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95 points

Ardbeg 19 year old Traigh Bhan (Batch 2), 46.2%

Ardbeg 19 year old Traigh Bhan (Batch 2) bottle. The early nose offers hand-rolled tobacco, ginger, black pepper, and fragrant woodsmoke. Medicinal notes, brine, and lemon develop in time. Sweet peat smoke, tropical fruits, toffee, and aniseed on the palate, with smoked haddock and a suggestion of tar. Iodine, black pepper, and sea salt in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

95 points

Highland Park 50 year old, 42.5%

The nose of this veteran is hugely enticing; rich, with old leather, soft spices, sultanas, figs, polished oak, and dunnage warehouses. Tangy orange develops in time. The orange carries over onto the palate—amazingly vibrant and youthful fruitiness—followed by soft toffee, woodsmoke, and a sprinkling of dusty oak. The finish is extraordinarily long, with licorice and fruit-laden old oak. A true classic! (77 bottles in U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

95 points

Ardbeg Corryvreckan, 57.1%

Part of the permanent Ardbeg range since 2008, Corryvreckan is created from a blend of standard Ardbeg and Ardbeg aged in virgin French Limousin oak casks. Smoky bacon and seaweed, plus dark berries, prickly spices, walnuts, lemon, and sweet peat on the nose. Sweet and savory on the palate, with more lively spice, woodsmoke, phenols, and licorice. The finish is lengthy, with peat, sea salt, pepper, and black coffee. Editors’ Choice

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

95 points

Ardbeg 19 year old Traigh Bhan, 46.2%

Ardbeg’s first core bottling with an age statement in nearly 20 years was matured in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. Rock pools, fabric Band-Aids, coal dust, licorice, hot peat, pineapple, and a seafood platter on the complex nose. The palate is oily, with smoked fish, overt peat smoke, chili, iodine, and lemon. Long in the finish, with more iodine and peppery peat. A delightfully traditional Ardbeg.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

95 points

The Balvenie 1973 43 year old, 46.6%

This expression was matured in a European oak oloroso sherry butt. Overtly sherried, with figs, sultanas, cinnamon, and old warm leather on the nose. Finally, fragrant, with milk chocolate-coated Turkish delight. The Turkish delight carries over to the palate, before the chocolate darkens to plain, with raisins, smoked ham, and cloves in the long finish. Remarkably, almost no tannic oak. Textbook stuff.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

95 points

Brora 35 year old, 49.9%

Maturation of this 1978 distillate has taken place in European oak and refill American oak casks. Fresh and fruity on the early, herbal nose; a hint of wax, plus brine, developing walnut fudge, and an underlying wisp of smoke. Finally, wood resin. The palate is very fruity, with mixed spices, then plain chocolate, damp undergrowth, gentle peat smoke, and finally coal. Mildly medicinal. Ashy peat and aniseed linger in the long, slowly drying finish. Brora at its very best. (2,944 bottles) Editor's Choice

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

94 points

Highland Park 18 year old, 43%

Introduced to the Highland Park portfolio in 1997. Gentle peat, soft toffee, floral notes, and honey on the beautifully fragrant nose. Superbly balanced on the velvety palate, with brittle toffee, stewed fruits, peat, honey, and a hint of coffee. Smoke and more toffee mingle in the long, elegant finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

94 points

Bowmore 50 year old 1966 vintage, 41.5%

The third and most exclusive release in Bowmore’s Vault Legends Collection was matured for 50 years in bourbon hogshead #5675. The nose is fragrant and musky, slightly oily, with orange peel, developing vanilla, and green citrus notes. Intense orange and peach on the palate, with black pepper, aniseed, and sweet oak. Very persistent tangy citrus fruits through the extremely long finish. No negative tannic notes. (74 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

94 points

Brora 35 year old Special Release 2012, 48.1%

Previous Broras in the Diageo Special Release series have set the bar remarkably high, and this, the eleventh such bottling, does not disappoint. The component whiskies were distilled during 1976 and 1977 and matured in refill American oak casks. The nose offers lemon and contrasting vanilla and honeycomb aromas. Musty malt and coal in the background. The citrus and honey themes continue into the slightly earthy, peppery palate, while French mustard and coal figure in the drying finish. 1,566 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

94 points

Lagavulin 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2017), 56.5%

This is the 15th Special Releases bottling of Lagavulin 12 year old. Matured in refill American oak hogsheads. The nose is smoky, with kippers, charcuterie, and bonfire embers, offset by berry fruits. On the unctuous palate, smoke blends with vanilla, green apples, and licorice, plus pepper and sea salt. Peppery, ashy peat in the lengthy finish. (Individual reviewer rating: 91)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

94 points

Glenmorangie Astar 2017, 52.5%

The first bottling of Astar was released in 2008. The 2017 release was matured in casks made of oak from Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. The nose is floral, with rosehips, orange blossom, and milk chocolate-coated Turkish delight. Honey and citrus notes follow. Voluptuous on the palate; sweet, even sugary fresh fruit notes, plus vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. Drying from coconut to plain chocolate in the lengthy finish. Extremely accomplished. (Individual reviewer rating: 93)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

94 points

Balvenie 1971 vintage, 49.9%

This veteran was matured in a European oak oloroso sherry butt. The nose is fragrant, with malt, raisins, and tangy orange in time, settling to stewed fruits; a pleasing harmony of aromas. The palate is chewy and spicy, with a lovely bitter-sweet interplay between orchard fruits and dark oak, sprinkled with icing sugar. Licorice, tannic oak, and bitter chocolate in the very long finish. A classic survivor. £21,000

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

94 points

Glenmorangie Signet, 46%

An innovative offering made with a proportion of chocolate malt and matured in virgin American oak. Some of the component whiskies are between 35 and 40 years old. Milk chocolate, honey, orange marmalade, sultanas, and spice on the inviting nose. The palate is rich and full, with malt, dates, Jaffa oranges, dark chocolate, and coffee beans. Long and spicy in the drying finish. Glenmorangie at its very best.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

94 points

Brora 40 year old Single Cask 1972 Vintage, 59.1%

Just 160 bottles of 1972 Brora are available through UK World of Whiskies and World Duty Free Group stores. The oldest bottling of Brora to date was distilled using heavily-peated malt. A big hit of oily peat on the early nose, with malt, dried fruit, and black pepper. Mildly medicinal. The palate yields bonfire ash, licorice, honey, more pepper, and well-integrated oak. The finish is long, with peat smoke, plain chocolate, and tannins lingering in harmony. Complex and rewarding. £7,000

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

94 points

Bowmore 18 year old, 43%

This 18 year old is aged in a mix of bourbon barrels and oloroso sherry casks. The nose is redolent of a damped-down bonfire, with stewed fruit, wood spice, and pipe tobacco. There are red berries, subtle peat, a hint of iodine, and soft oak on the complex palate. The finish yields more tobacco, oak, rich peat, and spicy dark chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

94 points

Lagavulin 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2017), 56.5%

Conventional wisdom suggests that Lagavulin is at its peak at 16 years of age. However, this superlative 12 year old confirms why many consumers like their Lagavulin younger. This is Lagavulin at its very best: bold, yet complex and satisfying; full of character, with smoky, savory, maritime, sweet vanilla, and fruit notes all merging into a balanced and eminently drinkable whole. It takes a few drops of water well, releasing burnt grass aromas and more palate sweetness. The Diageo Special Releases are not known to be bargains, but this Lagavulin is sensibly priced, and the greatest all-around value from the 2017 lineup. Number 4 in the 2017 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

94 points

Brora 1978 35 year old (Diageo Special Release 2014), 48.6%

This is the 13th annual release of Brora, which has been aged in refill American oak and refill European oak casks. Hessian and hemp on the early nose, with a whiff of ozone, discreet peat, and old tar. Fragrant and fruity notes develop, with ripe apples, and a hint of honey. The palate is waxy, sweet, and spicy, with heather and ginger. Mildly medicinal and smoky. Dries steadily in the finish to aniseed, black pepper, dark chocolate, and fruity tannins. (2,964 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

94 points

Ardbeg Uigeadail, 54.2%

Launched in 2003, Uigeadail remains one of Ardbeg’s core offerings. Matured in a mix of sherry and bourbon barrels and bottled at cask strength. Peppery peat, warm tar, coffee grounds, machine oil, and black pepper on the nose. The palate is complex and rich, offering orange segments sprinkled with sea salt, dark chocolate, malt, and ever-present sweet peat. Nicely balanced. Lengthy in the finish, with smoky caramel.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

94 points

Glenmorangie Astar 2017 Release, 52.5%

Glenmorangie Astar returns after a five-year absence. Astar is matured in custom toasted casks made from slow-growing trees on north-facing slopes in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. The barrels harbor bourbon for four years before heading to Glenmorangie. That level of provenance doesn’t come cheap, which is why the original Astar was discontinued in 2012, just four years after its acclaimed appearance. The exquisite Glenmorangie aromas and flavors—floral, with rose hips and orange blossom—are dialed up to new levels of intensity, while the voluptuous and sweet palate exudes harmony and balance. Number 2 in the 2017 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

94 points

Aberfeldy 14 year old Single Cask, 58.1%

Single cask Aberfeldy bottlings are very few and far between, and this is a stunner! After hogshead maturation the whisky ultimately underwent a period of finishing in an ex-sherry cask prior to bottling. The nose offers sultanas, raisins, and hot chocolate. Developing vanilla and a hint of over-ripe bananas. Finally, burnt sugar and caramel. Insinuating and syrupy on the palate, with apricots, dried fruits, honey, and sherry. Gently spicy and warming, with licorice in the notably long finish. £115

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

94 points

Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength (Batch 011), 58.6%

Laphroaig’s latest batch continues the high standards set by previous releases. More sherry on the nose compared to Batch 010, with malt, sea spray, lemon, antiseptic, and big notes of peat. Citrus fruits, sherry, brine, and peat smoke on the full palate, with vanilla and charred oak. The finish is long, sweet, and medicinal, with licorice singed over a peat fire. Editors' Choice

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

94 points

Cragganmore Prima & Ultima 48 year old 1971 (Cask No. 2301), 43.7%

Rich sherried fruit aromas, machine oil, camphor, coal dust, marzipan, and freshly polished oak. Full and sweet on the early palate, then drying, with black coffee, licorice, and the distinctive flavor of coal. A long finish, with dark chocolate and cherry liqueur. No negative oakiness despite its age. Superb! Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (352 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

94 points

Port Ellen Prima & Ultima 40 year old 1979 (Cask No. 6422), 51.2%

The nose opens with coal-fire smoke and musty orchard fruits, which freshen in time. Peaches and mandarins, a hint of brine, and lit cigar. Remarkably vivid orange notes on the palate, with coal, sea salt, and black tea. Black pepper, tar, and persistent tangy orange notes in the long finish. Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (436 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

93 points

Aberfeldy 18 year old French Red Wine Cask-Finished (Batch 2920), 43%

Aberfeldy 18 year old French Red Wine Cask-Finished (Batch 2920) bottle. Creamy on the nose, with malt, toasted cereal, white pepper, nutmeg, and, ultimately, mulled wine. A substantial mouthfeel, with honey, slightly smoky red wine notes, raspberry jam, and fruit spice. The finish is long, with spicy dark chocolate and warm spices that really linger. (Individual reviewer rating: 90)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

93 points

Lagavulin 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 56.4%

Lagavulin 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. Sweet woodsmoke, peat embers, Jaffa oranges, new leather, sea salt, and cigarette smoke on the nose. Orange carries over onto the robust palate, with quite pronounced smokiness, black pepper, and dark chocolate. Long and peppery in the finish, with lingering smoke and brine.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

93 points

GlenDronach Grandeur 24 year old (Batch 9), 48.7%

A triumphant expression including whisky distilled in 1990, 1992, and 1993 and matured in Spanish oak sherry butts. The nose offers creamy sweet sherry, figs, a hint of black treacle, cinnamon, and ripe cherries. The full palate yields sultanas, tangy citrus fruit, sweet oak, roasted chestnuts, and ginger. Lingering bright fruit notes in the finish, with raisins, plain chocolate, and cigar boxes. (1,487 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

93 points

Glenmorangie Pride 1981, 56.7%

Glenmorangie Pride employs the use of Sauternes barriques to give a 10 year period of secondary maturation to a batch of spirit distilled in 1981. The result is a whisky with an intense, pungent, earthy nose; very complex, with polished old furniture notes, spices, oak tannins, and licorice. The palate is ‘full on’ for a Glenmorangie; waxy, with sherbet, honey, and baked apple, then orange marmalade, sultana, and a hint of smoke in the lengthy finish. Available July 1, 2011. Price is approximate.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2011)

93 points

Talisker 8 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 57.9%

Talisker 8 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. The youngest of the 2020 Special Releases. Warm tar, farmyard, charcuterie, and faint iodine on the fruity nose. Peppery stewed fruits and gentle woodsmoke on the voluptuous palate. Very prickly in the long finish, with fruit-and-nut dark chocolate and chile paste. An intriguing and attractive take on Talisker.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

93 points

Glenrothes 25 year old, 43%

The oldest in the quintet of expressions in the Glenrothes Soleo Collection, this was matured predominantly in first-fill sherry casks. The nose offers pineapple, mango, malt, and nutmeg. Richly sherried on the muscular palate, with caramel, citrus fruits, licorice, and wood tannins. The finish is long and drying, with sherry-soaked old oak. Glenrothes at its very best.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

93 points

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1954 (distilled at Glenlivet), 41%

The nose yields baked apples, cherry blossom, marzipan, then blackcurrant cordial and a hint of coal smoke. The palate features cocktail cherries, sponge cake, faint sherry, plus prunes and raisins. The finish is very long; tannic, with musty black pepper. (50 Bottles in U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

93 points

Port Ellen 37 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2017), 51%

This 1979 vintage is the 17th Special Releases Port Ellen. It has been aged in refill American oak hogsheads and butts. The nose offers fresh-mown grass, ripe pears, and damp tweed, before smoked fish and bonfire aromas emerge. The oily palate features spicy peat, barbecued meat, and peaches in syrup. Very long in the finish; smoky and earthy, with a hint of chili and mouth-drying tannins. (2,988 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

GlenDronach 27 year old Grandeur (Batch 10), 50.1%

The tenth limited release of Grandeur was matured in a mix of Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks. It offers a nose of ginger, raisins, old leather, smoky orange, blackcurrants, and walnuts. The palate is voluptuous, with full sherry notes, figs, dates, cinnamon, and cloves. Licorice and spicy dark chocolate in the lingering finish. (240 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

93 points

Brora 34 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2017), 51.9%

Distilled in 1982, this expression was matured in refill American oak hogsheads. It is the 16th Brora in the Special Releases series. Ripe pears and vanilla on the nose; progressively more perfumed, with developing toffee notes. Slightly waxy on the palate, with fresh-squeezed lemon and sweet background smoke contrasting with spicy dark berries. Plain chocolate, sultanas, and raisins in the medium-length finish. A relatively restrained Brora. (3,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

The Dalmore 50 year old, 40%

This veteran Dalmore was matured successively in bourbon casks, Matusalem oloroso sherry casks, colheita port pipes, more bourbon wood, and finally, Champagne casks. The nose offers orange marmalade, vanilla, milk chocolate, maraschino cherries, white pepper, and a hint of black treacle. Sweet sherry and sultanas on the early palate, with developing prunes and licorice. The finish is extremely long, with increasing licorice, plain chocolate, wood spice, and tannic oak. (50 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

Kilchoman STR Cask-Matured (2019 Release), 50%

This was distilled in 2012 and matured in 43 red wine casks that had been shaved, toasted, and recharred, hence ‘STR.’ The nose offers rich, creamy, medicinal peat, sea salt, vanilla, and loganberries. Sweet berry notes and caramel on the slick palate, then peat gathers momentum, with cinnamon and tangy citrus fruits. The finish features barbecue smoke, chili, and black pepper. (1,920 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

93 points

Mortlach 26 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 53.3%

Aged in newly toasted first-fill Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry-seasoned casks, this veteran ‘beast of Dufftown’ makes a big impression. Sweet, with smoky sherry, fragrant pipe tobacco, old leather, walnuts, vanilla, and ripe cherries. The oily palate yields more leather, blackcurrant cough drops, nutmeg, cloves, Jaffa oranges, and black tea. Raisins, licorice, and oak tannins, before sweeter chocolate in the very long finish (3,883 bottles; 276 for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

93 points

Pittyvaich 29 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 51.4%

Distilled in 1989 and matured first in Pedro Ximénez, then in oloroso sherry-seasoned casks. Delicate and restrained on the nose, with apple, pear drops, ginger, and malt. Initially, sweet sherry, then dark berry fruits emerge on the supple palate, with oatmeal stout. More apples, and ginger, plus prunes and chili in the long, warming finish. An excellent release from an underrated closed distillery. (4,976 bottles; 600 for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

93 points

Lagavulin 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 56.5%

Matured in refill American oak casks. Brine, sea breezes, woodsmoke, green apples, and ginger on the nose, plus buttery smoked haddock. Sweet and supple on the palate, with cigar, citrus fruit, and spicy peat notes developing. Scorched saucepans, licorice, lemon juice, and black pepper in the finish. £110

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

93 points

GlenDronach 21 year old Parliament, 48%

Part of the core range from GlenDronach, Parliament has been aged in a mix of oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks and is non-chill filtered. Quite sweet sherry on the nose, with fresh leather, nutty peach notes, cloves, and pepper. Rich sherried fruits on the full palate, with more pepper, ginger, and plain chocolate. The finish is long, with licorice and oak tannins. Not to be rushed!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

93 points

Port Ellen 37 year old, 55.2%

The sixteenth Special Releases Port Ellen is the oldest to date. Initially, sea breeze on the nose, brine, rock pools, and gentle iodine, followed by dried fruits, peat, and wood polish. Full-bodied, very silky, again with brine to the fore, plus sweet peat, drying slowly, ginger, black pepper, and balancing tropical fruit notes. The finish is long, with burnt oak embers and licorice. Diageo Special Releases 2016. (2,900 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

93 points

Brora 38 year old, 48.6%

Another Special Releases staple, this is the fifteenth and oldest Brora in the series to date. The nose offers hemp, oiled brown paper, lemon juice, ashy peat, and sweetening malt. The oily palate boasts sweet fruit notes, peaty toffee, and ginger. Long in the softly smoky finish, with black pepper, plain chocolate, char, and licorice. Diageo Special Releases 2016. (2,984 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

93 points

Balvenie 26 year old A Day of Dark Barley, 47.8%

This bottling from 1992 was distilled partly from dark-roasted chocolate malt. Classic Balvenie honey and fruit spices on the nose, with light oiliness, ginger, and orange blossom. Rich flavors of canned pears and pineapple in syrup on the palate, with hot chocolate and wood spices. Marzipan, dark chocolate, and black pepper in the long finish. A delightfully different Balvenie. (150 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

93 points

Lagavulin 16 year old, 43%

This has been Lagavulin’s principal expression for more than 30 years. Iodine, rich peat, and caramel on the early nose, with sherry, sea salt, and charcuterie. The oily, briny palate offers peat and a medicinal note, along with black tea, Seville orange, toffee, cinnamon, and a hint of smoked fish. Peat embers and hot tar in the lengthy, spicy finish. Deeply satisfying!

