In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three great value bottles: whiskies with solid scores, modest prices, and wide availability. For the Spring 2019 issue, the whiskies come from Canada, Kentucky, and Scotland.
For all whiskies reviewed in the Spring 2019 issue, check out the full Buying Guide.
J.P. Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye
90 points, 45% ABV, $20
Begins light on the nose with clean grain, then spring flowers and persistent, strong blackberry notes move in. Wonderfully balanced, even as blackberries remain strong across the palate, accented by tart kiwi fruit and rich spices: ginger, cloves, nutmeg. Fruits and spices complement each other as the round, creamy palate fades into a long, hot, peppery finish. Beautiful whisky exclusive to the U.S., and fruitier than the 43.4% Canadian version. —Davin de Kergommeaux
Old Overholt Bonded Rye
88 points, 50% ABV, $25
Initial aromas of toasted nuts, nougat, and pistachio. Water releases cedar and sandalwood along with citrusy grapefruit notes. The palate is both earthy and sweet, with dried flowers, leather, and hazelnut. The medium finish offers a nice balance of classic rye flavors including baking spice, lavender, and zesty citrus. —Jeffery Lindenmuth
Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch, 43%, $33
87 points, 43% ABV, $33
Never more than an arm’s length away from most bartenders, this blended malt, launched in 2005, has been a game changer. Bottled at a higher strength, this has fresh green apples, buttercream, lime, and kumquat, with a fresh acidic tartness, butterscotch, crushed peppercorn, and dried chili flakes. Dark toffee, Brazil nut, chocolate, peppery spices, and toasted oak on the palate. Lively finish of spice and chocolate toffee. —Jonny McCormick