Winter 2018 Best Values: Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, Tullamore D.E.W.

Some familiar names pop up in our Winter 2018 Best Values, with a little of both fire and ice. Tullamore D.E.W. has impressed us with their aged whiskies and cask finishes, but sometimes, you just want the original, and at 88 points, it registers on par with the brand’s 15 and 18 year old expressions. Johnnie Walker, meanwhile, would like to reserve a spot in your freezer for White Walker, which indicates its prime serving temperature by changing the appearance of the striding man on the label. But if it’s heat and peat you seek, Glenfiddich Fire and Cane combines peated and unpeated single malt that’s then finished in rum casks. You may need the snow shovel this season, but these great value whiskies won’t requiring any digging. These bottles have solid scores, modest prices, and wide availability. For all whiskies reviewed in the Winter 2018 issue, visit our Buying Guide.

Tullamore D.E.W. Original Blended Irish Whiskey
88 points, 40% ABV, $24

Triple distilled classic containing a blend of pot still, malt, and grain whiskeys, this layers aromas of spice over toffee, creamy banana, light vanilla, sharp green apple, and zested limes. Aromatic spices quickly beat the established flavors of green fruits, followed by vanilla fudge, malty notes, peppercorn, and even a little oak char. This moreish, well-structured whiskey retains its creamy mouthfeel throughout the active, spicy finish. —Jonny McCormick

White Walker by Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky
88 points, 41.7% ABV, $36

Chillingly good bottle for winter, this Game of Thrones tie-in sees a rakish striding man donning body armor, gripping an ice blade, and nodding a frosty greeting through glowing blue eyes. Room temperature aromas speak of toffee, lime zest, menthol, waxy foliage, and pronounced grain notes. Straight from the freezer, there are cornflakes, beeswax, caramel, vanilla, sharp citrus, sugared apple, and a hint of nutmeg. Deliciously tasty dram for your night’s watch. —Jonny McCormick

Glenfiddich Fire and Cane Single Malt Scotch Whisky
87 points, 43% ABV, $50

The fourth release in Glenfiddich’s Experimental Series, this expression comprises peated and unpeated single malt, matured in bourbon barrels and then finished for 3 months in Latin American rum casks. A nose of spiced rum, vanilla, ripe pears, and pipe tobacco. Baked apple, sweet oak, and cinder toffee on the palate, with ashy smoke. Peppery sweet peat, rum, and brittle toffee in the relatively short finish. —Gavin Smith

More From Reviews