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

93 points

Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength (Batch 010), 58%

Bottling at cask strength, with only ‘barrier filtering’ to remove particles of char, rather than the standard chill-filtration process, gives the whisky greater integrity, with heightened aromas and flavors, and a satisfyingly sinewy mouthfeel not found in the standard 10 year old. Classic ‘burning hospital’ notes feature on the nose, along with peaty malt, vanilla, lemon, and brine. Charcuterie and cocoa powder add to the effect on the palate, before phenolic, medicinal, and sweet malt notes bring things to a close. A must-have Laphroaig that represents a big step up in intensity. Number 7 in the 2018 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

93 points

Lagavulin 25 year old, 50.9%

This cask strength, sherry cask matured expression was released as part of Lagavulin’s bicentennial celebration. The nose offers new leather, tropical fruits, brittle toffee, and brine, backed by spicy peat smoke. Smoky sherry notes open up in time. The rich, well-mannered palate boasts sweet peat, brine, muted sherry, figs, gentle spices, tangerines, and lemons. Becoming more savory in the long, gently smoky, malty finish. Very drinkable at cask strength. A great Lagavulin. (8,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

93 points

Port Charlotte 10 year old, 50%

After many limited releases, we finally have a permanent age-statement expression of Port Charlotte, with a satisfying number of years under its belt. Distilled from Scottish-grown barley, it is matured predominantly in first-fill American oak casks, along with second-fill American and second-fill French wine casks. It is peated to 40ppm, in line with other Islay heavy-hitters, but the peat is never a blunt instrument, retaining sufficient restraint to allow other characteristics—maritime notes, the sweetness of caramel, coconut, and orchard fruits—to shine through. Number 4 in the 2018 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

93 points

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1996, 43%

The latest addition to Glenmorangie’s Bond House No. 1 collection is 23 years old. The nose is sweet and inviting, with honey, ginger, vanilla fudge, milk chocolate, and nectarines. Very smooth on the palate: peaches in cream, more milk chocolate, caramel, then spicy apricots. Long in the finish, with orange rind and a hint of chile.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

93 points

Ardbeg An Oa, 46.6%

Ardbeg's first standard release in nearly a decade, An Oa is matured in virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez, and bourbon barrels, with component whiskies married in the distillery's French oak 'Gathering Vat.' The nose offers sweet peat, smoky lemon rind, ginger, and angelica. A soft and sweet palate entry is followed by hot peat, black tea, peppery cloves, and aniseed. Black pepper lingers through the long, smoky finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

Caol Ila 35 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2018), 58.1%

A rare veteran bottling from Caol Ila, and the oldest of the 2018 Special Releases, this was aged in refill American oak hogsheads and refill European oak butts. The nose is fragrant and inviting, with dried fruit, ginger, and beach bonfire. Vibrant tropical fruit on the palate, with cinnamon and developing brine-sodden peat. Bold fruit flavors along with white pepper and soft peat remain in the lengthy finish. (3,276 bottles) Collectible

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

93 points

Bruichladdich 1984, 43.7%

This 32 year old bottling was aged in twelve bourbon barrels and re-casked into fresh bourbon wood in 2009. It offers a nose of canned peaches, dates, marzipan, and a hint of milky coffee. Rich fruit flavors lead on the palate: peach, pineapple, and mango, with vanilla and nutty oak. Slowly drying in the finish, with warming spices. Sometimes good bourbon casks are all you need. (3,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

93 points

Ardbeg An Oa, 46.6%

Ardbeg doles out occasional limited releases for their avid fans, but for nearly a decade the core range consisted of just three whiskies: 10 year old, Uigeadail, and Corryvreckan. The addition of An Oa, matured in a combination of virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and bourbon barrels, and married in a French oak ‘gathering vat’ prior to bottling, marks a reason to celebrate. An Oa is a more approachable Ardbeg. It lacks some of the typical oiliness, but flavor and complexity abound with hot peat, black tea, and peppery cloves. Die-hard Ardbeg fans should have no complaints, and new converts have a real treat in store. Number 6 in the 2017 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

93 points

Laphroaig 10 year old Cask Strength (Batch 010), 58%

A turbocharged version of the formidable standard 10 year old, Cask Strength varies in ABV from batch to batch. Tar and antiseptic hit the nose immediately, along with peat smoke, malt, newsprint, and new leather. There’s also lemon, vanilla, and brine. The sinewy palate mirrors the nose, adding charcuterie and cocoa powder. Predictably medicinal and phenolic in the very long finish, with balancing sweet malt.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

93 points

Laphroaig Triple Wood, 48%

Initially aged in bourbon barrels before being transferred into quarter casks, and ultimately oloroso sherry butts. The sherry influence adds an additional dimension to the quarter-cask style, hence an oily nose of dates, vanilla, tropical fruits, and bonfire smoke. The palate is drier than might be expected, with Laphroaig iodine, barbecued meats, muted sherry, and peat smoke. The finish comprises dried fruits and lots of oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

93 points

The Dalmore 45 year old, 40%

Initially matured in bourbon barrels, then transferred to two Graham’s port colheita pipes from 1961 and 1963. Finally, it was married in first-fill bourbon casks. Wood resin, canola oil, sultanas, and red currants on the nose. Medium-bodied, with sweet resin, honey, and sherry on the palate, turning to treacle and raisins. The finish is very long, with dark chocolate and spicy oak tannins. (500 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

93 points

Glen Moray 25 year old Port Cask Finish, 43%

Distilled in 1988 and finished for an unspecified period in port casks after lengthy maturation in bourbon barrels. Floral, perfumed, and very enticing on the nose. Vanilla fudge, cocktail cherries, polished oak, and gentle spices. Soft and sweet on the palate, with vanilla, overripe orange, cinnamon, and milky coffee. Long and slightly peppery on the finish, with persistent drying fruitiness. Complex and extremely accomplished.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

93 points

The Dalmore 1978, 46%

This 1978 vintage release from The Dalmore has been ‘finished’ for two years in Matusalem sherry casks from Gonzalez Byass, following 29 years in American white oak. Just 477 bottles are available. Freshly-ground coffee, marzipan, dark berries, and rich sherry on the smooth nose, with milk chocolate and Jaffa oranges. Smokier with water. Citrus fruits and more milk chocolate on the rich, full palate, plus roasted almonds. Long and juicy in the finish, with aniseed and fruit pastilles.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

93 points

Port Askaig 33 year old single cask, 50.3%

The nose offers canned peach halves in syrup, peat smoke, and brine. Oily in the mouth, with sweet orchard fruits, followed by a medicinal note, pepper, and dry spices. Plain chocolate and a hint of chili in the long finish, with a final touch of coal dust. (U.S. exclusive; 115 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

93 points

GlenDronach Grandeur 27 year old (Batch 10), 50.1%

This 27 year old expression includes whisky matured in a mix of oloroso and Pedro Ximénez butts and puncheons. The nose is rich and inviting, with freshly polished antique oak furniture, cherry blossom, and vanilla. Big sweet sherry notes on the palate, with wood spice, hazelnuts, and cherry liqueur-filled dark chocolate. The long finish features ripe plums, treacle, and more dark chocolate. Luscious! (2,293 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

93 points

Laphroaig 16 year old, 48%

This expression has been matured entirely in first-fill bourbon casks. The nose offers lemon juice squeezed onto hot baked salmon, cooked over a wood fire, then sprinkled with sea salt. Rich, sweet, tropical fruit flavors on the full palate, with honey, barley sugar, peppery oak, and mellow peat smoke. Dark chocolate, dry peat, and black pepper in the long, mildly medicinal finish. Editors’ Choice

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

93 points

The Balvenie 1961 55 year old, 41.7%

Aged in a European oak oloroso sherry hogshead. Orange marmalade and lanolin on the nose, with caramel and candle wax dripped onto old leather. Full-bodied, with slightly bitter orange notes, plus nutmeg and aniseed on the palate. The orange theme persists into the finish as dried-out Jaffa segments, plus edgy oak tannins. A highly individualistic Balvenie.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

93 points

Brora 37 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2015), 50.4%

An old Special Releases favorite, this is the fourteenth such Brora bottling. Distilled in 1977 and matured in refill American oak hogsheads, it is the oldest Brora issued by Diageo to date. 2,976 bottles have been released. Leather, ginger, and stewed fruits on the nose, with smoky, dusty aromas. Lighter and fresher than previous veteran releases, with cooking apples, cinnamon, fudge, dried grass, and light peat on the palate. Sweet notes fade, leaving earthy, savory smoke in the long finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

93 points

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1972 (Distilled at Coleburn; Cask No. 3511), 62.4%

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1972 bottle. Perfumed on the nose, with fresh-cut flowers, canned peaches in syrup, butterscotch, and white chocolate. More canned peaches, orange peel, apple crumble, hazelnuts, and heather honey on the palate. The finish is long and peppery. Remarkably vibrant for its age. (363 bottles, 38 for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

92 points

The Macallan 18 year old Sherry Oak (2017 Edition), 43%

The latest annual limited release is classic and sure to please true aficionados of Macallan. Stewed fruit and old leather on the nose, along with ripe cherries, gingersnaps, and black pepper, before orange marmalade notes develop. Full-bodied, with fragrant sweet orange, milk chocolate-coated Turkish delight, and faint smoke. The finish yields dark chocolate, cherry liqueur, and more pepper. Long and spicy.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

92 points

GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage, 50.1%

GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage bottle. This 29 year old expression was matured in six oloroso sherry casks before a final period of finishing in Pedro Ximénez casks. The nose yields black currant juice spilled onto old leather, then cigar boxes along with plump sultanas soaked in sherry. Voluptuous and silky on the palate, with rich sherry, dates, walnuts, and black treacle. Tingling spices, molasses, and licorice in the lengthy, satisfying finish. (3,052 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

92 points

GlenDronach 15 year old Revival, 46%

This expression has returned to the shelves after a three-year absence due to a shortage of stock. Matured in Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks. The nose offers rich sherry, ripe cherries, walnuts, milk chocolate, and marzipan, with a savory hint. Full-bodied, with a palate of spicy damsons, cinnamon, dried fruits, and dark chocolate. The finish is long, with cloves and blackcurrants. Luscious!

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

92 points

Highland Park 1971 Vintage, 46.7%

One of two recent vintage releases, this 1971 example has been matured in seventeen Spanish oak casks, that yielded a total of 657 bottles. Sweet on the nose, with maple syrup, almonds, and sherry. Soft and insinuating. Becoming progressively smokier. Bold fruit and peat notes on the palate, plus oak, cloves, and dark chocolate notes. Peppery in the long finish, with subtle tannins and persistent citrus fruits.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

92 points

Kilchoman 100% Islay (2020 Release), 50%

Kilchoman 100% Islay (2020 Release) bottle. The nose opens with relatively light sweet woodsmoke, then red apples, sherry, iodine, sea salt, and lively spices emerge. Spicy citrus fruits, toffee, and more sweet smoke on the palate. The finish carries citrus fruits, with sherry, spice, and peat smoke. (12,400 bottles, 1,440 for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

92 points

Talisker 35 year old Special Release 2012, 54.6%

Talisker is a Special Releases favorite, and this bottling, the oldest ever marketed by the distillery, is actually the sixteenth. Distillation was in 1977, and maturation has taken place in both American and European oak refill casks. Soft wood smoke, sultana, nutmeg, and chili powder on the nose. Dried fruits, vanilla, and malt merge with more chili and savory notes, plus newly-dug soil on the complex palate. A touch of brine, orange peel, and bonfire in the finish. 3,090 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

92 points

Highland Park The Dark 17 year old, 52.9%

Matured exclusively in sherry-seasoned first-fill European oak casks and bottled at cask strength. The nose yields figs, soft smoke, cinnamon, sugarcane, and rich fruitcake. The palate is succulent and confident, with creamy sweet sherry, dried fruits, coffee, and woodsmoke. Long and drying in the finish, with flecks of char. Highland Park doing what it does best. (28,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

92 points

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1991, 43%

Influenced by a final decade spent in oloroso sherry and Burgundy casks. The nose offers orange segments dipped in honey, plus nougat, icing sugar, and more piercing citrus notes. The palate is supple, with milk chocolate and orange juice, joined by damsons and wood spices. A mouth-drying note persists behind juicy fruits, with aniseed and black pepper. The finish yields peaches dipped in salt and spicy oak. Collectibles

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

92 points

Bruichladdich 26 year old Black Art 1990 (Edition 06.1), 46.9%

Tangerines on the nose, then Turkish Delight, sliced cucumber, new leather, toffee, soft spices, and a hint of char. Mouth-coating, with sweet orchard fruits dipped in cream. Sharper fruit notes in time, with almonds and ginger. Icing sugar, milk chocolate, spicy oak, a fleeting savory note, and lingering fruitiness in the finish. Shows well-integrated character. (18,000 bottles) Collectibles

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

92 points

Bunnahabhain 18 year old, 46.3%

The nose is nutty and yields sweet sherry, Jaffa orange, old leather, instant black coffee, and a suggestion of ozone. The palate is oily and textured, with more sherry, dried fruits, nutmeg, and dark chocolate. The finish lingers with brine and pepper.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

92 points

Springbank 25 year old (2019 Release), 46%

The nose features peat, ozone, malt, sherry, mango, charcuterie, and an herbal note. Overt sherry and rum on the palate, with pineapple, caramel, worn leather, and bonfire smoke. The finish is long and earthy, with chocolate and spicy oak. (160 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

92 points

Benromach 10 year old, 43%

This expression was distilled from malt peated to 12 to 14 ppm, and aged for 9 years in 80% bourbon and 20% sherry casks before a final year in more sherry casks. Sweet smoke on the early nose, with malt, vanilla, quite dry sherry, apple, and toffee. Smoky barley, vanilla, subtle sherry, and light honey on the palate. Peaches, ginger, and woodsmoke on the medium-length finish. Very accomplished. Editors' Choice

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

92 points

Benromach Heritage 1973, 48.9%

This 42 year old expression was matured in a single American oak hogshead (#4606) and offers a lovely mature, fruity nose, especially peaches and pineapple, plus vanilla and marzipan. Smooth and rich on the palate, with sherry, hessian, and spicy pineapple. Dries steadily but satisfyingly, with a hint of smoky fruit. Another veteran classic from the team at Forres. (52 bottles) £1,400

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

The Dalmore Quintessence, 45%

Quintessence is the first single malt to have undergone secondary maturation in five different types of California red wine casks: zinfandel, pinot noir, syrah, merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet sherry, ripe cherries, marzipan, and white pepper on the nose. Rich and mouth-coating; strong flavor of thick-cut orange marmalade, oloroso sherry, malt, and milk chocolate. The finish features gentle warming spice and lingering Jaffa orange. Plain chocolate and orange notes seem as though they are never going to end! £1,000

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Balvenie 1982 vintage, 51.1%

Fleeting green foliage on the early nose, then orange blossom and fragrant spices emerge, with vanilla that’s cut through by lemon. Big, fresh orange notes on the palate, with brittle toffee, and encroaching dark chocolate. The finish is long, with lingering chocolate, spicy oak, and citrus fruit. £4,000

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

92 points

Balvenie 1992 vintage, 49.8%

Slightly oily on the nose, with old leather, ginger, and furniture polish. Ultimately, red berry notes. The palate is initially sweet and fruity, with polished oak, aniseed, and wood spices. The finish dries slowly with oak tannins, but a spicy fruit note never quite disappears. £1,200

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

92 points

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1979 (Distilled at Glenlivet; Cask No. 19237), 54%

The nose yields tangerines, linseed, marzipan, ginger, and honey, followed by a mild menthol note. Rounded and chewy on the palate, with lively orchard fruit flavors, turning to slightly bitter Seville orange and light chile. Licorice root and tannins develop in the very long, citric finish. (62 bottles; U.S. exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

Macallan 18 year old Double Cask, 43%

Deep notes of wood polish on the floral nose, with toffee and a whiff of cloves. The palate is slick, with Christmas pudding, orange, caramel, oak, and dark chocolate. Black coffee, citrus fruit, ginger, and black pepper in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

Glen Garioch The Renaissance 3rd Chapter 17 year old, 50.8%

The Renaissance began with a 15 year old expression and charts the same spirit as it continues to mature. Aged in bourbon and sherry casks, the 3rd Chapter exhibits a sweet and sophisticated nose of honey, milk chocolate, Brazil nuts, toffee, and ripe peaches. Supple on the palate, with luscious orange and peach notes, vanilla, oak, and subtle spice. Plain chocolate-coated orange confectionery in the finish, with caramel and ginger. Balanced and delicious! £100

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

92 points

Macallan Edition No. 5, 48.5%

Intended to showcase the color of Macallan, the fifth annual Edition release has been aged in a variety of American oak casks. The nose is initially reticent and offers dried fruits, salted caramel, sawdust, and ginger. Extremely smooth on the palate, with more dried fruits, ripe plums, milk chocolate, new leather, and black pepper. The finish is medium in length, with leather and dark chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

92 points

Benromach 1974 (Cask No. 1583), 49.1%

This 41 year old single cask was aged in a sherry butt and interacted magnificently with that wood. The nose offers peeled red apples, sultanas, honey, fudge, milk chocolate, and American cream soda. Balanced and harmonious throughout, the palate yields remarkably fresh orchard fruits, pipe tobacco, black pepper, and ginger. Long in the finish, with cinnamon drying to dark chocolate, and slightly smoky, unobtrusively tannic oak. A 1970s classic!

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

92 points

Ardbeg Blaaack, 46%

Bottled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ardbeg Committee. Woodsmoke on the nose, with coal fires, cedar, canned fruit cocktail, and mild antiseptic. Supple and sweet on the palate, with orchard fruits and an emerging wave of peppery, prickly peat smoke. Long in the sooty finish. Lively, with chile paste.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

Ardbeg 5 year old Wee Beastie, 47.4%

Full-on Ardbeg on the nose! Hot tar, lemon juice, charcuterie, thick peat smoke, ginger, and a hint of Jaffa oranges. The palate is oily and well-integrated, with black pepper, coal tar soap, cloves, vanilla, and orchard fruits. Spicy in the lengthy finish, with more tar, peat, and salty oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

Laphroaig Càirdeas Port & Wine Casks (2020 Release), 52%

The annual bottling for 2020 was matured in bourbon barrels and second-fill ruby port barriques, married together, and finished in red wine casks. Ripe strawberries, iodine, and peat on the nose. Red berry jam in time. Flinty, with sea salt. Creamy on the palate, with caramel, hot tar, sweet red wine, burning peat, antiseptic, chile, and brine. Licorice, pepper, and drying peat in the long, satisfying finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

GlenDronach 15 year old Revival, 46%

GlenDronach 15 year old Revival went on hiatus three years ago due to a shortage. In 2018 it re-emerged with a new recipe, tweaked by master distiller Rachel Barrie. As before, a mixture of Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks has taken care of the aging process, and the result is one of the very best sherried single malts of its age on the market. The distillery’s characteristic spice, fruit, and chocolate notes are here in abundance, merging seamlessly and with satisfying complexity to create a great after-dinner dram. Number 8 in the 2018 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

92 points

Bowmore 15 year old, 43%

Formerly known as Darkest, this expression was given a secondary maturation for 3 years in oloroso sherry casks. The nose features smoky caramel, dates, citrus fruits, and quite dry sherry. Dark chocolate and cocktail cherries on the rich malty palate, with peat smoke and a hint of dry oak balancing the sweet fruitiness. Sherry, brine, soft peat, oak, and allspice in the lingering finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

92 points

Highland Park Cask Strength (Release No. 1), 63.3%

Highland Park Cask Strength (Release No. 1) bottle. This first cask-strength expression in Highland Park’s core range was matured predominantly in sherry-seasoned American oak. Honey, bonfire smoke, orange peel, and a suggestion of treacle on the nose. Sweet and smoky on the palate, with toffee and orchard fruits turning more citric in time. The finish yields sweet spices, more honey, dark chocolate, black pepper, and bonfire embers. Classic Highland Park—turned up to 11! Editors' Choice

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

92 points

Tomatin 1971 Warehouse 6 Collection, 45.8%

This 44 year old was matured in oloroso casks before being bottled at cask strength in May 2016. Mellow, sherried fruit on the nose, with rose hips, vanilla fudge, almond, honey, and slightly earthy spices. The fragrant palate features an intense blast of ripe fruit, caramel, and sweet spices, while resin develops in time. The medium-length finish offers plain chocolate, raisins, and prunes, with no negative tannins. One of the best Tomatins to date.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

92 points

Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 5, 52.6%

A mix of 29 bourbon and sherry casks that were mingled for 3 months in Balvenie’s bespoke marrying vessel, the Tun. Fragrant oriental spices on the nose: ginger, cinnamon, fresh orange juice, and brittle toffee. Full and smooth on the palate, with sweet sherry and spicy Jaffa orange. Long in the finish, with dark chocolate, oak tannins, raisins, and licorice at the close.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

The Macallan M Black, 45%

This 2017 release includes spirit from three sherry-seasoned hogsheads and three butts, some of which had previously held a peated whisky. The nose offers familiar dark chocolate, dried fruit, sultanas, and ripe cherry notes, with a whiff of woodsmoke. More dried fruits on the rich palate, with coffee grounds, ginger, and sherry merging with subtle peat. The finish is luxurious, with smoky raisins and pleasing wood spice. (40 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

Springbank 15 year old, 46%

The nose is complex, with almonds, coconut, soft leather, tropical fruits, and stewed black tea. Hints of brine and peat appear. The palate is rounded and rich, with more tropical fruits, sherry, caramel, pipe tobacco, wood smoke, and spicy tannins. The finish is relatively long and creamy, with lingering smokiness. All the classic Springbank elements merge nicely here.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

92 points

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2010, 50%

Terroir and provenance are keenly debated in many corners of the whisky world, and Bruichladdich shows intense focus on the question with Islay Barley, which uses only locally grown grain. The 2017 release was distilled in 2010, using Optic and Oxbridge barley varieties grown on eight Islay family farms and matured in a combination of French oak and bourbon casks. In addition to Islay Barley’s ambitious pursuit of true single-origin whisky, this is a real gem for its ginger and tobacco aromas, muscular mouthfeel, and flavors of toffee, spices, and youthful oak. Number 9 in the 2017 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

92 points

Bruichladdich 1985, 48.7%

Originally filled into 22 third-fill bourbon casks, this 32 year old was re-casked into first-fill bourbon barrels in 2012, then finished in French oak wine barrels. Fresh peaches on the nose, with vanilla fudge, honey, and ginger. Fruity and spicy on the luscious palate, with orange, cinnamon, and coconut. Long in the finish, with ever-present fruitiness, plus prickly chili notes. (4,200 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

92 points

The Dalmore 40 year old, 42%

This was initially matured in American oak bourbon barrels, then spent 7 years in 30 year old Matusalem sherry butts before 2 years of finishing in first-fill bourbon casks. The nose yields orange marmalade, wood resin, toasted brioche, and cocktail cherries. Apricot fruitiness on the early palate, then vanilla, ginger, and treacle. The finish is medium in length, with orange peel, fennel, and gentle spices. (750 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

92 points

Craigellachie 33 year old, 46%

This was previously exclusive to Travel Retail, but is now available in the U.S. Cereal and succulent tropical fruits on the nose, plus Craigellachie’s signature sulfur, along with cloves and polished oak. Toffee and orchard fruits on the muscular palate, with oatmeal and a mineral quality. The finish is long and yields another whiff of sulfur, lemon, and a hint of mint. A quirky dram of true quality. (1,700 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

92 points

Glengoyne 30 year old (2017 Edition), 46.8%

Matured in one-third first-fill 
European oak sherry butts and 
two-thirds refill sherry butts. Rich 
sherry notes on the nose, with vanilla, sultanas, raisins, cherry blossom, and 
a hint of new leather. Initially, smooth
 and very sweet orchard fruits on the palate, with cherry liqueur turning to black tea and fennel. Drying very slowly 
in the lingering finish, with spicy oak. (6,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

92 points

Ardbeg 10 year old, 46%

Classic ‘southern shores’ Islay from the onset: salty and medicinal on the nose, with smoked haddock, citrus fruits, and milk chocolate. The palate yields full-on hot peat, pipe tobacco, black coffee, licorice, and more chocolate. The finish is long and malty, with sweet smoke. Non-chill filtered.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

Laphroaig 10 year old, 40%

This expression offers an uncompromising note of brine-laden peat and iodine, with charcoal and sweeter fruit notes also present. The palate is equally out there, with old-fashioned fabric Band-Aids, bladderwrack seaweed, black pepper, smoldering peat, vanilla, caramel, and sweet oak. The finish is as big as everything else, with barbecue, iodine, and asphalt. Still a classic!

