Top 20 Whiskies of 2018

#2 • Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye

  • Rank: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • Score: 94
  • Price: $70
  • ABV: 59.8%
  • Style: Rye
  • Place of Origin: Kentucky

This limited-edition rye from Knob Creek beat the odds to rise to number two by flexing its muscle to impress tasters from both the U.S. and the UK. Superlatives were in good supply: intense, massively chewy, huge, very bold, aggressive. This 9 year old, unfiltered, cask-strength bottling simply presents heaps of flavor for a fair price. Caramel-drizzled flan, charred marshmallow, and honey-roasted peanut aromas lead to mouth-filling flavors of tropical fruits, citrus oil, and peach nectar. Lemony bright with cinnamon and peppery spice galore, it’s surprisingly drinkable at proof, but water really unpacks the flavors. —Jeffery Lindenmuth