Top 20 Whiskies of 2018

#17 • Penderyn Celt

  • Rank: 17
  • Year: 2018
  • Score: 91
  • Price: $60
  • ABV: 43%
  • Style: Single Malt
  • Place of Origin: Wales

Blender Aista Jukneviciute finishes Celt in peated Islay quarter casks that enable the sooty charcoal smoke and maritime notes to sink their claws into the fresh lemon, mandarin, and buttery, toasty aromas. Penderyn, the best known of the small but growing number of Welsh distilleries, is in the process of constructing a second distillery with a visitor center in Swansea anticipated to open in 2021 and has proposed a third facility for Llandudno. Sweet citrus, dark fruits, chocolate, and spicy smoke linger on the finish. Forget Daenerys, this is the whisky of dragons. —Jonny McCormick