Saturday, December 10, 2022

Whiskey Advocate Top Whiskeys of 2022!

Here are Whisky Advocate 
Top 10 Whiskies of the Year!

#10 Whiskey of the Year
Nelson Bros Reserve Bourbon...$49.99 / 750ml
Charlie and Andy Nelson resurrected the family company in 2009, a century after it was shuttered by Tennessee’s Prohibition laws. Initial efforts focused on a second label, Belle Meade, which scored well. This year came the first releases bearing the family name on two bourbon labels–Nelson Bros. Classic and Reserve. Both have carried on the legacy admirably. This one packs a punch but is soft and gentle at the same time, offering red berry and vanilla malt aromas and a palate of melted marshmallow, coconut shavings, and baked apple. Like all good whiskeys, it saves the best for last, with a long, creamy finish of chocolate and spice.—David Fleming
Rated 93/100

#9 Whiskey of the Year
Bruichladdich 8 year old Islay Barley 2013...$69.99
This expression, now in its eighth edition, showcases Bruichladdich’s commitment to Islay terroir. It’s an 8 year old in a world of double-digit age stated scotch, but you’ll never accuse this delightful whisky of being too young. Sweet biscuity aromas along with ripe peaches and pears lead to a creamy palate of lemon cake, candied orange, nougat and vanilla, all balanced by the wood influence and hints of salinity. Water brings out sweet nectar and honey. The finish is graceful, long, and lively, making this a truly memorable dram. —David Savona
Rated 94/100

#8 Whiskey of the Year
Limavady Single Barrel(0039)...$43.99
***Disclaimer** We do not have the same batch/barrel no. that was reviewed 
We currently have barrel no. 0136 available (subject to change)
Limavady’s master distiller Darryl McNally’s masterstroke has been to take the lead on single barrel releases within the Irish whiskey scene. This sourced single malt is triple-distilled from 100% malted Irish barley, matured in first-fill bourbon barrels, and finished in Pedro Ximénez casks, delivering a lusciously sweet combination of barley sugar, butterscotch, candied orange peel, and pepperiness. Now working in partnership with WhistlePig, McNally, a former distiller at Bushmills and Dublin Liberties Distilleries, is hoping that success will enable a new Limavady Distillery to be built one day. Until then, we can enjoy this singularly original dram. —Jonny McCormick
Rated 94/100

#7 Whiskey of the Year
Blue Note Juke Joint Uncut Missouri Single Barrel...$43.99 
Blue Note Juke Joint Uncut -  Disclaimer: we do not have the batch they rated
While this is bottled in Memphis, Tennessee by B.R. Distilling, Blue Note Juke Joint is a Kentucky straight bourbon, and it’s a big one. That’s due in large part to being bottled at barrel proof, coming in at 58.75% ABV. The nose is fruit-forward, evoking freeze-dried strawberries, strawberry Blow Pop, cherry cobbler, pumpkin pie, and black tea with honey. The palate is hot, but not to its detriment, and it’s wonderfully creamy throughout. Chocolate-covered cherries are at the fore, joined by lemon-poppyseed muffin, fresh-squeezed lemon, grated ginger, brown sugar-cinnamon oatmeal, and a hint of licorice. The finish is long, inviting you to take another sip. —Julia Higgins
Rated 92/100

#6 Whiskey of the Year
Midleton Very Rare 2022 Vintage...$229.99
Exuberant and irresistible, this year’s release by master distiller Kevin O’Gorman was deftly stylish; a composition of carefully selected stocks of single pot still and single grain whiskeys aged between 12 and 33 years. Each vintage in the series, which launched in 1984, has its own unique flavor profile and comes from the pick of the American oak bourbon casks in the Midleton warehouses. The sweeter grain components shine beautifully here, with flourishes of floral, honey, and toasted oak aromas against a captivating backdrop of fresh fruit, citrus, and wood spice flavors, and an elongated finish of creamy vanilla. —Jonny McCormick
Rated 94/100

