter notes of caramel, rich vanilla, and subtle candied fruit, underpinned by firm spice (especially cinnamon) which kicks in on the finish. It comes across as very traditional bourbon, with perhaps a little extra oak impact on the back end. Price is per 375 ml.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2010)

88 points

Dublin Liberties Oak Devil, 46%

This blend of double distilled single malt and grain has bourbon cask and American oak written all over it. The allure of spice, vanilla cream, cedar sticks, malt, cinnamon, and banana chips draws you in. Burning brown sugar sweetness and vanilla toffee meet the snappy acidity from orange, lime, and pineapple goaded by pepper and cardamom bystanders. Undoubtedly a great session whiskey, so throw away the cork.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

88 points

Tullamore D.E.W. 18 year old, 41.3%

After 18 years maturing in traditional oak, this triple distilled whiskey undergoes a four-cask finish in bourbon, oloroso sherry, port, and madeira casks. Following a 6 month period of finishing, molasses, raisins, chocolate ganache, malt loaf, and solid oak notes have emerged after careful blending of the component whiskeys. Smooth, yet thick and mouth-drawing; black fruits, treacle, wrinkled vanilla pods, chocolate chip muffins, and sticky dates. There are less than 2,500 bottles of this attractive, resinous whiskey that slips away leaving sweetness, dark fruit, and cinnamon. €110

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

88 points

Joseph Magnus Straight Bourbon, 50%

An aroma you can really chew on, this comes at you big and bold, its dried cherry, fig, and caramel flavors woven with pipe tobacco, licorice, and saddle leather. The jolt of sweetness and spice on the palate pour on and on. Water helps to temper the heat and release even more flavors, with currant, chocolate, and drying oak on the finish. Sourced Indiana bourbon finished in oloroso sherry, Pedro Ximenez, and Cognac casks.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

88 points

Tullamore D.E.W. 15 year old Trilogy, 40%

Here they take a triple distilled blend of pot still, malt, and grain whiskey matured in bourbon and oloroso sherry and finish it in golden rum casks (a favorite finishing vessel at Wm. Grant). A soft, relaxing sweetness emits from the glass, showing barley sugars, lemon bonbon, vanilla, and freshly-planed oak. The oloroso has been used sparingly, but rounds off the lemon, light fudge, and hazelnut flavors. There’s a spicy last stand that burns brightly. A terrific composition.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

88 points

Cardhu, 1997 vintage, 57.3%

Matured in a bourbon cask. Cardhu has always been a pleasant, but uninspiring, whisky to me. This is one of the best Cardhu whiskies I’ve tasted -- richer and more distinctive. (At this price, it had better be!) It’s clean and tight, with orange, tangerine, lemon gumdrops, ginger, delicate honey, butterscotch, and vanilla, with a dusting of powdered sugar. Straightforward, pleasing finish. (252 bottles)  £250

Reviewed by: (Spring 2010)

88 points

Mackmyra Moment Rimfrost, 53.2%

This is the whisky equivalent of Metallica playing country songs. You can feel the power of the malt, you know it can kick out hard if it wants to. But it's all wrapped up in Kentucky finery, the sweet bourbon candy and vanilla notes offsetting the salt and pepper, and some mint leaf and berry fruits to send it on its way. It's not an entirely comfortable pairing, but by far the best of this bunch. SEK 1195

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

88 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 13 year old, 1993 Vintage, 48%

The same vintage as last year’s Birthday Bourbon but aged one year longer. Last year’s version was quite intense with a lot of wood influence. What does one more year in wood do to the whisky? Surprisingly, the oak spice seems less dominant, and the flavors are more balanced. Still, this is still a serious bourbon drinker’s bourbon. Piquant, dried spice notes of vanilla, cocoa, mint, and cinnamon are tamed by layers of maple syrup, caramel, and toffee. Every once in a while some fruits try to get recognized. A powerful, after dinner bourbon.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2007)

88 points

Jim Beam Distiller’s Masterpiece Sherry Cask Finished, 50%

“Extra-aged” bourbon finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. The third Distiller’s Masterpiece release, the previous two being over a decade ago. The PX sherry is certainly evident, with its lush, dark fruit (raisin, prune, ripe plum), marmalade, and layered dark sugars (toffee, molasses, maple syrup). A peppering of spices (cinnamon, allspice, vanilla) and dry, resinous oak round out the palate. Certainly a mood whiskey. Perhaps with a cigar after dinner? (distillery only)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2013)

88 points

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 year old, 43%

Nicely balanced, with interwoven soft vanilla, cinnamon, and citrus, all on a bed of light toffee and caramel. More subtle notes of marzipan, tropical fruit, and soft oak add complexity. Traditional in style, with a friendly demeanour. A good bourbon to have on hand, as it is very versatile. I would have preferred this bottled at 45-50%, but this will do just fine as it is. A new regular bottling.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2013)

88 points

Woodinville Straight Bourbon, 45%

Black pepper and toasted oak on the nose mingle with deeper aromas of blackcurrant and strawberry preserves. The palate is smooth, showing flavors of vanilla bean, coconut, peppermint, and cinnamon. Dark chocolate emerges on the back palate, along with pepper and tobacco leaf. The finish is long, revealing maple syrup, caramel, and brown sugar. Five years of aging have created a solid, well-constructed bourbon that has impressive depth and complexity.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

F.E.W. Bourbon, 46.5%

There is a freshness to the wood on the nose, laced with caramel and delicate minty notes. The palate pours pleasantly chewy with molten butterscotch and offers a pleasant jolt of cinnamon and clove that suggests rye at work, before settling on bitter orange peel, salted caramel, and cocoa, leading to a drying leathery and warm spice finish. Nicely done.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