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

Glengoyne 30 year old (2018 Edition), 46.8%

This second annual limited release was matured in a combination of first-fill European oak sherry butts and refill sherry butts. Spicy orange marmalade on the nose, with plums dipped in honey, warm leather, polished oak, and cinnamon. The palate is oily, with dark sherry, cocktail cherries, ginger, espresso, and sweet oak. Lengthy in the finish; spicy, with dried fruits. (5,200 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

92 points

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1989, 43%

The second release from Glenmorangie’s Bond House No. 1 Collection, this 27 year old includes whisky from a parcel of casks that received a period of secondary maturation in Côte-Rôtie red wine casks. Honey and nectarines on the nose, plus ginger, icing sugar, and damp heather. A silky palate delivery of peaches in cream, apple crumble, nutmeg, and white pepper. The finish is lengthy, with lingering spicy orange notes.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

Glenrothes Vintage 1988 2nd Edition, 44.1%

Matured in a mixture of first-fill American sherry hogsheads and refill sherry butts, this is rich and fragrant on the nose, with dark berries and marzipan, then glacé cherries and wood polish. The palate is voluptuous with spicy dark fruit, Christmas cake, vanilla, milk chocolate, and a hint of dark rum. Dried fruits in the finish, with raisins, aniseed, and soft oak. Finally, plain chocolate. Superb! £375

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

92 points

The Glenturret Jamieson's Jigger Edition, 43.1%

At 29 years old this single cask is one of the best releases to date from the Perthshire distillery. The nose offers geraniums, honey, almonds, and toasted brioche, while the palate is creamy with vanilla, heather, a fresh menthol note, and green apples. Long and nutty in the finish, with black pepper. Drying only slightly, and spicy to the end—predominantly ginger. Beautifully balanced. (170 bottles) £295

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

92 points

Highland Park The Light 17 year old, 52.9%

Following last year’s release of The Dark, this parallel 17 year old cask-strength expression was matured in refill American oak. The nose yields vanilla, oats, ripe pears, and mild wood-fire embers. Supple and initially sweet on the palate, with icing sugar, tangerines, and developing darker, spicier notes. Lengthy in the finish, with spicy cedar oil. Proof that Highland Park doesn’t need sherry casks to be good. (4,500 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

92 points

Glen Moray Mastery, 52.3%

Glen Moray is celebrating its 120th anniversary with Mastery, a vatting from 1978, 1988, 1994, 1999, and 2001. Maturation—and finishing—has occurred in a mix of bourbon, sherry, madeira, and port casks. Resinous sherry, smoky red wine, caramel, and vanilla on the nose. Voluptuous on the palate, with sherry, succulent stewed fruit, soft toffee, and cocoa powder. Long in the gently spiced finish, with port-soaked oak. (1,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

92 points

Longrow 18 year old, 46%

This limited release was matured in 60% refill sherry butts and 40% fresh bourbon barrels. Initially sweet vanilla and ripe apple notes on the nose, giving way to chimney soot and dry peat. The palate is very full and oily, with honey and vanilla merging with smoked haddock, charcuterie, and more overt peat. Licorice, coffee beans, brine, chili, and peppery peat in the lengthy finish. (4,500 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

92 points

Laphroaig 28 year old, 44.4%

Aged in quarter casks, bourbon barrels, and sherry butts for 27 years, then finished in sherry casks. Red apples and honey on the nose, where the characteristic Laphroaig phenolic attack becomes muted with time. Dried fruit, malt, and vanilla on the palate, along with subtle notes of iodine and warm tar. Developing brine, dark chocolate, and licorice leading into a dry, smoky, peppery finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

92 points

anCnoc 18 year old, 46%

This whisky spends 15 to 16 years in bourbon barrels before a final maturation in oloroso sherry casks. The nose is sweet, with tropical fruits, nutty spices, almonds, orange marmalade, and worn leather. The orange theme continues on the luscious, lively palate, with spicy toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, and honey. Drying and lightly spiced in the finish. A dram that deserves to be better known. Editors’ Choice

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

92 points

Glen Scotia 45 year old, 43.8%

The oldest single malt ever released by Glen Scotia was distilled on December 23, 1973 and aged initially in refill bourbon casks, before a final seven years in first-fill bourbon barrels. Oily on the nose, maritime, with burlap, resin, ginger, and a developing fragrant note. Viscous and sweet on the palate, with honey and canned pineapple. The very long finish embraces fruity resin, salt, ginger, and drying oak. (150 bottles) (£3,795)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

92 points

Glenfiddich Grand Cru, 40%

A 23 year old expression that was maturated in American oak and a small number of sherry casks before a finish for up to 6 months in French cuvée wine casks. Canned apricots in syrup, toasted marshmallows, apple blossom, and honey on the nose. Pears, vanilla, freshly sawn timber, warm white bread, caramel, cloves, and milk chocolate on the relatively full palate. Toffee and instant coffee in the lingering finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

92 points

Ardbeg Blaaack (Committee Release), 50.7%

Ardbeg’s 2020 limited-edition cask-strength Committee Release was matured mainly in pinot noir red wine casks from New Zealand, a country notable for its sheep, like Islay. Woodsmoke on the nose, with coal fires, cedar, and canned fruit cocktail in a mild antiseptic solution. Supple and sweet on the palate, with orchard fruits and an emerging wave of peppery prickly peat smoke. Long in the sooty finish. Lively, with chile paste.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

Bruichladdich 25 year old Black Art 1994 (Edition 07.1), 48.4%

The nose reveals blackcurrant, damsons, black pepper, dark sherry, coconut, and nougat. Very smooth on the palate, quite full, with early oak, then leather, tropical fruits, honey, and resin notes from old component whiskies. A long finish, with mango, raisin, hazelnut, and lots of spice. Complex and intriguing. (12,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

92 points

Tamdhu Batch Strength (#002), 58.5%

The first Batch Strength expression of Tamdhu appeared in 2015 and was also matured entirely in sherry casks and not chill filtered. Big, sweet sherry notes on the nose, with vanilla, sultanas, maraschino cherries, and Turkish Delight. Rich and full-bodied, with oloroso sherry, milk chocolate, vanilla, dates, ripe cherries, sweet oak, and allspice. The finish is sweet and long, with lingering, lively spices. A very quaffable, well-priced dram for sherry bomb lovers.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Lagavulin Prima & Ultima 28 year old 1991, 50.1%

Sweet peat smoke and heather on the nose, with light ginger and smoked fish drizzled with lemon. Oily and rounded on the palate, with more sweet peat, lemon, and sea salt. Very long in the slightly waxy finish, with peat and licorice. Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (1,013 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

Talisker Prima & Ultima 31 year old 1988, 51.4%

Fresh fruits and white pepper on the nose, with brine and rock pools. Very little smokiness. The palate is also fruit forward—ripe red apples and pears—with barley sugar. The peat is now much more apparent, along with prickly spice. Mildly medicinal. Salt and black pepper in the long finish. Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (721 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

92 points

Talisker 1985, 56.1%

This 27 year old Talisker has been aged in refill American oak casks, and the nose offers brine, wood smoke, wet tarry rope, slightly medicinal, with the emergence of milk chocolate. Big-bodied, with lots of peat accompanied by chili and smoked bacon, with sweeter notes of malt, fudge, and apple. A hint of fabric Elastoplast. Long in the finish, with rock pools, bonfire ash, and sweet, tingling spice notes which carry to the very end. A powerful beast, even by Talisker standards. (3,000 bottles).

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

92 points

The Dalmore 35 year old, 40%

This is comprised of whisky aged in a bourbon barrel, a 30 year old Matusalem sherry butt, and a Colheita port pipe. Figs and malt on the early nose; resinous, with tangerines, vanilla, and soft leather. Slightly thin on the palate, but very smooth, with spiced orange, dates, and coffee grounds. Dries very slowly in the finish, with persistent orange, a sprinkling of black pepper, and a suggestion of mouth-drying oak. (1,000 bottles per year for five years)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990, 43%

The first release in Glenmorangie’s new Vintage Collection, named Bond House No.1 after the 19th century warehouse that became the distillery’s new stillhouse in 1990. Matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. Mandarins, honey, and vanilla on the floral nose. Very smooth on the palate, with malt, vanilla, more honey, and milk chocolate orange. Attractive soft oak notes and gentle herbal spice in the medium to long finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

92 points

Laphroaig Càirdeas Cask Strength Triple Wood (2019 Release), 59.5%

This was first matured in bourbon barrels, then in quarter casks, and finally in European oak oloroso casks. The nose is rich, with iodine-soaked peat, barbecued meat, almonds, toffee, vanilla, and orange. More peat, then orange on the palate, with cigar smoke, dried fruits, cloves, and sea salt. The finish is lengthy and spicy, with orange peel and dark chocolate. (Individual reviewer rating: 93)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

92 points

Glengoyne 35 year old, 46.8%

Glengoyne 35 year old has been aged in sherry casks and just 500 decanters have been released. The nose offers sweet sherry, maraschino cherries, honey, sponge cake, marzipan, and soft fudge, turning to caramel in time, with a whiff of worn leather. Slick in the mouth, with spicy dried fruit, and more marzipan and cherries. Long in the finish with plain chocolate cherry liqueur; still spicy. Finally a buttery, bourbon-like note. No negative cask connotations in this well-balanced after-dinner dram.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

92 points

Glenmorangie Allta, 51.2%

This Private Edition expression was made using a strain of yeast found growing on local barley. It was aged for approximately 8 years in mostly second-fill and refill bourbon casks. Barley sugar and honey on the nose, followed by lily of the valley, lavender, and white pepper. Big gingery fruit notes on the palate; fresh-squeezed orange juice, vanilla, and black pepper. The finish is long and attractively earthy. Editors' Choice

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

92 points

Pittyvaich 30 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 50.8%

Pittyvaich 30 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. The oily nose yields intense tropical fruits, vanilla, nougat, and pine. Rich peach notes on the full palate, with a light sprinkling of white pepper, and hazelnuts dipped in milk chocolate. Spicy in the medium-length finish. Matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. (7,056 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

92 points

Aberlour 18 year old, 43%

This has a significant proportion of sherry wood and it marks a real step up from its younger stablemates. It boasts a stylish nose of old leathery cigar boxes, vanilla, and orange marmalade. Syrupy on the palate, with oranges, sweet sherry, honey, and figs. Spicy oak, caramel, citrus fruits, and aniseed in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

92 points

Macallan 18 year old Sherry Oak (2018 Edition), 43%

Like previous releases, this was matured in sherry-seasoned oak casks. Jaffa oranges, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and dried fruits on the nose, plus warm leather. The palate is rich and spicy, with more orange, vanilla, and burning logs. Smoky sherry, ginger, dried fruits, and seasoned oak in the 
full finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

92 points

Glenlivet 21 year old Archive, 43%

This expression is reputed to contain some whisky up to 40 years old and was matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. The nose offers overt sherry influences, with fruit malt loaf, maple syrup, honey, and old leather. Full and slightly oily on the rich palate, with toffee, raisins, Brazil nuts, and fresh cake mix. Dusty spices and oak in the relatively dry finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

91 points

Benromach 1975, 49.9%

This vintage bottling was distilled during the 1970s and spent 41 years in a refill bourbon hogshead (#3434). Spicy on the early nose, with fresh oak. Increasingly malty, with ginger and apricot. The palate is rich and full, with Jaffa orange, stewed apples, cocoa, and pipe tobacco. Plain chocolate and increasingly tannic oak in the finish. Ultimately, warming spicy citrus fruits and smoky black pepper. (162 bottles) £1,250

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

91 points

Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve, 44%

Aged in a mix of American white oak barrels, oloroso casks, and cabernet sauvignon barriques. Sherry, vanilla, caramel, ripe cherries, and sultanas on the nose. The palate yields characteristic Dalmore orange, plus brittle toffee, bitter chocolate, and cherry liqueur. Spicy licorice and soft oak in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

91 points

Glen Scotia 25 year old, 48.8%

Maturation took place in refill bourbon casks before a final 12-month period in first-fill bourbon casks. Lemon, ginger, pine resin, and a hint of sea salt on the nose, then banoffee pie develops. Luscious on the palate, with subtle spice, a touch of ashy smoke, and principally big orchard fruit notes. Drying in the lengthy finish, with a wisp of smoke, brine, and peppery oak. Glen Scotia at its characterful best.£250

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

91 points

Dalmore 1263 King Alexander III, 40%

Six different cask finishes were used for this bottling. Fudge, resin, tropical fruit, Seville oranges, and milk chocolate on the nose. Supple and smooth on the palate; complex, with red berries, orange rind, cream, cinnamon, and ginger. Long in the finish, with nougat, pepper, and dark berry fruits.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

91 points

Dalwhinnie 30 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 51.9%

Dalwhinnie 30 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. Pipe tobacco, white pepper, and a mildly herbal note on the nose, with emerging vanilla, green berries, and ginger. Full-bodied in the mouth, supple and creamy, with orchard fruits and more white pepper. Drying in the very long finish, with chile, light tannins, and dark chocolate. (6,978 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

91 points

Dalmore 12 year old Sherry Cask Select, 43%

Dalmore 12 year old Sherry Cask bottle. The nose is rich, with new leather, sultanas, dates, furniture polish, ginger, Jaffa oranges, and cloves. Silky on the palate, mandarin oranges with cream, developing toffee, milky coffee, and milk chocolate. The long finish offers nougat, dark chocolate, licorice, and light spices.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

91 points

Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1993, 43%

The third release in Glenmorangie’s Bond House No.1 Collection spent 10 years in bourbon casks before being transferred into Bual madeira casks for 15 years of secondary maturation. Spicy nougat and ginger on the nose, stewed apricots, and a hint of bonfire smoke. Viscous on the palate, juicy, with strawberry liqueur chocolates. Spices linger long in the finish, with damsons and dark chocolate. (Travel Retail exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Ardbeg Grooves, 46%

The 2018 Ardbeg Day limited-edition bottling includes a proportion of spirit matured in red wine casks which have been heavily charred, leaving deep grooves in the surface of the oak. Fragrant soft smoke, warm leather, and salty red berries on the nose; background charcuterie. The palate offers red berry fruits, vanilla, dense peat smoke, brine, and asphalt. Beach bonfires and black pepper in the sweet finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

91 points

Bowmore Vault Edition Atlantic Sea Salt (First Release), 51.5%

This is the first of four bottlings in the Vault Edition series and was matured in bourbon barrels in the distillery’s famous No.1 Vaults. Nectarines in brine on the nose, with iodine and sweet spices. Medium-bodied on the palate, with peaches, vanilla, salt, and slightly bitter orange. Lingering orange notes in the finish, with cocoa powder and lots of salt. This expression lives up to its name!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

91 points

Highland Park Viking Pride 18 year old, 46%

This is one of four new additions to the portfolio in 2018, and is the pick of the bunch. It is a ‘marrying-strength’ variant of the 18 year old, relaunched in 2017. Treacle tart, sweet woodsmoke, and milky coffee on the robust nose. The palate is voluptuous, with tangy orange, malt, and more woodsmoke. Milk chocolate and smoky Jaffa oranges in the finish. (Travel Retail exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Tamdhu Batch Strength (#004), 57.8%

Aromas of newsprint, damp foliage, and wood spice dominate on the nose. Confident, almost fizzy sherry notes on the full palate, with sultanas, figs, and fruit spices. It becomes progressively more citric. The lengthy finish produces dark chocolate dipped in chili sauce. A sherry-soaked dram.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

91 points

GlenDronach 25 year old 1993 Master Vintage, 48.2%

The nose is fragrant and floral, featuring ginger, hand-rolled tobacco, vanilla, hazelnuts, and ultimately, sweet sliced-apple aromas. Full-bodied in the mouth, with stewed fruits, milk chocolate, raisins, almonds, and lively spices. The finish is leisurely, with darkening milk chocolate, tannic oak, bitter tea, and persistent spiciness.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

91 points

Glengoyne Cask Strength (Batch #006), 59.8%

This was matured entirely in sherry wood. Blackcurrants, black pepper, vanilla, caramel, and fruit spices on the nose. Supple on the malty palate, with red berry fruits, nutty sherry, and almonds. The finish is spicy, with black tea and firm oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

91 points

Glenmorangie 14 year old Quinta Ruban, 46%

Orange segments sprinkled with black pepper on the nose, then spicy dark chocolate and coffee with cream. More dark chocolate and Jaffa orange on the palate, plus walnuts, almonds, and marzipan. Lengthy in the finish, with soft spices and continuing dark chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

91 points

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011, 50%

Distilled from Oxbridge and Publican barley varieties grown on six Islay farms. Lime, brine, oatmeal cookies, and custard on the nose. Sweet barley, apricots, sultanas, cloves, and quite tannic oak on the palate. Malt and sea salt in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

91 points

Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2019 Release), 46%

Sweet fruity peat, new leather, cinnamon, and ginger on the nose. Good blend of smoke and sherry on the substantial palate, with peppery red berries, dark chocolate, and peat. The long smoky finish features lively fruit spices. (1,920 bottles in U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

91 points

Port Askaig 25 year old, 45.8%

Remarkably fresh and fruity on the opening nose, then lively pineapple, mango, and peaches. Ashy woodsmoke lurks behind the fruit. Finally, brine and black pepper. Vibrant orchard fruits on the palate, with barbecue flavors that become peatier and spicier in time. Aniseed, lemon, tobacco, and tangy oak in the lengthy finish. (3,000 bottles for U.S. and Canada)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

91 points

Talisker Select Reserve, 45.8%

This represents House Greyjoy and features its kraken. The nose offers damp tweed sprinkled with black pepper, plus smoky vanilla and ozone notes. Sweet smoke and citrus fruit on the palate, then more overt peatiness comes to the fore with soft toffee. Medium in length through the finish, with lingering toffee and light pepper. Great value! Editor's Choice

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

91 points

Gordon & MacPhail (distilled at Strathisla) 1967, 43%

Part of the Rare Vintage range, this was matured in first-fill sherry butts. Spicy sultanas and figs on the nose, plus a menthol note. Fragrant old hessian. The palate is initially malty-sweet, with sherried Christmas cake notes, then plain chocolate and raisins emerge. The finish is long, spicy, and drying in a leisurely manner, with the expected level of tannins for a whisky of this vintage.£620

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

91 points

Cragganmore 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 58.4%

Matured in refill American oak casks that previously held peated whisky, this 2006 distillate presents a nose of cider, heather, ginger, malt, hints of nutmeg, and peat. Ripe red apples on the palate, with honey, vanilla fudge, and a faint background wisp of smoke. Relatively long in the finish, with that light smoke persisting alongside black pepper, oak, and now unripe apples. £85

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

91 points

The Balvenie Tun 1509 (Batch #3), 52.2%

The third batch in this series comprises twelve sherry butts distilled between 1989 and 1992, eleven American oak hogsheads from 1989, and eight refill American oak butts distilled in 1992 and 1993. Rich sherry, honey, and malt notes on the nose, with figs and citrus peel. Silky on the palate, with Jaffa oranges, raisins, ginger, and plain chocolate. Licorice, sherry, and spicy oak in the very long finish. (8,850 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

91 points

Talisker 15 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 57.3%

The first 15 year old release from Talisker, this was matured in freshly charred American oak hogsheads. Marzipan, damp tweed, cooking chocolate, and white pepper on the nose, with light iodine and peat notes. Notably sweet on the palate, with fleshy oranges, peaches, cocoa powder, woodsmoke, and peppery peat. The finish is medium to long, with quite restrained Talisker pepperiness. £110

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

91 points

Compass Box Myths & Legends II, 46%

Two parcels of single malt of differing ages from a Speyside distillery were blended to create this expression. The nose yields milk chocolate, fudge, slightly smoky apricot halves in syrup, and clotted cream. Good mouthfeel, with butterscotch, and orange segments dipped in hot chocolate on the palate. The peppery finish features dark chocolate and bitter orange. (4,446 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

91 points

Bruichladdich Black Art 05.1 1992, 48.4%

As ever, the composition of Black Art is a closely guarded secret, and this is distiller Adam Hannett’s first such assembly. Rich aromas of fig, succulent autumn berries, sherry, cream, and malt feature on the complex, floral nose. Viscous on the palate, which opens dry, with developing berry fruits and spicy oak, plus dried fruits and candied peel. Long and drying in the finish, with plum and peppery oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

91 points

Macallan 15 year old Double Cask, 43%

Initially, a fleeting aroma of farmyard, followed by furniture polish, spice, apple peel, and cocktail cherries. Smooth on the palate, with dried fruit, chewy oak, raisins, and more cocktail cherries. Spicy dark berries, ginger, and licorice in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

91 points

Springbank Local Barley 16 year old, 54.3%

The first of five annual releases of Local Barley from Springbank. This practice revives a concept discontinued in 2001. The barley in question was grown at Low Machrimore Farm in the south of the Kintyre peninsula and was distilled in September 1999. Barley, damp earth, sea salt, and citrus fruits on the lightly peated nose. The buttery palate yields spicy peat, orchard fruits, and more earthiness, closing with smoky lemon.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

91 points

GlenDronach Single Cask #5476, 49.9%

The oldest of the fifteen expressions in Batch 16 of GlenDronach’s single cask release program, this cask-strength offering has been matured for 26 years in a Pedro Ximénez sherry puncheon. The nose yields fresh-from-the-oven Christmas cake, cherries, nutmeg, and sweet leather. Viscous on the palate, with dark sherry, raisins, plain chocolate, tangy orange, and caramel. Prickly chili and dates in the long finish. (546 bottles) £310

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

91 points

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2018, 46%

The first edition of Loch Gorm appeared in 2013, and it remains the distillery’s only whisky to be fully matured in sherry casks. The 2018 iteration comprises the contents of nineteen oloroso sherry butts filled in 2007, 2008, and 2011, the oldest of which are some of the first sherry casks filled at Kilchoman. These rich, confident aged whiskies converge in the best Loch Gorm to date, showcasing the expression’s trademark blend of succulent sherry, cooked fruits, and earthy peat, along with flavors of honey, ginger, sultanas, and spice. Number 15 in the 2018 Top 20 

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Glen Scotia 18 year old, 46%

New for 2017, this was matured for 17 years in bourbon casks before being finished in oloroso sherry casks for 1 year. The nose is fragrant, with prunes, oranges, vanilla, and faint wood polish. Ultimately, ozone. Silky palate delivery, with sweet sherry, honey, and dark chocolate-coated orange fondant creams, then a note of angelica. The finish offers spicy plain chocolate and a suggestion of sea salt. £86

