Our Highest Rated Whiskies From May

These 10 whiskies took home the top marks in the month of May!
May 31, 2016
  • 10
    10 Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey (2015 Release)
    91
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    Rich & Vanilla
    Based in Hye, Texas, Garrison Brothers is all about repping the Lone Star State. They utilize Texas-grown "#1 Panhandle White" corn for their bourbon, while incorporating soft red winter wheat and barley into the mash bill. Each bottle is meticulously labeled to showcase as much detail as possible. Here, Dallam County Farms provided the corn from a 2011 harvest, leading to a 2012 distillation period and three year aging process in the hot Texas sun.
  • 9
    9 Glenfarclas 15 Year
    91
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    Fruity & Sweet
    Glenfarclas--meaning "glen of the green grassland"-- has been independently-owned and operated by the Grant family since the day they hung the "Open for Business" sign in 1865. This 15 year-old single malt is aged in European oak ex-oloroso sherry casks with a majority being 1st and 2nd fill casks. Bottled at 92 proof.
  • 8
    8 Ardbeg Dark Cove (2016 Committee Release)
    92
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    Rich & Full Bodied
    Bottled for Ardbeg Day of 2016, the Dark Cove bottling is a special release for Ardbeg Committee members (keep an eye out for a lower-ABV bottling coming out later this year on Ardbeg Day, May 28). The Dark Cove marries spirit aged in ex-Bourbon casks with a percentage of spirit aged in casks that once held "dark" sherry, an extremely rare version of the fortified wine Master Blender Bill Lumsden found in his travels (rumors have it around two to three times the percentage of ex-Sherry as in the Uigeadail). Expect some variation in color, as the Dark Cove is non-chill filtered, has no added coloring, and is bottled at 55% ABV.
  • 7
    7 Nikka Whisky From the Barrel
    92
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    Rich & Fruity
    When a malt whisky and a grain whisky come of age, leave the casks they’ve called home, and fall in love, they get “married” - the process of blending and re-casking whisky. It’s a complex wedding for a master distiller to arrange but can ultimately lead to marital bliss in the form of this whisky from Nikka that only comes in 500ml bottles. Nikka From The Barrel is drawn from a blend of more than 100 different batches of malt and grain whisky produced at the brand's Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. Note: This will be made available in the US as of June 2018 in 750ml sized bottles.
  • 6
    6 Caol Ila 18 Year
    92
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    Rich & Full Bodied
    The middle child of the standard age specific Caol Ila family is the 18 year old. The 18 year is bottled at the brand's regular 43% ABV. That much time in the barrel is noted for diminishing the whisky's smoke, while a mixture of refill casks were used so as to play down the impact of the wood.
  • 5
    5 Laphroaig Brodir
    93
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    Fruity & Spicy
    Initially launched as a Travel Retail exclusive, the Brodir continues Master Distiller John Campbell's experimentation with cask-finishing along side the Laphroaig QA Cask (new American oak), the Quarter Cask (reshaped ex-Bourbon), the PX Cask (ex-Pedro Ximinez sherry), and the An Cuan Mor (European oak). The Brodir (meaning "brother" in Norse) celebrates Islay's connection to the Norwegian peninsula. Primarily aged in ex-bourbon, the whisky is finished in ruby-port seasoned casks before being bottled at 48% ABV. Note: This is not currently available in the U.S.
  • 4
    4 Lagavulin Fèis Ìle 2015
    94
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    Rich & Sweet
    Lagavulin celebrates the annual Fèis Ìle celebration with a limited edition release. Their 2015 expression was a 24 year-old gem bottled at a robust 59.9% ABV. The spirit was triple-matured, with all of the liquid moving from ex-bourbon casks to ex-Pedro Ximénez sherry, and then into old puncheon barrels. 3,500 bottles were in the release; a larger offering is planned for the 2016 edition after the clamor over its predecessor.
  • 3
    3 Lock Stock & Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey 16 Year
    94
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    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.
  • 2
    2 Forty Creek Port Wood Reserve
    94
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    Fruity & Full Bodied
    This edition of Forty Creek’s Port Wood Reserve was released in 2012 with a 6,000 bottle run. John Hall took his already mature whisky then aged them in port barrels. And not just any port barrels. John Hall took local Niagara grapes to make his own tawny-style fortified wine that he aged for ten years in heavily charred new white oak barrels. The whisky interacted with the seasoned wood for two and a half years.
  • 1
    1 Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2015
    95
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    Full Bodied & Rich
    The 2015 Lagavulin Jazz release is the annual special edition offering from the distillery in honor of the Islay Jazz Festival. It carries no age statement, but the youngest whisky included is 12 years old. A mix of refill American oak and European oak casks were utilized. A total of 3,000 bottles were made available for the release.