Top 20 Whiskies of 2018

#20 • Sierra Norte Single Barrel Yellow

  • Rank: 20
  • Year: 2018
  • Score: 90
  • Price: $50
  • ABV: 45%
  • Style: Corn Whiskey
  • Place of Origin: Mexico

Master mezcalero Douglas French captures the flavor of native Oaxacan heirloom corn in this unique and singular spirit—the first single-barrel Mexican whisky available in the U.S. Distilled in San Agustín de las Juntas, each of French’s trio of whiskies uses a single variety of ancestral corn that requires hand-harvesting, promoting jobs in traditional farming. Aged for a mere 10 months in French oak, Yellow has swirling notes of blue iris, dried chilies, and fresh linen around a core of plump corn, with tangy marmalade, maple syrup, pepper, and a spiced-honey finish. —Jonny McCormick