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

91 points

Mortlach 15 year old Six Kingdoms, 46%

The ninth and final release in Diageo’s Game of Thrones series was aged in first-fill sherry-seasoned casks and finished in bourbon barrels. Vanilla and toffee, plus spicy oak on the nose, while the full sherried palate yields dry fruit, spicy citrus notes, almonds, more vanilla, and caramel. The leisurely finish presents wood spices and Jaffa oranges.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

91 points

The Dalmore Port Collection 1996 Vintage, 45%

Dalmore launched a trio of vintages finished in tawny port pipes. The pick of the bunch is the oldest, distilled in 1996, which displays a confident, rich nose of raisins, mildly smoky prunes, vanilla, and blood orange. Full-bodied in the mouth, with red berry fruits, ginger, white pepper, and spicy oak. Medium-length in the finish, with coffee-soaked oak, figs, and damsons at the close. £450

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

91 points

Jura One and All, 51%

This limited edition 20 year old assemblage was matured in bourbon barrels, sherry casks, Cabernet Franc casks, Cabernet Sauvignon casks, and Pinot Noir barriques. Rich and sweet on the nose, with marzipan, apricot jam, and fresh pineapple with vanilla custard. Silky, with ginger, cherries, and caramel on the palate. The finish is long, with black pepper, licorice, and slightly tannic oak. (5,000 bottles) £120

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

91 points

GlenDronach Cask Strength (Batch 8), 61%

As with previous batches, this was matured in a mix of Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry butts, puncheons, and quarter casks. The nose offers quite subtle sherry, malt, vanilla, dark chocolate, and black treacle. The palate is notably spicy, with hot ginger, black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon, along with sherry, cocktail cherries, more dark chocolate, and bitter coffee. Long, oaky, spicy, and drying in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

91 points

Kilchoman 100% Islay (2019 Release), 50%

This expression was distilled from barley harvested on Islay in 2007 and 2009, and combines whisky aged in 43 bourbon barrels. Sweet peat, lemon juice, and sea salt on the nose, with honey, vanilla, and an herbal note. The palate opens with overt peatiness, followed by brine and lemon, plus vanilla and a hint of charcoal. Long in the finish, with ashy peat and sea salt. (1,440 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

91 points

Ardbeg Supernova (2019 Release), 53.8%

This is the fifth release of Ardbeg’s most heavily peated expression. The bold nose yields ashy peat, fish oil, hot lemon juice, black pepper, asphalt, and antiseptic cream. Oily and voluptuous on the sweet palate, with orchard fruits, honey, seaweed, and lots of moist peat. The finish is lengthy and very smoky, with chile, cinnamon, and barbecued meat.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

91 points

Balblair 1995, 46%

The latest Balblair release is a 1995 vintage expression, exclusive to global travel retail outlets. Matured in second-fill bourbon casks, Balblair 1995 is non-chill filtered and naturally colored. Initially very fruity on the nose, with peaches and carnations, icing sugar on bonbons, then a faint sprinkling of black pepper. Stewed fruits on the early palate, full and confident, with developing spices and brittle toffee. Relatively lengthy in the finish, with dark chocolate and soft oak. Price is per 1 liter.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2011)

91 points

Bowmore 12 year old, 40%

A great introduction to Bowmore’s single malts, and one of the best 12 year old single malt scotches around. The nose offers tropical fruit, sweet smoke, a hint of brine, new leather, and floral notes. Peaches, honey, vanilla, and more full-on smoke on the rounded palate. Brine, cocoa powder, citrus fruits, and fading woodsmoke in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

91 points

Mortlach 16 year old Distiller’s Dram, 43.4%

One of three Mortlachs introduced in 2018, this has much to live up to, as the classic Flora & Fauna Mortlach was also 16 years old. The whisky has been aged entirely in sherry casks. The nose offers malt, gingersnaps, baked apple, and a delicate savory note. Quite full-bodied, with toffee apples, gammon, and old leather on the palate. Cocoa powder and tinned peaches in the finish. Editors’ Choice

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Old Pulteney 40 Year Old, 51.3%

The oldest bottling of Old Pulteney to date has been matured in American bourbon and Spanish sherry casks, and was personally bottled by distillery manager Malcolm Waring. The nose of this highly accomplished veteran is fragrant and waxy, with cooking apples, milk chocolate orange, Christmas spices, vanilla, and fudge. Initially, the substantial palate offers spicy fresh fruits, seasoned timber, then a hint of brine, with sultanas and plain chocolate. The finish is figgy, gingery, and sherried. £1,490

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

91 points

The Dalmore 21 year old, 42%

Dalmore released 8,000 bottles of its latest 21 year old, initially matured 10 years in American oak barrels before an 11 year period of secondary maturation in first-fill Matusalem oloroso sherry butts from Gonzalez Byass. Intense aromas of Jaffa orange, marzipan, and ginger, plus soft oak. Robust, yet stylish. Smooth and well-rounded on the palate, with milky coffee, orange marmalade, cinnamon, and developing spicy dark chocolate. The lengthy finish is spicy, with licorice, a hint of citrus, and sweet oak.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2015)

91 points

Glenfiddich Winter Storm 21 year old, 43%

Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series continues with this expression, finished for up to 6 months in ice wine casks sourced from Peller Estates winery in Ontario, Canada. Concentrated aromas of canned peaches in syrup, vanilla, and clotted cream. Silky on the palate, with a carryover of peaches from the nose and succulent blood oranges. The finish is medium in length, slowly drying, but fruity to the end. (7,800 bottles in U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

Ailsa Bay, 48.9%

The first release from Ailsa Bay distillery is an NAS peated single malt. The new make spirit initially spends 6 to 9 months in 24 to 100-liter Hudson Baby Bourbon casks. It’s then transferred to virgin oak, first-fill, and refill American oak casks for several years. The ultimate vatting is non-chill filtered. A sweet, smoky nose with almonds and walnuts leads into a palate featuring citrus fruit, spicy peat, and cereal notes, with cocoa and soft oak in the finish. (UK and Nordic availability) £55

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

91 points

The Glenrothes Vintage 2004, 43%

This was matured in American oak sherry-seasoned casks. The nose offers cherry liqueur, sultanas, fruit spice, honey, and new leather. Vanilla and sweet orchard fruits on the early palate, followed by darker berry fruits, soft oak, and a savory note. Cocoa powder and a wisp of smoke in the medium-length finish. (3,150 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

Bruichladdich 1986, 44.6%

This expression was distilled in December 1986 and filled into seven oloroso sherry butts. In 2012 the whisky was transferred to Pedro Ximénez butts for finishing. The nose yields sultanas, figs, old leather, and white pepper. Very sweet fruit notes on the palate, almost sugary, with background rich sherry, dates, and treacle. Long and warming in the finish, with a wisp of smoke and fruit spices. (4,200 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

Tullibardine 1952, 40.2%

This bottling is from the oldest cask owned by Tullibardine distillery, a sherry quarter cask (#341). An initial whiff of Cointreau on the nose, then vanilla develops, with marzipan, white pepper, linseed, and old hessian. Finally, musty sherry. A silky mouthfeel, with drier sherry, black currants, dark spices, and plain chocolate. Extraordinarily lingering, with orange wine gums and spicy licorice. Despite 50 years of maturation in a relatively small sherry cask, a whisky of great depth and quality has emerged. £16,000

Reviewed by: (Summer 2015)

91 points

Kilchoman 2009 Vintage, 46%

Matured in a combination of oloroso sherry butts filled in 2008, and bourbon barrels filled in 2008 and 2009. The nose is initially flinty, with lemongrass, fabric Band-Aids, fudge, and vanilla. Ultimately the lemon is joined by Jaffa orange juice. Supple and sweet on the palate, with developing nutmeg and white pepper. Peppery in the finish, with plain chocolate and aromatic peat smoke. (840 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

Caol Ila Unpeated 15 year old, 59.1%

Unpeated Caol Ila has become a staple in Diageo’s Special Releases program. This year’s expression was matured in a combination of refill and rejuvenated American oak barrels and bodega European oak butts. Fresh and spicy on the nose, with tropical fruit aromas. Creamy on the palate, with fruit-and-nut milk chocolate bars, plus notes of developing citrus. The finish is slightly earthy, with wood spices.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

91 points

Ardbeg Twenty Something, 46.3%

This 23 year old expression was released for the Ardbeg Committee. It includes whisky matured in sherry and bourbon casks. Sweet asphalt, bonfire smoke, lemon sponge drizzled in iodine, and background cinnamon on the nose. Succulent, sherried, and chocolate-coated orchard fruits on the oily palate, with vanilla and sweet peat. The peat dries slowly in the finish, with developing licorice, kippers, and peppery oak

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2018, 46%

This includes whiskies from nineteen oloroso sherry butts filled in 2007, 2008, and 2011. Medium sherry, orange marmalade, cinnamon, and developing sea salt on the nose. The palate yields more sherry, earthy peat, dark chocolate, honey, and ginger. Fruit spice, sultanas, and charcuterie in the medium to long finish. The best Loch Gorm to date. (15,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

Laphroaig Quarter Cask, 48%

This expression is aged for approximately 5 years in bourbon barrels before spending a final few months in quarter casks. Characteristic tar, engine oil, and ashy peat on the nose. Oily and full on the palate, with sweet grain notes, cinnamon, seaweed, hot peat, and black pepper. The finish is long and powerful, with persistent peat and chili, plus a sprinkling of sea salt.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

Port Charlotte 10 year old, 50%

Distilled from Scottish barley, this is the first permanent age-statement Port Charlotte bottling. First and second-fill American oak and French wine casks were used for aging. Rock pools, lemon juice, caramel, but little overt peat on the nose. The palate boasts big orchard fruit notes, smoky coconut, and brine. Again, the peat is quite muted. Long and spicy in the drying, peaty finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

Glenglassaugh 30 year old, 44.8%

The first release from the new owners of Glenglassaugh distillery is obviously intended as a showpiece expression, and it does not disappoint. Due in the States next year. Damp moss and cedar on the early nose. Sultanas, candied orange, maraschino cherries, and sherry. Treacle notes in time. Spicy fruits, figs, brittle toffee, sherry, and ginger on the mellow yet robust palate. The finish is medium in length, with allspice and old oak, plus a wisp of tarry smoke. £245

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

91 points

Arran 21 year old, 46%

Arran’s latest addition to its core range is matured in bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. Mellow on the nose, with baked apple and toffee, then developing tropical fruits and icing sugar aromas in time. Sweet and balanced on the palate; spicy, with milk chocolate and peaches in syrup. Lengthy in the finish, with tangy fruit notes, restrained oak, and gentle spices. (9,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

91 points

The Dalmore Distillery Exclusive 1991, 59%

Staff members at Dalmore selected this distillery-exclusive bottling, which has been drawn from American white oak cask number 446, and bottled at cask strength. The out-turn comprises 450 bottles. Refined, polished oak on the nose. Honey, marzipan, caramel, and vanilla. Fragrant, with old leather and over-ripe oranges when water is added. Warm leather, apricots, orange marmalade, cocoa powder, and developing spice on the palate. A long, spicy, citric finish. Finally, licorice. £150

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

91 points

Kilchoman 100% Islay 8th Edition (2018 Release), 50%

This expression was distilled from Optic barley grown and malted (to 20ppm) at Kilchoman and matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. A whiff of smoke, lemon curd, vanilla, and allspice on the nose. Supple in the mouth, with baked apples, sherry, and fruity peat. Spicy dark chocolate and nutty oak on the finish. Richer and more rounded than previous editions, thanks to sherry cask influence.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

91 points

GlenDronach 25 year old Grandeur (batch 7), 50.6%

Matured in oloroso sherry casks. Confident plum, prune, and raisin notes on the early nose, with developing ripe cherries, sherried fudge, and resin. A slightly earthy undertone. Viscous in the mouth—very sweet—with developing tingling spices, then darker fruit notes emerge, with licorice and plain chocolate. The finish is long, with enduring dark chocolate and fruity spice. (1,180 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

91 points

Benromach 1977, 56%

This 39 year old was matured in a single refill American hogshead. Orange Jujubes on the early nose, with vanilla, honey, and linseed. Big, sweet, soft fruit notes on the palate, with pipe tobacco and a hint of background peat smoke. Aniseed and ginger develop, along with the merest hint of old oak in the persistently fruity finish. £1,250; Not available in the U.S. (225 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

91 points

The Dalmore 1969 42 year old, 45.5%

Initially filled into an ex-bourbon cask, then transferred into a Gonzales Byass oloroso ‘Matusalem’ sherry butt in 2005 for four years, before a final two years in a freshly-emptied bourbon barrel. The nose is initially floral, with overripe Seville oranges, figs, ginger, and cocoa powder. Peaches and almonds on the palate, before dark fruits and salted nuts appear. Drying oak is held at bay, and the final note is fat and figgy. Cask number 14; 233 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

91 points

Glenmorangie 15 year old The Cadboll Estate, 43%

This was produced from barley grown on the distillery’s Cadboll Estate and matured for 15 years in first-fill bourbon casks. Soft malt, ginger, honey, tangerines, and rose petals on the pleasing, harmonious nose. Rounded on the palate, with malt, more honey, white chocolate, fudge, and tangy citrus notes. Citrus fruit, vanilla, and cocoa powder on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

91 points

Mortlach Prima & Ultima 25 year old 1994 (Cask No. 2652), 55.1%

Oily on the nose, with spent matches, resin, and grilled meat, then vanilla, citrus fruit, old leather, and a developing floral note. Initially very fruity on the muscular palate, with cracked pepper, stewed root vegetables, and dark chocolate appearing in time. Peppery oak, ginger, and soy sauce in the finish. Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (389 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

91 points

The Balvenie PortWood 21 year old, 40%

This is the ultimate PortWood expression from Balvenie and has been finished in 30 year old port pipes. A more vibrant and textured Travel Retail variant is non-chill filtered and bottled at 47.6%. Soft, red grape notes, vanilla, and milk chocolate on the nutty nose. Very discreet smoke. Rich plum flavors in the mouth, dark berries covered in cream, and spicy honey. The finish is long and elegantly drying.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

91 points

Longmorn 23 year old, 48%

The oldest house bottling of Longmorn to date is non-chill filtered and lavishly presented in a purple casket, which probably accounts for a chunk of the purchase price. The nose is classic Longmorn: soft and sweet, majoring in honey, hazelnuts, caramel, and milk chocolate, while the creamy palate features orchard fruits, ginger, and allspice. The finish is lengthy and softly spiced, with honey, orange, and sweet oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

91 points

Port Ellen Untold Stories 40 year old 9 Rogue Casks, 50.9%

Faint smoke on the nose, with orange and malt. Floral notes in time, plus nougat. More orange, and star anise on the palate, with overt woodsmoke, old leather, and developing dark chocolate. The finish is long and lightly smoky. (1,380 bottles) £6,500

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

91 points

Daftmill Inaugural Release 2005, 55.8%

After 12 years of waiting, Francis Cuthbert has finally released the first bottling of his Daftmill Lowland single malt. The nose is soft and floral, with peaches, walnuts, coconut, warm caramel, and milk chocolate. The palate features cereal, almonds, nougat, and subtle citrus fruits. Drying in the relatively long finish, with subtle oak. Well worth the wait! (629 bottles) £210

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

91 points

anCnoc 35 year old Second Release, 41%

Non-chill filtered and matured exclusively in bourbon casks. Very floral on the nose, with toffee and spicy new leather. Soft and slightly smoky in the mouth, with vanilla and spicy, ripe pears.  A touch of licorice leads into a long, slightly drying finish. (670 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

91 points

Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2010, 50%

This 8 year old was distilled using Bere barley, a low-yielding heritage strain grown on the Orkney Islands. Aromas of a damp cellar; oily, nutty, with cereal, burlap, and mild orchard fruit notes. The palate is persistently oily, with pineapple, honey, nutmeg, and white pepper. Drying in the finish, with licorice, coal, and strong black tea. Proof that barley varieties can make a difference. (18,000 bottles; individual reviewer rating: 92)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

91 points

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1975 (Glencraig, Distilled at Glenburgie; Cask No. 9686), 54.2%

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1975 (Glencraig, Distilled at Glenburgie; Cask No. 9686) bottle. Glencraig was the name given to the single malt made using Lomond stills at Glenburgie Distillery. The nose leads with linseed oil, then coconut, malt, dark chocolate fondant, and tiramisu. Oily on the palate, with sweet orange, cocoa powder, and ginger. The finish dries very slowly to dark chocolate and light wood spices. (110 bottles, 12 for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

91 points

Mortlach 21 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 56.9%

Mortlach 21 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. Aged in a mix of Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry-seasoned casks, this has a peppery, slightly savory nose, offering boiled sweets and dried fruits. The palate is voluptuous, with sherry, dates, caramel, dark spices, and oak tannins. Licorice and a suggestion of chile in the ultimately drying, lengthy, slightly meaty finish. (7,692 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

90 points

Benriach The Original Twelve, 46%

Benriach The Smoky 12 bottle. This is a new recipe, replacing the old 12 year old. Rounded and warming on the nose, with stewed fruits, orange peel, and a hint of lime. Voluptuous in the mouth, with honey, milky coffee, figs, and dried fruit. Black currants, licorice, and lively spices in the finish. A really satisfying, well-structured dram.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

90 points

BenRiach 25 year old, 46.8%

Matured in a mixture of oloroso sherry, bourbon, and virgin oak casks. Honey, vanilla, and tropical fruits on the spicy, aromatic nose, with just a hint of oak. The honey and vanilla carry over to the palate, where they are joined by peaches, drinking chocolate, and subtle sherry. The finish dries steadily, with long-lasting citrus fruit. A stylish, complex dram.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

90 points

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1979 (Mosstowie, Distilled at Miltonduff; Cask No. 20323), 49.8%

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1979 (Mosstowie, Distilled at Miltonduff; Cask No. 20323) bottle. Mosstowie was the name given to single malt produced on Lomond stills at Miltonduff Distillery. Butterscotch, ripening peaches, ripe plums, and a hint of lime on the nose. The palate is viscous, with red berries, peach, and vanilla. Drying steadily in the finish, with aniseed, black pepper, and, finally, black tea. (164 bottles, 16 for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

90 points

The Macallan Edition No. 3, 48.3%

The third release in Macallan’s annual Edition series—which focuses on aspects of cask influence—was matured in a mix of European and American oak casks. Figs and apricot jam, vanilla, Jaffa oranges, and cinnamon on the nose. The palate is silky and offers a big citrus fruit hit, Bit-O-Honey, then creamy milk chocolate. Milk chocolate persists through the long, fruity finish, with attendant sweet oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

90 points

Balvenie DoubleWood 25 year old, 43%

This limited edition bottling celebrates the 25th anniversary of the DoubleWood releases. DoubleWood malts are initially matured in bourbon casks before a second period in European oak sherry casks. Classic Balvenie honey, orchard fruits, toffee, and oak on the nose. The palate is voluptuous, with orange, honey, ginger, and milk chocolate. Spicy sherry in the rich, long finish. (3,600 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Gordon & MacPhail 1954 (distilled at Glen Grant), 40%

This veteran expression was fully matured in first-fill sherry butts. Fragrant on the nose, with black treacle, prunes, raisins, lanolin, bung cloths, and polished oak. Big stewed fruit and warm leather notes on the palate, soon reeled in by spicy tannic oak, plus licorice and aniseed, though a stubborn dusty fruitiness persists. The finish is lengthy and mouth-drying, with lots of dark oak. A lovely example of its kind. £1,575

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

90 points

Port Askaig 15 year old Sherry Cask, 45.8%

Matured in first-fill oloroso sherry casks, this is 20% peated whisky from 1997 and 80% fruitier whisky distilled in 2001. Earthy on the early nose, with bonfire smoke, vanilla, raisins, and prunes. The palate opens with sweet fruit notes and medium-dry sherry, giving way to nutmeg, brine, and peat. The finish features plain chocolate, bitter lemons, and a hint of smoky chili. £85

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

90 points

Old Pulteney 18 year old, 46%

This replaces the 21 year old expression. Initially matured in bourbon and second-fill American oak casks, and then in Spanish oak oloroso butts. Rich, warming aromas of cinnamon, honey, oak, and milk chocolate. The chocolate darkens on the full palate, with contrasting ripe pears and crème brûlée. A hint of brine, along with citrus fruits and light oak in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Highland Park 12 Year Old, 40%

Highland Park 12 Year Old boasts individuality and complexity, thanks in part to the use of Orcadian peat in the distillery floor maltings and the employment of ex-sherry casks for maturation. The nose is fragrant and floral, with hints of heather and some spice. Smooth and honeyed on the palate, with citrus fruits, malt, and distinctive tones of wood smoke in the warm, lengthy, slightly peaty finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

90 points

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 year old (2020 Release), 54.3%

Octomore 10 year old (2020 Release) bottle. Malted to 208 ppm and matured in a mix of virgin oak and first- and second-fill bourbon and Tennessee whiskey barrels. The nose is fragrant, with pepper, iodine, intense peat smoke, and lemon peel. Juicy orchard fruits and more smoke on the palate, with treacle, caramel, and spice. Black tea, licorice, lingering woody peat, and chile in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

90 points

Fettercairn Fior, 42%

Released with no age statement, Fettercairn Fior contains 15 percent heavily-peated whisky matured in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels, along with a proportion of 14 and 15 year old spirit. The result is a bold and complex whisky with real nose presence; smoke, sherry, toffee, vanilla, and oranges merge on the nose, while the palate showcases more smoke and toffee, plus spices, oak, and licorice in the lengthy finish. £36 Not currently available in the U.S.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2011)

90 points

Glen Garioch 1986, 54.6%

This latest vintage release from Glen Garioch is a cask strength 25 year old. It follows on from previous ‘small-batch’ 1978, 1990, 1991, and 1994 vintages. Peaches and ginger on the nose, with fudge and a wisp of smoke. Mildly herbal. Full-bodied, rich, and sweet in the mouth. Fresh fruit and violet creams. Finally a slightly earthy, peaty note. The finish is long and gently smoky. Robust, yet refined.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

