Top 20 Whiskies of 2017

#9 • Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2010

  • Rank: 9
  • Year: 2017
  • Score: 92
  • Price: $65
  • ABV: 50%
  • Style: Single Malt
  • Place of Origin: Scotland (Islay)

Terroir and provenance are keenly debated in many corners of the whisky world, and Bruichladdich shows intense focus on the question with Islay Barley, which uses only locally grown grain. The 2017 release was distilled in 2010, using Optic and Oxbridge barley varieties grown on eight Islay family farms and matured in a combination of French oak and bourbon casks. In addition to Islay Barley’s ambitious pursuit of true single-origin whisky, this is a real gem for its ginger and tobacco aromas, muscular mouthfeel, and flavors of toffee, spices, and youthful oak. —Gavin Smith