Showing results for: ""

Your search returned 116 results.

95 points

Kilchoman Machir Bay Cask-Strength Festive Edition, 58.6%

Smoky peat weaves seamlessly through aromas of vanilla sugar, candied citrus, ripe papaya, cocoa powder, and ocean spray; with water, the intensity of vanilla surges, balancing with the peat. Flavors of saltwater taffy, vanilla, mint, and pepper are swept up by savory peat, before darker notes of coffee bean, cocoa powder, and roasted nuts take over. The tide ebbs gently on the finish, leaving only impressions in the sand that stay long after the final sip. (1,440 bottles for U.S.) (Editors' Choice)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

95 points

Penderyn 15 year old Bourbon Cask-Matured Single Cask (Cask No. B105/2005), 59%

Enchanting and bursting with character: On the nose, vanilla cupcakes zested with lemon, sweet strawberries on angel food cake, blueberry-cinnamon syrup, toasted oats, and woodsy spices of cedar, sandalwood, and nutmeg. The full-bodied palate is alive with tropical and citrus fruits—kiwi, papaya, mango, pomelo, grapefruit, satsuma—but braced by a malty backbone, nutty and spiced. After all that excitement, the finish is practically sedate, calmly wrapping up with clean malt and a whiff of fruit. Water is a must to fully unlock the flavors. (114 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

95 points

George Dickel 15 year old Single Barrel (No. L2029-5k-1010), 52.3%

george dickel 15 year old single barrel This has Dickel’s distinctive oily grain aromas: It’s packed with corn and peanuts, and also sweet with brown-sugar oatmeal and maple candy. Add a little water and voila! Orange peel and Luxardo cherry appear, creating an instant Old Fashioned. The palate is chewy and full-bodied, pepped up with cinnamon and dried ginger, and lengthened by grape jelly, Coca-Cola, Corn Nuts, and dried cherries. A full and lengthy finish sings with ginger, peanuts, and chocolaty oak.  

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

94 points

Arran Sherry Cask The Bodega Cask-Strength, 55.8%

arran sherry cask the bodega scotch with canister The nose leans sweet with dulce de leche and dark berry jam, but it’s countered with dark chocolate, dried rose petals, and a faint whiff of talc. The palate is thick with raisins, figs, candied ginger, orange peel, Concord grape jelly, rose oil, cocoa, and peppery spice, while the lengthy finish has persistent white pepper, dried ginger, chocolate, and burnt citrus. Dense with flavor thanks to its total sherry-cask maturation; give it time to fully reveal its depths.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

94 points

Tumblin’ Dice Single Barrel Straight Bourbon (No. 10B), 58.7%

Deeply complex from the start, with rich aromas of nuts, spice, cola, marzipan, vanilla frosting, and earthy leather and tobacco; with water, the maturity shows itself in the rancio note of solvent. Chewy and full-bodied in the mouth, with oodles of chocolate-covered nuts, coffee bean, cordial cherries, ground ginger, and white and black peppers. Water adds a light citrus note. The finish goes on for many minutes, still full in the mouth, with peppery and chocolaty oak dominating.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

94 points

The Senator 6 year old Straight Rye, 58.37%

Sweet bakery notes jump off the nose: globs of vanilla, gooey chocolate brownies, wet walnuts, and almond cream. The whiskey further develops with aromas of incense oil, lemon curd, and new leather. On the palate there is an increased spiciness that really pops, supported by maple syrup and mint leaf. The finish is nutty with excellent length, showcasing maturity beyond the age statement. The bold flavor and big proof here benefit from a splash of water to bring a mosaic of flavors into better focus.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

94 points

Glen Scotia 10 year old Bordeaux Wine Cask-Finished Campbeltown Malts Festival (2020 Release), 56.1%

Glen Scotia 10 year old Bordeaux Wine Cask-Finished Campbeltown Malts Festival (2020 Release). A deft use of bordeaux casks beautifully showcases Glen Scotia’s inherent density and amplitude. Raspberry ripple ice cream with butterscotch sauce, strawberry jam, tiramisu, toffee, and cigar wrapper on the nose. The full, thick palate is sweet with raspberry and strawberry jam, black currants, candied ginger, and orange peel, tempered by dark chocolate, pecan pie, gingerbread spices, and a touch of tobacco. It remains mouth-filling on the finish, with jammy berries, orange oil, spices, salinity, and integrated oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Penderyn 13 year old Rich Oak Single-Cask Single Malt (D1062), 58.1%

Deep polished chestnut color with a nutty nose of dried apple, blueberry syrup, clove, and cinnamon; the high alcohol mingles with scents of walnut, hazelnut, and soy sauce. The deep berry flavors burst with black cherry, crème de cassis, chocolate, peppercorn, and an exceptional mint leaf note. Despite the strength, it’s seductively irresistible and a whisky you’ll return to time after time. (232 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Arran 18 year old, 46%

The interplay of floral and sherried notes creates an elegance that other scotches surely envy: candied rose petal, dried orange peel and apricot, sugared almond, raisin, nougat, and dark chocolate on the nose, then candied violet, raisin, date, milk chocolate, dried ginger, candied orange peel, and gingerbread on the palate. The maturity shows in tropical fruit flavors and a deep, probing complexity. It finishes with chocolate, coffee, candied rose petal, and tobacco-laced oak. Seamless.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Amrut Single Cask Caroni Rum Cask (No. 5149), 60%

With exceptional flavors across the nose, mouthfeel, and palate, this delivers great flavor both at cask strength and at various dilutions. Strong aromas of barley mingle with thick peach puree, fruity syrups, grassy notes, barley sugars, and orange Jell-O. Sweet and rich with tropical flavors of mango, passion fruit, papaya, and baked peach, it handles the high alcohol and builds through a slow crescendo in flavor to reach the peak. (120 bottles for Norfolk Whisky Group)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Kilchoman 8 year old ImpEx Cask Evolution 03/2020 Calvados-Finished Single Cask (Cask No. 277/2012), 56.6%

Briny peat weaves through whipped cream, Bosc pear, and lemon peel on the undiluted nose; with water, it opens to reveal layer upon layer of sweetness, from fresh blueberries to brown sugar and cinnamon coffee cake, molasses, raisins, and dried currants. On the palate, the interplay of char and ash with vanilla, brown sugar, golden raisins, and blueberry jam is punctuated with cinnamon, pepper, and minty tobacco. Beautiful length on the savory finish. (238 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Deanston 12 year old, 46.3%

The nose immediately indicates the depth and complexity of this whisky: caramel, praline, Nutella, figs, raspberry jam, candied rose petal, Concord grape jelly, dark chocolate-dipped gingerbread, and leather book bindings all waft from the glass, and then appear at the first sip, buttressed by more spice, marmalade, pecans, coffee, and a touch of tobacco. The body is silky and pleasurable. It finishes with dried ginger, tobacco, mocha, and savory oak—nuanced and perfectly balanced.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Glencadam 25 year old, 46%

Glencadam 25 year old. Refined aromas of dried apricots, strawberries, peonies, candle wax, marzipan, graham cracker, candied ginger, and vanilla frosting carry through to the palate, which showcases sugared almonds, Raisinets, dried apricots, red berry jam, Fig Newtons, and savory tobacco. A few drops of water temper oak tannin. The finish is lengthy and complex, yet soft with orange marmalade, dark chocolate, coffee bean, dried cherries and ginger, and tobacco. There’s a lovely delicacy among layered complexity.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Loch Lomond 18 year old, 46%

