Only whiskies that are 90 points and above in the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide are considered by our reviewers to be truly “exceptional.” No whisky has ever scored 100 points, but that doesn’t stop distillers from trying. Celebrate their efforts with a thoroughly upscale bar that doesn’t need to break the bank. You can choose to focus on one style, like single malt scotch, or create a bar that gathers the best from across the whisky world. Just be sure to splash out with displays that let guests know they’re in for a very special evening.
Use the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide found in every issue to identify a variety of whiskies that score 90 points and above. The online search permits you to locate whiskies that not only meet the score requirement but also your budget and style preferences. For a twist on the idea, elevate it to a Top 20 tasting party—seeking out an array of whiskies that have made the prestigious Whisky Advocate Top 20.
Score Like the Pros
Keep the official Whisky Advocate score of each whisky confidential and have guests taste and score each whisky independently. Supply entry forms and pens, and display the Whisky Advocate 100-point scale to assist guests in rating each whisky. Reveal the scores and award a prize to whoever comes closest to the Whisky Advocate Buying Guide scores.
Raise Your Bar
Invite guests to bring an empty flask or be prepared with ⅛ oz. glass vials, so you can send them off with a parting shot of a favorite whisky. The next day, email the links to the Buying Guide reviews for each whisky served.
Build The Bar
Here are some suggested whiskies scoring 90 points and above that are widely available:
Bourbon and Rye
Booker’s 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch” (93 points), Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye (94 points)
Redbreast 12 year old (96 points), Writers’ Tears Double Oak (92 points), Green Spot Chateau Montelena (91 points), Powers Gold Label (90 points)
Johnnie Walker Blue (97 points), Ardbeg Uigeadail (94 points), Port Charlotte 10 year old Heavily Peated (93 points), Glenmorangie Allta (92 points), Johnnie Walker 18 year old (91 points), Sheep Dip Islay Blended Malt (91 points), Bunnahabhain 12 year old (90 points), Dewar’s 15 year old (90 points), Lagavulin 9 year old (90 points)
Nikka From The Barrel (94 points), Crown Royal Noble Collection French Oak Cask Finished (93 points), Rampur Select (93 points), Kaiyo Mizunara Oak (92 points)