Winter 2022 Best Values: Cotswolds, Boondocks, Clonakilty
January 6, 2023 –––––– Melanie Schwenk
In each issue ofWhisky Advocate, the editors select three great value bottles: whiskies with solid scores, modest prices, and wide availability. For the Winter 2022 issue, an English single malt, Kentucky rye, and Irish blended whiskey all ranked as Best Values.
For all whiskies reviewed in the Winter 2022 issue, check out the full Buying Guide.
High Scores, Low Prices: Best Value Whiskies
Cotswolds Signature English Single Malt
91 points, 46%, $60
Similar to Cotswolds Reserve, this standard strength bottling is aged in first-fill bourbon casks and STR red wine casks, and their influence is apparent on the nose: toffee, vanilla cream, banoffee pie, sliced red apple, apricot, dry spices, and dried fruits. Lighter textured than Cotswolds Reserve, there’s a satisfying balance of mandarin, red apple, pepper, vanilla, and cherry, with the red apple notes coming out on top.—Jonny McCormick
Boondocks Bottled in Bond Straight Rye
89 points, 50%, $55
Bright citrus immediately jumps out on the nose—orange peel and clementine—along with dried mango, cinnamon butter, brown sugar, fresh basil, salted peanuts, and lemon icing. It’s woodsy, earthy, dry, and intense. The fruitiness carries over to the palate, which delivers red apples, raisins, cocoa powder, mint, and espresso beans. Dusty oak, brownie batter, and dried earthiness anchor the finish. Can be blunt at times, but enjoyable nonetheless.—Ted Simmons
Clonakilty Double Oak
89 points, 43.6%, $50
A sourced blend of Irish whiskeys finished in STR wine casks in Clonakilty’s Atlantic Ocean warehouse, this has apple, vanilla, pepper, and clove, with green herbal hints, fresh-mowed grass, banana leaf, and a suggestion of fresh mint. Lychee, fresh lemon, vanilla, and pear warm up with ginger, pepper, baked apricot, and citrus, then some late caramel flavors. A hot dry finish of residual pepperiness and a little creaminess.—Jonny McCormick