88 points

Glen Moray 12 year old, 40%

Matured in bourbon casks, this expression offers a sweet, pleasing nose of honey, icing sugar, toffee bonbons, and orange peel. Medium-bodied, with barley sugar, soft oak, nectarine, and lychee. Vanilla and a return of honey in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

88 points

Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon, 40%

Ginger may not be the first flavor that leaps to mind when you think flavored whiskey, but then you realize how common the combination is: Jack and Ginger, Jameson and Ginger, and now Virgil Kaine. Fresh ginger is unmistakable on the nose and the secret to this whiskey’s success. On the palate, fresh ginger seamlessly integrates with oak, black pepper, and clove spice. Underneath is sweet vanilla that helps keep everything in balance. A well-executed and savvy flavored whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

88 points

Ardbeg Kelpie, 46%

A proportion of the component whiskies has been matured in virgin Black Sea oak casks, while the rest has been aged in bourbon barrels. The nose is sweet, with warm cloves and soft peat; a hint of brine. When it comes to the palate—curious! Menthol and herbal notes, toasted oak, plain chocolate, sweet antiseptic. Mildly tannic in the finish, with subtle peaty spiciness. An herbal peat note lingers long.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

88 points

Tiger Snake Sour Mash, 43%

It’s not bourbon, but the mashbill contains corn, rye, and malted barley sourced from western Australia. It has zippy vanilla, whole hazelnut, hints of rye spiciness, overlaid with taffy candy and fresh fruit. Syrupy sweetness drenches the taste buds, peeling back honeyed layers to reveal vanilla, melon, ripe banana, citrus, and tropical green fruits, diluting to delicious coconut creaminess. A moreish small batch whiskey with a finish of custard cream biscuits that sticks it to those boys in Tennessee. A$130

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

88 points

Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or 12 year old, 46%

Nectar D’Or is aged in bourbon barrels for 10 years, before 2 years of finishing in sauternes wine casks. The nose offers apricots in syrup, honey, walnuts, and ripe green grapes, while the oily palate yields citrus fruits and honeyed cereal notes, along with white pepper and wood spice. The finish is long and oaky, with a fleeting return of apricots.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

88 points

Springbank 14 year old Fino Cask (#265), 55.3%

A round of single cask Springers matured completely (not finished) in various wine casks for the U.S. market. All four are solid efforts — it’s really a matter of personal preference. A general comment: most of the single cask releases are matured in some sort of wine or rum cask. While this is nice, I would love to see several single cask, cask strength, and fully-matured ex-bourbon barrel bottlings offered for a change. The freshest of the bunch, chock full of Springbank character. Light and lively. Floral, with plenty of fruit (green grapes, kiwi, apple tart) on a bed of honeyed malt. Nuttiness and brine emerge toward the finish, and linger.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

88 points

Kilkerran 12 year old, 46%

After six ‘Work in Progress’ releases, Kilkerran from Glengyle Distillery has finally come of age with this core expression. It comprises 70% whisky from first-fill bourbon casks and 30% from sherry casks. Floral on the nose, with honey and a hint of brine, then peaty fruit notes develop. The palate is confident and oily, slightly earthy, with tinned peaches, black pepper, cinnamon, smoke, and a suggestion of medicine chests. The finish is relatively long, with pepper, licorice, and drying oak.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

88 points

Glendalough Triple Barrel, 42%

Three is the magic number: bourbon, oloroso, and canteiro-seasoned madeira barrels bring forth an intense whiskey that radiates summer warmth with unctuous raisin sweetness, candied orange peel, honey, ground cumin, peppercorn, and toasted oak. Peppercorn and oak char follow fruity-sweet flavors of apple, cranberry, cherry, and sultana. This impressive grain whiskey is more assertively spicy than their malts, but displays even greater depth and character than Glendalough Double Barrel. €48

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Kilkerran Work in Progress 6 Bourbon Matured, 46%

As with its sherry wood-matured sibling, this 10 year old release comprises 9,000 bottles and was distilled using the same lightly peated malt and bottled without chill filtration. Lemongrass, a pinch of salt, wood smoke, and ginger snaps on the nose. Tropical fruits on the soft, slightly oily palate, with a slight underpinning of spicy smoke. Nutty, drying, with mellow spice in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

88 points

Forty Creek Barrel Select, 40%

Consisting of whiskies aged between 6 to 10 years, with a similar grain component as a bourbon (but distilled differently) and finished in sherry casks for six months. Barrel Select is a soft, silky, somewhat feminine whiskey when compared to bourbon, with gently sweet notes of creamy vanilla, honeyed apricot, toasted nuts, and gentle background tropical fruit and spice. A whisky that really transcends category and definition.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2007)

88 points

Balblair 1997, 46%

Following the initial release of a 1997 vintage Balblair in 2007, a second edition has now been launched, with the spirit in question having benefited from an additional five years’ maturation in first-fill bourbon barrels. Fresh, light, and fruity on the nose: tinned peaches, pear drops, sweet apples, plus vanilla and wood putty. The palate features lots of succulent soft fruits, milk chocolate, honey, and spice. The finish is medium in length, and spicy chocolate notes persist. £55

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

88 points

The Dalmore Distillery Exclusive 2015, 48%

Just 450 bottles of this year’s offering are available. Aged in a mixture of Madeira, muscatel, and port casks, with a final spell in first-fill bourbon barrels. Warm caramel, spiced orange, peach blossom, and black pepper on the complex nose. Nicely textured on the palate; initially fondant-sweet, then nutmeg, Jaffa orange, ginger, and milk chocolate emerge. Relatively lengthy in the finish, with sultanas, leather, a hint of plain chocolate, and lingering black pepper. £150