90 points

The Dalmore Ceti 30 year old, 45%

The Dalmore spirit that comprises Ceti comes from a mix of bourbon and sherry casks, with bourbon wood predominating. 23 years of maturation in American oak were followed by seven years in 30 year old Gonzalez Byass Matusalem oloroso sherry butts. The result is a nose of old leather, hessian, sandalwood, vanilla, plain chocolate, and ripe Jaffa oranges. Very full-bodied, with burnt orange, pineapple, and sticky toffee, while the finish offers ginger, orange wine gums, and old oak. 1,000 bottles. £1,250

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

90 points

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1948 (distilled at Glen Grant, Cask 2154), 48.6%

Smoky sherry, damp burlap, lanolin, then orange blossom on the nose, with a hint of glass cleaner. The palate yields juicy damsons, followed by aniseed, bitter chocolate, and oak tannins. Char and faint smoke in the extremely long finish. (50 bottles in U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

90 points

Tamdhu 15 year old, 46%

Molasses, orange peel, and prickly oak spices on the nose; herbal, oily green notes develop. Finally, more overt sherry. The palate is supple, with sweet sherry and icing sugar notes, plus Turkish Delight, fruitcake, and toffee. Ultimately, cinnamon and dark chocolate. Cloves, more dark chocolate, and mouth-drying oak in the long finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

90 points

Bunnahabhain 46 year old Eich Bhana Lìr, 41.8%

Distilled in 1969, the oldest Bunnahabhain ever released was matured in second-fill sherry butts. The nose yields sweet resin, marzipan, ginger, glacé cherries, a hint of cloves, and red berries. The silky palate features Jaffa oranges, dark chocolate, prunes, and more glacé cherries. The finish dries steadily, with slightly bitter tea, white pepper, a savory note, and quite subtle oak tannins for a dram of this vintage. (198 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

90 points

GlenDronach Port Wood, 46%

Port Wood is a limited-edition 10 year old expression, matured in Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks, followed by a port pipe finish. Gingerbread, figs, dried apricot, and honey on the nose. Viscous, with sweet orange notes on the palate, milk chocolate, and vanilla ice cream. Hazelnuts, cherry pie, and sultanas in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

90 points

Blair Athol 23 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2017), 58.4%

This Perthshire single malt was distilled in 1993 and aged in European oak sherry butts. Brittle toffee, black treacle, aniseed, black pepper, and cigar boxes feature on the rich nose. The bold palate yields full, creamy sherry notes, almonds, ginger, old leather, and a slightly savory tang. Long, warming, and peppery in the finish. (5,514 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

90 points

GlenDronach Kingsman Edition 1991, 48.2%

A nose of bold sherry, worn leather, figs, malt, white pepper, and ginger. Ultimately, a mildly savory note. Full-bodied on the palate, with overripe damsons and more ginger; spicy sherry and dried fruits develop. Medium to long in the finish, with persistent prickly spices, black coffee, and fragrant oak. (240 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

90 points

Bunnahabhain Stiùireadair, 46.3%

A no age statement Bunnahabhain destined to replace the existing 12 year old, matured in first and second-fill sherry casks. Raisins, fruit spice, furniture polish, and roasted nuts on the nose, along with an edge of brine. Rich and full-bodied in the mouth, with malt, sweet sherry, and cotton candy, plus cloves and a sprinkling of sea salt. The finish offers red berries, lively spice, and dark chocolate. £40

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Bunnahabhain 12 year old, 46.3%

The nose is fresh, with sea salt, tangerines, and light smokiness. Vanilla, sultanas, malt, a hint of sherry, hazelnuts, and woodsmoke are present on the oily palate. Lingering in the finish, with salt and drying smoke.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

90 points

Bunnahabhain 1988 Vintage Marsala Cask-Finished, 47.4%

Spicy sultanas, greengage plums, toffee, and new leather on the nose. Damsons, prunes, black pepper, mint, and old oak on the palate. The finish is musky, slightly smoky, with fruit spices, dark chocolate, licorice, and tannic oak. An intriguing take on Bunnahabhain. (1,260 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

90 points

Lagavulin 9 year old, 46%

Lagavulin at an odd age, representing House Lannister and showcasing its lion sigil. The nose is floral, with rose hips, toffee, and fragrant peat notes. Full on the palate, with toffee apples, cinnamon, earthy peat, and smoked haddock in salted butter. The smoked fish combines with fennel in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Balvenie 1999 vintage, 46.8%

This 18 year old single malt is stylistically very different from the older releases in Chapter 4. The nose is soft, with honey and mashed banana. Ginger and crème brûlée notes in time. Medium-bodied, the creamy palate follows the nose closely, introducing vanilla custard, coconut, and chopped almonds. The finish dries slightly, with a hint of chili heat. £800

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Glen Moray 18 year old, 47.2%

This offers a slightly oily nose, with orchard fruits, vanilla, cocoa powder, nutmeg, cucumber sprinkled with white pepper, and very subtle smoke. Powerful flavors of peppery fruit and malt on the palate, with honey, butterscotch, milk chocolate, cinnamon, and mellow oak. The finish is lengthy and redolent of toffee apples.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Glen Moray 15 year old, 40%

Aged in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks; the nose is initially relatively reticent, slightly earthy, with a hint of drinking chocolate, emerging sherry notes, and subtle orange. Toffee, more chocolate, and spicy dried fruits on the relatively full-bodied palate. Long in the finish, with wood spices.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Compass Box Myths & Legends I, 46%

Two parcels of whisky of varying ages from the same Northern Highland distillery were blended together in this expression. Floral on the nose, with ginger biscuits, malt, vanilla, and peach blossom. The palate is voluptuous, with sweet orchard fruits, more malt, and cinnamon spice. Nutty, with cocoa and oak in the ultimately drying finish. (4,394 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

90 points

Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2010, 50%

Quantities of Optic and Oxbridge barley varieties were grown on eight Islay family farms during 2009, and the following year this grain was distilled, then matured in bourbon and French wine casks. The nose offers ginger, melon, malt, sweet (lit) pipe tobacco, freshly baled straw, resin, vanilla, and spice. Chewy in the mouth; oily, with toffee spices and youthful oak notes. The finish features oysters with lemon squeezed over them.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Octomore 10.2, 56.9%

Peated to 96.9 ppm, this 8 year old was aged for 4 years in first-fill American oak and then in third-fill French oak sauternes casks. Sea salt and buttery smoke on the early nose, becoming more honeyed. The palate is oily and relatively mellow, with pineapple enveloped in rich, spicy peat smoke. Quite long in the finish, with Jaffa oranges, pepper, and chili. (24,000 bottles; Travel Retail exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

90 points

anCnoc Cutter, 46%

Part of anCnoc’s Peaty Collection, Cutter has been distilled from malt peated to 20.5 ppm. The result is a dram with a nose of ashy peat and medicine cabinets, backed by vanilla and canned apricots. Rich peat on the palate, with citrus fruit and crème brûlée. The slightly oily finish is long and bonfire-like.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Deanston 40 year old, 45.6%

This veteran expression from Deanston Distillery was matured in refill bourbon casks before spending no fewer than 10 years in oloroso sherry butts. Rose petals, fresh pineapple, clotted cream, cinnamon, and dusty oak on the enticing nose. Unctuous in the mouth, with apple pie, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and ginger. Drying slowly to pleasing fruity, tannic notes. Extremely long finish, with a persistent citric tang. (Less than 500 bottles globally)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Glenmorangie 25 year old, 43%

This is the oldest regular bottling from Glenmorangie. It offers peaches in cream, honey, and almonds on the elegant yet relatively substantial nose. Tropical fruit on the smooth, full palate, with cinnamon, chocolate cake, and a long finish of dried fruit and tangy oak. Expensive compared to the 18 year old, which scores closely.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Springbank 21 year old 2014 release, 46%

The latest limited release of 21 year old Springbank has been matured in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. Sherry and bourbon notes are well integrated on the early nose, which follows up with succulent tropical fruits, toffee, and a whiff of earthy peat. The palate is complex, confident, and oily, with dry sherry notes, almonds, figs, vanilla, wood smoke, and a hint of the sea. The lengthy finish boasts caramel, cinnamon, brine, and soft peat. £182

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

90 points

Tomintoul 25 year old, 43%

A 2015 addition to the Tomintoul range of single malts carrying age statements, this expression was matured in bourbon casks like the rest of the lineup, but has a slighter higher ABV than most. Toffee, peaches, and newly polished furniture on the nose. Pleasing rounded mouthfeel, with Jaffa orange, honey, malt, black pepper, and developing tannins. The finish yields more malt, lively spices, green apples, black tea, and nutty oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Glenmorangie Companta, 46%

Companta—Gaelic for friendship—is the fifth of Glenmorangie’s Private Edition releases. It comprises a blend of whiskies finished in Clos de Tart Grand Cru wine casks and in fortified wine casks from Côtes du Rhône. Big fruity, leathery notes on the nose. Spicy, with sultanas, almonds, and icing sugar. The palate is rich and complex, with cocoa powder, nutmeg, more leather, and redcurrants. Long and fruity in the finish, with vibrant spices. Red berries predominate.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

90 points

Benromach Triple Distilled 2009, 50%

Benromach’s first triple-distilled single malt was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. The nose offers peaches with a wisp of sweet smoke, vanilla, and a hint of lime. Voluptuous and very sweet on the palate; intense sugary orchard fruits and stem ginger, with the characteristic Benromach peat smoke dialed back. The finish embraces insistent black pepper, nutmeg, and very mild peat. £45

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

90 points

Balvenie Tun 1509 (Batch 6), 50.4%

The sixth batch in this highly regarded series comprises whisky aged in five refill sherry butts, seven DoubleWood refill sherry butts, and nine bourbon barrels. The nose is soft and inviting, with honey, pineapple, vanilla, caramel, and ginger. The palate is rounded, rich, and sweet, with honey, vanilla, apples, and pears. Tangy citrus fruit, star anise, and oak in the lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

90 points

Glen Deveron 30 year old, 40%

Initially, the nose is very different than that of the younger Glen Deverons, with brown paper and malt vinegar. Becoming buttery, with coconut ice and citrus fruit. Ultimately, a caramel note reminiscent of the 16 year old (see below). Rich and waxy on the palate, with dark berry fruits, almonds, vanilla, and treacle. Sweet and sour. The medium-length finish offers green berries and a hint of aniseed. Real depth of flavor and individuality here. Exclusively available to travelers at World Duty Free Group stores in selected airports throughout the UK and Spain.   £250/700 ml

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

90 points

Jura One For You 18 year old, 52.5%

This is the final release in a three-part series that began in 2016 with One For The Road, followed by One For All. Initially aged for 18 years in bourbon barrels, then finished in virgin American oak quarter casks. The nose features tinned peach segments, coconut, and white pepper. The palate offers caramel, marzipan, almonds, and sultanas. Dark chocolate, raisins, and black pepper in the finish. £130

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Kilchoman Am Bùrach, 46%

Hand-rolled tobacco on the early nose, floral, with sweet peat smoke, vanilla, ripe apples, and raspberries heated over a wood fire. Smooth and mildly herbal on the palate, with spicy smoke and rich soft fruit notes, and lingering peat, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Licorice, smoky fruit, and tannins in the finish. (1,350 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Kilchoman Loch Gorm (2020 Edition), 46%

Warm leather on the nose, slightly prickly spice, damsons dipped in iodine, red berry fruits, barbecued meat, and underlying earthiness. The palate is oily, offering dry, fruity red wine notes, cinnamon, raisins, prune juice, wood embers, and discreet peat smoke. The finish dries, with black coffee, dark berries, and toasted oak. (1,920 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Port Charlotte OLC:01 2010, 55.1%

Shoreline aromas, with lime, caramel, and sweet peat. Mildly medicinal, with coffee grounds. The palate offers Jaffa oranges coated in earthy peat smoke, with pipe tobacco and black pepper. Licorice, cocoa powder, dried fruits, brine, and drying peat in the finish. (30,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Bunnahabhain Toiteach A Dhà, 46.3%

Toiteach A Dhà means ‘smoky two’ in Gaelic and follows the previously released Toiteach. The nose opens with aromatic smoke and brine, while red berries, caramel, nutmeg, and cloves develop. Significantly greater sherry wood influence on the palate compared to the last version, plus Jaffa oranges, pipe tobacco, nougat, cloves, black pepper, and smoked fish. Medium to long in the finish, with drying sherry, oak, pepper, salt, and dark chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

90 points

Balblair 15 year old, 46%

Initially aged in bourbon casks, this then spent an unspecified period of time in first-fill European oak butts. Rich fruit notes on the nose, marzipan, and light sherry. Sweet floral notes in time, with fondant cream and vanilla pods. Viscous palate delivery, with sweet sherry, cinnamon, baked apple, figs, caramel, and hot chocolate. Orange and allspice on the nutty finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Caol Ila 12 year old, 43%

On the nose, fresh fish wrapped in bacon with a squeeze of lemon, cooked at a beach barbecue. Floral and allspice notes emerge. The palate is lightly oily, medium-peated, meaty, and softly spiced, with pineapple and melon. The finish dries, with more fruit and peppery peat. Balanced and inviting.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

90 points

Glenmorangie Ealanta Private Edition, 46%

Ealanta is the fourth release in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series, and has been aged in heavily-charred virgin white oak casks from Missouri for nineteen years. The result is a nose of American cream soda, milk chocolate, fudge, pineapple, and honey; spicy and creamy. Silky smooth in the mouth, with brittle toffee and orange notes; gently herbal, with a suggestion of cloves and newly-sawn wood. Long in the finish, with citrus fruit, oak, aniseed, and an enduring spicy creaminess.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

90 points

Exclusive Malts 2006 (distilled at Linkwood) 11 year old, 58.2%

The nose is pleasingly floral, with soft spice, malt, heather in bloom, and even a suggestion of violets. Well textured on the palate, oily and nutty, with tropical fruits, honey, milk chocolate, vanilla, and malt. The finish is lengthy, with a hint of citrus and warming spices. (Cask no. 69; 287 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

90 points

Highland Park Thor 16 year old, 52.1%

Thor is the first in Highland Park’s new cask strength Valhalla Collection, with a fresh expression inspired by the Nordic gods due to be released annually over the next four years. Ginger, sherry, Christmas spices, wood smoke, vanilla, and a hint of lemon on the complex, confident nose. Notably spicy in the mouth, with peaches, clotted cream, sherry, and more smoke. Long in the finish, with lots of ginger, a little aniseed, and finally, spicy peat.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)

90 points

BenRiach Temporis 21 year old, 46%

Temporis is a peated variant of BenRiach, and like its unpeated 21 year old stablemate it was matured in a mix of four types of barrels: bourbon, virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez, and oloroso sherry. Sweet leather and peat on the nose; emerging vanilla and woodsmoke. Quite muscular on the palate, where orchard fruits are balanced by drying oak. White pepper and aniseed in the relatively long finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

Macallan Edition No. 4, 48.4%

Seven types of European and American oak casks were used for maturation. Lively on the nose, with orange, malt, sherry, and sweet oak. Initially, a touch hot on the palate, with sherry and cloves, then toffee and vanilla, red apples, figs, and cocoa. The finish is medium to long, with spicy sherry.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

Bruichladdich Octomore 08.3, 61.2%

One of four Octomore 08 Masterclass releases, this was distilled in 2011 from Islay barley peated to 309 ppm. Fifty-six percent of the spirit was matured in first-fill bourbon casks, while the remainder was aged in European oak wine casks. Barbecue smokiness on the nose, with wet peat and citrus fruitiness. On the palate, earthy peat, full-bodied red wine, and milk chocolate. Peat smoke to the fore in the finish, with ginger and chili. (18,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

90 points

Lagavulin 12 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2018), 57.8%

Lagavulin 12 year old is represented in Diageo’s annual Special Releases lineup for the fifteenth consecutive year. This was matured in refill American oak barrels. Earthy, peppery peat are present on the nose, along with hazelnuts, seaweed, and lemon juice. It offers citrus fruit, bonfire smoke, pepper, chili, and antiseptic on the palate. The medium-length finish features smoked chilies.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Glenrothes Whisky Maker’s Cut, 48.8%

The nose offers rich fruit—plums and sultanas—with milk chocolate and new leather. The palate is silky and luxurious, with medium-sweet sherry, vanilla, blackcurrants, and treacle. Dark berries and black pepper in the lengthy, mildly oaky finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

90 points

Pittyvaich 28 year old, 52.1%

The lost Dufftown distillery of Pittyvaich last appeared in the Special Releases as a 25 year old in 2015. Like that bottling, this was also aged in refill American oak hogsheads. Initially, it’s slightly savory on the nose, with salted caramel, walnuts, and spicy raisins. Oily on the palate, with pineapple, apple crumble, malt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toffee, milk chocolate, and licorice in the peppery finish. (4,680 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Port Askaig 14 year old Bourbon Cask, 45.8%

This limited edition was distilled in 2004 and aged in eleven first-fill bourbon barrels. Warm lemon juice, rock pools, new tweed, and new leather, plus peat smoke and charcuterie on the nose. The palate is robust, sweet, and fruity, with spicy orange, vanilla, caramel, and earthy peat. Long in the finish, with light tannins and peat coated with stewed fruits. (420 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 7, 57.9%

Like previous releases in the Cask Strength series, this was matured in a mix of oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. The nose offers honey, soft sherry, eucalyptus, and cherry blossom. Supple and sugary on the very approachable palate, with nutty toffee, dark sherry, and dark chocolate-coated cherry liqueurs. Long and spicy, with ripe plums in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

90 points

Octomore Dialogos 10 year old, 56.8%

Distilled from malt peated to 167 ppm, this whisky’s complex maturation program includes first-fill port and cognac, second-fill American whiskey, and virgin oak casks. The nose is sweet, with ginger, marzipan, rock pools, and floral smokiness. Initially, barley sugar and malt on the palate, then drier, with a hint of iodine, medicated soap, old leather, and dried peat. Peppery, with antiseptic and smoky oak in the finish. (12,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

90 points

GlenDronach Cask Strength (Batch 6), 56.1%

The latest batch of cask strength GlenDronach should make Aberlour a’bunadh look to its laurels. It is matured in a combination of Pedro Ximenez and oloroso sherry casks. The nose is quite perfumed, with sweet sherry, figs, nutmeg, satsumas, and candied peel. Voluptuous in the mouth, with early bright fruit notes, cinder toffee, and caramel, followed by darker sherry and raisin notes. Lightly peppery and tannic, with plain chocolate. £55

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

90 points

Duncan Taylor (distilled at Springbank) 13 year old, 46%

Recently bottled by Duncan Taylor in their non-colored, non-chill filtered NC2 range, this 13 year old expression of Springbank initially exhibits tinned pears on the nose, then smoked fish cooked in butter, coconut oil, brine, and a hint of lemon. More sweet wood smoke with time, turning to char. The palate opens with profound, sweet fruit, swiftly followed by salt, lime, and medicinal notes. Lingering, with ginger in the pleasantly oaky finish. £64

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

90 points

Exclusive Malts (distilled at Glen Elgin) 21 year old, 50.1%

This single cask bottling was distilled in December 1995 and matured in a refill hogshead (#258). Warm, sweet biscuit notes on the nose, plus almonds and tangerines. Substantial on the palate, with vanilla fudge and Jaffa orange. Softly spicy, with developing licorice. Long in the finish, with spicy licorice, plain chocolate, and light tannins. (258 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

90 points

GlenDronach Traditionally Peated, 48%

GlenDronach is known for its unpeated sherry-matured whiskies. This peated expression was matured in Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks, and some port pipes. Hand-rolled tobacco smoke, ginger, honey, malt, and barbecued bacon on the nose. New leather, smoky orange, treacle, and milk chocolate on the earthy palate. Light smoke, wood polish, mixed nuts, and licorice in the lengthy finish. Pleasing balance of sweet, savory, and smoky notes. (£51)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

90 points

Talisker Distillery Exclusive (2019 Release), 48%

Initial maturation of this expression took place in refill casks, followed by heavily charred American oak hogsheads, and finally European oak puncheons. The nose is relatively light, fruit-forward, slightly floral, spicy, and mildly ashy. Citrus fruits and sweet peat smoke on the palate, with fruit and oak spices. Orchard fruits in the finish, with just a hint of classic Talisker pepper. (6,000 bottles; distillery only) (£95)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

90 points

Kilchoman Loch Gorm 2017, 46%

This is the sixth—and oldest—limited annual release of Loch Gorm, distilled in 2009 and aged in oloroso sherry butts. The nose is earthy, with raisins, dry spices, smoldering peat, and a not unpleasing hint of rubber. The palate is lively with spices, sherry, cherries, and iodine-soaked peats. Aniseed, sweet sherried peat, and tingling spices in the medium-length finish. (13,500 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

90 points

Glenglassaugh 35 Year Old The Chosen Few, 49.6%

The initial release in Glenglassaugh’s new ‘The Chosen Few’ range has been picked by customer accounts manager Ronnie Routledge. It was distilled in 1976 and matured in an ex-sherry butt that yielded 654 bottles. Initially, an aroma of Black Twist tobacco and treacle, with sweeter and more floral notes following on. Significant honey influence. Mouth-coating, with sweet sherry and tropical fruits, plus developing honey and spice notes. Oak, toast, and dark chocolate in the lingering, lively finish. £300

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

90 points

Chapter 7 (undisclosed Highland distillery), 55.8%

Swiss-based Chapter 7 released this 19 year old single malt, a marriage of two sherry butts (#796 and #1,476). Malt, sweet sherry, cocktail cherries, milky coffee, and a slightly earthy undertone on the nose. Very rich on the palate, with chewy-sweet soft fruits, notably strawberries, syrup sponge, and lively fruit spices. Mouth-drying in the long finish, with aniseed and wood spice. (1,076 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

90 points

BenRiach Sherry Wood 12 year old, 46%

The latest BenRiach core-range release was matured in sherry casks, then finished in Pedro Ximénez and oloroso sherry casks. The nose offers rich red wine, plums, figs, and vanilla. Tropical fruits, honey, vanilla, and soft sherry notes feature on the palate. The finish is medium in length and showcases aniseed, wood spice, and fat Christmas cake sherry notes. Delicious!

