Top Shelf Whiskey Picks From The Distiller Community

Check out the Distiller community's favorite top shelf whiskies from last week.
Feb 10, 2020
  • 10
    10 Laphroaig 10 Year
    96
    Peaty & Vanilla
    Far from a shrinking violet, Laphroaig 10 Year is loud and proud, get used to it. They have managed to produce a whisky showcasing the sights and aromas of the island. The peat, burned to dry the malt, is abundantly clear as is the seaweed found lapping the shores just steps from the distillery. That sweet salty sea air found on Islay is woven throughout their whiskies. NOTE: This is sold at 40% abv or 43% abv depending on your market.
  • 9
    9 Lagavulin 16 Year
    92
    Full Bodied & Peaty
    Though not officially (read, legally) established until 1816, there are records that date distillation here going back to 1742. Malted barley produced just a hop, skip, and a jump away at neighboring Port Ellen is utilized. Everything is long at this distillery: fermentation, distillation, and maturation. Good things do indeed come to those that wait. Bottled at 43% ABV after 16 years in oak barrels.
  • 8
    8 Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
    92
    Sweet & Rich
    Woodford Reserve is known for aging their bourbon in heavily charred oak barrels, which give the whiskey a distinctive, deep, rich flavor and feel. Double Oaked is the same bourbon, given a second maturation, or finish, in barrels that have been toasted twice as long, but charred much more lightly than the other casks, for an additional 9 months. A package redesign was introduced in late 2016, featuring a shorter and wider bottle. It is still bottled at 45.2% ABV.
  • 7
    7 Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Bourbon
    90
    Oily & Rich
    As the name indicates, this is a small batch whiskey comprised of selected whiskey barrels which were aged in Warehouse C. This warehouse was constructed by Colonel E.H. Taylor Jr in 1881. This bourbon is also a bonded whiskey which means that the bourbon was distilled in one season, aged for at least 4 years and bottled at 50% ABV.
  • 6
    6 Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon
    91
    Sweet & Full Bodied
    Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon is one of the flagship products of the Buffalo Trace collection of whiskeys. It is made from 10 year old bourbon aged at the Kentucky distillery. The barrels are hand selected for quality and consistency before bottling.
  • 5
    5 W.L. Weller 12 Year
    93
    Vanilla & Sweet
    “Wheated bourbon" is bourbon with wheat as the predominant grain in the mash bill after corn. Traditionally, rye takes that second billing. This 12 year-old whiskey is referred to by some as the "poor man's Pappy". With the exception of the 23 Year Pappy Van Winkle which still has some Stitzel-Weller juice in it, all Pappy and Weller bourbons use the Buffalo Trace wheated mash bill. The main difference will be in the barrel management.
  • 4
    4 W.L. Weller Antique 107
    92
    Full Bodied & Oily
    The second in the Weller line, the Weller Antique bottled, aged for 7 years and bottled at 107, is for the bourbon drinker looking for an affordable wheated bourbon with a bit more kick to it. The higher proof holds up nicely to both cocktails or rocks while still maintaining its distinct wheated properties.
  • 3
    3 Van Winkle Special Reserve Lot "B" 12 Year
    89
    Full Bodied
    What do you do with the barrels that aren't quite good enough to age past 12 years and become Pappy? Take a note from pretty much every winery in the world, including Opus One and create a second line or a 'Lot B' or 'Special Reserve' as it is also known. Aged 12 years, this wheated bourbon is bottled at 45.2 ABV. You may be able to find this one just a tad easier than the Pappy line.
  • 2
    2 George T. Stagg Bourbon (Fall 2019)
    98
    Spicy & Tart
    George T. Stagg Bourbon (Fall 2019) is an uncut, unfiltered Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and is one of the five bottlings in the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection released each fall. Due to many of the barrels having matured on the lower levels of the warehouses, this year's edition is the lowest proof release of Stagg to date. However, it is still a healthy 116.9 proof.
  • 1
    1 Blanton's Original Single Barrel
    89
    Rich & Oily
    The first mass-produced single-barrel bourbon, bottled by Master Distiller Elmer T Lee in 1984, gets its name from Colonel Albert Blanton. Colonel Blanton spent more than 55 years producing, studying and upholding whiskey traditions; holding almost every job imaginable at what is now the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Insider's note: Save the stoppers. They spell out Blanton's and depict eight different moments from the beginning to end of a horse race.