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

88 points

Tomatin 36 year old, 46%

Tomatin has introduced a permanently-available 36 year old expression, and the first batch comprises 800 bottles. Matured in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks, this expression has not been chill-filtered. Milk chocolate and vanilla on the early nose, with background apricots, malt, and ginger. Ultimately citrus fruit and sherry. Good mouth-feel, lively sweet fruits, cloves, and more ginger on the palate. Long in the finish, drying slowly to fruity licorice and plain chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

88 points

Chapter 7 2008 (distilled at Allt-a-Bhainne) 9 year old, 60.7%

A single cask, cask strength whisky finished in a first-fill bourbon barrel. The initial nose is slightly earthy, with walnuts, Juicy Fruit gum, vanilla, and ripe peach notes in time. Full, sweet fruit notes on the palate, peaches in syrup, overripe pineapple, with milk chocolate, fudge, and nutmeg. The finish is medium in length and perennially spicy, with aniseed notes. (Cask no. 170)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

88 points

Chapter 7 2008 (distilled at Aultmore) 9 year old, 62.2%

Aged in bourbon wood, then finished in an oloroso sherry cask. The result is a whisky with a nutty nose, plus sultanas, figs, vanilla, and background sherry, becoming more floral in time. Full-bodied on the palate, with sweet sherry notes, ginger, and cinnamon, and developing raisin and prune notes. The finish is long, with spicy coffee and blackberries. (Cask no. 900160)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

88 points

Balvenie DoubleWood 12 year old, 43%

This ever-popular expression of Balvenie is matured for roughly 12 years in ex-bourbon casks and finished for 9 months in Spanish oak oloroso sherry casks. Floral on the nose, with honey, oak, and almonds. Spicy sherry, nutmeg, and dried fruit on the silky palate. Quite long in the finish, with a hint of orange, plus drying spices. Elegant, yet robust.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

88 points

Wemyss Malts Salted Caramels (distilled at Glen Scotia) 1991, 46%

Just 279 bottles of this 22 year old single cask Glen Scotia have been released by Wemyss Malts, with maturation taking place in a bourbon cask. Fleetingly, very sweet, crunchy apples on the nose, then caramel, milk chocolate, sherbet dips, plus a hint of brine. The palate is sweet and peppery, with spicy toffee, grapefruit, melon, and walnuts. The finish is medium in length, spicy, with table salt in the tail. £90

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

88 points

Glenfiddich 18 year old Small Batch Reserve, 40%

This was aged in a mixture of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks, followed by a final spell of marrying in wooden tuns. Dried fruits, dark chocolate, figs, and cinnamon on the nose. The palate yields rich caramel and toffee-apple notes, plus ginger, cloves, and medium sherry. More dried fruits, cookies, and a sprinkling of allspice in the slightly smoky, medium to long finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

88 points

Talisker 8 year old, 59.4%

Matured in first-fill bourbon barrels, this youthful Talisker appears at one of the original bottling strengths used by one-time owners John Walker & Sons Ltd. It is the first Special Releases Talisker since 2013. Peppery tweed, ozone, coconut oil, and subtle smoke on the nose. The palate features woodsmoke and chili, toffee, and green berries. White pepper, sea salt, and a savory note in the finish. £70

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Old Pulteney 1990 Vintage, 46%

An unusual vintage bottling of Old Pulteney, in that maturation occurred in a mix of American bourbon casks and Spanish sherry casks that previously held heavily-peated whisky. The nose opens with a whiff of ozone; then lemon, vanilla, and coconut appear, along with fleeting wood smoke. Intense tropical fruitiness merges with milk chocolate, lemon sorbet, and lively spices on the palate. Spicy milk chocolate with a citric and softly peaty tang in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

88 points

Old Pulteney 40 year old, 51.3%

Old Pulteney’s 40 year old comprises spirit from three sherry hogsheads and one bourbon barrel. Just 493 bottles of the distillery’s oldest expression to date have been released, offered at cask strength and not chill filtered. The nose is soft and fragrant, with peaches in syrup, toffee, cinnamon, and aerosol wood polish. Early intense orchard fruits on the palate, then nutmeg, cinnamon and black coffee. Long in the finish, with spicy oak tannins and Seville orange. Notably drying.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

88 points

Amrut Two Continents (Second Edition), 50%

Two Continents refers to the fact that this is matured in India and then Europe. But Amrut has tweaked the winning formula of the first edition, taking the alcoholic strength from 46% to 50% and using bourbon instead of grain casks for European maturation. The changes are immediately noticeable. The nose is honeyed, with key lime pie, and strawberries and cream. The taste is spikier, spicier, and feistier than before, with dark cherry, blood orange, and unripe banana.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

88 points

Old Pulteney Clipper, 46%

This limited-edition bottling was matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. It is non-chill filtered and includes no caramel coloring. Vanilla, milk chocolate, dried fruits, and green apples on the nose. Relatively light-bodied, with orange juice, honey, wood spice, and a hint of brine on the soft, oaky palate. The finish is medium in length, gently fruity, with mixed nuts and salted caramel.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

88 points

Jura 18 year old, 44%

Jura has introduced a new house style of ‘sweetness and smoke,’ and this spent 18 years in bourbon barrels, with a finish in red wine casks. Malt, peach blossom, raspberries, vanilla, and dark chocolate on the nose. The palate offers red berries, more chocolate, cloves, and peat. Dry red wine notes in the finish, with fruity spices and black pepper.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