Loch Lomond 18 year old. Sherry dominates the nose, rounding up stewed apples, dark caramel, raisins, dates, ground ginger, dark chocolate, and hazelnuts to go with the distillery’s characteristic tropical fruit aromas, the result of extra-long fermentation with wine yeast. A well-textured palate showcases the same mix of sherry cask and spirit character, with chocolate, baking spices, almond, pineapple, mango, pistachio, honey, and ginger. The finish’s coffee-tinged oak is sweetened by dark chocolate-dipped dried mango and pineapple.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Barrell Cask-Strength Blend of Straight Bourbons (Batch 026), 56.32%

Barrell Cask-Strength Blend of Straight Bourbons (Batch 026). A rich and fragrant nose of mince pie, baking spices, figs, cherry pie, sweetened ice tea, candle wax, and an earthy note of warehouse floor. The palate is dense and chewy, with rich flavors of chocolate-covered raspberries, cooked cherries, honeyed almonds, licorice, and black tea. Water unlocks more fruit notes, spice, and a hint of café au lait. The finish is lengthy, offering dark chocolate, allspice, licorice, and balanced oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Four Gate Andalusia Key Oloroso and Dark Rum Cask-Finished (Batch 9), 60.6%

Four Gate Andalusia Key Oloroso and Dark Rum Cask-Finished (Batch 9). Pleasantly earthy cellar floor and cola spices weight the sweet aromas of butterscotch ripple ice cream, cherry pie, blackberry cobbler, and chocolate chip-blueberry pancakes. There’s equal breadth on the palate, with its well-integrated flavors spanning dark chocolate and roasted peanuts, lemon peel and leathery fruit skins, and savory-sweet oak. The finish is savory with coffee and roasted pecans, lifted by white pepper and dried ginger, and lengthened almost infinitely by savory oak. (1,309 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Thomas S. Moore Chardonnay Cask-Finished, 48.95%

thomas s moore chardonnay cask finished bourbon Much to unpack on this well-structured bourbon, starting with the complex nose of gingerbread spices, dark chocolate, leather book bindings, roasted pecans, blackberry and raspberry preserves, and decadent brown sugar. The palate is tightly wound and needs patience to fully reveal its manifold flavors that range from dried cherries and roasted peanuts to lemon and orange peel, integrated baking spice, and marshmallow. It’s tied off neatly with chocolate-covered peanuts, citrus peel, and sweet oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Thomas S. Moore Port Cask-Finished, 49.45%

thomas s moore port cask finished bourbon The port casks give an arresting nose of saline, like a tidal pool, but rich with raisins, figs, hazelnuts, brown sugar, and orange peel. Tart yuzu appears, a curiosity, but not unwelcome. The full-bodied palate is spicy, rich, sweet, and nutty, resplendent with baking spice, brown sugar, Coca-Cola, dark chocolate, candied orange peel, fig jam, and toasted pecans and hazelnuts. Gingersnaps, Italian hot chocolate, brown sugar-encrusted pecans, and polished oak on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Four Gate Split Stave by Kelvin Cask-Finished (Batch 10), 56.25%

four gate split stave rye bottle Lush cooked dark fruit and dark chocolate aromas, mingling with baking spice, earthen floor, leather, and iced tea hint at what’s to come on the palate: chocolate-covered cherries, blackberry jam, a sweep of gingerbread spices, plus fresh mint and zesty dill, all with ample depth. There’s no end to the white pepper, mocha, leathery oak, dark chocolate, and candied ginger on the finish, which remains complex and rewarding long after the glass is empty. (2,439 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

93 points

Chichibu Ichiro’s Malt Peated U.S. Edition (2020 Release), 55.5%

Icy cool clinical whisky with a precision delivery of peat smoke and icing sugar, vanilla, sponge cake, attractive spiciness, and a touch of mint on the nose. The mouthfeel is effervescent with fizzing spices, buckets of bourbon-cask sweetness, sugary vanilla, and a huge thrust of clove at full strength, becoming richer as the peat smoke blows through. Water coaxes out lime and clementine peel and a deeper, more rounded smoke. (2,109 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Flóki Icelandic Birch-Finished Single Malt, 47%

  A delicious example of a developing national style, this characterful whisky revels in peppery wood spices that obscure faint strands of vanilla fudge and soft fruitiness, supported by toasted coconut, rock cakes, and burnt banana loaf. Soft caramel, nectarine, and the grip of dusty oak under the menace of an approaching storm of pepper and clove spices subside to leave barrel char, heather honey, and cinnamon-spiced muffins.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Rampur Asava Single Malt, 45%

rampur-asava-indian-single-malt A deeply satisfying and fragrant whisky finished in Indian cabernet sauvignon casks, producing a nose of damsons, a thick layer of aromatic spices, vanilla essence, pipe tobacco, and black currant. A bounty of autumnal fruits: blackberry, plum jam, and blueberry, plus toffee, pepper, and clove. As the fruit releases its grip, spices, honey, red cherry, and candied peel emerge, leaving a notably dry finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

High Coast 63 Single Malt, 63%

Burning cedar, chocolate-flavored tobacco notes, and sooty ash pierce through this powerful whisky’s smoky aromas, just as latitude 63 strikes through the High Coast warehouse. Experiment with dilution to your heart’s content: tangy citrus, rolling spices, and smoke are smashed by a meteoric impact of high alcohol that abates slowly, revealing dark fruits, toffee, wood tannins, cocoa, and cappuccino notes. If Cohiba cigars made a whisky, this would be it.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

High Coast Älv Single Malt, 46%

Creamy vanilla frosting, lemon curd, white pepper, sugar lumps, delicate floral scents, and aromas of butter-soft leather. Light creamy mouthfeel with vanilla, marshmallow, honey, and Scottish tablet, developing hints of marmalade and fruit Life Savers before a long, sweet, vanilla-led finish. Named for the Swedish word for river, this is utterly delicious and makes an elegant impression.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

High Coast Berg Single Malt, 50%

A Swedish sherry bomb exploding with plum, candied peel, raisins, prune juice, and star anise; heavier on rich sherry and dark fruit than nutty fruitcake aromas. Effortless drinking, with flavors of raspberry, red currant, and cherry. These beautifully integrated sherry flavors are complemented by light toffee, raisins, ginger, and pepper, with a spiced-fruit finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

High Coast Hav Single Malt, 48%

Wood spice with a little peat smoke, vanilla cream, dried apricot, golden sultana, apple rings, and orange peel make for a tantalizing combination of scents. Named after the Swedish word for sea, the palate is awash with a concentration of sweet fruit, pepper, clove, and wood spices, yielding to dried mango, papaya, light honey, apricot, and peach, until a second wave of spiciness washes over everything.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Arbikie Highland Rye 1794, 48%

Arbikie’s signature rye is matured in virgin oak casks, giving notes of cinnamon swirls, choux pastry, vanilla seeds, flaked chocolate, and allspice, developing a little savory pepperiness on the nose as it opens up. The flavors are superb, with vanilla pod, caramel popcorn, honeyed fruit pulp, apricot, cocoa, and cinnamon, opening up a deep well of swirling spices. Hints of butterscotch follow, ending enticingly with vanilla toffee and clove. (Editors' Choice)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Glen Grant 15 year old Batch-Strength, 50%

