In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three great value bottles: whiskies with solid scores, modest prices, and wide availability. For the Summer 2020 issue, bonded bourbon, Indian single malt, and blended malt scotch all ranked as Best Values.
For all whiskies reviewed in the Summer 2020 issue, check out the full Buying Guide.
The Scores are High and the Prices are Low: Best Value Whiskies
Early Times Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon
91 points, 50% ABV, $25/liter
Delightfully rich on the nose, with grape jelly, raspberries, Raisinets, buttered pecans, toffee, dark chocolate, baking spice, leather, and the old oak smell of a rickhouse. Chewy and viscous, the palate shows excellent consistency, balancing raisins, Concord grape jelly, baking spice, and dark chocolate with coffee bean, cola, and lush oak. A lengthy and elegant finish highlights mocha, grape skins, cinnamon, black pepper, and rich oak. —Susannah Skiver Barton
Paul John Nirvana Indian Single Malt
89 points, 40% ABV, $30
What I love about this is that it’s fresh and fruity with plenty of zip. The nose has hard candy, fresh laundry, floral notes, apple, and peach puree. A fruit medley with nectarine, pear, and satsuma, followed by vanilla, lime, almond, and five spice, becoming more rounded, with apple and fudge and a spiced citrus finish. —Jonny McCormick
Jane Walker Blended Malt Scotch
88 points, 41.9% ABV, $38
Unlike the Jane Walker package for Johnnie Walker Black Label released in 2018, this is a new whisky altogether, a blend of various malts aged at least 10 years, including Cardhu and Clynelish. The nose is floral and gently nutty, with rose water, salted almonds, green apple, nougat, and caramel chews. Light-bodied and silky in the mouth, it has bright flavors of lime, lemon, vanilla, and coconut, before edging into nutty milk chocolate and finishing with good length, and a final savory note. —Susannah Skiver Barton