In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three whiskies that we consider the most impressive, considering score, price, and availability. For Summer 2019, our Editors’ Choice whiskies include a Kentucky bourbon and two scotches: a blend and a single malt.
For all whiskies reviewed in the Summer 2019 issue, check out the full Buying Guide.
Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon (Batch A119)
94 points, 67.6% ABV, $60
This year’s first of three annual releases has a higher ABV than Whisky Advocate’s 2017 Whisky of the Year, which was 62.1%. The nose offers caramel, vanilla cream pie, cocoa powder, baking spice, baked apple, orange, marzipan, leather, and oak. Very well-integrated on the palate, but the high ABV cries out for water, which brings chocolate, butterscotch, bitter orange, coconut, almond, and creamed corn. The finish is a long, delightful reprise of it all. —David Fleming
Dewar’s Double Double 32 year old Blended Scotch
94 points, 46% ABV, $150/375ml.
If a Scotch whisky could smell plush and velvety, this Pedro Ximénez-finished blend would be it. Chocolate-covered raisins, peat smoke, cigar lounge, licorice, chamois leather, and charred oak staves. The palate is smooth, delicate, and finely tuned with syrupy prune, raisins, plum, raspberry, strawberry, 70% dark chocolate, peppercorn, ginger, clove, and a hint of smoke. This showcases lip-smacking, intricate blending on the oldest Dewar’s available. —Jonny McCormick
Glenmorangie Allta Single Malt Scotch
92 points 51.2% ABV, $99
This Private Edition expression was made using a strain of yeast found growing on local barley. It was aged for approximately 8 years in mostly second-fill and refill bourbon casks. Barley sugar and honey on the nose, followed by lily of the valley, lavender, and white pepper. Big gingery fruit notes on the palate; fresh-squeezed orange juice, vanilla, and black pepper. The finish is long and attractively earthy. —Gavin Smith