Top 20 Whiskies of 2017

#15 • Kentucky Peerless Straight Rye

  • Rank: 15
  • Year: 2017
  • Score: 91
  • Price: $125
  • ABV: 53.7%
  • Style: Straight Rye
  • Place of Origin: Kentucky

Delivering a buttery mouthfeel with toasted rye and baking spice notes, Peerless is the only craft producer on our list. It’s hard to pinpoint why this young rye succeeds where others fail, but one point of difference is the use of sweet mash fermentation, rather than the much more common sour mash technique, where spent mash is added to the new fermentation. Furthermore, the Peerless warehouse achieves temperatures upward of 110 degrees. Whatever the technical reasons, Peerless is paving the way and we expect more craft distillers to join them. —Fred Minnick