Fall 2021 Editors’ Choice: Russell’s Reserve, George Dickel, Yamato

In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three whiskies they consider to be the most impressive, based on score, price, and availability. For Fall 2021, our Editors’ Choice selections include two 13 year old whiskies—one from Kentucky and one from Tennessee—and a Japanese small batch whisky.

Check out the Buying Guide for a complete list of whiskies reviewed in the Fall 2021 issue.

Standout Whiskies From Fall 2021

Russell’s Reserve 13 year old Barrel Proof Kentucky Straight
93 points, 57.4%, $70

Refined maturity, but with plenty of vivacity. After the first whiff of sweet-scented antique oak, flavors of cherry pie, bubble gum, banana flan, honeyed vanilla, and maple syrup emerge, all tempered by rich herbs and mature oak. A formidable structure allows it to hold water ably, and brings out apple pie and blackberry tart against wood and spice, with a graceful, restrained oak influence. —David Fleming

George Dickel 13 year old Bottled in Bond (Distilled in 2007)
92 points, 50%, $45

Dickel’s now-annual return to bottled in bond, this one following the release of an 11 year old last year and a 13 year old in 2019, which became our Whisky of the Year. Roasted peanuts, marzipan, sweet corn, and bakery shop, with water unlocking cherries, jelly donut, raspberry jam, blueberry pie, fresh grains, and melted caramel. Mouth-coating overall, with a delicate finish that ends with a savory back note of
wild herbs. —David Fleming

Yamato
90 points, 40%, $55

Small batch whisky with a pleasant nose exhibiting good balance and an excellent combination of complementary flavors: crisp barley aromas with blossom honey, graham crackers, toffee, pistachio nut, sesame oil, and gentle dusty spices. This builds a lip-smacking flavor profile around vanilla fudge, with a buttery texture supported by apple, pepper, caramelized sugar, and baked fruits. —Jonny McCormick

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