#5 Whiskey of the Year - **NOT AVAILABLE IN MISSOURI
Westward Cask Strength
Founded in 2004 by Christian Krogstad, a brewer and winemaker turned distiller, Westward is a pioneer of American single malt. Despite a comparatively short history to that of Scotland, whiskeys like this have helped to prove the potential of the category. whose stature in the whiskey world continues to grow. Westward’s signature style takes the sweet, maltdriven base of traditional single malt spirit and matures it in new charred oak barrels, akin to bourbon. Bottled at cask strength, the flavor impression is of warm porridge and honey graham crackers laced with toasty oak, then cigar wrapper and butterscotch on the finish. A satisfying American original. —Jeffery Lindenmuth
Rated 94/100

#4 Whiskey of the Year
Dewar's 12 year old....$29.99
Reinvention, reimagination, call it what you will, but Dewar’s master blender Stephanie Macleod’s introduction of first-fill bourbon cask finishing elevates this classic to the higher echelons of blended scotch whisky. It may seem a small gesture, but the result of combining the marrying and finishing processes is both captivatingly delicious and texturally silken, adding seemingly infinite layers of honey, vanilla, dried apricot, citrus, chocolate, and soft oak to the tasting experience, interwoven with a wisp of smoke. Without changing a beat of the blend’s 40 malts and grains, Macleod’s methods prove her mastery of the craft yet again. —Jonny McCormick
Rated 94/100 

#3 Whiskey of the Year
Barrell Vantage Bourbon....$74.99
114.44 proof
Bourbon whiskey finished in Mizunara, French and toasted American oak
Distilled in Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky
Already an established force in the world of blending, Barrell Craft Spirits has demonstrated its finishing prowess with a series of creative releases that marry different cask types together. Vantage is the most recent, and to us, the most successful. The nose has a bake shop sweetness, with aromas of sugar cookie, nutty chocolate brownies, and Funfetti cake, plus earthy dried tobacco leaves and strawberry candies underneath. The creamy palate delivers rich chocolate, Red Hots, and with water added, dried leaves and snickerdoodles. Big cinnamon spice on the finish ties this one up beautifully. —Ted Simmons
Rated 95/100 

#2 Whiskey of the Year
Redbreast Kentucky Oak Edition
(This one sold out earlier in the year)
Redbreast’s new series champions the influence of American oak from various parts of the U.S., leaning less heavily on its signature sherried style. For this first U.S. exclusive, Irish Distillers worked with the Taylor family, renowned for their sustainable forestry practices, to select oaks from the Elk Cave Farm in Gravel Switch, Kentucky. The virgin oak cask-finished single pot still whiskey amplifies flavors of sliced almond, creamy vanilla, cinder toffee, red fruits, and oak spice, drawing inspiration from techniques developed with Irish oak for Midleton’s Dair Ghaelach series, while being bottled at 101 proof to pay homage to the Bluegrass State. —Jonny McCormick

Luckily we had a decent amount in stock before it was announced!
Now it is ALLOCATED!
We are down to about 30 bottles left!

#1 Whiskey of the Year
Jack Daniels Bonded Tennessee Whiskey...$29.99
For the team at Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, filling barrels for its Old No. 7 brand, the largest selling American whiskey in the world, has been a nearly all-consuming task over the decades. But there have been some adventures beyond that core label, of course, and this year we were treated to one of them—Jack Daniel’s Bonded. In selecting the whiskeys for this final blend, the search was on throughout the warehouses for whiskeys with boldness and depth of color. That search struck gold, as Jack Daniel’s Bonded emerged to become our 2022 Whisky of the Year. Like all bonded whiskeys, Jack Daniel’s Bonded was produced in one distilling season, aged for a minimum of 4 years, and bottled at 50% alcohol by volume. Our tasters found gentle aromas of dried herbs, cherry, banana, and well-integrated oak on the nose, leading to a bold palate of honeyed peanuts, brown sugar, dark chocolate, and melted caramel, all accented by peppery spice. Even with its heft and pleasant mature notes, this is still a fresh, vibrant whiskey. It’s also one with lots of character, offering a host of flavors that marry well. Jack Daniel’s Bonded isn’t entirely new, as it has been available in global Travel Retail for the past several years. This year became the chosen moment to have it join the permanent range. It’s now part of the new Jack Daniel’s Bonded Series, which seems a likely place where we will find other interesting bonded expressions in the future. —David Fleming
Rated 97/100

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