Spring 2022 Best Values: The Whistler, Cutty Sark, James Ownby

In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three great value bottles: whiskies with solid scores, modest prices, and wide availability. For the Spring 2022 issue, a stout-finished Irish whiskey, aged scotch blend, and Tennessee bourbon all ranked as Best Values.

Check out the Buying Guide for a complete list of whiskies reviewed in the Spring 2022 issue.


The Whistler Imperial Stout Cask Finish Blended Irish (Batch 002)
92 points, 43%, $40

Deploying sherry casks seasoned with O’Hara’s Brewery’s stout, this delivers a delightful balance of fresh fruit and chocolate notes, with aromas of sweet vanilla, malt, coffee, orange, and melon. Charming sherry and light berry notes initially, a beautiful slow-paced development from the stout influence ensues, as the texture thickens satisfyingly with citrus, gentle spices, vine fruit, ginger nuts, crystalized pineapple, malty chocolate, and mocha. (3,000 bottles for the U.S.)—Jonny McCormick

Cutty Sark 12 year old Blended Scotch
90 points, 40%, $27

Returning this stalwart, the first new Cutty Sark since La Martiniquaise took charge of the ship, seemed a safe bet, but they’ve done it so well. Apricot, golden sultana, caramel, honeydew melon, honey, and vanilla meet cumin, cardamom, Parma violets, and orange jelly bean aromas. Richly flavored but lightly textured, there’s lemon bonbon, sugar-dusted churro, vanilla custard, cinder toffee, hazelnut, and sharp apple acidity. It’s like sunshine rippling on the ocean.—Jonny McCormick

James Ownby Tennessee Straight Bourbon
88 points, 47%, $40

This is a bit shy on the nose at first, yielding a mild mustiness that calls to mind meandering up and down the aisles of an antique shop. After spending more time with it, fruit comes forward: strawberry syrup, cherry-dipped soft serve, tart ripe raspberries, and orange peel. Light fruit leads the palate, with raspberry jam and dark chocolate-covered bing cherries complemented by Big Red gum. The finish trails off to bitter espresso. (48,000 bottles)—Julia Higgins

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