Top 20 Whiskies of 2019

#7 • Old Ezra 7 year old Barrel Strength

  • Rank: 7
  • Year: 2019
  • Score: 94
  • Price: $40
  • ABV: 58.5%
  • Style: Straight Bourbon
  • Place of Origin: Kentucky

Old Ezra’s owner, Luxco, historically has played the role of whiskey négoçiant, sourcing liquid from third-party distillers. In 2018, the company opened its own distillery in Bardstown, Ky., where it’s now laying down whiskey. While we wait for it to mature, we’ll happily savor the sourced version. This is Ezra Brooks’ first ever barrel-proof bourbon, and it’s a beauty. A spice storm of cinnamon, clove, ginger, and roasted pecan greets the palate, easing into sweet notes of melted caramel, chocolate, macaroons, marzipan, and crème brûlée. Earthy hints of sandalwood and tobacco complete the finish, making this everything a great bourbon should be. —David Fleming