88 points

Backbone Bourbon Uncut (batch 13), 56.5%

Right up front, there’s really rich caramel with a lovely vanilla undertone. Then fruit, and lots of it: blackberries, blueberries, baked apples, and canned peaches, followed by wood, nutmeg, and maple syrup. It’s borderline complex, with a seamless balance and transition to the flavors. Extraordinarily rich caramel reappears over a medium, buttery, and satisfying finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

88 points

Barrell Bourbon 9 year old (Batch 008), 66.4%

There’s a lot going on here: rich caramel, soft vanilla, gingerbread cookies straight from the oven, cinnamon, marzipan, honey, and peach. Then it’s a dance of the caramel/vanilla-combo richness with brown sugar, butter, and toffee. The thing is, you need to appreciate barrel strength whiskey to capture its essence, as the beasty alcohol overpowers. Even barrel strength lovers will find a splash of water opens it up, giving more caramel, walnut, and whoopie pie. Long caramel finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

88 points

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 005), 62.35%

“Tennessee bourbon” at 8 years, 3 months, and barrel proof. This and Batch 006 are the same whiskey, the same age, from different warehouse floors. Smooth sweet nose of oak and hot corn. Quite spicy on the tongue, hard-dancing oak vaults high in the mouth over a strong, sweet body. Solid oaky finish. Honest and foursquare as a Tennessee farmer; no surprises, but no disappointments either. Sourced whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

88 points

Jim Beam Harvest Collection Triticale, 45%

Triticale is a rye-wheat hybrid, so I’m expecting a rye-wheater hybrid bourbon. What I get is a screamer: spicy slice of a nose, hot cinnamon and sawn dry oak. Surprisingly light in the mouth, which is putting a smile on my face. Oak races through this, a spine coated with sweet grain, spicy notes, a bit of creaminess, and as the oak wraps up, I realize: no real rye bitterness. Cool stuff, a very good one. Price is per 375 ml.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

88 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 12 year old (2015 release), 50%

Many of the Birthday Bourbon releases are wood driven, and this one is particularly so. Very spicy, with warming cinnamon and cool mint. Roasted nuts, tropical fruit (coconut, pineapple), tangerine, and apricot emerge occasionally, along with a foundation of vanilla and caramel. Firm, resinous grip on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

88 points

Hickory Hill 12 year old Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon (Barrel No. 2), 45%

Aromas of peanuts, sassafras, Cheerwine soda, nutty oak, and a sweep of cloves, allspice, and ginger, sprinkled with blackberries and cherries. There’s zippy citrus on the palate, a nice lift of heavier oak, roasted nut, dark chocolate, and baking spice flavors. But the richness stops short on the finish, which is light and quick. (Total Wine & More)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Elijah Craig 12 year old Single Barrel, 47%

Very much in the Elijah Craig style: thick and chewy, with layers of toffee, molasses, and vanilla cream. Notes of caramel-nut fudge, cinnamon bun, and blackberry brandy keep it fun. There’s just the right amount of dried oak spice on the finish to round things out. Very good, solid, affordable bourbon. (Capital City Package exclusive.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

88 points

Exclusive Malts (distilled at Glen Moray) 9 year old, 55.7%

Distilled in September 2007 and matured in a first-fill bourbon barrel (#5315), this is a fine example of how good a relatively youthful Speyside malt can be, given the right cask. Soft and fragrant on the nose, with lemongrass, ginger snaps, and light toffee notes. The palate is sweet, with ripe strawberries and spicy fudge. A spicy finish offers cinnamon, milk chocolate, and lingering citrus fruits. (220 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

88 points

Ranger Creek .36 Single Barrel (barrel #503), 48%

The .36 Small Caliber was one of the best young small-barrel bourbons I’ve ever had, so I was very much looking forward to this 3 year, 8 month old bottling from “traditional large barrels.” Aroma: like a 12 year old bourbon: oak spice, corn sweet. Not hot, spice and vanilla, smooth but oaky, with a light, flowing feel. A unique combination of youth and maturity that opens the “Texas whiskey” niche a bit wider. (Spec’s exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

88 points

Balblair 1989, 43%

Matured in second-fill bourbon casks, this expression of Balblair offers a distinctive aroma of bananas, along with cooking apples, sultanas, nuts, and spices. It is full-bodied and exhibits a palate of toffee and spicy fruits, and becomes increasingly chocolate-y, with distinct cocoa notes, when given time to breathe. Raisin notes also develop. The finish is lengthy and smooth, with lasting lively spice and vanilla.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

88 points

Kentucky Owl Bourbon Batch No. 1, 59.2%

Good nose: fresh-ground corn, warm oak, and light cinnamon. Impressively friendly even at full proof: corn pudding, sun-warmed oak plank, rich and nuanced cinnamon spice, a powerful engine running strong. A splash of water brings out some sweet berries, revs up the oak and pulls out more spice, and opens up the finish into a full-throated roar of oak, corn, and sweet citrus. This is what happens when you let a good barrel run at full throttle. Sourced whiskey. (Kentucky only)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

88 points

Macallan Triple Cask 12 year old, 40%

Triple Cask replaced Macallan’s Fine Oak range in 2018, and was matured in a combination of European and American sherry-seasoned oak and American oak bourbon barrels. The entry level 12 year old offers a relatively light, zesty nose, with citrus fruit, vanilla, and ginger, while the palate yields more citrus fruit and vanilla, honey, sweet oak, and dark chocolate. Cantaloupe and wood spice in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