Bright, fresh, and sweet on the nose, with green apple, melon, sugared lemon slice, almond cream, vanilla, and a hay field in the sun. The proof gives this ample body and allows flavors of fizzy lemon, fresh ginger, orange scone, caramel-dipped apple, honeysuckle, and toasted coconut to spread out over a layer of savory oak. It’s not quick to move on, lingering with a rounded finish of white pepper, fresh ginger, lemon oil, and oak. (Editors' Choice)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Bruichladdich 26 year old Black Art 1994 (Edition 8.1), 45.1%

A bright and delicate nose is spritzed with lemon and mandarin orange, perfumed with salt-sprayed hibiscus, and supported by the creamy sweetness of almonds and pistachios. Consistent on the palate, which shines with zingy, zesty lemon, orange, and grapefruit, though cinnamon, peppermint, almonds, and oak offer a tempering influence. It finishes with sweet mint and oak, cinnamon, and a creeping tobacco flavor—the end of a great cigar. (Collectible)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Cascade Moon (Edition No. 2), 45%

cascade moon edition no. 2 whiskey Peanuts in the shell, corn silo, baking spice, Lipton’s tea bag, brown sugar, blueberry Pop Tart, and Dr. Pepper on the nose, and a touch of solvent that reveals maturity. The chewy palate’s blueberry muffin and grape jelly combine seamlessly with peanuts and milk chocolate. Water brings out a sheen of citrus oil, but bruises the fullness of flavor; use sparingly. A rounded finish of oak, dark chocolate, and integrated spice leaves nothing but satisfaction. (Collectible)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Arran 10 year old, 46%

Though initially reticent, the aromas are lovely: rose petal, lemon peel, apricot, candle wax, and a touch of tobacco. Full-bodied in the mouth, with crème brûlée, baked apple, toasted nuts, semi-sweet chocolate, toffee, ginger, and baking spices, plus bright floral rose oil and lemon peel. The lengthy finish runs to burnt chocolate, roasted nuts, coffee grounds, and a hint of tobacco.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Arran Quarter Cask The Bothy Cask-Strength, 56.2%

arran quarter cask the bothy scotch with canister Initially matured in bourbon casks for 7 years, this spends another 2 years in quarter casks, taking on aromas of vanilla, shortbread, canned pineapple chunks, wax, and cinnamon, all buffeted by the bright saltiness of fresh sea air. A hefty deep palate is unencumbered by the cask and instead trumpets its clean sweet flavors: lemon, orange, pineapple, fresh ginger, blueberry, cinnamon, shortbread, and saline. Full-flavored to the last, this whisky is muscular, but never aggressive.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Mars 8 year old Asagi Madara (2020 Release), 48%

Bottled to celebrate the refurbishment of Mars Shinshu Distillery, it’s named after the area’s native chestnut tiger butterfly. The nose is beautiful but delicate: cotton candy, spring blossoms, powders and lotions, rose-scented Turkish delight, fresh linen, and cherry sherbet. The palate offers ripe orchard fruit, vanilla custard, clove, and honey. Its smooth mouthfeel makes graceful transitions between flavors, showing glimpses of cherry and strawberry. (1,122 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Firestone & Robertson TX PX Sherry Cask-Finished Texas Bourbon, 50.8%

An unconventional tart aroma overlays the dark jammy fruit, baking spices, Coca-Cola, leather, and dark chocolate-covered almonds of the nose, and it carries through to the palate, which has a ponzu-like character: citrus and umami. There’s also dark chocolate, ample spice, roasted nuts, tobacco, and dried apricots, all held together on a full-bodied, chewy mouthfeel. Excellent length on the finish, with savory oak, dark chocolate, nuts, and persistent spice—and that unusual tart flavor. Quirky and delightful.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

M&H ImpEx STR Single Cask Israeli Single Malt (Cask No. 2017-0197), 55%

Orange peel, dried ginger, pineapple, baking spices, vanilla, and cherry syrup on the nose. With water, the grain and sweetness develop into a layered confection of honey, saffron, and sweet nuts: a bite of baklava. The palate is spiced and full, a touch fruity with dried orange peel and figs, spiced with dried ginger and black pepper, and richly nutty with toasted oak. There’s a visceral character of chewiness in the mouth and warmth sliding through the chest, a sensation that commands you to spend time enjoying the dram. (282 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Glencadam 15 year old, 46%

Glencadam 15 year old. More complex than its pale hue suggests. The nose is sweet and malty: Honey Nut Cheerios, butterscotch, sliced green apple with caramel dip, poached pear, and a whiff of sweet pipe tobacco. Lively white pepper and grated ginger permeate milk chocolate-covered caramels, toasted almond, and savory cereals on the palate; there’s also fresh pear and apple and creamy vanilla. Almonds, pipe tobacco, dried orange zest, cacao nibs, and lingering restrained savory oak on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Glencadam 10 year old, 46%

Glencadam 10 year old. Impeccable balance from start to finish; clean and structured. The nose is floral and fresh with jasmine, freesia, and apple blossom, plus green pears, lemon, talcum powder, and almond cream. Lemon, coconut, and vanilla form a sweet bright palate that revels in its celebration of malt: Think of apricot jam in a shortbread thumbprint cookie. Sweet and clean finish with persistent lemon, vanilla, and mouthwatering oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Loch Lomond 12 year old, 46%

Loch Lomond 12 year old. An expressive yet delicate nose of honeyed toasted cereals, peach jam, hibiscus, fresh kiwi, and almonds gives way to fresh tropical and citrus fruit on the silky palate: mango, kiwi, pomelo, grapefruit, and mandarin orange, all overlaid on a soft base of malt, sprinkled with peppery spice. Coffee, nutty malt, polished oak, and tinges of tropical fruit on the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Heaven Hill 13 year old 85th Anniversary Single Barrel Kentucky Straight, 53.5%

heaven hill 13 year old 85th anniversary bourbon bottle Raspberry tart, marzipan, honeyed cornbread, cinnamon, new leather, cedar, and herbs on the nose. A creamy mouthfeel, with notes of chocolate fudge, tobacco leaf, leather, spice, and mature oak. Water brings out generous flavors of chocolate nuttiness, licorice, cinnamon, spearmint, and mature but balanced oak. Spiced and lively, particularly considering its age. (146 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

New Riff Maltster Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight (Wheat Recipe), 50%

