Top 20 Whiskies of 2020

#11 • Balblair 15 year old

Balblair 15 year old bottle shot
  • Rank: 11
  • Year: 2020
  • Score: 93
  • Price: $120
  • ABV: 46%
  • Style: Single Malt
  • Place of Origin: Scotland (Highlands)

There’s something for everyone in this whisky, whose citrus brightness acts as a deft foil for darker earthy notes, showcasing the Highland distillery’s range. Lemon, orange marmalade, dried fig, golden raisin, milk chocolate, and a touch of leather on the nose; then more marmalade, chocolate, toasted nuts, cinnamon, and lemon pepper on the creamy, viscous palate. Still fresh with citrus, the finish slowly gives way to savory tobacco, leather, cocoa powder, and coffee bean. Subtle, nuanced, and perfectly balanced: a sleeper hit. —Susannah Skiver Barton