88 points

Murray McDavid Mission IV (distilled at Linlithgow), 1975 Vintage, 46%

One of the better bottlings from this Lowland distillery which closed in 1983. Velvety and slightly oily in texture, and fragrant. The whisky is balanced, the flavors clean, with no hint of excessive oak. Bourbon cask-aging offers up notes of vanilla wafer, along with coconut cream, honey, and a touch of caramel. Bright fruit (lemon meringue, pineapple, apricot) keeps the whisky lively, and suggestions of hay and linseed offer continued entertainment. Nutty, toasted oak finish. If you are looking for a Linlithgow (AKA St. Magdalene) to purchase before the whisky becomes impossible to find, I can recommend this one.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2005)

88 points

Breuckelen Project No. 1 Bottled in Bond Wheated Bourbon, 50%

The nose begins with notes of cinnamon, soft oak, cardamom, white pepper, and a hint of new wood. The palate shifts to a subtle blend of orange and vanilla. Water reveals fresh raspberry, along with notes of fresh herbs, roasted almonds, tobacco leaf, and more new wood. The finish is powerful and complex, leading with vanilla and more nuttiness, as well as red fruit and roasted pineapple.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

88 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 12 year old 1999, 49%

Rather bold (especially with the spice notes), with dark fruit (black raspberry jam, plum), citrus glaze, vibrant spice (vanilla, cinnamon, clove), a dusting of cocoa powder, polished leather, and pencil shavings, all on a bed of caramel. Long, spicy finish. A nice way to finish a rich, hearty meal, perhaps?

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

88 points

Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition, 55.05%

A marriage of four different bourbon recipes aged between 11 and 13 years. Very elegant and stylish, as with many of the Four Roses offerings. Its age also shows, with a firm measure of wood spice and grip on the nose and the latter half of the palate. Soft honey, bright fruit (sultana, ripe peach, tangerine), and spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, crisp rye), evolving into darker fruit and more caramelized sugars on the palate, along with leather notes on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

88 points

Jura 10 year old, 40%

This is the first release in the distillery’s new core range for the U.S. After primary maturation in bourbon barrels, the 10 year old whisky undergoes a sherry cask finish. Orange marmalade, pine nuts, white pepper, and very subtle smokiness on the nose. The palate majors in overripe Jaffa oranges, ginger, and milk chocolate. The milk chocolate darkens in the medium-length finish, with coffee grounds and warming spice.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

88 points

Box The Pioneer, 48.1%

Although around 3 years old, the maturity has been achieved by using smaller, 40-liter bourbon casks (65% unpeated/15% peated whisky), with the remainder coming from peated whisky matured in Swedish oak. This adds a depth of character to the nose, the peat meeting honeydew melon, vanilla, caramelized bananas, grist, malty notes, and crushed hazelnuts. Sweet toffee apple, citrus, flapjacks, crackling spices, and barley grains play over a swelling, creamy smokiness. Simply stunning, considering its age. 837 SEK

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

88 points

Glenmorangie Tarlogan, 43%

Tarlogan is the third and most recent release in Glenmorangie’s Legends Collection. Some of the component whisky had been matured in virgin oak casks, while the remainder was aged in bourbon barrels. A hint of freshly-dug soil on the very early nose, then toffee apples, malt, and vanilla kick in. The smooth palate focuses on coconut and more vanilla, with kumquat and lime. Almonds and vanilla in the mildly spicy finish. (Travel Retail exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

88 points

Legent, 47%

A blend of straight bourbon and bourbons finished in red wine and sherry casks. Lovely grain aromas, especially of porridge, along with cinnamon, clove, baked apple, citrus oil, honey-roasted peanuts, spearmint, and milk chocolate. Nuttier grain on the palate, which is led by red fruit, caramel, and lively spices: black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, candied ginger. Citrus oil, walnuts, and a bit of cigar tobacco lead into a nutty, somewhat light finish. The whiskey was distilled by Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe and blended by Suntory master blender Shinji Fukuyo.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

88 points

Old Forester Statesman, 47.5%

Broad, earthy undercurrents of cigar wrapper, dark fertile soil, and spice support the honeyed sweetness and vanilla of this big-screen bourbon. Overall, the sweetness is well-tempered by cedar humidor, tea leaf, root beer spice, and berry fruit combining seamlessly on the palate. Well-balanced and easy sipping. Best neat.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

88 points

Berkshire Bourbon Smoke and Peat, 43%

It would be easy to hate on this as bourbon, but taken merely as a whiskey, it’s compelling, original, and surprisingly well-knit. The nose betrays the smoke and sea of its Islay cask finish, while the palate offers more sweet vanilla, candied nuts, and citrus before circling back with distinct vegetal notes of seaweed and jalapeño. Perhaps bourbon is in the eye of the beholder.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

88 points

The Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III, 40%

Master Blender Richard Paterson’s excellent adventure. This whisky consists of Dalmore aged in a wide variety of casks, including cabernet sauvignon, madeira, Matusalem sherry, marsala, port, and bourbon. This diversity shows in the whisky’s complexity and unique flavor profile. There’s a lot going on in here. Very rich, but balanced with oak spice and gripping resin (especially on the finish). Sweet layers of toffee, molasses, and vanilla fudge provide a foundation for red plum, ripe red raspberry, black cherry, blueberry, orange marmalade, kiwi, grape skin, and toasted almond. A very busy whisky which requires a good dose of mental participation to really appreciate it and sort all the flavors out. In this regard, very much like Glenmorangie Signet.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2009)

