Winter Issue Editors' Choice: Hirsch, Larceny, Royal Brackla
January 5, 2023 –––––– David Fleming
In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three whiskies that we consider the most impressive, considering score, price, and availability. For Winter 2022, our Editors' Choice whiskies selections are two Kentucky bourbons and one Highland single malt.
For all whiskies reviewed in the Winter 2022 issue, check out the full Buying Guide.
Standout Whiskies From Winter 2022
Hirsch Selected Whiskeys The Bivouac Kentucky Straight bourbon (Batch 0822)
93 points, 50%, $55
The nose is somewhat tight at first, but opens to aromas of coffee cake, fruit cup, and faint notes of cherry, citrus, and dried herbs. The palate is smooth and silky, with light spice, cooked plums, dark chocolate, and cinnamon. Earthier notes of mature oak and dunnage floor keep the sweetness in check nicely. On the finish, pleasant oak, honey, and chocolate. Solidly built and well-integrated; a very nice sipper.—David Fleming
Larceny Barrel Proof (Batch C922)
93 points, 63.3%, $60
Blackberry jam, blueberry pancakes, new leather, and tobacco leaf on the nose. Powerful on the palate, with an opening blast of cinnamon followed by strawberry jam, dried herbs, dark chocolate, espresso, and vanilla flan. Drinking it with a big rock of ice is recommended. Excellent length on the finish, with more jammy fruitiness, cinnamon bun, and dark chocolate. It’s a brawny whiskey that carries its proof with great structure, balance, and complexity.—David Fleming
Royal Brackla 12 year old
91 points, 46%, $70
Nutty on the nose, with peanut brittle, then buttered pecan and vanilla-almond ice creams. There are nice fruity notes as well, like baked red apples and Bosc pears, plus cinnamon, fresh challah, orange peel, and dried leaves. Creamy and smooth on the palate, with melted milk chocolate, tiramisu, crème brûlée, and light pepper spice. Espresso and cream highlight a lengthy and excellent finish.—Ted Simmons