Raspberry cobbler, candied watermelon rind, caramel, peanuts, and violets on the nose. The palate is earthy and malty, balanced against sweeter notes of Juicy Fruit gum, cherry cola, and semi-sweet chocolate. Water brings out spice, along with caramel, brown sugar, and generous oak influence. On the finish, toasted oak is balanced against notes of raspberry jam and chocolate-covered strawberries. Pleasant and luscious, with pronounced but balanced spice.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Thomas S. Moore Cabernet Sauvignon Cask-Finished, 47.65%

thomas s moore cabernet sauvignon cask finished bourbon Cherry Coke and grape soda, blackberry and raspberry preserves, ginger molasses cookies, hot cocoa mix, iced tea, and cough syrup on the complex nose, which has a weighty character. The palate is light-bodied by comparison, but still deeply enticing with Concord grapes, mint leaves, blackberry cobbler, toasted nuts, cherry cough syrup, cacao nibs, and herbaceous oak. More savory and herbaceous flavors on the finish: cacao, mint, and polished oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Jack Daniel’s Special Release 2020 Single Barrel Barrel-Proof, 65.4%

jack daniel's single barrel barrel proof rye bottle Concord grape jelly, blackberry jam, Coca-Cola spices, leather, iced tea, tobacco barn, and maple syrup on the nose; with water, the fruitiness blooms and takes on sweet banana and marzipan. The palate is hot, with heaps of baking spice, cacao nibs, and mouthwatering oak; add some water and the rich interplay of dark fruit and velvety spices returns, along with dark chocolate-covered banana, cola, and chocolaty oak. Warming and lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Method and Madness Chestnut Cask-Finished, 46%

Perfumy and earthy aromas dominate the nose: dried roses and orange peel, talcum powder, moss, sandalwood, granola, toast with honey. Flavors of toasted cedar, spruce, and moss, woven with spice and pecans, are juxtaposed with bright lemon, almond cream, orange blossom water, and rose petals. The finish is soft and savory, with lingering earthiness. A curious profile that dips and weaves, its character almost intangible, but ultimately in balance.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Writers’ Tears Cask Strength (2020 Release), 54.5%

writers tears cask strength 2020 bottle In its new embossed bottle, this year’s vintage release has a complex, evolving nose with a huge hit of vanilla, backed by caramel, nuts, zesty citrus notes of lemon and lime, fragrant ginger root, white pepper, orange hard candies, and hints of marshmallow. Rich and indulgent flavors of shortbread, graham cracker, runny caramel, dried fruit, and citrus; the honeyed sweetness deepening to toffee notes, loading up with more fruit and nuts. (1,500 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

92 points

Stauning Bastard, 46.3%

This 3 year old rye receives a 6-month finish in Oro de Oaxaca mezcal casks and has a great fusion of herbal and spice aromas on the nose, with a touch of cinnamon, almond shells, rye bread, and a gentle smoky haze. Full of hedonistic pleasures, this is sweet but not fruity, with cinnamon, an intensity of rye spices, and more direct mezcal influences and long-lasting flavors.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Flóki Sheep Dung-Smoked Reserve Single Malt, 47%

  Made from smoked Icelandic barley, the nose has earthy mushroom-farm notes, with herbs, damp grass cuttings, tree sap, toasted nuts, and fresh barley top notes. This begs to be poured over ice cream; sweet malt and banoffee caramel spill over the taste buds with toasted almonds, ripe banana, and an edge of spice. The thick, heavy mouthfeel negotiates cinnamon, burnt sugar, subtle smoke, and blackened wood to finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Loch Lomond Original, 40%

Restrained and refined, the nose is bright with orange blossom, honeysuckle, peaches, pineapple, grapefruit, almond, and pistachio. The flavors are consistent, tending toward sweetened fruit—candied grapefruit and orange peel, grilled pineapple, brown sugar-coated almonds—bound in a creamy length of silk. Polished oak offers a savory counterweight to the finish’s sweet-floral notes of citrus oil and rose water. One of the best entry-level single malts on the shelf. (Best Value)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Roulette 4 year old Straight, 50%

roulette straight rye A pretty and unusual nose: nutty with toasted grain uplifted by fresh-squeezed lemon, plus chai spices, brown sugar, seasoned oak, and cedar chest. The palate has intersecting layers of citrus wedges, allspice, black pepper, dried ginger, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, cedar, and a hint of peppermint. Give it time, and a few drops of water, to fully open. A full, flavorful, and long-lasting finish offers peppery chocolate, oak, and toasted nuts. (Best Value)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Arran Barrel Reserve, 43%

arran barrel reserve scotch with canister White peach, juicy green pear, vanilla, and green tea meet the fresh aromas of clean sheets flapping on the clothesline in a crisp spring breeze. The palate is silky and light-bodied, sweet with biscuity malt, toasted almonds, cantaloupe, and milk chocolate; a few drops of water evoke oily sprays of lemon, grapefruit, and orange. Creamy and nutty on the finish, sprinkled with toasted almonds, bittersweet oak, and a whiff of tobacco.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

High Coast Dálvve Spanish Oak, 48%

Marmalade, vanilla, brittle toffee, cream, dried red fruits, red currant, dates, and wafts of floral scents, flecked with ground pepper and a little chile heat. The sherry wood flavors are polished, delicious, and really deliver: honey, marmalade, baked orange, and candied peel, it rides a crest of active spices, then runny caramel, canned peaches, and raisin, leaving the gums tingling with residual spices.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Deanston Virgin Oak, 46.3%

Brightness that brings to mind a spring day, with aromas of jasmine and freesia blown about on the breeze, fresh pear, lemon wedge in sparkling water, vanilla, Cheerios, and grandma’s potpourri. Fizzy lemon sparkles on the palate, alongside pie crust, vanilla, toasted almonds, jasmine tea, green pear, and savory oak and cacao; water emphasizes oily citrus. It finishes with zippy lemon pepper, black and white cookie, toasted almonds and hazelnuts, and cacao nibs.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Glencadam 21 year old, 46%

Glencadam 21 year old. Heady aromas of Marshmallow Fluff, coconut flakes, Golden Delicious apple, pistachio ice cream, and fresh apricots yield to a soft, malt-driven palate highlighting toasted coconut and almonds, lemon curd, Toblerone, grapefruit oil, dried ginger, and savory tobacco. On the finish, there’s a prickling of lemon zest and ginger in the nose, and savory-sweet flavors of polished oak, toasted nuts, semi-sweet chocolate, and a touch of tobacco. At the sweet spot of cask maturity and spirit character.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

GlenDronach Port Wood, 46%

glendronach port wood bottle The rose-gold tint of this natural-color whisky serves as a visual hint of its heavy port cask influence. Dominated on the nose by butterscotch and caramelized sugar, maple syrup, pralines, candied pecans, dates, and syrupy stewed plums. A silky but weighty palate revels in raspberry jam, raisin bread, semi-sweet chocolate, toasted nuts, dark sea-salt caramel, and gentle spice, concluding with a balanced finish of raspberry-dark chocolate squares, tobacco, and ginger.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Blue Run 13 year old Kentucky Straight (Fall 2020 Release), 56.5%

The nose displays a great mix of spice and nuttiness, with toasted almonds, cocktail peanuts, and Honey Bunches of Oats. A splash of water opens it up with dark fruit—cooked cherries and blackberry jam—emerging. The palate is chewy and full, with dark chocolate, Golden Grahams, and coffee bean, a touch of cigar wrapper, and licorice lying underneath. The finish turns savory, still full-bodied, and rich with oak, coffee, and black pepper. (2,600 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Calumet Farm 14 year old Single Rack Black Kentucky Straight, 48.1%

Sweet and nutty on the nose: brown sugar, wet walnuts, Cherry Coke, pralines, and roasted peanuts. Water releases vanilla-blueberry muffins, orange peel, and cherry Pixy Stix. These notes continue onto the oily palate with blueberry and raspberry jams, cooked plums, maple syrup, and a touch of leather. The lengthy finish offers more of the same, plus black pepper and polished oak. Water brings better balance and sweeter notes of tiramisu and Christmas cake.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Wheel Horse Straight (Batch 1), 50.5%