88 points

Loch Lomond 12 year old, 46%

Like its elder sibling, Loch Lomond 12 year old is presented in non-chill filtered form, and in this case, matured in a mix of bourbon, refill, and recharred casks. Ripe apricots, vanilla, and a suggestion of peat smoke on the nose.  The full palate offers oranges and pears, plus developing spicy malt and mild peatiness. Long in the finish, with spicy fruit notes. Drying, with subtle tannins.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

88 points

Old Pulteney Navigator, 46%

Navigator honors Old Pulteney’s seafaring heritage and promotional links with matters marine. The expression carries no age statement, is non-chill filtered, and has been matured in a mixture of bourbon and sherry casks. The nose features vanilla, sherry, American cream soda, ginger, orange peel, and cocoa powder. Complex. Mouth-tingling spices: ginger and nutmeg on the palate, with more oranges, and cocoa. Dries slowly, slightly powdery, with persistent citrus fruit, and a hint of brine. Value Pick.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

88 points

Auchentoshan 1975, 45.6%

This 38 year old Travel Retail-exclusive expression has been aged in bourbon casks, and not chill filtered. It follows an initial batch of the same vintage, released in 2011. The nose is perfumed, with a resin note and developing vanilla and caramel popcorn. Demerara sugar and oak. Very fruity on the palate, with oranges and lemons, emerging spices, and benign oak. Long in the finish, with fruity oak. The additional maturation has given the fruity elements a greater profundity. (500 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

88 points

Penderyn Myth, 43%

Fresh fruits, satsuma peel, lime zest, pear, lemon meringue pie, and a cheeky burst of spices in this red wine and American oak bourbon barrel-finished whisky. Marshmallow softness, with apple, cooked Jell-O, and cherry slam into fruit-skin bitterness, chicory root, and aniseed, descending into spicy bitter fruit flavors. This perks the palate up no end. Oak seems to hold stronger cards than the wine soaked into the staves.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

87 points

Bushmills Red Bush, 40%

Are you a bourbon lover with an untapped curiosity for Irish whiskey? I have a job for you. Try nosing out the cinnamon, molasses, sultanas, tarte Tatin, and sweet crème brûlée on Colum Egan’s young creation aged in first-fill bourbon casks. A brash combination of spice, cinnamon, cooked apple and pear, caramel popcorn, bitter vanilla, and spun sugar, which finishes with wood char, burnt sugar, and toffee apple.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

87 points

Kilchoman, Winter 2010 Release, 46%

Aged in both refill and new bourbon casks. The new bourbon casks are evident, and I think it adds richness, vibrancy, and perceived maturity (which I like) when compared to the previous Summer 2010 release. Very pale in color. Brooding, with licorice root, coal tar, bacon fat, damp peat, bright fruit (citrus and pear), and intriguing botanicals, all on a soothing bed of vanilla malt. Smoky, briny finish. I’m still amazed how this very young whisky can taste so mature. Well done!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2011)

87 points

Arran The Bothy Quarter Cask, 55.7%

A limited edition of 12,000 bottles, this expression from Arran was initially matured in first-fill bourbon barrels before a secondary period of aging in American oak quarter casks, which accelerated maturation. A big hit of tinned peaches, then malt, cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel. Sweet and rounded on the palate, with lots of fresh fruit, notably pineapple, plus caramel, chili, and ginger. Relatively long in the fruity finish, with brittle toffee, new oak, and persistent spice. £55

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

87 points

Barrell Bourbon Cask Strength 5 year old (Batch 007), 61.2%

5 years is when bourbon really starts developing complexity, and you find the beginnings of greatness here, with saltwater taffy, vanilla custard, citrus, corn pudding, and a healthy dose of cinnamon. Its proof offers satisfying warmth that quickly turns to spice. Medium finish gracefully gives a hint of warm vanilla icing. In an age of barrel strength bourbons, this is a good one, but lacks complexity for higher praise. Sourced whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

87 points

Aberlour 12 year old, 40%

Matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. It offers a nose redolent of Christmas pudding: figs, sultanas, orange, honey, and cream. Smooth on the palate with sweet spicy sherry, orchard fruits, and caramel. Raisins and plain chocolate in the lingering finish, with Jaffa orange notes to the end.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

87 points

The Famous Grouse Double Matured 16 year old Vic Lee Edition, 40%

Just eight whiskies in the blend, married and finished in first fill Spanish sherry and bourbon casks. An insistent nose, crackling with spices, with toasted Eccles cake anointed with grated nutmeg, vanilla extract, cassia, and dark soy sauce. Light honey and vanilla, tangerine oils, and lime peel exhibit perfectly-paced development, with flavor building over a minute or more. Warming ginger, spices, and tropical fruits of guava and papaya close out this first annual special edition. Impressive work.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

87 points

BenRiach 10 year old Curiositas, 46%

Introduced in 2004, Curiositas was the first peated expression to be marketed by BenRiach. It has been peated to 55ppm and matured in bourbon casks. Mildly medicinal earthy peat on the nose, hot road tar, honey, and light tropical fruit aromas. Iodine and smoky peat on the palate, with mineral notes, dried fruits, allspice, and oak. More oak in the medium-length finish, with peanut and peppery peat.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

87 points

Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask, 51.8%

‘Cairdeas’ is Gaelic for ‘friendship.’ This bottling was aged in first-fill bourbon casks before a finishing period in fino sherry casks. The nose offers lemon cheesecake smoked in peat, with brine, almonds, and oysters. Full and rounded on the palate, with stewed fruits, ashy peat, antiseptic, and more brine. The lengthy finish features licorice, tar, rock salt, phenols, and citrus fruits.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

