Top 20 Whiskies of 2021

#3 • Teeling Blackpitts

  • Rank: 3
  • Year: 2021
  • Score: 94
  • Price: $75
  • ABV: 46%
  • Style: Single malt
  • Place of Origin: Ireland

Peated whiskey is an ancient Irish style, but it’s harder to make than you might think. Teeling’s master distiller Alex Chasko ascertained that only malt as heavily peated as Ardbeg’s would enable the peaty flavors to withstand the large fraction eliminated by triple distillation. That decision delivers a superb subtle smokiness, which when put together with bourbon and sauternes casks creates a moreish whiskey alive with orchard fruit, panna cotta, and sweet floral notes, plus tangy marmalade and peppery spice. As distillers in Ireland dig deeper into peaty whiskey, you can bet on this bottle of smoke to make your day. —Jonny McCormick