In every issue of Whisky Advocate, we select three bottles to recommend as collectibles: whiskies that are generally limited releases and show the most potential to gain in value. For Winter 2019, the top choices came from Kentucky and Scotland.
For all whiskies reviewed in the Winter 2019 issue, check out the full Buying Guide.
Collectible Bourbon and Scotch: Winter 2019
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Straight Bourbon (2019 Release)
95 points, 56.3% ABV, $140
From first sniff, it’s clear this is mature and stately stuff. It’s quite oak-driven, but rather than purely primary wood, it smells of fine leather, cedar chest, polished handrails, and barrel warehouse. Beneath the woody splendor lurks a core of rich black cherry fruit, which permeates the full-bodied palate, oozing with dark berry fruit that slowly succumbs to butterscotch, espresso, chocolate-covered cherries, and drying tannins. A masterful work of balance and lush flavors. —Jeffery Lindenmuth
The Last Drop 56 year old Blended Scotch
93 points, 47.2% ABV, $4,350
This release from independent bottler The Last Drop has a captivating aroma of dark toffee, cinnamon, Brazil nut, star anise, polished oak, vanilla seed, crème de cassis, and a wisp of smoke that shows more charred stave as time goes on. Peach and baked orange precede an early peak of spice and smoke, then sit back and swim in the soothing mélange of chocolate brownie, Whoppers, stewed apple, vanilla pod, oak, sultana, and plum jam. (732 bottles) —Jonny McCormick
Old Forester Birthday Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2019 Release)
93 points, 52.5% ABV, $100
Elegant and supple, as befits a whiskey aged 11 years. The maturity shows on the nose, which has Concord grape skins, leather, sassafras, iced tea, chocolate, pecans, and varnish. Big dark fruit flavors, cola spices, ginger, cooked cherries, dark chocolate, and generous oak; a touch of water brings out pecans. The lengthy finish draws out cola, dark chocolate, leather, and pepper. Sip slowly; it continues to evolve in the glass. (13,200 bottles) —Susannah Skiver Barton