Top 20 Whiskies of 2017

#13 • Sheep Dip Islay Blended Malt

  • Rank: 13
  • Year: 2017
  • Score: 91
  • Price: $60
  • ABV: 40%
  • Style: Blended Malt
  • Place of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Deftly blending the power and grace of popular Islay malts, this whisky offers a sizzle of bacon fat, thick clods of peat, cocoa, and breezy smoke on the nose. The rounded palate has sweet satsuma, swathes of toasted spice, sweeping malty notes, delicious chocolate, and burnt caramel.

The wafting smoke builds formidably, until it engulfs the back of the palate. Sheep Dip whisky may have been around since the 1970s, but this latest creation maps out the best of modern Islay styles to great effect. A triumphant, approachable blend that shows great strength of purpose, yet remains full of charm. —Jonny McCormick