Comprised of 2 to 4 year old bourbons; it seems more mature. Werther’s Original, pecan pie, corn muffin, and iced tea highlight the nose. The palate is well-textured, spiced, and sweet, with more tea and herbal notes, like licorice and spearmint. The finish maintains that character, with minty oak, baking spice, and bitter tea leaves. This shows consistency and direction from front to back, with plenty of proof to boot.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Widow Jane 10 year old Decadence (Batch 2), 45.5%

A blend of straight bourbons finished in maple syrup barrels. The nose is rich with brown sugar, honey, orange peel, and rose oil; elegant and polished. The palate suggests hot chocolate, raspberry jam, and bitter cherries, a syrupy sweetness shining through. The finish shows good length and continued sweetness with brown sugar glaze, cocoa powder, and coffee cake. A dessert lover’s dream, the finishing cask sweetness is the star here.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Very Fine Rare Kentucky Straight, 45.2%

woodford reserve master's collection very fine rare bourbon bottle Woodford Reserve’s oldest-ever release includes barrels from 2003. Licorice, sassafras, dried herbs, and slate on the nose, followed by a palate that’s rich and spiced, with notes of nutty chocolate, grape jelly, Christmas cake, brown sugar, and aged oak. Water unlocks lively notes of raspberry tart and nutmeg, and a lengthy finish offers cocoa powder, espresso, and semi-sweet chocolate. Mature, well-spiced, herbal, and balanced, with dessert-like chocolate and espresso flavors.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Westland Garryana (5th Edition), 50%

Virgin Garry oak matured 36% of this peated single malt, and 64% was matured in new American oak. Whiffs of powdered candy, bonfire smoke, grilled meat, dried strawberries, and antique shop on the nose. A robust, diverse palate features vanilla, allspice, cooked peaches, black tea, candle wax, and bitter chocolate as the smoke drifts into the background but never leaves, lingering into the finish to play against notes of honeycomb, vanilla cream, and cooked red fruits. (5,625 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Whiskey Del Bac Distiller’s Cut (Fall 2020 Release), 57.25%

Sweet, smoky brisket, brown-sugar bacon, vanilla bean, nutmeg, buttered pecans, milk chocolate, dried strawberries, and spearmint swirl on the expressive nose of this mesquite-smoked single malt, and there’s more of the same on the palate: minty freshness, nutty milk chocolate, vanilla, dried red fruits, and sweet smoke. The oak turns mouthwatering into the peppery, cinnamon-hot yet minty-cool finish, where vanilla smoke lingers longest. (785 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Blackened Cask-Strength Black Brandy Cask-Finished Blended (Batch 106), 55.35%

Metallica’s standard Blackened with the proof turned up to 11. The nose is nutty and sweet with pralines, caramel corn, brown-sugar butter, and vanilla-almond ice cream. There’s more spice on the palate, with Red Hots, toasted nuts and oak, candy apple, and pepper. The finish is rich and warming, carrying over many of the spices. Water elongates and opens the palate. This demonstrates excellent consistency from nose to finish and quality development over time.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Blue Spot 7 year old, 58.7%

blue spot single pot still irish whiskey bottle Spot whiskeys inhabit a flavor profile between Redbreast’s fruitiness and Powers’ muscularity, and this feisty newcomer completes the family with its nose of baked apple, spiced nuts, toffee, very crisp spices, and cool mint. The creamy palate of melted toffee and condensed milk layers on tangy citrus, bitter peels, baked lemon, apple, dried cherry, and walnut, with peppery pot still spices running amok at full strength.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Oloroso Sherry Cask-Finished, 46%

The third in the Reserve Cask series, this has wafts of sherry wood, Victoria plum, dark marmalade, toasted almond, polished wood, ground nutmeg, and dried pear. Warm fruits, panettone, and citrus peel precede a moment of nippy spice on the palate, followed by red berries and caramel. This saves the best till last with a delicious final phase, as milk chocolate and spice soften to end with Choco-Leibniz and dried fruit. (8,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Two Stacks The First Cut, 43%

two stacks blended irish whiskey bottle The nose slowly sheds aromas of peeled apple, ripe melon, pot still spices, blackened driftwood, caramel-drizzled dark cookies, and milk chocolate. A whiskey of two halves: taffy candy, apple, peach, almond paste, and dried tropical fruit flavors, then after cresting the spices, it slips through caramels, toffee, and berry-studded chocolate, to dwell on cappuccino. Printing the recipe of the whiskey styles on the label is a welcome move. (12,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt, 43%

nikka-taketsuru-pure-malt-new-11-2020 A nose to savor and get lost in contemplation with its array of beautifully layered wood spices interwoven with balanced smoke, polished wood, vanilla pod, and lemon-scented biscuits. This new edition has a waxy feel, with sappy flavors of star fruit, preserved lemons, Asian pear, lychee, peach syrup, and an underbelly of moody spices. The spicy finish retains a residual sweetness.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

91 points

Stauning Kaos, 46%

Named after a 1930s Danish political slogan, this is a combination of Stauning’s unpeated malt, smoked malt, and malted rye whiskies. Give it time to open up and reveal its full beauty: coffee bean, plain chocolate chunks, a warming twist of sweet peat smoke, wood spices, apple, and fresh breakfast pastries. Green apple flavors, rocked by a pandemonium of spices, dissipate to sugary caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and malt permeated by mellow smoke.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Spirit of Hven Mercurious Corn Whisky, 45.6%

Using 88% Swedish corn and air-seasoned virgin American oak casks, this has a well-integrated profile with abundant aromas of salted caramel, banana peel, wafers, black tea, and light spices. It’s scrumptious and moreish, with a smooth and silky mouthfeel bringing flavors of golden syrup, orange peel, and candied lemon, leaning toward deeper caramel and vanilla toffee notes later, with unobtrusive spices carrying into the mouth-coating finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Russell’s Reserve 2003 16 year old Kentucky Straight, 44.75%

Cooked cherries, cherry cough drops, raspberry, vanilla, dried banana chips, and old attic on the nose. The palate’s texture is smooth, with undertones of spice and rich overtones of chocolate, blackberry jam, toasted almonds, zabaione, cinnamon, and pepper, against mature but balanced oak. A spiced finish offers blackberry, vanilla, cinnamon, and tobacco. Richly herbal, with deep fruit and chocolate, and balanced maturity. (Collectible)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Mars The Lucky Cat Hana, 43%

This boasts a nice balance of baked apple, stewed fruits, fresh spices, and deeply caramelized sugar. The integration of the spice and fruit is a notable Japanese whisky hallmark, and the dense mouthfeel peels back layers of dark syrup, plum, chocolate, burnt cookies, baked sugared fruits, and background spice. The finish sees the spices perk up against the fading strength of the fruit and chocolate flavors. (3,000 bottles; 564 for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Teeling Ginger Beer Cask, 46%

A small-batch collaboration with London’s Umbrella Brewing, the nose is like a hot toddy, with baked lemon, honey, lemongrass, chopped chives, and ginger beer (not ginger) notes. This next-gen finishing experiment really works; ginger beer is again apparent on the palate, with honey, lemon, creaminess, then crystallized ginger and caramelized citrus slices. Zippy, refreshing, and tasty: Teeling just upped its game again. €50

