The Top Whiskeys From April 2017

The Distiller Tasting Table ranked these whiskeys above all others for the month of April.
May 01, 2017
  • 10
    This discontinued Canadian whisky is a blend of rye, corn and malted barley whiskies from Lethbridge, Alberta’s Black Velvet Distillery. The rest of the details about this whisky are shrouded in mystery. It’s bottled at 40% ABV and according to the label, diamond filtered. It was sold for under $50 a bottle, unheard of for a 21 year old whisky.
  • 9
    Rich & Full Bodied
    This Speyside single malt Scotch whisky is the second batch strength release from Tamdhu. It carries no age statement and was matured exclusively in sherry oak casks, most of which were first-filled. Non-chill filtered without any additives, it is bottled at 58.5% ABV.
  • 8
    Fruity & Rich
    The Tweeddale was born in 1820. Later, when employee Richard Day was honing his skills as a whisky blender, he recorded his journey in a book dated from 1899 to 1916. The blend ceased production during the Second World War until 70 years later when Alasdair Day inherited his great grandfather’s book and set out to recreate the Tweeddale. This third batch blends an aged single grain whisky with eight single malt whiskies. It is bottled at 46% ABV.
  • 7
    Tart & Fruity
    The Craggamore distillery sits in Ballindaloch, Speyside, and was only possible through the construction of the Strathspey railway opened in 1863. Founded by John Smith, the distillery always saw a lot of outside interest, with Smith managing the Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfarclas distilleries before opening his own. A curiosity in the whisky world, the stills at Cragganmore were designed with flat tops as opposed to the usual swan neck. These flat tops help increase reflux, and in the end give this whisky a complex character more-so than most other Speyside distilleries. The Cragganmore 25 Year Old is a limited edition run for the Diageo Special Release bottlings, with a limited release of 3372 bottles.
  • 6
    anCnoc whiskies (pronounced "a-nock") are produced at the Knockdhu Distillery, founded by John Morrison in 1892, at the Knock estate in Aberdeenshire. The 35 year old single malt is packaged in an ice-white tube with minimal monochrome branding except for an illustration of the Knock Hill, through which the Highland spring runs and helps form every anCnoc whisky. Aged in Spanish and American oak, this whisky is not colored artificially or chill-filtered and is bottled at cask-strength of 44.3% ABV. Not available in the U.S.
  • 5
    Vanilla & Sweet
    Operating as a malt distillery since 1806, the Cambus distillery officially began producing grain whisky in 1836. Spurred by the invention of the highly efficient Coffey still, the owners converted the distillery's existing malt equipment to produce grain. Prior to its closure in 1993, Cambus output mainly ended in blends, so this Special Release marks its first official single grain bottling under Diageo. Distilled in 1975 and matured for 40 years in refill American oak hogsheads, it is bottled at 52.7% ABV. Only 1,812 bottles were ever produced.
  • 4
    Rich & Full Bodied
    Debuting April 2017, with another release set for 2018, this limited edition bourbon from the Buffalo Trace Distillery is the 9th release in a series made to honor past distillery owner, Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Made primarily with corn, the mash bill also includes rye, wheat, and malted barley –grains that the Colonel had access to during the late 1800s when he purchased the distillery. This bourbon in bottled-in-bond, at 100 proof, and aged for 12 years in charred American oak.
  • 3
    Full Bodied & Vanilla
    A Diageo 2016 Special Release bottling from one of the lesser known, but high volume-producing distilleries in the Lowlands, is this Glenkinchie single malt. Distilled in 1991 and matured for 24 years exclusively in refill European oak casks, only 5,928 bottles were ever produced with around 750 allocated for the US. It was bottled at its cask strength of 57.2% ABV.
  • 2
    Fruity & Rich
    Alberta Distillers released this 30 year-old expression in 2011 and it was snatched up quickly at the price of $49.95 a bottle. The whisky is 100% rye grain aged in charred white oak barrels. Four years before it was bottled, the distillery outsmarted the angel’s share by re-barreling the whisky into fewer barrels essentially topping them up. 8,400 bottles were produced and a dusty bottle still shows up on a store shelf from time to time.
  • 1
    Floral & Fruity
    This 50 year-old Bowmore is a limited 200-bottle release stemming from two ex-bourbon hogshead casks filled half a century ago, in December 1961. Bowmore 1961 has been released over a period four years, with the final 50 bottles now available, each priced at $23,000.The casks were matured for a time in Bowmore's famed No. 1 Vaults. Bottled at 40.7% ABV, each bottle is enclosed in a handmade wooden cabinet, with silver neck collars and cork tops, and handblown glass.