10 Highest Scoring Whiskies in the Summer 2019 Issue

More than 125 whiskies are reviewed in the Summer 2019 issue of Whisky Advocate—from single malt and blended scotch to bourbon, rye, Irish, Canadian, Japanese whisky, and more. Here, we highlight the ten highest-scoring whiskies (not featured as Collectibles or Editors’ Choice bottles) that are for sale in the U.S., each netting 92 points or above.

Angel’s Envy Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon
93 points, 50% ABV, $200

The confectionary nose of flan and crème caramel comes draped over lovely grainy aromas of warm porridge and pastry crust. Vinous notes of cherry/berry fruit emerge, along with toasted almonds and floral aromas. On the palate, there is berry coulis, Creamsicle stick, French burnt peanut candies, and warm banana. Overall, this demonstrates both nice maturity and lovely balance of sweetness and spice, with a finish of cinnamon-sprinkled apple pie. —Jeffery Lindenmuth

Mayor Pingree 11 year old Straight Bourbon (Batch 3)
93 points, 57.25% ABV, $90

Intense, flavorful, and lush. The nose has roasted chestnuts, coconut shavings, leather, butterscotch, carrot cake, candied nuts, maple syrup, and pastry cream. It’s well-textured and drenched in flavor: blackberry jam, dark chocolate, mint oil, maple syrup, roasted nuts, root beer, clove, white pepper, toasted coconut, and cherry cough drops. Wet walnuts, oak, and lingering intensity on the finish. Add water to unlock more spice and fruit, and give it plenty of time to develop. —Susannah Skiver Barton

Meiyo 17 year old Single Grain Japanese Whisky
93 points, 42% ABV, $300

Produced by Kumesen Distillery, the Okinawan awamori maker that coincidentally sells a 2001 awamori matured in American oak at 42% in Europe. The nose has cinnamon, molasses, vanilla seeds, and charred oak. It’s a big, chewy, oily mouthful packed with cinnamon, pecan pie, an explosion of spices, toffee, stewed fruit, and licorice, with a long, sweet, and nutty finish. Deliciously against the grain. (3,600 bottles) —Jonny McCormick

Millstone 100 Dutch Rye
93 points, 50% ABV, $99

The IMAX of rye. Zuidam Distillers seem to have intensified every aspect of this small batch 100% rye. The plum is fresher, juicier even, the spices more assertive. There’s more creaminess, fruit skin piquancy, slabs of chocolate, allspice, ground cinnamon, and a greater rye character by far. This thumps the tongue hard, delivering quite an experience. In submission, with gums zinging, the unrepentant finish goes on forever. —Jonny McCormick

Craigellachie 33 year old Single Malt Scotch
92 points, 46% ABV, $3,000

This was previously exclusive to Travel Retail, but is now available in the U.S. Cereal and succulent tropical fruits on the nose, plus Craigellachie’s signature sulfur, along with cloves and polished oak. Toffee and orchard fruits on the muscular palate, with oatmeal and a mineral quality. The finish is long and yields another whiff of sulfur, lemon, and a hint of mint. A quirky dram of true quality. (1,700 bottles) —Gavin Smith

Dewar’s Double Double 21 year old Blended Scotch
92 points, 46% ABV, $50/375 ml

Like opening a box of chocolates and hungrily inhaling the aromas of fruity chocolate, caramel, and soft centers. In addition, there are crystalized orange slices, fresh plum, black cherry, moist coffee grounds, and petrichor. Flavors of chocolate-dipped raspberries, gingersnaps, and bold sherry fruit from the oloroso finish. It’s a dance between the smoke and the fruit, with the smoke ultimately pushed to the fringes, leaving a spiced mocha finish. —Jonny McCormick

Grand MacNish Double Matured 13 year old Rum Cask Finish Blended Scotch
92 points, 43% ABV, $45

Mango, candied orange peel, coriander seed, creamy vanilla, and exotic spices on the nose of this aged blend finished in sweet rum barrels from Trinidad, Jamaica, and Nicaragua. A bright and sunny whisky, it’s full-bodied and moreish, led by tropical fruit flavors of dried papaya, mango, melon, honey, butterscotch, and zesty orange, all framed by gentle spices. Sweet drams are made of this, who am I to disagree? —Jonny McCormick

MacNair’s Lum Reek Peated 21 year old Blended Malt Scotch
92 points, 48% ABV, $150

Scents of zested lemon, caramel, peanut brittle, and crystalized pineapple, with excelling smoke. What begins as a medley of toffee and caramel mingling with mandarin and lime soon shows plenty of bite: an eruption of peppercorn spices falls back to earth with flavors of hazelnut, ripe banana, and chocolate chip cookies. The finish dispenses dark toffees, Brazil nut, plain chocolate, and a little spice. —Jonny McCormick

The Ambassador 12 year old Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon
92 points, 52.85% ABV, $130

Cinnamon-baked apples on the nose, with ripe banana, peach, chocolate, almond, toasted coconut, and sassafras. The palate is velvety and gentle, with burnt orange, strawberry, milk chocolate, almond, white pepper, and tobacco leaf. The finish is creamy, with milk chocolate, drizzled caramel, sweet corn, brown sugar, and leather, wrapped in toasted oak. Depth, balance, and plenty of pizzazz. —David Fleming

Booker’s 2019-01 “Teresa’s Batch” Straight Bourbon
92 points, 62.95% ABV, $80

On the nose, there’s Golden Grahams, iced tea, and peanuts galore—shelled, unshelled, even boiled—Cherry Coke, white pepper, and ginger syrup. More sweet ginger on the palate, a lively high note that peps up the cherry cough syrup, roasted peanuts, cola, white pepper, and chewy oak. The lengthy finish is full of oak, cooked cherry, white pepper, and roasted nuts. Naturally, this does well with water but, frankly, it’s fine without. —Susannah Skiver Barton

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