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Bivrost Niflheim, 46%

Norway’s first arctic whisky is triple distilled from Nordic barley and glacial melt-water. A nose of raisin-packed fruit scones, pan-tossed whole spices, warm banana bread, lemon tart, bramble jelly, maraschino cherries, and spiced apple. The palate is honeyed and buttery with biscuit-like cereal notes, pepper, pronounced clove, vanilla, hints of citrus peel, some late stewed fruits, and a finish of chewy fruit bars. Kr 700

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

High Coast Dálvve American Oak, 46%

Resounding bourbon-cask flavors throughout, with a nose of buttercream, icing sugar, honeydew, desiccated coconut, sanded oak, and peppercorn; the spices become more pronounced the longer the glass sits. Flavors of lemon peel, vanilla, apple, and black pepper—the sweet vanilla and fruit burst through a veil of spices—settling down to almond-studded nougat and finishing with bitter lemon at the swallow.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Glen Grant 18 year old, 43%

Glen Grant 18 year old bottle. Floral notes flit among the shortbread, vanilla, almond flour, banana peel, and lemon aromas of the nose, while the palate is sweet with lemon curd, shortbread, toasted almonds and coconut, and honeydew. Water brings out fresher, fruitier flavors, but add it sparingly. The soft finish has toasted nuts, shortbread, oak, and ginger. A delicate dram that showcases elegant maturity.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Glen Grant 12 year old, 43%

Glen Grant 12 year old bottle. Lily of the valley, sweet almonds, and light tropical fruit notes—mango and kiwi—on the reticent nose. The palate’s oily texture belies its light body, but both characteristics work in tandem to advance lemon and orange, toasted almonds bathed in vanilla sugar, and sweet oak. Toasted almonds and coconut dusted with cocoa powder create a refined finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Kilchoman Fino Sherry-Matured (2020 Edition), 46%

Fragrant fruit notes—dried red berries, raspberry pastilles—ride atop a light peat influence on the nose. The peat becomes stronger on the palate to create a profile of bonfire ash, grilled meat, dried leaves, blackberry jam, dark chocolate, and black pepper. Water brings out light fruitiness, as well as brine and charcoal. The finish is mid-length and smoky, with classic notes of Band-Aid, iodine, wet seaweed, and charcoal. (1,140 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

New Riff Maltster Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight (Rye Recipe), 50%

Made with 30% malted rye in the mashbill, this bourbon has peanut brittle, pecans, maple syrup, dark chocolate, soft baking spice, and lemon peel in iced tea on the nose. The palate shows rich maturity, with dark chocolate, oak, coffee bean, cola spices, and plenty of nuts, while a brighter fruit flavor layers itself on top: raspberry jam on a chocolate muffin. Cocoa powder, coffee bean, and roasted pecans on the gentle, lingering finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

New Riff Winter Whiskey Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight (2020 Release), 50%

The nose is vegetal with celery, caraway seeds, and bell pepper while also sweet: confectionery powder, candied orange slices, chocolate fudge, and coffee ice cream. The palate shows wood influence, though fruits—apricots and orange marmalade—emerge with water. The dry, nutty finish has a sweet herbal quality that lingers before a final hint of tobacco smoke. A bit quirky, but the well-structured clean flavors and excellent balance make this worth a taste.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Tasters’ Selection Toasted Jamaica Allspice Wood-Finished, 50%

Finished in Jamaican allspice barrels for six months. Candied bakery shop notes on the nose, with grape jelly, cherry cola, vanilla, and abundant spice. A burst of cooked dark fruit greets the palate, followed by bitter chocolate, coffee, and fragrant oak. A warming finish offers more spice, candied kiwi, and chocolate. Powerful and spiced, with subtly interwoven flavors and superbly balanced oak. (24,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

St. George (Lot 20), 43%

The 20th annual limited release of St. George Spirits’ American single malt. An aromatic, citrusy nose is almost tropical, with complex notes of rancio, lemon peel, melon, mango, confectionery powder, and candle wax. The palate is floral and delicate, with subtle sweetness and overlays of lemon cake, vanilla frosting, and white pepper. Balanced fruit, vanilla, and notes of baking spice on a long finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Hinch 5 year old Double Wood, 43%

Having spent a year finishing in virgin American oak, this is imbued with aromas of green apple, lemon curd, barley, green tea, stewed gooseberries, and pineapple. Sweetly tangy, with lemon Jell-O, candied peel, orange curd, sugar-coated gumdrops, and submerged notes of pepper and clove, with dry oak on the finish. Though not especially complex, this is irrefutably delicious and has plenty of appeal.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Stauning Peat, 47%

A dense smoky nose of charcoal, ashy soot, smoked fish, and lobster pots, with dunnage floors and hints of dark toffee sweetness, make this live up to the promise of its name. Danish peat and floor-malted local barley create a palate of nutty chocolate, cocoa, blackened wood, and pepper, with delayed blackberry and cinnamon, then it comes full circle back to chocolate, leaving a smoky finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

90 points

Bimber Country Collection Bourbon Cask Single Malt (No. 154), 59.1%

Muscular with high alcohol, and a nose of peppercorns, chile flakes, barbecue spice rub, savory brisket bark, and beef jerky. The palate is sweeter, with honeydew, spices surfing the cask-strength wave, then flavors of sugared pastries, vanilla, baked lemon, and orange zest. This shines as is, or add a dash of water for a really satisfying drink. (254 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Flóki Single Malt, 47%

Iceland’s first single malt is 3 years old and finished in American oak casks originally used for Flóki Young Malt (not sold in the U.S.). The nose is pleasant and light, with sweet malt, lemon-butter biscuits, orange zest, and mellow wood spices. Light-bodied with red apple peelings and a slow build of spices, honey, toasted waffle cone, baking chocolate, dark vanilla, and crumbled Oreos.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Flóki Sherry Cask-Finished Single Malt, 47%

Orchard fruit, applesauce, barley sugar, macadamia nut, white pepper, and light spicy aromas, with toasted brioche bringing a touch of sweetness. The palate is fruity with apple and sultanas draped in honey and caramel, peppery spice, with orange and lemon peel and late baked citrus on the finish. A pleasing dram, though if you’re drawn to Flóki looking for unconventional flavors and idiosyncratic methods, this is a more traditional whisky.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

High Coast Timmer Single Malt, 48%

Peppery spice rubs, light vanilla, and whipped cream meet a stealthy growth of grassy peat smoke, leading to aromas of rock pool salinity and breezy ozone. An arsonist in a candy store: lemon bonbon, vanilla, and chalky candies, with a building spiciness of clove and pepper bursting with a firework of smoky flavors, which clear aside for the return of sugary-sweet lemon and caramels.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Dewar’s 8 year old Portuguese Smooth, 40%

dewars 8 year old portuguese smooth A beautiful blush-toned whisky with red currant, cranberry, and light toffee; the delicate spices beautifully integrated with the soft fruits on the nose. Flavors of dried apricots, honey, and vanilla sugar offer a sweet smooth creaminess with hints of butterscotch, cherry syrup, and lingering fine-ground pepper. Adding this latest port finish to its range, Dewar’s bolsters the resurgence of the 8 year old age statement in scotch whisky. (Best Value)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Amrut Single Cask Oloroso Cask (No. 3820), 60%

