When formulating the annual Top 20 list, Whisky Advocate’s editors consider multiple factors, including quality—a score of 90 points or higher—availability, and affordability. Beyond that, however, we look for singular characteristics that make a whisky unique—what we call “x-factor.” With its inventive blend of Highland malt scotch and American single malt, finished in a hard cider cask, Virginia Distillery Co.’s Cider Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whiskey, number 13 in the 2018 Top 20, had x-factor that simply couldn’t be denied. Distillery director Ian Thomas explains how such a unique dram came to be created.
This virtual tasting features two examples of bottled in bond whiskey—that is, American whiskey from one distillation season and one distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years, then bottled at exactly 100 proof.
This sommelier-led virtual tasting features two innovative American whiskies from Blackened that showcase how this brand uniquely utilizes black brandy finishing and Metallica-fueled sonic enhancement to create truly one-of-a-kind bourbon/rye blends.