87 points

High West American Prairie Bourbon (barrel #2683), 50.1%

Finished 2 years in Quady Black Muscat barrels. Deep amber, ruby hues. Richly sweet, with raspberry preserve, pipe tobacco, dark chocolate, prune, honeysuckle, vanilla, and black tea. Dry leather finish cuts through the sweetness. Unique and peculiar. (Loch & K(e)y exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

87 points

Restless Spirits Gullytown Double Barrel Single Malt, 46%

This American single malt is aged in two separate bourbon barrels—one new and one used. A malty, earthy nose of slate is followed by notes of coriander and orange peel, as well as iced tea, ginger, and dark chocolate. The palate offers espresso, bitter orange, more chocolate, and grilled pineapple. A long, rich finish of orange, mocha, black pepper, and pipe tobacco. Rich, malty, and flavorful—some enjoyable sipping here.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

87 points

Old Pulteney 12 year old, 43%

The only survivor from Old Pulteney’s core range shake-up of 2018, this has been matured in first and second-fill bourbon casks. The nose is delicate, with almonds, honey, and floral notes. Malt and toffee on the palate, with spicy oak and a hint of brine. The medium-length finish is nutty, with wood spices.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

87 points

Old Pulteney Huddart, 46%

This NAS expression is part of the new 2018 Old Pulteney core lineup. Initially matured in second-fill American oak and bourbon casks, it was finished in bourbon casks that previously held heavily peated whisky. Sweet woodsmoke, crème brûlée, green apples, and cinder toffee on the nose. The smoke is more peat-induced on the palate, with banana fritters, and subtly sprinkled with sea salt. The finish features caramel and herbal notes.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

87 points

Kilkerran Work in Progress 5 Sherry, 46%

Having released four previous “work in progress” expressions of Kilkerran, 2013 sees the launch of two editions, one matured in sherry casks and the other in bourbon barrels. The sherry-aged variant yields overripe green grapes and figs on the nose, followed by honey and plain chocolate, while the palate is quite full, softly fruity, with soft toffee and a hint of brine. The finish dries significantly, with cocoa powder, licorice, and lots of spice. £38

Reviewed by: (Fall 2013)

87 points

Grant’s Triple Wood, 40%

Refill bourbon, American oak, and virgin oak are the woods in question. Technically, they are all American oak, just at different flavor-giving stages of their productive lives. Honey, fresh apricot, floral, and supple barley notes, candied orange, star anise, dried chili, and a touch of aniseed. Exceptionally smooth with caramel, date, red fruits, chocolate, and pecan pie, finishing with wood char and spice. One wood three ways, I grant you. Previously labeled as Grant’s Family Reserve

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

87 points

Sons of Erin 15 year old, 46%

Bourbon barrel matured, then finished in apple brandy casks as a limited edition, this is more malty than their regular bottlings, with aromas of melon, lemon, vanilla, sour gooseberry, and faint banana custard. It’s thicker texture rewards with sweet fudge, vanilla, ripe banana, hints of pecan, and spice, though it’s bedded down within the dessert flavors. A lengthy finish of lemon curd.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

87 points

Barrell Bourbon (Batch 004), 58.4%

A nose like Big Red gum—juicy-sweet cinnamon—and some sweet dough, with sharp alcohol heat. Hot as expected on the tongue, but exciting: more cinnamon and sweetness—like snickerdoodles—with wet corn, a touch of bitter oil, and hot spearmint. Adding water eases the heat, and brings out the oak. Good stuff, if a bit simple. Sourced whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

87 points

Four Roses Single Barrel, Barrel #55-6F, 50%

A lively bourbon, with bright fruit, honeyed vanilla, and fragrant floral notes. Lean on the palate, with a firm, dry, spicy finish. A youthful whiskey that skips along until the finish. It doesn’t have the thicker, sweeter mid-palate like Barrel#87-6L reviewed here. As a result, its finish is firm, and crisply dry. (Bottled exclusively for The Party Source.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2007)

87 points

Old Forester Birthday Bourbon, 1995 Vintage, 47%

The third straight year of Birthday Bourbon releases. Last year we were blessed with not one, but two practically flawless whiskeys (one quite richly flavored, the other light and delicate). This 1995 vintage is nearly as good and reminds me in some ways of the first Birthday Bourbon release two years ago. Sweet notes of caramel, maple, cocoa powder, and vanilla fudge (particularly on the front of the palate) are mingled with candied fruit and dry mint. The whiskey finishes fairly dry (more than its bouquet would suggest) with notes of polished leather, mint, dark chocolate, and dried tea.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2005)

87 points

Yamazaki puncheon, 48%

Yamazaki’s puncheons contain 480 liters and are made at the distillery’s cooperage from American white oak. The greater size means there are lower levels of oak extract, immediately apparent in the paler hue and more restrained aromas, where flowers mix with the gentle blandness of pear, lychee and, with water, pineapple. Best neat, here is distillery character (or one of the distillery characters, Yamazaki makes many styles) to the fore. Less immediate than the bourbon barrel, but ultimately more rewarding. £70

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

87 points

Hotel Tango Bravo Bourbon, 45%

Fresh wood, pine forest, and grassy meadow greet you on the nose—followed by lemon, coriander, and some warmer notes of ginger and shortbread. The palate is sweet, with chocolate, caramel, hints of almond, licorice, cinnamon, and clove, balanced against notes of anise, pine nuts, dill, and black pepper. The finish is punctuated by polished oak and spiced chocolate. This craft expression is youthful, but is also dynamic and complex.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

