The Best Whisk(e)y Sips To Ring In 2017 With

We have the great privilege to be able to taste whiskey for a living. These drams caused us to sit up and take notice. Any of these bottles would be a fine way to ring in 2017!
Dec 29, 2016
  • 10
    10 Glen Grant 18 Year
    85
    Fruity & Floral
    New to the Glen Grant portfolio as of fall 2016 is their 18 year old single malt. Building on the brand's core profile of light, honeyed fruits and floral notes by using their highest quality of handpicked ex-bourbon casks, adding further years of maturation and forgoing the sherry influence. Glen Grant 18 is bottled at 43% ABV, and a wider release of the expression is expected in 2017.
  • 9
    9 Benromach Heritage 35 Year
    90
    Fruity & Tart
    Released in early 2016, this is one of the rarest products Benromach has released to date. It was produced under the watchful eyes of Donald MacDonald, former Distillery Manager. It was created before the Urquhart family (also owners of Gordon & Macphail) revived the distillery in 1998. It is bottled at 43% abv in a bespoke bottle and sold in an attractive wooden case.
  • 8
    8 Westland Garryana 2016 Edition 1|1
    90
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Garryana marks the first release in Westland's Native Oak Series, with others to follow in 2017. Master Distiller Matt Hofmann has created these expressions to showcase Pacific Northwest terroir. The rare Quercus garryana (Garry oak) is native only to that part of the world, and new casks of it were used in the maturation process of part of the whiskey. It is bottled at cask strength (56.2% ABV) and is not chill-filtered. Limited to 2,500 bottles for this first edition.
  • 7
    7 Compass Box 3 Year Deluxe Blended Malt
    93
    Vanilla & Full Bodied
    A 3 Year Blended Malt for $300? Don't let the age statement fool you! Scotch regulations prohibit producers from sharing the ages of older whisky components in their blends and this release from the rouge, independent blender Compass Box pokes fun at that. The blend contains only 0.4% three year old malt whisky from Clynelish, near the village of Brora; the rest is 90.3% malt whisky from the same distillery of "unstated but considerably older age" and 9.3% peaty malt whisky from Talisker on the Isle of Skye. It's bottled without chill-filtering or added color at 49.2% ABV. A limited 3,282 bottles were made available in October 2016.
  • 6
    6 Teeling The Revival 15 Year Single Malt (Volume I)
    93
    Fruity & Rich
    In June 2014, brothers Jack and Stephen Teeling opened Dublin's first distillery in over 125 years. To commemorate their opening and "The Revival" of whiskey distilling in Dublin, Teeling Whiskey Company released this limited edition, 15-year Irish single malt. Non-chill-filtered, this was distilled in 1999 and matured exclusively in casks that previously held Caribbean rum. It's the first release of the Teeling Vintage Collection that will include a future release of a 24-year and 33-year Irish single malt. Production was limited to 10,000 bottles. (Note: This is not currently available in the US.)
  • 5
    5 Booker's Rye Whiskey Big Time Batch (2016 Release)
    94
    Full Bodied & Spicy
    Laid down by the man Booker Noe himself in 2003, this is a rare rye whiskey from the Booker's label distilled at the Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. Booker Noe was the Master Distiller at Beam from 1960 to 1992, when he handed off the reigns to his son, Fred Noe. This rye was part of a small batch experiment of about one hundred casks that Booker stowed away in his favorite rack houses, D & E, both of which see sun-exposure throughout the day. These are some of the last casks filled by Booker before his death in 2004. "Big Time Batch" is uncut and unfiltered at an irascible 68.1% ABV and aged for precisely 13 years, 1 month and 12 days.
  • 4
    4 Lock Stock & Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey 16 Year
    94
    Spicy & Full Bodied
    The 16 year old from Lock, Stock & Barrel builds on the tradition of their 13 year old. It's a 100% rye mashbill, double pot-distilled straight rye whiskey, made with what they term a "robust cut" of distillate, expecting the lengthy aging period to come. Maturation was entirely in new, charred American oak barrels. Cooper Spirits chose their finest aged rye casks for this release.
  • 3
    3 Old Potrero Hotaling's Single Malt Rye 16 Year
    95
    Fruity & Spicy
    This new release of Hotaling's is a 16-year old whiskey, released in November 2016--20 years after Old Potrero's first rye whiskey release. This is a 100% pot-distilled single-malt rye whiskey, and a single-barrel release at that. It is bottled at 50% ABV after aging in once-used charred American oak for 16 years. Extremely limited, with 200 bottles nationwide.
  • 2
    2 Lagavulin 25 Year
    95
    Smoky & Briny
    Following the release of their 8-year expression and continuing the celebration for the distillery's 200th anniversary is the release of Lagavulin 25 Year, which is a tribute to all the distillery's craftsmen over the years. A limited 8,000 bottles of this expression are available beginning in June 2016, with only 1,200 allocated for the US. It has matured exclusively in ex-sherry casks and bottled at its natural cask strength.
  • 1
    1 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon (2016)
    96
    Sweet & Rich
    The 2016 Limited Edition Small Batch bourbon from Four Roses incorporates three bourbons, each with a different one of their 10 mash bills: 12-year-old OESO, 12-year-old OBSV, and 16-year-old OESK. It's the first time in seven years that the OESO has made an appearance in this release. Bottled at barrel strength, 111.2 proof, there are 9,258 hand-numbered bottles in the release.