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Ardbeg Twenty Something 22 year old, 46.4%

Distilled in the spring of 1996, this was matured in bourbon barrels and yields a nose of exotic spices, heather in bloom, soft aromatic peat, and grapefruit sprinkled with iodine. Well-mannered peat, brine, orange peel, vanilla, and black pepper on the palate. The finish is long, smoky, and peppery.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Octomore Dialogos 9.3, 62.9%

Distilled from 52 tons of Islay barley and filled into 134 casks, most of which were second fill. At 5 years old, the result is whisky with an initially fresh and zesty nose, featuring sea breezes and lemon juice. Mild iodine, ginger, and sweet peat then develop. Sweet on the full palate, with honey, cereal notes, smoky peat, and brine. Oak and chili in the ultimately dry finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Jura 1977 Vintage, 46%

This vintage expression from Jura has been matured in three first-fill bourbon casks and then finished for one year in a ruby port pipe. Just 498 bottles have been released. Apricots, pineapple, caramel, butterscotch, sultanas, and white chocolate on the nose. The palate is warm and spicy, with subtle pine and citrus fruits, along with coconut and a hint of peat. Long in the finish with more vanilla before dried fruits and oak kick in. The delicate peat remains.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2013)

90 points

Tomatin 30 year old, 46%

This expression has been finished for an unspecified period in first-fill bourbon barrels. The nose is floral, with gentle spices, honey, developing mangos and apricots, with vanilla ice cream, plus coconut. Sweet and smooth on the palate, with tropical fruits, more vanilla, and honey, plus old leather, and developing plain chocolate. The finish is long and drying, with slightly astringent oak and wood spices. (600 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

90 points

Chapter 7 (undisclosed Highland distillery), 55.8%

Swiss-based Chapter 7 released this 19 year old single malt, a marriage of two sherry butts (#796 and #1,476). Malt, sweet sherry, cocktail cherries, milky coffee, and a slightly earthy undertone on the nose. Very rich on the palate, with chewy-sweet soft fruits, notably strawberries, syrup sponge, and lively fruit spices. Mouth-drying in the long finish, with aniseed and wood spice. (1,076 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

90 points

Benromach 15 year old, 43%

This spent 9 years in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks, then 6 years in first-fill European oak oloroso casks. Sherry is to the fore on the nose, with apple pie, honey, vanilla, black pepper, and ultimately pipe tobacco. A viscous and rich palate, with more apple pie and vanilla, while the sherry is drier, with new leather and woodsmoke. Salted caramel and spicy oak on the finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

BenRiach Authenticus 30 year old, 46%

Following on from 21 and 25 year old expressions of Authenticus, BenRiach has now added its oldest variant yet to the lineup. The nose offers orchard fruits, honey, polished oak, and vanilla-tinged peat smoke. Full and fruity on the palate, with sweet peat having a presence, plus milk chocolate and licorice. The finish is relatively long, with citrus fruit, ashy smoke, and a lingering herbal note. £400; Not available in the U.S.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

90 points

Benromach Organic 2011 (Bottled 2019), 43%

First released in 2006, this expression was distilled from organically certified barley and aged in virgin oak casks. Spicy new oak and subtle smoke on the nose, with white pepper, bananas, cereal, and cut grass. The palate is oily, with more pepper, hazelnuts dipped in honey, and tropical fruits. Vanilla and toffee on the slowly drying finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

Glen Scotia Victoriana, 51.5%

This was matured in a combination of first-fill and refill bourbon casks before 70% was finished in deeply charred casks and 30% in first-fill Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. Char is apparent on the nose, along with pineapple, wood polish, blackcurrants, and a sprinkling of sea salt. Oily on the palate, with dark berry fruits, sherry, crème brûlée, and oak. The finish is spicy, with charred maritime oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

The Dalmore 1979 33 year old, 48.5%

This expression of The Dalmore Constellation spent its entire 33 years of maturation in an ex-bourbon cask, with no additional finishing. The result is a nose of ripe peaches and pears, honey, and vanilla. Full-bodied, rich, sweet, elegant, yet substantial on the palate, with pineapples and fudge. Oak and aniseed slowly build, but the wood is held at bay. Long and warming in the finish, with soft spices. Barely drying. Cask number 594; 199 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

90 points

BenRiach 25 year old, 46.8%

This expression was aged in remade American oak bourbon hogsheads and French oak Burgundy barriques. Floral aromas on the early nose, with classic BenRiach spicy honey and apple juice emerging, along with vanilla and white pepper. The palate is full and rich, with almonds, more honey, port wine, apple pie, sweet oak, and cocoa powder. The finish is luxurious, with oak tannins and persistent wine notes.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

90 points

Glen Moray 21 year old Portwood Finish, 46.3%

New to Glen Moray’s core range, this was initially matured in bourbon barrels before finishing in port pipes. The nose is fragrant and inviting, with raspberries, ginger, vanilla custard, and sultanas. Voluptuous in the mouth, with honey, cherry liqueur, coconut, marzipan, and milk chocolate vying with contrasting dried fruit and wood notes. The chocolate darkens in the finish, with raisins, licorice, and slightly tannic oak. (4,000 bottles; 1,200 for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

90 points

Glenlivet 14 year old Cognac Cask Selection, 40%

This U.S.-exclusive release was initially aged in first-fill American oak sherry casks before a period of finishing in cognac casks. Spicy red wine notes on the notably aromatic nose, with vanilla and light cinnamon. Good texture in the mouth, sweet, and very approachable, with tangerines, toffee, dates, sultanas, and milk chocolate. Liqueur chocolates in the smooth, lengthy finish. Not overly complex, but robust and extremely drinkable.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

90 points

anCnoc 24 year old, 46%

This veteran from Knockdhu Distillery has been aged in a combination of bourbon and sherry casks. The nose is rich and inviting, with apricots in syrup, marzipan, caramel, and new-mown hay. Voluptuous in the mouth, with tangy fruits, barley sugar, cinnamon, sherry, and ultimately coffee grounds. An oaky finish with cocoa powder, white pepper, and lemon juice.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

anCnoc Vintage 2001, 46%

Matured in a mix of sherry casks and bourbon barrels for over 15 years, the nose is floral and fruity, with honeysuckle, nectarines, malt, and soft spices. Very smooth and creamy on the palate, with apple pie, butterscotch, honey, and tangerines, combining with dried fruits. Citrus fruit and spicy milk chocolate in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

Glen Garioch 12 year old, 48%

This was aged in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. The nose yields Jaffa orange, plums, sherry, malt, and vanilla. Ginger, honey, more orange, dried fruit, and toasted oak on the full palate. The finish is relatively long, with spicy orange and oak. Complex and satisfying.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

Glen Garioch 1797 Founder’s Reserve, 48%

Butterscotch, vanilla, pepper, and citrus fruit emerge on the nose. A nutty, peppery palate features orchard fruits, chile spice, and a subtle meatiness. Lemon and oak tannins in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

Glen Garioch Virgin Oak, 48%

Glen Garioch spirit is sufficiently robust to cope well with virgin oak, and the nose of this expression yields the bold aromas you would expect from heavily-charred virgin oak maturation: spicy milk chocolate, buttery malt, and ripe peaches. Cocoa, malt, and cloves on the palate, plus lots of wood spice. The finish yields vanilla, ginger, and the inevitable oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

90 points

Singleton of Dufftown Prima & Ultima 30 year old 1988, 48.8%

Dull tropical fruits, followed by emerging vanilla, and more fragrant and perfumed notes on the nose. Full-bodied, with very sweet citrus fruits on the early palate, which turn to green berries and dry slowly. Bitter orange, fennel, and oak tannins in the lengthy finish. Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (469 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Longmorn 16 year old, 48%

Having replaced the 16 year old Longmorn with a no age statement Distiller’s Choice, owner Chivas Brothers reintroduced the16 year old. Vanilla, milk chocolate, and honey on the nose, plus quite intense sweet pear and apple notes. More rich fruit notes on the nicely textured palate, with vanilla and milk chocolate carrying over from the nose, plus raisins. The finish is long and silky smooth.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Bruichladdich The Organic 2010, 50%

Distilled exclusively with organic barley grown the previous year by Mid Coul Farms near Inverness, this 8 year old was aged in bourbon barrels. Barley, salted butter, peach, malt, and vanilla on the nose, plus cocoa powder. Quite piercing citrus fruits on the smooth palate, with more vanilla, fudge, overripe banana, and milk chocolate. Spicy oak and a suggestion of brine in the finish. (18,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

90 points

The Macallan 12 year old Double Cask, 40%

This straddles the existing Sherry Oak and Fine Oak ranges by being a mix of spirit matured in both European and American oak sherry casks. Earthy sherry and old leather on the nose, with toffee, polished oak, and cherry blossom. Medium to full-bodied, with sherry, orange, cocoa, nutty vanilla, and developing wood spices on the honeyed palate. The finish is creamy, with insistent spices, cocoa, and tangy oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

The Macallan Edition No. 2, 48.2%

This limited release was aged in seven cask types—both American and European oak in a variety of sizes—from four Spanish bodegas: Vasyma, Diego Martin, Jose Miguel Martin, and Tevasa. Citrus fruits, ginger, black pepper, light smoke, and rubbery leather on the nose. Ultimately, carnations. The palate is rich, nutty, and sweet, with malt, toffee, sticky sherry, maraschino cherries, milk chocolate, and gentle spice. Long in the finish, with spices and creamy cocoa.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Tomintoul 25 year old, 43%

This is the oldest core expression of Tomintoul’s Gentle Dram, now available in the U.S. It is a classic of this style of Speyside single malt. Peaches, malt, honey, vanilla, and developing floral notes on the nose. Full-bodied, with ripe apples, cocoa, milky coffee, honey, vanilla, and soft spices. Spicy and drying, with plain chocolate in the relatively lengthy, mellow finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

The Balvenie 1981 35 year old, 43.8%

A refill American oak hogshead matured this whisky. The nose offers malt, vanilla fudge, pineapple, and contrasting lemon. Lively tropical fruits on the palate, almonds, walnuts, and ginger cookies, with ever-present oak. Bitter coffee in the medium-length, leathery finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

90 points

Caol Ila Prima & Ultima 35 year old 1984 (Cask No. 5773), 50.8%

Sweet antiseptic, brine, new leather, and spice on the nose. The palate is lightly oily, with lemon juice, grapefruit, salt water, soft peat, and fish smoked on a beach barbecue. Smoky citrus fruits in the lengthy, gingery finish. Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (499 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Clynelish Prima & Ultima 26 year old 1993, 49.8%

Melon, honey, red apples, buttercups, and butterscotch on the nose, with classic Clynelish wax on the palate. Herbal, with lemon juice that has a little sea salt mixed into it. Licorice and white pepper in the slightly oily finish. Price is for entire Prima & Ultima Collection, of which this whisky is a part. (941 bottles) £20,000

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

90 points

Bruichladdich Octomore 10 Second Limited Edition, 57.3%

Distilled in December 2005 using malt peated to a whopping 167 parts per million, this was matured in a mix of bourbon and Grenache Blanc casks. Old warm leather, rich smoke, developing peaty peach, chocolate-coated toffee, pipe tobacco, and iodine on the powerful nose. Huge peatiness in the mouth, oily, smoky orchard fruits, developing ginger nuts, and sea salt. Warming in the finish, with licorice, gunpowder tea, and ashy peat.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Port Charlotte 10 Second Limited Edition, 50%

This was matured in first-fill sherry, bourbon, French wine, and tempranillo casks. Initial brine on the nose gives way to malt and orchard fruits, sweet smoke, and buttery malt. Sweet, medicinal smoke notes on the early palate, then toffee and peaches drying to aniseed and chili. Long and prickly in the finish, with licorice and black pepper. A complex rendering of Port Charlotte.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Glengoyne 25 year old, 48%

The latest addition to Glengoyne’s permanent range is a 25 year old, matured in European oak sherry casks and presented in non-chill filtered format. Syrup-like on the nose, very sweet, with milk chocolate, ginger, Jaffa oranges, and sticky toffee pudding. Smooth and sweet on the palate, with overt sherry, sultanas, and gentle spice. The finish is medium to long, with a hint of oak, old leather, and lingering cloves. Bold, yet elegant. £250

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

90 points

Gordon & MacPhail 1977 (distilled at Strathisla), 48.5%

This 40 year old was matured in a refill American hogshead. Perfumed on the nose, with vanilla, soft leather, lanolin, and lavender. Watery soft fruits on the palate, with cocoa powder and ginger. The finish offers more cocoa powder, black coffee, and licorice-flavored oak. £500 (191 bottles, The Whisky Exchange exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

90 points

The Dalmore 25 year old, 42%

Dalmore 25 year old comprises spirit matured initially in American oak casks, some of which is then transferred into first-fill bourbon barrels, while the remainder goes into Palomino fino sherry butts. The two batches are then reunited in bourbon barrels before a final finishing in tawny port pipes. Vanilla, figs, toffee, and ripe oranges on the festive nose, while the palate features more orange, peaches, milk chocolate, and sherry. The chocolate darkens in the lengthy finish, with ginger and licorice.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

90 points

Loch Lomond 18 year old, 46%

The 18 year old is Loch Lomond’s flagship single malt and marks the improvement in quality from this distillery during recent years. The nose offers peaches and vanilla, mild spice, pipe tobacco, and a hint of sweet wood smoke. Nicely textured, with bold, sweet, citrus fruit flavors, vanilla, almonds, and cocoa. Nutty, gently spicy, with cocoa and a hint of coffee in the lengthy, subtly peated finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

90 points

Glenglassaugh 40 year old, 42.5%

Glenglassaugh has altered its policy of offering single cask expressions of its 40 year old, and replaced these with a vatting of casks to provide an ongoing release program, offered at cask strength and without chill filtration. The nose is pleasingly complex, with ginger, honey, milk chocolate, icing sugar, sherry, plums, and new leather. Resinous on the palate, with pineapple and brittle toffee, then black coffee and aniseed. A spicy oakiness ultimately develops. Drying steadily in the finish, with licorice and oak tannins. £1,200

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

90 points

Highland Park Fire, 45.2%

Fire is the first Highland Park expression to be fully matured in “refill port wine-seasoned casks” and it carries a 15 year age statement. Very fruity on the nose—raspberries and prunes —plus lightly-smoked pineapple and vanilla. More smoky, spicy fruit features on the palate, with a light sprinkling of cinnamon. The peat dries to leave ashy licorice and black pepper in a lingering finish. The port is pleasingly discreet. (4,938 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Cragganmore 20 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 55.8%

Cragganmore 20 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. Cream, vanilla, and fresh orange juice feature on the early nose, followed by a slightly herbal note. Ultimately sweet and floral, with nougat. Luscious sweet orange notes on the palate, with toasted cereal, before dry wood spices appear. The finish is relatively long and nutty, with a sprinkling of pepper.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

89 points

Aberlour A’Bunadh (Batch #61), 60.8%

A’bunadh is matured entirely in Spanish oak oloroso butts, non-chill filtered, and bottled at cask strength. This edition is very rich, with dark berry notes on the nose, hazelnuts, caramel, cinnamon, and orange fondant creams. The palate is full and supple, with polished oak, honey, new leather, raisins, prunes, and a hint of cloves. Very long in the finish, with plain chocolate, black pepper, fruity spices, and oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Arran Malt 17 year old, 46%

As Arran continues on its trajectory toward introducing an 18 year old expression, just 9,000 bottles of sherry cask-matured 17 year old have been released. Bottled at 46%, it has not been chill filtered. Sweet and fruity on the nose, with ripe pineapples, green apples, malt, and a hint of licorice. Luscious and nicely-textured on the palate. Lots of orchard fruits, sherry, and soft toffee. Mild spice and hedgerow fruitiness in the slightly drying, lengthy finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

89 points

BenRiach Cask Strength (Batch 2), 60.6%

This includes whisky distilled in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and matured in a mixture of bourbon, oloroso, and virgin oak casks. Honey, apple blossom, ginger, and nutmeg on the nose, which then exhibits damp tweed, and finally, hot butter. Sweet on the full palate, with milk chocolate, honey, ripe peaches, almonds, vanilla, and caramel. Quite long in the finish, with zesty apple notes.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Springbank Marrying Strength 10 year old, 49.9%

A number of ‘Marrying Strength’ variants of 10 year old Springbank have been released, retailing exclusively through the Cadenhead Whisky Shop in Campbeltown. The 2014 expression is bottled at 49.9%. Brine, new leather, and pipe tobacco on the nose, with developing caramel. Maritime characteristics are accentuated with time. Voluptuous on the palate, balanced, with sweet leather, peaty spices, and apricots. Long and slowly drying in the finish, with black pepper and rock salt. Quintessential Springbank, and the best 10 year old sampled to date. £42

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

89 points

Exclusive Malts (Distilled at Benrinnes) 2006 11 year old,
 49.1%

Distilled in 2006 and aged for 11 years in a PX sherry hogshead (#310110). Peach blossom, vanilla, and icing sugar on the nose, which becomes more floral in time. Smooth and very sweet on the substantial palate: canned pineapple in syrup, malt, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Vibrant pineapple and sweet oak notes last to the very end of the lengthy finish. (234 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Springbank Sherry Wood 17 year old, 52.3%

Released in February 2015, this cask strength expression of 17 year old Springbank has been entirely matured in sherry casks. 9,120 bottles are available globally. The nose offers sea spray, blood orange, ginger, and discreet sherry. Finally, some peat. The sherry really makes its presence felt on the palate, which is full and slightly oily, with rich fruitcake flavors, soft toffee, coffee, and ripe cherries. The finish is lengthy, slightly peaty, with more sherry, treacle toffee, and trademark Springbank ozone.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

89 points

Singleton of Glendullan 18 year old, 40%

Of the three Singleton bottlings, Dufftown is aimed at European markets, Glen Ord at Asia, and Glendullan at the U.S. The oldest expression in the Singleton of Glendullan stable, this boasts a nose of brittle toffee, dried fruits, and new leather. Nutty toffee, drinking chocolate, banana split, and coconut on the smooth, soft palate. Peppery almonds in the slowly drying finish. Good value for the money!

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Mortlach 20 year old Cowie’s Blue Seal, 43.4%

Named in honor of the family that owned Mortlach for many years, this was matured in sherry wood, like its 16 year old sibling. Milk chocolate, nuts, and coffee on the nose, with developing meaty aromas. Soft and slightly waxy on the palate, with almonds, apricots, and allspice. Milk chocolate and spicy orange in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Mortlach 12 year old Wee Witchie, 43.4%

The youngest of the 2018 Mortlach trio, this is named after the distillery’s famous small spirit still. Maturation has taken place in sherry and bourbon casks. Baked apricots and ginger on the nose, with black pepper, lots of milk chocolate, and an herbal note. The palate is mildly savory, with more milk chocolate, vanilla, orchard fruits, and cinnamon. Lingering chocolate ginger in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Bunnahabhain 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured, 58.1%

Bunnahabhain has been marketing batches of peated spirit under the Mòine banner since 2004, and this example is the first to have been fully matured in Bordeaux red wine casks. Damp peat, sweet antiseptic, and subtle raspberry aromas. Lots of red berry notes on the palate, backed by milky coffee, peat, and vanilla. Black pepper and berry fruits in the smoky finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Glen Scotia 21 year old, 46%

The nose offers tinned peaches, fresh ginger, and a slightly herbal note. The palate is voluptuous, with vanilla, malt, vigorous spices, and white chocolate. Lingering coffee and gingery oak in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

89 points

Dalmore 18 year old, 43%

Matured in American oak and oloroso sherry casks. The nose is fragrant with honey, vanilla, ginger, orange marmalade, and a hint of smoke. Relatively full-bodied, with flavors of tangy orange, marzipan, sherry, bitter chocolate, then oak. The finish is long, with licorice and citrus fruit.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

89 points

Old Pulteney 15 year old, 46%

This expression replaces the previous 17 year old, and has been aged in bourbon and second-fill American oak casks, followed by a period in first-fill Spanish oak oloroso butts. Sherry is immediately obvious on the nose, with fresh-baked fruitcake aromas, honey, and allspice. The palate is sweet and spicy, with Jaffa orange segments dipped in sea salt, toffee, and dark chocolate. Orange and oak in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Highland Park 1976 Vintage, 49.1%

This is a recent addition to the portfolio, and has been matured in a mixture of thirteen American oak butts and hogsheads. These have given an out-turn of 893 bottles. Freshly-grated ginger, white pepper, and melons on the nose. Soft fruit and spices feature on the palate, with honey and coconut oil, plus background peat smoke. Lively spices, soft oak, and hazelnuts in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

89 points

Exclusive Malts (distilled at Royal Brackla) 2006 11 year old, 58.2%

Distilled in 2006, this was filled into a virgin French oak cask (#310865) and bottled at cask strength after 11 years. Peaches and apricots on the early nose, with a hint of cloves. Ultimately very floral, with vanilla fudge. The palate yields zesty orchard fruits, malt, and ginger. Remaining fruity in the long finish, with black pepper and juicy oak. (286 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Glenmorangie Spìos, 46%

The ninth release in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series was matured fully in American oak barrels that previously contained rye whiskey. A reticent early nose: melon and a hint of lemon, then warm, oily cereal notes and honey develop. Initially fruity on the palate, with ripe banana, then slightly earthy, with nutty spice and cocoa powder. Zesty spices in the finish, drinking chocolate, and youthful oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

89 points

Bruichladdich Octomore 11.3, 61.7%

Octomore 11.3 bottle, 61.7% Distilled in 2014 from barley grown at Octomore Farm, with a peating level of 194 ppm, and aged 5 years in barrels from Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill, Jack Daniel, and Jim Beam. There’s a maritime note and prickly ginger on the nose, with a bit of smoke and a hint of cloves. Sinuous on the palate, with sweet cereal, big spicy peat, and dark chocolate. The long finish yields ashy peat and chocolate-covered ginger. (18,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