A whisky to settle down with for the night, with its lavish nose of chocolate, cappuccino, cocoa powder, dried cherry, and toasted spices. Rich and fruity, with initial chocolate and cocoa flavors, the high alcohol is mouth drawing and purses the lips. At cask strength, there are flavors of apple, a spike of clove and pepper, and a finish of plain dark chocolate, but dilute to accentuate the fruity elements. (480 bottles for Whiskey Neat, TX)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Firestone & Robertson TX Tawny Port Cask-Finished Texas Bourbon, 50.8%

Sugar cookie dough, dried apple rings, iced tea, and an unconventional aroma of amaretto on the nose. The palate is spiced and chewy and full of grain character, well-balanced by blackberries, bittersweet apples, dried cherries, grated ginger, chile-chocolate, barrel char, and a touch of savory umami. Tobacco, coffee bean, savory oak, and tingling pepper on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

KO Distiller’s Reserve Bottled in Bond (Barrel No. 16-090), 50%

An intense grain quality is apparent on the nose with notes of burlap sack, dried leaves, shelled almonds, and seven-grain bread crust. The palate is quite hot but presents as structured and vibrant, with freshly sawn oak, corn husks, and, with water added, cinnamon Red Hots. The finish isn’t long, but remains satisfying with cacao nibs, tobacco leaf, and peppery oak. The grain character is heavy here, but the flavors work, aided by the robust proof.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Yellowstone Limited Edition Armagnac Cask-Finished (2020 Release), 50.5%

There’s nice dimension to the nose, with aromas of dried herbs, orange oil, walnuts, black tea, and a honeyed sweetness alongside candied orange peel. The well-developed palate offers zesty grapefruit and lemon, and darker flavors underneath: root beer, plums, chocolate, and blueberries. The interplay between crisp citrus and deeper, earthier flavors creates intrigue. The finish unfolds further with bitter chocolate and oak. A lot is happening here, with most of it in unison.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Stranahan’s Blue Peak, 43%

The nose starts with pleasant floral and lemon peel overtones as well as an herbal note, leading to aromas of macaroons and confectionery powder. Sweet notes of lemon cookie, sugared almonds, and cinnamon ride across the palate, with water coaxing out spice and bitter chocolate. Fresh vanilla cookies punctuate the finish, with an integrated array of baking spice, tiramisu, chocolate babka, cinnamon bun, and lemon. Balanced, complex sweetness melding with citrus and spice.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Westward Pinot Noir Cask-Finished, 45%

westward oregon pinot noir finished single malt The nose balances enticing aromas of tropical fruit—mango, jackfruit, papaya—with earthy clay and dark chocolate, a harbinger of the bright sweetness of the palate, which sings with grapefruit, lemon-lime zest, kiwi, and pineapple soda, plus roasted nuts and semi-dark chocolate. The texture is waxy, verging to oily with a few drops of water, but never heavy. Though the finish is short, it’s complete, rounded out with white pepper, jackfruit, and grapefruit oil.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Hinch Peated, 43%

The nose offers antiseptics, Band-Aids, caramel, lemon peel, grassy smoke, and aniseed balls. As it unfurls, the smoke combines with notes of rich chocolate brownie and earthy peat. Honeyed, with sweet smoke on the palate, juicy citrus notes, sherbet, vanilla, ice cream wafers, clementine, and a bright finish of tangy citrus and sherbet. Dangerously drinkable, and one you’ll want to keep within easy reach for a second pour. (6,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Hinch 10 year old Sherry Cask-Finished, 43%

Aromas of apple, pear, vanilla, and soft buttery toffees, with herbal notes, pea pods, pepper, and mixed spices. A creamy palate of poached pear, white chocolate, toffee, jellied and jammy fruits, spices, and raisins, with spices vaulting above milk chocolate in later phases. A finish of milk chocolate, malt, and pear lead to a spice-coated tongue.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Two Stacks The Blender’s Cut Cask-Strength, 65%

A roasted, slightly smoky rendering of pot still spices rises to the top, accompanied by a nose of chocolate brownies, new pencils, and dried dates. The mouth signals this as a contender for Ireland’s strongest whiskey: red apple and baked peach concentrate on the palate, a whirl of spices shows flashes of green chiles and hot pepper sauce, leaving flavors of nutty wheat bread and milk chocolate. Exposed flames prohibited. (6,000 bottles)  

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Stauning El Clásico, 45.7%

This vermouth-finished rye whisky is intriguing, complex, and distinctive, with aromas of deep pepper-spice notes of clove and ginger, baked orange peel, stewed fruits, and a gratifying tang of bitter fruit skins and herbal stalks. Mouth-drawing fruitiness with cherry-flavored gummy bears, sweet chalky candies, strawberry taffy, and a piercing streak of spice followed by cinnamon and the return of bitter herbs. Drink it neat or enliven your Boulevardier game.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

89 points

Bimber Country Collection Virgin American Oak Cask Single Malt (No. 95), 58.6%

Distiller Dariusz Plazewski’s policy of small-batch and single-cask releases has built a loyal following for Bimber. This one has lush caramel and dried banana on waffles, faint milk chocolate notes, red chile, and toasted oak, though the aromas are ring-fenced by peppery spices and strong alcohol. On the palate, the initial dark plum fruits are joined by pepper, caramelized sugar, and Smucker’s Magic Shell chocolate topping. (253 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Mars Iwai Tradition Haru Sakura Cask-Finished, 40%

Fruit-led on the nose, with cherry cola, damson, plum, aromatic spices, and coriander seed, plus hints of currant and mixed peel. The texture is light, with flavors of toffee, date, brown sugar, chocolate, cocoa, and malty drinks. (U.S. exclusive; 1,272 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Redemption Rum Cask-Finished (Batch 2), 47%

The sequel to Redemption Rye’s rum cask-finished expression, following 2020’s release of Batch 1. Candied raspberries and cherries on a lightly sweet nose, which also offers notes of herbal tea and subtle earthiness. Bitter cherry and toasted almond on the palate, as well as dark chocolate, licorice, orange, roasted nuts, tobacco, and white pepper. More tobacco notes, licorice, and drying oak tannins on a finish that’s spicy and powerful.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Bainbridge Battle Point Two Islands Hokkaido Mizunara Cask-Finished, 43%

A mashbill of 100% soft white wheat imparts sweet pastry notes throughout, which dominate despite the mizunara-cask finish. Almond danish with drizzled icing, lemon curd, coconut flakes, vanilla, and baby powder on the light, sweet nose. The palate has more of the same: white frosting on pound cake, lemon-lime soda, vanilla ice cream, and honeyed almonds. It finishes sweet and simple, but satisfying. Not a whiskey you need to think about—just enjoy it.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Westland Colere (1st Edition), 50%

Candied strawberries, dried flowers, and light nuttiness on the nose. The palate features semi-sweet chocolate, espresso beans, spice cake, cantaloupe slices, coffee ice cream, and a malty note. The finish offers good length and exudes notes of dried red berries, spice, bitter chocolate, cocoa powder, and light influences of roasted grain, oak, and tobacco leaf. The latter notes meld with the sweetness and spice, creating a complex, alluring balance.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Cascade Moon (Edition No. 1), 42%

An 11 year old blend containing 16 and 11 year old whiskeys whose profile is inspired by gose-style beers. The nose offers sweet notes of bubble gum, cherries, blueberry pie, candied orange, caramel corn, and cinnamon bread, tempered by hints of eucalyptus and herbs. The palate is herbal and spiced, with flavors of bitter chocolate, pear tart, and cinnamon. A mellow finish of dark fruit is dusted with cinnamon powder, herbal notes, and oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Golden Gate Single Cask Mizunara Cask, 55%

Made from 80% malted barley and 20% malted rye and aged in a stainless-steel cask with toasted mizunara oak staves and heads. Divisive among tasters, with mint chocolate chip ice cream on the nose, with saltwater taffy, dried apple rings, and seaweed. The palate diverts from the striking nose with dried tobacco, stroopwafel, and caramel M&Ms. The finish is bitter but bright, with lemon and new oak. A highlight of the inventiveness among America’s craft distillers.  

