Winter 2021 Best Values: Blue Note, Tullibardine, Walker’s Cay

In each issue of Whisky Advocate, the editors select three great value bottles: whiskies with solid scores, modest prices, and wide availability. For the Winter 2021 issue, a French oak-finished bourbon, a Highland single malt, and a sherry cask stave-finished Kentucky bourbon all ranked as Best Values.

Check out the Buying Guide for a complete list of whiskies reviewed in the Winter 2021 issue.


Blue Note Crossroads Straight bourbon
89 points, 50%, $45

Finished in French oak. Dried herbs, grape candies, saddle leather, blueberry muffin, and new wood on the nose, with chocolate, marshmallow, and toasted caramel emerging over time. Wood drives the palate further alongside vanilla wafer, cooked dark fruits, and spiced dark chocolate. There is more sweetness on the finish as well as solid spice characteristics.—Ted Simmons

Tullibardine 12 year old single malt
89 points, 40%, $45

Red apples, nectarines, white peaches, menthol, macadamia nut, clove, and notes of a closet filled with winter wool are on the nose of this bourbon-matured single malt. The palate is creamy and light, with orange tart, peach cobbler, semi-sweet chocolate, and cantaloupe. That fruit flavor carries over to a medium-length finish. Well-made, if at times simple, with strong and pure spirit character.—Ted Simmons

Walker’s Cay Kentucky Straight bourbon
89 points, 45%, $35

Finished with sherry cask staves. Mixed berries, fruit tart, lemon oil, blueberry pie, and orange slices highlight a fruit-forward nose that is also breakfast-like with maple syrup and buttered pancakes. More fruit on the palate in the form of honeydew, green banana, and cherry pie with a touch of milk chocolate and cinnamon. There’s more spice on the finish, with some floral flavors and a balanced sweetness.—Ted Simmons

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