89 points

Glen Garioch 1991, 54.7%

Distilled at Glen Garioch when peated barley was still being used, this 1991 vintage is quite reticent on the nose, considering its strength. Subtle malt and fudge notes, plus a hint of wood smoke. Fresh fruits and a sherbet ‘zing’ on the palate, with a suggestion of treacle. Developing spicy smokiness. Fruitiness is emphasized when water is added. The ‘zing’ — now ginger — lasts to the end of the medium-length finish, with advancing, discreet oak. (Only 120 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Summer 2011)

89 points

Ledaig 1998 PX Cask Finish, 55.7%

Part of Distell’s Malt Collection, this 19 year old offering of Tobermory Distillery’s peated spirit was finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks for an unspecified period. The nose yields smoky caramel, raisins, and coal soot. Full-bodied, with blackcurrant, toffee, hot asphalt, and black pepper. Black pepper, peat, and chewy oak in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Tobermory 2005 Fino Cask Finish, 55.1%

After 10 years maturing in bourbon casks, this expression from the 2018 Distell Malt Collection was then aged for a further 2 years in fino sherry hogsheads. The nose offers white wine, sultanas, ginger, and cocoa powder, plus white chocolate and tangerines. The palate is full, with sweet orchard fruits, ginger, and cinnamon, balanced by dry sherry. The finish is medium in length, with black pepper and cocoa. (1,710 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Glen Elgin 18 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2017), 54.8%

Matured in European oak butts, this 1998 single malt has a nose of soft toffee, vanilla, and orchard fruits. The palate is very full and sweet, even sugary, with baked apples, peaches in cream, and cinnamon. Medium to long in the finish, with fruity oak, lingering ginger, and pepper. (5,352 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

89 points

Rosebank 21 year old 1990 (Diageo Special Releases 2011), 53.8%

2011 saw the first expression of Rosebank appear in Diageo’s annual Special Releases series, and just 5,604 bottles are available worldwide. The bottling is comprised of whisky matured in refill American oak and refill European oak casks. Floral and mildly herbal on the nose, with cereal and tropical fruit notes, along with a hint of damp soil. The palate is somewhat tart, with oranges and pepper, while the finish dries to coffee and spicy oak. A lovely example of a much-mourned malt.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2012)

89 points

Port Askaig 110° Proof, 55%

A U.S.-exclusive variant of this popular Islay single malt. Lemon juice and warm granite on the nose, backed by sweet heather, ginger, and developing Jaffa orange, medicinal peat, and charcuterie. Mouth-coating and initially sweet, before darker berry notes emerge. Savory, saline, and smoky. Medium-length in the finish, with lingering peat smoke and spicy oak.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

89 points

Highland Queen Majesty 15 year old, 46%

Rich on the nose, with stewed fruit, butterscotch, and soft spices. Very smooth palate delivery, with luscious fruit flavors: baked apples and peaches in syrup, then cinnamon and ginger. The medium-length finish features ebbing spice and developing milk chocolate. Likely sourced from Tullibardine Distillery.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

89 points

Glen Moray Fired Oak 10 year old, 40%

To create Fired Oak, Glen Moray spirit has been matured in bourbon casks for almost a decade, before a 10 month finish in heavily charred virgin American oak casks. Canned pineapple, honey, and vanilla on the nose, with a hint of lemon. An initial citric zest on the palate, then soft toffee, newly sawn timber, cloves, and cinnamon. Licorice, lively spices, and slightly smoky oak in the medium-length finish. £40

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Teaninich 17 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2017), 55.9%

Distilled in 1999, this single malt was aged in refill American oak hogsheads and refill American oak barrels. Pineapple and walnuts figure on the early nose, which becomes more floral, ultimately offering violets. The palate is full and fruity, majoring in peaches in syrup, with new-mown hay and white pepper. Nicely balanced and rounded, with buttery notes emerging. The finish dries slowly, with subtle licorice.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

89 points

Inchmoan Vintage 1992, 48.6%

A peated malt from Loch Lomond, this vintage expression spent 25 years in refill bourbon barrels. A delicate, mildly smoky nose, with vanilla, gentle spice, black pepper, and a subtle medicinal characteristic. Soft and fruity on the palate, with encroaching earthiness and dry peat smoke. The smoke lingers in the lengthy finish, with vanilla, aniseed, and spicy, slightly tannic oak.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2017)

89 points

Clynelish Reserve, 51.2%

At cask strength this Clynelish represents House Tyrell. Split green wood followed by marshmallows on the floral nose; increasingly sweet, with a hint of cloves. The palate immediately offers classic Clynelish waxiness, with tropical fruits, honey, and subtle smoke. Licorice, black pepper, and citrus fruits in the medium to long finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Cardhu 14 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 55%

Distilled in 2004, this expression was finished for 2 years in amontillado sherry-seasoned hogsheads. Soft and floral on the delicate nose, with vanilla ice cream and ripe pears. Smooth on the palate, with malt, milk chocolate, honey, nuts, and red apples. Drying in the spicy finish, with black coffee and light wood tannins. £120

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

89 points

Dalwhinnie 30 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 54.7%

A veteran Dalwhinnie, matured in refill hogsheads and butts. The nose is floral, with honeysuckle, marshmallows, almonds, ginger, and green fruit in time. The palate is creamy and offers quite insistent spices, with sweet orange, fondant notes, more honey, and cocoa. Medium in length, spicy, with persistent orange and milk chocolate in the finish, plus just a wisp of smoke. (7,586 bottles) £500

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

89 points

The Singleton of Glen Ord 18 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2019), 55%

Distilled in 2000, this expression has been aged in freshly charred American oak hogsheads. Tangerines, ginger, and white pepper on the nose, with developing nutmeg. Big sweet fruit notes on the palate, with milk chocolate and caramel. Tangy citrus fruit and dark chocolate in the spicy, warming finish. (600 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

89 points

Gordon & MacPhail Cask Strength 2005 (distilled at Caol Ila), 57.3%

Aged in first-fill sherry butts, this cask strength vintage from Gordon & MacPhail features a nose which opens with savory ginger, becoming more fragrant, plus vanilla, fudge, and warm leather. Oily in the mouth, with ripe cherries, sweet spices, pipe tobacco, and new leather. Nutty and slightly earthy. Citrus fruit, dry spicy peat, and black pepper in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

89 points

Octomore 10.3, 61.3%

This “single field, single vintage, single malt,” was distilled in 2013 from Islay barley, peated to 114 ppm and aged in first-fill American whiskey barrels. The nose offers sweet, fragrant woodsmoke from logs on an open fire, with milk chocolate, salted caramel, and orange. The fragrant smoke carries over on the palate, with pears, melons, and developing barley sugar. Dark peat and licorice in the finish. (24,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2019)

89 points

Glenmorangie 18 year old, 43%

This is part of the distiller’s Extremely Rare range, and has been matured in bourbon casks for 15 years, before a third is transferred to oloroso sherry casks for 3 years. Dried fruits, icing sugar, honey, lemon cheesecake, and floral aromas on the nutty nose. The palate offers figs, crème brûlée, cinnamon, more honey, and citrus fruit. The finish sees citrus fruit and oak merge nicely.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Ledaig 19 year old, 51%

Some of the first peated spirit produced in the late 1990s at Tobermory Distillery has gone into this bottling, which has been finished in marsala wine casks. The nose yields earthy malt, new leather, printer’s ink, and a final fragrant note. Big, bright flavors of orchard fruits and sweet peat on the palate, plus black pepper and dessert wine. Ashy peat, burnt oak, and lingering pepperiness in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

89 points

Cragganmore, 55.7%

An inviting and complex nose of honey, orchard fruits, apple blossom, rosewater, and subtle cinnamon. Rich and creamy in the mouth, with initially intensely sweet fruit and spice notes, followed by ginger, toffee, and vanilla. The finish is warming, gently spicy, and medium in length. Diageo Special Releases 2016 bottling. (4,932 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

89 points

Glenallachie 10 year old Cask Strength (Batch 2), 54.8%

Mellow on the nose, even at cask strength, with vanilla, lemon curd, honey, and warm ginger cookies. Strawberry jam notes emerge in time. An initial flavor of berry on the palate, then malt, honey, and slightly bitter oak. The finish features black pepper, more ginger, and jam-like notes. (2,400 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

89 points

Tomintoul 12 year old Kedem Port Cask-Finished, 40%

The latest addition to the Tomintoul range, this is exclusive to the U.S., and is finished in port-style wine casks from Kedem Winery in New York. Sweet on the nose, with slightly spicy red wine notes, followed by strawberries and cream. The palate is smooth and creamy, with red cherries, cinnamon, and dark chocolate. Spicy in the finish, with ginger cookies and cherry brandy-filled liqueur chocolates. (12,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

89 points

Tomintoul 14 year old, 46%

Subtle on the nose, with orchard fruit, barley, honey, and vanilla, becoming more fragrant in time. Quite full-bodied, overtly fruity, with orange rind, red apples, malt, and cocoa powder. Fruit persists in the grassy finish. The higher strength makes this a standout among the Tomintouls.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

89 points

The Maltman (distilled at Ben Nevis) 17 year old, 49.3%

This 17 year old independent bottling of Ben Nevis has somewhat unusually been matured in a fino sherry cask, rather than the more common oloroso or PX.   The nose offers initial milk chocolate notes, then a whiff of cold roast pork and oak. In time, strawberry and mango aromas appear. The mouthfeel is pleasingly full, decidedly gingery, with caramel and dry sherry. Spicy, mild sherry and raisins in a long, lively finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2014)

89 points

Tomintoul 21 year old, 40%

Released in 2017 to replace the well-regarded 27 year old, this Tomintoul presents a nose of malt and gentle spice, with lemon drizzle cake. Medium-bodied on the palate, very sweet, with brittle toffee, honey, sultanas, wood spice, and black tea with sugar. Vanilla, licorice, allspice, and subtle oak in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

89 points

Cambus 40 year old, 52.7%

The oldest of the 2016 Diageo Special Releases, distilled in 1975, then rested in refill American hogsheads. The initial nose is slightly balsamic, with green tea, ripe eating apples, and developing vanilla. Creamy on the palate, with big vanilla custard notes, white pepper, and dates. Relatively short in the finish, with soft spices and mild oak. No negative tannins, despite its age. (1,812 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

89 points

Glenmorangie Milsean, 46%

Milsean is the latest Private Edition release from Glenmorangie. After initial bourbon barrel maturation, the whisky spent several years in heavily-toasted Portuguese red wine casks. Fresh fruits on the early nose, with ginger and a hint of musk. Coconut and icing sugar emerge. Smooth and rounded on the palate with a big fruit hit that becomes more citric in time, plus lively oak spices. Lingering in the finish, with persistent spice. Finally, plain chocolate and chili.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2016)

89 points

Jura Camas an Staca 30 year old, 44%

The latest addition to the Jura range has been matured in American white oak casks before spending three years in Gonzalez Byass oloroso sherry butts. The mellow nose is lightly oily, with figs, sherry, orange, and a savory note. Vanilla emerges, along with malt, and finally a hint of cinnamon and parma violets. Soft and supple on the palate, with more orange, plus cocoa, sultanas, and dates. The finish is lengthy and features dark chocolate, raisins, aniseed, and subtle spices.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

89 points

Ardbeg Twenty One, 46%

Distilled at a time when the future of the distillery looked bleak. It is non-chill filtered and mildly herbal on the nose, with soft peat, muted iodine, and a sprinkling of pepper, plus warm leather. The palate is initially peppery, then vanilla and green apples emerge, along with aniseed and rich peat. Peppery to the end, with a hint of iodine and coal smoke.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2016)

89 points

Old Pulteney WK209 ‘Good Hope,’ 46%

WK209 is named after a steam herring drifter registered in the Caithness port of Wick, where Old Pulteney is distilled. This limited edition, travel retail exclusive was matured entirely in first fill European oak sherry casks for 8 to 10 years. Milk chocolate, crème brûlée, old leather, and sherry on the nose, contrasting with brine. Sherry, dried fruits, black pepper, English mustard, and sea salt on the full palate. Spicy sherry, heather, and black coffee in the luxurious finish. €50

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)

89 points

Wemyss Malts ‘Winter Spice’ Single Cask, 44.4%

This cask strength, 29 year old 1982 expression in the Wemyss Malts range is the company’s first bottling of a single malt distilled at the Northern Highland distillery of Teaninich. Just 201 bottles have been released. The insistently fruity nose features overripe pears, heather in bloom, soft fudge, salted popcorn, cinnamon, and ginger. Soft and peachy on the palate, with darker spice notes, walnuts, and plain chocolate. The finish is lengthy, with more plain chocolate and some spiced oak. £110

Reviewed by: (Summer 2012)

89 points

Gordon & MacPhail Cask-Strength Connoisseurs Choice 2005 (Distilled at Glenturret; Cask No. 1760), 52.8%

Freshly polished oak, walnuts, damsons, vanilla, and orange blossom are present on the nose. The slightly oily and peppery palate features sweet sherry, more vanilla, nutmeg, then black currants and raisins. Prunes, drying oak, and black coffee in the medium-length finish. A very solid Highlander for lovers of sherry cask maturation. (298 bottles; U.S. exclusive)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2020)

89 points

Port Askaig 45 year old, 40.8%

The nose offers apricots, honey, vanilla, nutmeg, orange juice, and a hint of mint. Jaffa orange, black banana, licorice, and chimney soot on the palate. Licorice lingers, with an herbal note and tannic oak in the finish. (51 bottles for the U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2019)

89 points

Exclusive Malts 2002 (distilled at Miltonduff) 14 year old, 54.1%

The initial nose is herbaceous, with green apples, then brittle toffee. Developing Juicy Fruit gum flavors. The palate is straightforward, but full and pleasing, featuring pineapple, fudge, vanilla, and almonds. The finish is medium in length, nutty, with a hint of black pepper. (Cask no. 263; 176 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

89 points

Single Cask Nation (distilled at Tormore) 21 year old, 49%

This was distilled in February 1996, matured in a second-fill bourbon barrel, and bottled in April 2017. The nose yields nectarines, vanilla ice cream, fudge, and milk chocolate. Smooth and rounded on the palate, with ripe apples, toffee, walnuts, and ultimately, a hint of lemon, plus black pepper. Nutty and subtly spicy in the lengthy finish. (156 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

89 points

Auchentoshan 1979 Oloroso Sherry Matured, 50.5%

The latest release in Auchentoshan’s 1970s Vintage Series is this expression, distilled on October 22, 1979 and matured in first-fill oloroso sherry butts for 32 years. Just 1,000 bottles are available (12 bottles for the U.S.). Sweet on the nose, with furniture polish, digestive biscuits, cinnamon, and a faint whiff of old leather. Big tropical fruit notes open the palate, soon turning to smoky blackcurrants, tea, and rich fruit loaf. The finish is spicy, featuring black pepper, tobacco, dark berries, and plain chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2013)

89 points

Glen Grant 15 year old Batch Strength, 50%

Described by its distillers as “the most intensified expression” of Glen Grant, this was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels and is non-chill filtered. The nose is fresh and floral, with rose petals, Turkish delight, and cinnamon. Supple on the palate, clean and fruity, with developing soft toffee, pear drops, ginger, and a floral carryover from the nose. The finish is medium in length, with slightly astringent oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

GlenAllachie 10 year old Cask Strength (Batch 1), 57.1%

This is the first batch of the only cask-strength bottling in the lineup and was matured in a combination of American oak, Pedro Ximénez, oloroso, and virgin oak casks. The nose offers gingersnap, melon, and cocoa powder, becoming floral in time. Bright fresh fruits on the palate, notably apricot and mango, with honey. Drying slowly, with a sprinkling of black pepper. (2,400 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

GlenAllachie 12 year old, 46%

This expression is described by the distillers as “the heart of our range.” Matured in virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez, and oloroso casks. Oily on the nose, with ripe banana and a hint of oak. Quite full-bodied and slick on the palate, with vanilla, honey, and almonds. Milk chocolate and lime in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Bruichladdich Octomore 08.1, 59.3%

Distilled in 2008 from 100 percent Scottish barley peated to 167 ppm. It spent 8 years in first-fill American oak casks. Peaches dipped in hot plain chocolate and tarry peat on the fragrant nose. The palate offers sweet, creamy orchard fruits and honey, backed by citrus-laden peat. Drying in the finish to quite a bitter, tannic smokiness. (42,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

89 points

Glengoyne 26 year old Single Cask Distilled 1987 (Cask #384), 54.6%

This 26 year old single cask Glengoyne was matured in a first-fill European oak sherry butt that yielded 339 bottles. It offers a nose of sultanas, figs, and vanilla, plus white pepper and a hint of linseed. Succulent in the mouth, the palate yields sweet sherry, honey, and contrasting lemon juice and pepper. The finish is lengthy, but dries rapidly, with lively pepper, oak tannins, and a final fatty note. £350

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

89 points

Oban 21 year old, 57.9%

Rather than the customary bourbon cask, this was aged in refill European oak butts. The nose is delicate, with brittle toffee, vibrant orange, pineapple, and a hint of barley. Mellow and fruity on the palate, with apricots, soft toffee, and table salt. Gingery oak and cocoa in the lengthy, slightly minty finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Inchgower 27 year old, 55.3%

Inchgower makes its debut in the Special Releases range with this veteran bottling that was matured in in refill American oak. The nose offers a whiff of soy sauce, honey, and blotting paper. Salty and spicy on the palate, with green apple, walnut, and cloves. Jaffa orange and black pepper in the long finish. (8,544 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

89 points

Speyburn 18 year old, 46%

Aged in American and Spanish oak. Figs, cinnamon, and pineapple up front on the nose; in time, smoky fudge. The palate is rich and creamy, with more fudge, honey, and tangerines. The orange note becomes more bitter, accompanied by lively spices and subtle woodsmoke. Long in the finish, with peppery oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

89 points

Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie (Scottish Barley), 50%

Bruichladdich describes this as a “multi-vintage cuvee” and only Scottish-grown barley is used in its distillation. Ozone, lemon juice, fresh-planed wood, and a hint of honey appear on the nose. The palate features toffee apples, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and oily oak. Pepper, sea salt, and relatively dry oak in the finish are balanced by toffee sweetness.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Arran The Devil’s Punch Bowl Chapter II: Angels & Devils, 53.1%

Chapter II of Arran’s The Devil’s Punch Bowl embraces whisky from a total of 27 casks. These are seventeen oloroso sherry hogsheads (from 1997 and ’98), six standard bourbon barrels (2002), and four peated bourbon casks (2004). Juicy dark berries, malt, and soft cinnamon on the nose. Robust and fruity on the palate, with more dark berries, plain chocolate, a suggestion of vanilla, and black pepper. Long and drying in the earthy, mildly smoky finish, with aniseed and licorice.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

89 points

Bunnahabhain 2003 Pedro Ximénez Finish, 54.8%

This limited-edition Bunnahabhain was aged in sherry casks until 2011, when it was transferred into first-fill Pedro Ximénez sherry butts. The nose offers leathery sherry, red berries, ozone, and a little black pepper. Rich, sweet fruit notes on the palate; overt sherry, plus toffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of background salt. Cinnamon, honey, and raisins in the long finish. (2,154 bottles for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Talisker Dark Storm, 45.8%

Described as the smokiest whisky produced at Talisker, Dark Storm is exclusive to Travel Retail outlets, and maturation has taken place in deeply charred casks. Rich, fruity spices on the nose, quite citric, with brine and aromatic smoke. The smoke elbows its way to the fore in time. Full, sweet, fruity flavors on the palate, some vanilla, then smoke, licorice, and spice hit home. A classic Talisker smoke and chili finish, but cranked up a notch or two! £45/1 liter

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

89 points

Kilchoman Port Cask Matured 2018 Edition, 50%

The second Kilchoman to be fully matured in port casks, this expression is a vatting of 30 ruby port casks, filled in 2014. The nose offers milk chocolate sprinkled with white pepper, sweet red wine, and ultimately, smoky citrus fruit. Big red berry notes lead on the palate, followed by ginger and spicy peat. Tangy red currants and bonfire smoke in the relatively long finish. Impressive for its age. (10,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2011, 50%

This includes whisky distilled from barley grown on three Islay farms. It was mainly matured in first-fill American oak, along with Syrah and merlot wine casks. Fragrant peat, warm tar, ginger, vanilla, and sea salt on the nose. Peaches dipped in salt on the palate, with milk chocolate and more vanilla, then dark berries. The peat is spicy and quite acrid in the long, briny finish.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Dalmore Port Wood Reserve, 46.5%

This was initially matured in American white oak barrels before spending an unspecified finishing period in port pipes. The nose is soft and fragrant, with vanilla, red berries, toffee, and ultimately, damsons. Viscous on the palate, with blackcurrants, plums, port wine, and cinnamon. Lively spices, coffee grounds, Seville orange, and dry oak in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

89 points

Highland Park Thorfinn, 45.1%

More obviously sherried on the nose than either Sigurd or Ragnvald; buttery, with figs, sultanas, vanilla, a hint of leather, and ripe oranges. Rich and silky on the complex palate; overt sherry, ginger, and lots of old leather and sweet smoke. Spice is quite muted here. The finish is lengthy, with plain chocolate, wood smoke, figs, and tingling spices. Luxurious and accomplished. (Travel Retail exclusive.) €1,000

Reviewed by: (Winter 2013)

89 points

Ardbeg Drum, 46%

This Ardbeg Day 2019 bottling was aged in bourbon barrels before a period of finishing in rum casks. Characteristic Ardbeg citrus and smoke on the nose, but with the addition of green figs, eucalyptus, antiseptic, and brine. Very smooth on the palate, with woodsmoke, mango, and papaya. Big peat and black pepper notes in the finish, underscored by tangy citrus. Ultimately, ashy smoke.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

89 points

Arran The Devil’s Punchbowl III The Fiendish Finale, 53.4%

The third and final expression in Arran’s Devil’s Punchbowl trilogy of limited releases is a multi-age bottling, matured in eight oloroso sherry butts, eight French oak barriques, and five bourbon barrels. Only 6,660 bottles are available. Figs, dates, citrus fruits, and honey on the nose, with developing savory notes. Silky sherry, lively cinnamon, and red berries on the palate, with a hint of wood smoke. Lengthy in the finish, with spicy oak.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2014)