87 points

Vesey’s Straight Bourbon, 47%

This bourbon from South Carolina’s Charleston Distilling Co. has a nose that starts with a chalky minerality, but fruit leather, strawberry, and blueberry quickly emerge, along with notes of candy corn, caramel, and chocolate fondue. The palate offers bitter chocolate, grape, and cherry, with caramel, roasted nuts, and coconut lingering on the back palate. The finish is nutty and bittersweet, with lingering fruitiness on a warm and chocolaty finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

87 points

Benromach Sassicaia Wood Finish 2009, 45%

This vintage Benromach has been finished in Sassicaia wine casks from the Bolgheri wine region of Italy after maturation in first-fill bourbon barrels. Red currants and warm peat, ginger, and vanilla on the nose. Initially, juicy fruit on the palate, but soon drier than expected from the nose. Dark berry fruits and subtle smoke develop. Relatively long in the finish, with gentle spices. Ultimately, sweeter soft fruit notes return. (8,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

87 points

Gordon & MacPhail 10 year old (distilled at Glen Grant), 40%

This expression of Glen Grant has been matured in refill bourbon casks and is arguably more characterful than the distiller’s own variant of the same age. Ripe orchard fruits on the nose, with honey and cinder toffee. The palate is light to medium in weight, offering more fresh fruit notes, vanilla, milk chocolate, and a hint of ginger. The nutty finish dries with just a hint of smoke.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

87 points

Celtic Cask Deich 10, 46%

Following bourbon cask maturation, this spent a further 4 years in red wine casks from Domaine Des Anges. It has a gentle, coastal brininess of smoked eel with apple relish, seashells, lemongrass, with beet root and black fruits. This is a real chewer; toffee bars, raisin, juiced apples, and raspberry. The smokiness builds powerfully and unrelentingly. After a final catch of smoke, the finish has lush mint toffees. A mighty, peaty Irish whiskey from you know where. (351 bottles) €150

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

87 points

Adelphi Limerick Selection Slaney Malt 23 year old, 59.0%

This dark, ruby colored dram rouses the senses with its nose of poached pears, raspberry coulis, cherry blossom, marshmallow, menthol, and chocolate-dipped cherry. It has a rich, throbbing fruitiness in an oily, slick texture backed by cola cubes, Tunes lozenges, and cherryade. It peters out, leaving the palate numbed with faded fruit juiciness. Distilled back in 1991 and matured in refill bourbon cask #8585, this is special occasion stuff. (134 bottles) £134

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

87 points

Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon, 40%

This light-hued bourbon is bright and airy, with tropical fruit aromas of papaya and lychee, vanilla, and sweet lemon curd. While not especially bourbon-like it’s interesting and super-likeable for its Bit-O-Honey candy and pleasingly nutty notes. Last reviewed in 2011.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

87 points

Glendronach, 12 year old, 40% ABV

Over the past decade there has been no shortage of Glendronach expressions. I know of at least one 15 year old, an 18 year old, a 19 year old, a 1968 vintage, and four different 12 year old versions. My favorite of the range was the limited edition 19 year old released here in the U.S. about a decade ago. The 1968 Vintage, which you can still find on retailers’ shelves, is also a worthy dram. But this new 12 year old “Original” expression is certainly my favorite of the 12s (and the 15). I feel that Glendronach expresses itself best when it is not dominated by the sherry, allowing a greater balance of flavors. This whisky was originally matured in sherry casks, but was then (fortunately) aged in bourbon casks for the remainder of its maturation. The result? A richly flavored, nicely balanced whisky expressing notes of sherried fruit, burnt caramel, light toffee, and nuts, all underpinned by a soothing malty foundation. Yum!

Reviewed by: (Fall 2004)

87 points

William Larue Weller, 58.95%

There’s no age statement, but this wheated bourbon is about 10 years old. This is the softest and gentlest of the Antique Collection. Notes of molasses, black raspberry jam, ripe blueberry, teaberry, soft fig, and cinnamon. Gently spicy, clean finish. Could this whiskey be too easy to drink?

Reviewed by: (Summer 2008)

87 points

Ardmore Traditional Cask 1998

A single cask of Ardmore aged in a first-fill bourbon cask and then finished in quarter casks. This one is more mature, with more depth than the standard Ardmore Traditional Cask (which I rated 80 a few years back). Notes of toffee, vanilla bean, chocolate fudge, licorice stick, bourbon, tar, charcoal, and a hint of burnt raisin. Very nice! (A Julio’s Liquors Exclusive.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

87 points

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 year old, 46%

Matured in bourbon casks for 10 years, followed by 2 years of finishing in ruby port pipes from the quintas, or wine estates, of Portugal. Stewed fruits, cloves, and port-soaked oak on the nose, which carry over to the sweet, viscous palate, along with milky coffee, fruit spices, and cereal. The overall effect of sticky sweetness lingers through the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

87 points

Clonakilty, 43.6%

Ahead of the distillery opening, Michael Scully is working on a series of Clonakilty releases in the warehouse. His promising first release is bourbon cask matured, with a nose of raspberry, strawberry taffy, roasted coriander seed, star anise, apple, green fruits, and smoldering cooperage oak. The palate brings mandarin, light honey, sweet oak, creamy vanilla, fresh banana, peppercorns, and custard. Vanilla sweetness and a welcome spicy buzz to finish. (3,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

87 points

Gordon & MacPhail Distillery Labels 10 year old (distilled at Scapa), 43%

This expression from Scapa in Orkney was distilled in 2001 and matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. Tropical fruit and butterscotch on the sweet, light nose, with very slight smokiness on the early palate, along with spicy, milky cocoa, hazelnuts, and more tropical fruit. The finish is medium in length, with a hint of char. An easy-drinking, nicely balanced dram at a good price.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)