Top 20 Whiskies of 2021

#19 • Wheel Horse Straight Bourbon (Batch 1)

  • Rank: 19
  • Year: 2021
  • Score: 94
  • Price: $30
  • ABV: 50.5%
  • Style: Straight bourbon
  • Place of Origin: Kentucky

Made at Green River Distilling Co. in Owensboro, Kentucky, this shows maturity far beyond its 2 to 4 years in the barrel, with a winning combination of proof and price. Root beer spice, candied pineapple, wet walnuts, clementine, and Christmas cookies on the nose. A velvety texture on the palate brings butter pecan ice cream, cinnamon toast, maple syrup, and vanilla custard. There is tremendous length on the finish, with a cola-like syrupy sweetness throughout. As debuts go, this one impresses. —Ted Simmons