89 points

Auchentoshan The Bartender’s Malt 001, 47%

Twelve of the world’s leading bartenders collaborated to create this limited release. Whiskies chosen spanned five decades, and were aged in various oak barrels, including American and German, as well as rum, red wine, and Laphroaig casks. The nose is rich and fruity, with Jaffa oranges, apricots, caramel, and soft ginger. Voluptuous on the palate, with nectarines, Brazil nuts, nutmeg, and honey. Warming spices in the lengthy finish, with lingering nectarine notes.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2018)

89 points

Douglas Laing Queen of the Hebrides (distilled at Laphroaig) 18 year old, 50%

The first expression in Douglas Laing’s new Old Particular Consortium of Cards Single Cask Scotch Whisky Collection was sourced from a single refill butt. The nose offers sweet peat, toffee bonbons, brine, beach tide lines, and antiseptic. Finally, a sooty chimney. The palate is zesty, with ashy peat, asphalt, chili, and citrus fruit. Dark chocolate, more soot, and extra chili in the very long finish. Quintessential Laphroaig! (665 bottles) £140

Reviewed by: (Summer 2017)

89 points

Glenrothes 1995 American Oak, 45%

The initial Glenrothes 1995 was released in 2011. This edition comprises first-fill American oak casks seasoned with dry oloroso sherry. Significant sherry cask influence early on the nose, with a savory note, rich fruitcake, cherries, malt, and developing vanilla custard. Supple in the mouth, with honey, berry fruits, and citrus notes. Spicier in time. The finish dries slightly, with cinnamon and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

89 points

Exclusive Regions Islay (undisclosed Islay single malt), 50%

A non-chill filtered single cask bottling from The Creative Whisky Co. This is a classic ‘full-on’ yet well-balanced Islay, with a nose of sweet peat, lemongrass, iodine, and brine. Ultimately, a whiff of aromatic pipe tobacco. Sweet fruit notes on the palate, developing smoky peat, and barbecued meat. Long in the finish, with spicy licorice, chili, and peat embers.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

89 points

Balblair 2000, 43%

The 2000 vintage of Balblair is intended to replace the well-regarded 1997 variant. Matured in first-fill American oak, this very drinkable expression represents good value for the money. A pretty peach and pineapple nose, with coconut and honeyed vanilla. Toasted marshmallows with time. Relatively light-bodied, sweet, with lively spice, ginger, and youthful oak on the relatively complex palate. Fudge in the finish, and a contrasting hint of dark chocolate at the last.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

89 points

Kilchoman 100% Islay 7th Edition, 50%

As with previous releases, the 7th Edition of 100% Islay is produced from barley grown and malted at the distillery. Matured in fresh and refill Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels filled in 2010. Smoky ripe pears, wood preservative, vanilla, and apple purée on the nose. Fresh citrus fruit, buttery toffee, and ashy peat on the palate. The lengthy finish features licorice and cigarette ash.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

89 points

Scotch Malt Whisky Society (28:23) 21 year old, 57.5%

This bottling of Tullibardine was distilled in November 1989 and has been matured in a refill sherry butt. The U.S. allocation is 120 bottles. Initially, damp earth on the nose, sweetening to milk chocolate-covered fudge and vanilla, along with hazelnuts. Notes of plum and black pepper with time. The palate is fruity, with toffee, spice, and cedar wood notes. Long in the finish, with cereal and spicy resin.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2011)

89 points

Arran Malt Amarone Wine Finish, 50%

This 2017 edition is non-chill filtered and finished in Amarone dry Italian red wine casks. Slightly perfumed on the nose, with a suggestion of madeira, plus malt and ripe pears. Viscous in the mouth; earthy, with plum and dry blackcurrant, black coffee, and plain chocolate, balanced by notes of honey. Mouth-drying in the finish, with a touch of tannic oak.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

89 points

Kilchoman Sauternes Cask Finish 2018, 50%

Having previously released bottlings that were fully matured in sauternes casks, Kilchoman has now launched one where initial maturation took place in bourbon barrels, followed by 5 months of finishing in sauternes hogsheads. Unpeeled Jaffa oranges on the initial nose, floral, with a whiff of iodine and earthy peat. Tangerines, milk chocolate, lively spices, and bitumen combine on the palate. The finish is long, smoky, and perpetually spicy.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Octomore Dialogos 9.1, 59.1%

Distilled in 2012 entirely from Scottish barley, this was aged for 5 years in American whiskey barrels. The nose is sweet, with apricots, vanilla, ginger, white pepper, ozone, and antiseptic cream, plus insistent smoky peat. Orchard fruits on the palate, with big earthy smoke notes, vanilla, and coconut. The finish is long, with licorice, black pepper, rock salt, and drying peat.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Port Charlotte MRC: 01 2010, 59.2%

Distilled from Scottish barley in 2010, this was matured in first-fill bourbon casks and second-fill French wine casks before finishing in Bordeaux French oak. Fruity peat, salty vanilla, heather, toffee, and malt on the nose. Peaches and pineapple wrapped in peat, with marshmallows and rock salt on the supple palate. A whiff of iodine in the finish, with berries, cloves, licorice, and spicy oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Talisker Storm, 45.8%

Diageo has introduced this new no age statement variant of Talisker single malt. The name reflects the distiller’s aspiration to enhance the maritime notes in this expression. Refill and rejuvenated casks have both contributed to its maturation. The nose is youthful but rounded, with brine, burning wood embers, vanilla, and honey. Sweet and spicy on the palate, with cranberries and black currants, while peat smoke is always present, plus black pepper. The finish lingers, with walnuts and fruity peat. £40

Reviewed by: (Summer 2013)

89 points

Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 year old, 43%

Following a decade in bourbon barrels, Lasanta is finished for 2 years in oloroso and Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. Caramel, milk chocolate, and hazelnuts merge on the nose with the spicy dried fruit and orange notes associated with sherry wood maturation. Spicy sultanas, and damsons on the full, sweet palate, with more caramel, milk chocolate, nutmeg, and oak. The finish is long and smooth, with dark chocolate and wood spices.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)

89 points

Fettercairn 12 year old, 40%

Malt and mango on the nose, with just a hint of meatiness and earth. Pear and resin notes appear in time. Orchard fruits, vanilla, cloves, and cocoa powder on the palate. The sweet fruit notes are quite intense. Hazelnut and fudge in the medium-length finish. (£48)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2020)

89 points

Glenury Royal 40 year old, 59.4%

A belated addition to Diageo’s Special Releases range for 2011, this offering is from the now-demolished distillery in Stonehaven, which closed in 1985. Just 1,500 bottles are available, and maturation has taken place in American oak refill casks filled in 1970. Resin, malt, nutmeg, and wood polish on the nose, with developing vanilla and brittle toffee. Full in the mouth, slightly oily, and notably fruity, with heather and cinnamon notes. Pepper and bitter orange in the long finish. £525

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

89 points

Balblair 1969, 41.4%

This veteran Balblair was distilled on February 7, 1969 using barley malted on site and coal-fired stills. Just 999 bottles have been released. Opens with slight saltiness on the nose, almost ozone, then lemons and pine, and finally, vanilla fudge. Overt citrus notes on the palate, with aniseed, some oak, brittle toffee, and a smokiness not found in younger Balblairs. The finish is long and discreetly spicy, notably cinnamon and black pepper.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2013)

89 points

anCnoc 2002, 46%

This non-chill filtered vintage release was matured in a mix of American oak and Spanish oak sherry casks, and stored in traditional dunnage warehouses. Peaches and vanilla on the nose, with a hint of milk chocolate-coated Turkish Delight and background ginger. Tinned peaches in cream and more ginger on the palate, then orange notes emerge. Spicy in the long finish, with plain chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2017)

89 points

BenRiach 21 year old, 46%

BenRiach’s latest release was matured in a combination of four diverse cask types: bourbon, virgin oak, Pedro Ximénez sherry, and red wine. The nose offers tangerines, milk chocolate, and spicy vanilla. Peaches, Brazil nuts, raisins, dates, and more chocolate on the palate, with red berries in the background. The finish is medium in length, with cocoa powder and ginger. £125; Not available in the U.S.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

89 points

GlenDronach Peated Port Wood, 46%

This is non-chill filtered and carries no age statement. The nose is earthy, with damp herbaceous borders, quite acrid smoke, and spicy cranberries. Fresh, juicy red berries on the palate, with background peat smoke becoming ashy, with rich red wine notes. The red wine persists in the finish, accompanied by prickly black pepper. £70; Not available in the U.S.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

89 points

Glen Scotia 15 year old, 46%

After initial maturation in bourbon casks, this expression underwent a 2-month finish in first-fill oloroso sherry casks. Initially it offers char, then ginger, honey, and sweet smoke on the nose, with apricot tarts and toffee. The palate is quite earthy and peppery, with stone fruit, cinnamon, sea salt, and light smokiness. Medium length in the finish, with citrus fruit and salty oak.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2020)

89 points

The Dalmore 1973 38 year old, 48.1%

Primary maturation took place in an ex-bourbon cask, then from 2006 in a cask sourced from the vineyard of Chateau Haut Marbuzet, previously used to hold Cabernet Sauvignon. A final three years were spent in a newly-emptied bourbon barrel. Gingerbread, summer berries, and fig rolls on the nose. Fudge and vanilla. Black cherries, raisins, lots of lively spice, and a red wine ‘edge’ in the mouth. Freshly-baked ginger cake in the long, spicy finish. Cask number 10; 223 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

89 points

The Dalmore 1991 20 year old, 57.9%

After initial maturation in American white oak, this 1991 expression was filled into a 15 year old Lepanto brandy cask from Gonzales Byass in May 2003, ultimately being re-racked into a fresh ‘distillery run’ bourbon barrel in August 2009. Caramel and white chocolate on the nose, malt, fudge, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then burnt treacle and hot brandy. Malt, sweet spice, almonds, bananas, and fudge on the palate. Spicy fruits in the lengthy Armagnac-like finish. Cask number 1; 233 bottles.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2012)

89 points

Tomatin Cù Bòcan 1988 Limited Edition, 51.5%

Tomatin released this 28 year old expression under its Cù Bòcan label. This cask strength variant was matured in refill hogsheads and refill sherry butts that previously contained heavily-peated Islay single malt. The nose is sweet and fruity, with apples and pears, background vanilla, and sweet, light smoke. The palate is voluptuous and sherry-sweet, with chili peppers and subtle, earthy peat smoke. The finish is slowly drying, with persistent spice, nuts, and smoke. (2,200 bottles) £200

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

89 points

BenRiach 22 year old Moscatel Wood Finish, 46%

This limited edition bottling is non-chill filtered and initially matured in bourbon barrels before an unspecified period of finishing in sweet Moscatel fortified wine casks from Spain and Portugal. Sweet grapes, dates, cinnamon, salted butter, wax polish, and printer’s ink on the nose. Viscous on the palate, with ripe plums, honey, plain chocolate, white pepper, and worn leather. The finish is long and fruity, with drying oak.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Speyburn 25 year old, 46%

The oldest expression available from Speyburn, this has been aged in a mix of American oak fino sherry and bourbon casks, and is non-chill filtered. Vanilla, honey, lemon, and spice on the fragrant nose. Quite full-bodied and creamy on the palate; nutty, with malt, honey, and citrus fruit. The citrus fruit becomes spicier in the medium-length, oaky finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Bruichladdich The Laddie Ten Second Limited Edition, 50%

Matured in first-fill sherry, bourbon, and French wine casks. Clean and fresh on the early nose; crisp green apples, vanilla, and floral notes, with just a hint of maritime influence in the background. Smooth on the palate, with spicy pear, honey, and ripe peaches; soon quite drying. The floral finish lingers, with spicy honey, drying spices, and ultimately a hint of smoke. (18,000 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Spring 2017)

89 points

Arran Malt The Millennium Casks, 53.5%

The Millennium Casks is a non-chill filtered vatting of 45 Arran casks filled on December 31, 1999 and January 1, 2000; 35 bourbon barrels and 10 sherry hogsheads. A spicy, floral nose with sherry, honey, coconut ice, orange, fudge, and ultimately raisin notes. Smooth and luscious on the palate, with apple pie and custard, plus a sprinkling of cinnamon. Long and spicy in the finish, with oranges, a hint of black pepper, licorice, and drying oak. (7,800 bottles). £65

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

89 points

Glenglassaugh Massandra Connection 41 year old Sherry Wood Finish, 44.5%

The Massandra winery, which supplies casks for Glenglassaugh’s Massandra Connection bottlings, is the oldest in Crimea, and reputedly produced Tsar Alexander III’s favorite wines. The 1973 distillation, which has been finished in sherry casks, has a nose of sultanas, cinnamon, sweet grass, and herbal notes in the background. Bung cloth, char, and finally damp undergrowth. Complex aromatic progression. Mouth-coating, with sweet, spicy tropical fruit notes and oloroso. Slowly drying, with bitter orange and mild tannins at the close. £645

Reviewed by: (Fall 2014)

89 points

Jura Tastival, 51%

The 2016 Fèis Ìle limited edition of Jura was triple finished in sherry casks, namely palomino fino, amoroso oloroso, and apostoles oloroso, and is non-chill filtered. The nose is soft and warming, with notes of candy, vanilla, and almonds against a sweet sherry background. The palate is rich and rounded with a significant sherry influence—dried fruits, notably raisins and prunes, new leather, and aniseed. Finally, slightly mouth-drying with prickly spices and more raisins. (2016 Jura Tastival whisky festival exclusive) £85

Reviewed by: (Fall 2016)

89 points

Balblair 1990 (2nd release), 46%

The oldest of Bablair’s current core bottlings was distilled in 1990, and after maturing for 21 years in bourbon casks it was transferred to oloroso sherry butts for a further 2 years prior to bottling. Citrus fruits, furniture polish, cloves, cinnamon, and parma violets on the nose. A silky mouthfeel, spicy, with dark berries, dates, and rich sherry. Slowly drying, with aniseed and dark chocolate in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

89 points

Oban 21 year old, 58.5%

The first Diageo Special Releases Oban to be released since 2004 has been matured in rejuvenated American oak and second-fill bodega casks. The outturn is 2,860 bottles. Tinned peaches, ginger, caramel, and newly-sawn wood on the nose, with an accompanying marine note. Syrupy in the mouth, very sweet and spicy, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and baked apple. Contrast is provided by a splash of brine. Spicy in the drying finish, with ginger to the fore, plus more sea salt.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

89 points

Last Drop Distillers (distilled at Glen Garioch) 1967, 45.4%

This is the first single malt to be released by the Last Drop Distillers, and the Aberdeen-shire veteran is old-style, well-peated Glen Garioch. Unusually, it was matured in what the bottlers describe as “a bourbon-style remade hogshead cask.” Just 118 bottles are available globally. Fruity and herbal on the nose, with apples, marzipan, ginger, linseed, and a hint of camphor. Complex and distinctive. Surprisingly vibrant fruit notes fill the perfumed palate, with allspice, before it starts to become tannic. Ultimately very mouth-drying, with subtle smoke, and a fatty spice note at the very end.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2016)

89 points

Glen Garioch Vintage 1999, 56.3%

This limited edition release of Glen Garioch is the first from the Aberdeenshire distillery to have been matured entirely in oloroso sherry casks. Just 1,000 cases of the 14 year old expression are available globally. Old leather, slightly earthy, sultanas, white pepper, and a hint of lemon pith on the nose. The palate is big and bold, with more pepper, plus cinnamon caramel, orange, and abundant sherry. Enduring spice, licorice, and slightly smoky raisins in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2014)

89 points

Glenturret The Brock Malloy Edition, 46.8%

Cask # 328 was filled at Glenturret on December 16, 1986 by stillmen Hugh Malloy and Chic Brock. After 28 years of maturation, it has yielded 240 bottles. It is exclusively available online at thefamousgrouse.com. Boiled fruit sweets, heather, hazelnuts, old oak, and musty bung-cloths on the nose, plus slight mint. The palate is rich and fruity, with honey, rum, vanilla fudge, and ginger root. Spicy milk chocolate and coconut in the lengthy finish, with non-intrusive oak. Classic Glenturret. £200

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

89 points

Ledaig 42 year old, 46.3%

This veteran Ledaig release from Tobermory distillery is the oldest to date, having been made in 1972. 500 bottles are available globally. Musty old leather, malt, and plum pudding on the slightly earthy, phenolic nose. In time the leather becomes suppler, with ripe figs and, finally, soot. Voluptuous in the mouth, with sweet sherry, plain chocolate, and soft spices, plus black pepper, an emerging note of coal. The finish is very long, with citrus fruit, chili, smoke, and subtle oakiness.

Reviewed by: (Fall 2015)

88 points

Benriach The Original Ten, 43%

Benriach The Original Ten bottle. This unpeated single malt updates and replaces the previous 10 year old. It presents tropical fruits, vanilla, honey, and ginger on the nose. Soft fruits, malt, and milk chocolate inhabit the creamy, well-balanced palate. Hazelnuts, drinking chocolate, and light spices surface in the medium-length finish, with just a wisp of smoke.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

88 points

Cardhu 11 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 56%

Cardhu 11 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. The nose is lightly floral, with pears and ripe peaches, followed by red apple with a light sprinkling of white pepper. The palate is creamy and very sweet, with more orchard fruits and a little spice. The medium-length finish is slightly drying, with some lightly spiced oak  

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

88 points

DS Tayman 12 year old Flam Wine Barrel-Finished (Distilled at Linkwood; Cask No. 180803325), 46%

DS Tayman 12 year old Flam Wine Barrel-Finished (Distilled at Linkwood; Cask No. 180803325) bottle. Kosher-certified and matured in a refill bourbon barrel, before finishing in a barrel from Israel’s Flam Winery. Sweet red wine, strawberries and cream, and spicy apple pie on the nose. The palate is voluptuous, with cocoa, Brazil nuts, and increasingly dry red wine. Dark-chocolate raspberry liqueur, oak, and black pepper in the long finish. (1,600 bottles)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

88 points

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1984 (Distilled at Glenury Royal; Cask No. 2335), 49.1%

Gordon & MacPhail 125th Anniversary 1984 (Distilled at Glenury Royal; Cask No. 2335) bottle. Royal Glenury was established in 1825 and closed in 1985. Salted butter on the early nose, Turkish delight, then dry nutty sherry. Very nutty on the palate, with figs and wine tannins. The lengthy finish reveals dates, bitter coffee, and black treacle. (397 bottles, 38 for U.S.)

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

88 points

The Singleton of Dufftown 17 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020), 55.1%

The Singleton of Dufftown 17 year old (Diageo Special Releases 2020) bottle. This is the first release of Singleton of Dufftown to be matured solely in refill American oak hogsheads. The nose is slightly earthy, with developing barley sugar and green fruits. The supple palate offers honey, sweet orange, walnuts, and soft spice. The finish is peppery, with crystallized ginger and a hint of dark chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2020)

88 points

Aberlour 16 year old, 40%

Both bourbon and sherry casks were used for aging. Stewed fruits, butterscotch, and soft spices on the nose. Silky palate delivery, with honey, dark chocolate, light sherry, and cloves. Lingering finish, with citrus and allspice.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

88 points

The Macallan Classic Cut (2017 Edition), 58.4%

Released exclusively for the U.S., this is the first bottling in an annual series celebrating what Macallan terms its “…unrivalled commitment to the mastery of wood and spirit.” Matured in oloroso sherry-seasoned American and European oak casks. Confident Christmas cake aromas, plus quite assertive oak. Honey, toffee, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, and lively oak on the palate. Gingery wood notes in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2018)

88 points

Longrow Red, 52.1%

This 11 year old bottling of Longrow from Springbank distillery was matured for seven years in refill bourbon casks before being filled into cabernet sauvignon hogsheads for a final four years. 9,000 bottles are available. The nose offers buttery smoked haddock, coal tar soap, citrus fruit, and new leather, with background notes of soft peat. Mouth coating, with rich peat on the palate, plus fruity spice and developing licorice notes. Long in the finish, with persistent peat smoke and, finally, red currants. £50

Reviewed by: (Winter 2012)

88 points

Bowmore 27 year old Port Cask, 48.3%

Port Cask is the third and final release in Bowmore’s Vintner’s Trilogy. It was matured for 13 years in bourbon barrels, then 14 years in port pipes. Woodsmoke and blackcurrant on the mildly medicinal nose, with developing sea salt and vanilla fudge. Smoky dried fruit on the palate, with a hint of brine. Old oak, antiseptic, and black pepper in the finish.

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

88 points

Dalmore 12 year old, 40%

Matured in bourbon barrels and oloroso sherry casks. Tangerines, barley sugar, milky coffee, soft toffee, and sweet sherry on the inviting nose. Orange carries over to the palate, with spicy dark chocolate, ginger, and cocktail cherries. The finish features vanilla, long-lasting dark chocolate, and prunes.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

88 points

Dalmore 15 year old, 40%

Finished in sherry casks. The nose is slightly reticent, with orange peel, instant coffee, and a hint of burning coal. More obvious orange notes on the palate, with milk chocolate and drying oak. Dark chocolate and slightly bitter oak in the medium-length finish.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

88 points

Auchentoshan Three Wood, 48%

Three Wood has been a key part of Auchentoshan’s portfolio since 2002. It was matured in bourbon, then finished in oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks. Orange peel, dried apricots, milk chocolate, and fresh-sawn oak on the nose. Toffee, stewed fruits, sherry, cinnamon, and wood spice on the palate. The finish is quite long, with malt, oak, and dark chocolate.

Reviewed by: (Summer 2019)

88 points

Ben Nevis 15 year old 1998 (Cask #590), 57.3%

This 2014 bottling of Ben Nevis illustrates how good the single malt can be with robust sherry cask maturation. Distilled in June 1998, it was filled into a fresh sherry butt and matured for 15 years before 582 bottles were released. Raisins, prunes, old polished leather, and roasted meat on the nose. The body is full, with the palate offering succulent dark berries, dates, raisins, and plain chocolate. Long and spicy in the finish, with cloves and rum raisin-flavored dark chocolate. £92

Reviewed by: (Spring 2015)

88 points