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Proclamation, 40.7%

Taking inspiration from the Proclamation of the Irish Republic issued during the Easter Rising of 1916, the nose has toasted granola, blended honey, sliced pear, hay bales, cracker bread, wood shavings, and gently roasted spices. Light to medium-bodied, it’s a likable easy sipper with flavors of oat crisp, cinnamon, heather honey, and the rounded fruitiness of banana, apple, and pear with sweet vanilla.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

88 points

Stauning Rye, 48%

Distilled predominantly from floor-malted locally grown rye, the first impression is one of spiciness, with peppercorn, clove, cardamom, dark rye bread, dried apple rings, cinnamon bark, and pear. It’s like a country kitchen in the fall. The taste is initially light and creamy, like malted milk, though the body fattens up with red apple, cranberry, clove, and pepper, ending with Bramley apples and a pleasant spiciness.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

87 points

Mars Kisoyama Yuhi, 40%

This is sweeter than Mars Kisoyama, with a spicier finish making it a great choice for Highballs and mixing. The nose has ground spices with occasional more aromatic flourishes and hints of whole ginger root and garlic bulb. Some herbal notes in the initial sip, but the mouthfeel is delicate and carries pleasant flavors of caramel, toffee, fresh melon, baked apple, and a gentle spiciness. (BevMo-exclusive; 6,000 bottles).

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

87 points

Bivrost Nidavellir, 46%

Finished in French oak Islay casks originally filled with New Zealand pinot noir (think Ardbeg Blaaack), the nose has honey, lemon zest, Golden Delicious apple, pear, salty peat smoke, crumbly compost, aromatic spices, and hints of gooseberry and grapefruit. Light-bodied and toothsomely sweet, it skims the tongue with flavors of nougat, lemon, melted vanilla ice cream, clove, and sherbet, with a brief reappearance of peat smoke late into the finish. Kr 700

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

87 points

10th Street California Coast Blended, 42%

A blend of house-made single malt and sourced pot-distilled light whiskey. Sweet campfire smoke wends its way through grain, nut, and toast aromas, with hints of peppermint, vanilla, and milk chocolate. Smoke and sweetness interplay on the palate with vanilla nougat and smoked almonds. The abrupt finish comes off a bit hot, but is mouthwatering all the same. It’s enchanting, and a creative expression of smoke, at times evoking a smoky Toblerone bar.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

87 points

O.H. Ingram River-Aged, 48%

A blend of bourbon and rye matured on a barge in the Mississippi River. A light fruitiness on the nose turns candied at times, with raspberry-peach iced tea, strawberry hard candies, and grape soda. That quality carries over to the palate, where cherry cough syrup and orange peel meet lemon and dry oak. The finish is quick, with more fruitiness in the form of cherry skins. It’s light-bodied for the proof, but with full flavor. (10,300 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

87 points

Hinch Small Batch Bourbon Cask, 43%

Lemon drizzle cake, hazelnut, dried coconut strips, iced sweet rolls filled with jam and whipped cream, and a jab of ripe gooseberry are all on the nose of this blend of grain and single malt whiskeys. It’s sweet and light-bodied, yet smooth and creamy, with lemon bonbons, vanilla, butterscotch, and hints of cooked fruits, with a spicy finish that retains a fruity juiciness. A great reference point for bourbon cask-matured Irish whiskey.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

86 points

Mars Kisoyama, 40%

Fragrant spice, cherry, and gummy bears on the nose, though it’s quite subdued. A light mouthfeel of caramel, pepper, and cherry candies develops a more complex array of spices, getting a late lift of fruity sweetness as the spices die out. Passes muster as a Japanese whisky, but it’s quite basic for a straight sipper (BevMo-exclusive; 10,000 bottles).

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

86 points

Penelope Rosé Cask-Finished (Batch 01), 47%

An unusual cask finish for bourbon; the rosé imparts floral and fruity notes on the nose with dried orange peel, fragrant oak, cotton candy, bubble gum, and Jolly Rancher. The palate is surprisingly zippy with citrus, cinnamon, and oak but loses full harmony among its disparate flavors. On the finish, there’s more cinnamon, along with chicory and oak. The overall journey is a bit uneven. (2,400 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

86 points

Stauning Curious, 43%

Part of Stauning’s Research Series, this clear unaged spirit is made from a mashbill of 70% malted rye and 30% malted barley. Fragrant aromatic spices with ground ginger, fine pepper, woodsmoke, and lavender soap—as an olfactory experience, it has its limitations. Fruity and light with early smokiness, it has bold fruit flavors, spice, and clementine, fading to orchard fruits. Substitute in your mezcal cocktails and run wild.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

86 points

Bimber Country Collection Sherry Cask Single Malt (No. 45), 58.9%

Bimber makes light, fruity whiskies from floor-malted English barley. This cask has aromas of millionaire’s shortbread, rowanberry, pomegranate, a slightly bitter singed-spice note, blackened oak, and roasted chestnuts. Vanilla meets a formidable wall of alcohol on the palate, with spicy peppercorn and chile flakes. Despite various dilutions, it was hard to find a sweet spot, but sweet pastries, peach, sherry wood, and nut eventually emerge. (293 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

85 points

Wonderland Blend of Straight Whiskeys, 42%

A blend of corn, wheat, and rye whiskeys, there is a grassy and herbal note on the nose with licorice, dill, caraway seed, and eucalyptus, as well as a piney lemon quality with cacao nibs and sea salt. The palate is silky and light with a spiced herbaceousness, chocolate chips, mint, and pine resin emerging with water. The finish is more of the same, with mint chocolate, bittersweet oak, and a lingering heat. Earthy and green at times, it recalls a pine forest with its sustained herbal and lemon quality. The lower proof and a light-bodied palate keeps it from scaling any higher.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)

82 points

Barrell Armida, 56.05%

From the inventive minds at Barrell comes this whiskey, a blend of three Tennessee bourbons each finished separately in Jamaican rum, pear brandy, and Sicilian amaro casks. The nose is highly fruity and herbal, almost gin-like with notes of mint, grass, lemon and lime, pineapple slices, and wild strawberries. The palate is candied with Smarties, Runts, and mango. The finish is more of the same with lemon-lime candies. The unorthodox cask treatment creates some unexpected flavors, with the high proof amplifying the peculiarity.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2021)


Load More