10 Highest-Scoring Whiskies in the Fall 2019 Issue

More than 150 whiskies are reviewed in the Fall 2019 issue of Whisky Advocate—from single malt and blended scotch to bourbon, rye, Irish, Canadian, Japanese whisky, and more. Here, we highlight ten of the highest-scoring whiskies (not featured as Collectibles or Editors’ Choice bottles) that are for sale in the U.S., each netting 93 points or above. There were even more whiskies that tied for the list, included as a bonus below. For the full line-up of reviews, check out the Fall 2019 Buying Guide.

10 of the Highest-Scoring Whiskies for Fall 2019

96 Canadian Club Chronicles 42 year old The Dock Man
96 points, 45% ABV, $270

The Chronicles collection debuted two years ago with the release of the 40 year old. This, the third annual release, incorporates a smidgen of younger rye and a dash of brandy. The nose and palate are deep and complex. Fruity and floral on the nose, with hints of raisin tarts, apple skins, and apricots. A sweet fruitiness, with mild peppers, baking spices, and a crisp, vaguely tannic backbone. Extended fruity, glowing finish. —Davin de Kergommeaux

Writers’ Tears Double Oak
94 points, 46% ABV, $65

This blend of single malt and pot still whiskeys exhibits the incredible synergy between chocolate, cinnamon, and pot still spices. Vinous at times from partial cognac-cask maturation, this has aromas of dark berry fruit, cinnamon, fudge, milk chocolate, malt biscuits, jellied fruit, and a smudge of dry spices. Compelling, well-structured whiskey, with cinnamon, chocolate, dark toffee, pepper, and ginger. It’s never cloying, nor overly sweet, just a richly rewarding glass. —Jonny McCormick

Loch Lomond 2002 Kerr Cellars Red Wine Cask-Finished
94 points, 48.1% ABV, $200

Delicately aromatic and tropical on the nose, with piña colada, pistachio pudding, almond halva, coconut, and apple blossom. The palate is elegant and pretty, nuanced with pistachio, almond, vanilla malted milkshake, coconut, and pineapple, before sweeping oak and tobacco roll into a gorgeous tropical fruit and toasted coconut finish. A masterwork in balancing spirit character with finishing cask. —Susannah Skiver Barton

Bardstown Bourbon Company Discovery Series #1 Kentucky Straight
94 points, 60.61% ABV, $130 

Candy corn, butter, warm frosted buns, strawberry tart, and powdered sugar on the nose. The palate is spiced with cinnamon, clove, and roasted walnuts, as well as chocolate-covered cherries, raspberry cobbler, and a hint of coconut shavings. Length, depth, and heat on a finish of chocolate, caramel, and bursts of sweet baking spice. Deep and complex, balancing dark fruits, chocolate, spice, and tobacco. Powerful and subtle all at once. —David Fleming

George Dickel 13 year old Bottled in Bond Straight Bourbon
93 points, 50% ABV, $35

There’s so much peanut in this whiskey, it’s like standing in a JIF factory—but there’s also cracked corn, mixed berries, Coca-Cola, and fresh apples on the nose, along with weathered oak boards, and, when water is added, floral perfume. Powerful dense oak and cooked cherries, berries, and pomegranate on the palate, as well as cherry Popsicle and a heaping scoop of peanuts. The lengthy finish is rich with leathery oak, baking spice, roasted peanuts, and dark chocolate-covered cherries. —Susannah Skiver Barton

Glen Scotia 2003 Campbeltown Malts Festival Rum Cask Finished (2019 Release)
93 points, 51.3% ABV, $90

The nose has sweet smoke and more prominent aromas of banana, vanilla, guava, papaya, jasmine, hibiscus, and citrus oil, with some salinity and chalky minerality. The palate is consistent: intense tropical fruit—guava, mango, coconut—plus hazelnut, smoked almonds, milk chocolate, and salty kelp. It finishes with smoked nuts, toasted tobacco, chalky minerality, dry oak, and persistent fruitiness. Lots to unpack here, and it develops beautifully with water—take your time. —Susannah Skiver Barton

Johnnie Walker Ghost and Rare Glenury Royal Edition
93 points, 43.8% ABV, $350

This presents a mellow bouquet of rich dried fruits, peat smoke, baked sugar on puff pastry, and almond butter cups. The chocolate-orange signature note ebbs and flows, mingling with spices and clove, nuts, dried apricot, caramel, vanilla, and baked apple, ending with a frisson of spice and mild smoke. Understated elegance: this whisky is polished smooth as glass. —Jonny McCormick

Kilchoman STR Cask Matured (2019 Edition)
93 points, 50% ABV, $120

This was distilled in 2012 and matured in
43 red wine casks that had been shaved, toasted, and recharred, hence ‘STR.’ The nose offers rich, creamy, medicinal peat, sea salt, vanilla, and loganberries. Sweet berry notes and caramel on the slick palate, then peat gathers momentum, with cinnamon and
tangy citrus fruits. The finish features barbecue smoke, chili, and black pepper. (1,920 bottles for the U.S.) —Gavin Smith

Woodford Reserve Batch Proof Straight Bourbon (2019 Release)
93 points, 61.6% ABV, $130

The nose offers fragrant orange, tea leaves, honey blossom, dried flowers, strawberry laces, and powdered sugar. The palate is surprisingly delicate, with notes of cigar ash, leather, blackberry preserves, vanilla milkshake, and balanced oak. The finish is long and rich, with dark fruit, cherry, strawberry, allspice, tobacco leaf, and polished oak. Water brings out toasty notes, cinnamon, clove, and strawberry preserves. Great depth, richness, and heat; stunningly formed. —David Fleming

Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Cornerstone Kentucky Straight Rye
93 points, 54.5% ABV, $175 

A delightfully complex nose of vanilla, hot cross buns and bakery shop, cherries, coconut, raisins, figs, licorice, old leather, and hay barn. A smooth, viscous palate offers lemon honey, fragrant oak, cigar ash, dark berries, and more coconut. Spicier notes emerge with water, while the finish offers rich smoothness, with spiciness, chocolate-covered coconut, tobacco, and bitter herbs. Lots of depth and complexity. A great whiskey to enjoy with a cigar. —David Fleming

Honorable Mention: Other High-Scoring Whiskies from Fall 2019

Balvenie 26 year old A Day of Dark Barley—93 points, 47.8% ABV, $800

Booker’s 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch”—93 points, 62% ABV, $80

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof (B519)—93 points, 61.1%, $60

Four Gate 11 year old Sherry-Rum Cask-Finished Bourbon (Batch 1)—93 points, 61.7% ABV, $200

GlenDronach 27 year old Grandeur (Batch 10)—93 points, 50.1% ABV, $700

Glenrothes 25 year old—93 points, 43% ABV, $500

Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection 1954 (distilled at Glenlivet)—93 points, 41% ABV, $15,000

Lot No. 40 Cask Strength Third Edition—93 points, 58% ABV, $65

Old Bones 10 year old Reserve Straight Bourbon (Batch 5)—93 points, 55% ABV, $110

Rampur Double Cask Single Malt—93 points, 45% ABV, $90

Writers’ Tears Cask Strength (2019 Release)—93 points, 53% ABV, $100

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