The spirit with many titles, that can be aged like a fine wine, is always sought after and a popular choice. The Scots and Irish lovingly refer Scotch as Scotch Whiskey, adding an “e”, whereas in other parts of the world it is spelled Whisky. Americans have adopted the term Whiskey as well, except in Tennessee and Kentucky, where it is made with corn instead of malted barley and donned the name Bourbon. There are other nuances such as color and different aging processes that put each Scotch in a class of their own, but this is about the best of 2016, we don’t need to bore you with those details.
Top Selling Scotch Whiskies of 2016
*not in any particular order
Angel’s Envy Port Barrel Finished Bourbon
Awarded 98 points, the highest rating ever given to a bourbon by Wine Enthusiast this Angel’s Envy Bourbon is finished in rare Port Barrels. A refined whiskey to be savored, Angel’s Envy Port Wine Barrel Finish Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is named after the portion of the brew which evaporates during aging, or rather, the angel’s share. An intricate blending of rye, corn, and malt give this whiskey a subtle and refined flavor palate of vanilla and toasted nuts.
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Whiskey
Everything about this version is amped up and more complex than the original. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select Tennessee Whiskey is higher proof and drawn from individual barrels. Each year the release is a little different, making it a great engraved bourbon gift for the holidays or any special occasion. Taste the subtle differences in nose, color, and flavor from barrel to barrel from year to year.
Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon
They embrace this philosophy by utilizing indigenous grains (corn, malted barley, and rye) and the clean, crisp limestone water of Kentucky to produce their quality whiskey.On the nose, Jefferson’s displays sweet, enticing notes of caramel, candied fruit, and vanilla. Well balanced and smooth, the palate is drier than the nose would suggest, exhibiting spicier notes of vanilla and sweet corn.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon
Luckily, American bourbon falls into this category and one of the finest bourbon’s in the world is Woodford Reserve. Distilled using primarily pot stills versus the more commonly used column stills and aged in stone warehouses to better control the maturation process. All in all, Woodford Reserve is one of the greatest whiskies in the world and an icon in the world of bourbon. This truly luxurious bottle should be on your home bar for sipping and making bourbon-based cocktails. Remember to keep this bourbon at the top of your list for gift giving and you’ll never go wrong. Woodford Reserve is truly an American masterpiece.
Johnnie Walker Double Black
If you’re looking for something exclusive, elegant, and truly one of a kind, then this is it. Over 40 premium whiskies come together to create a most delicate blend of smoothness, spice, peat, and smokiness. Each is aged over 12 years until just the right balance of flavors is achieved.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Johnnie Walker Blue Labels embodies all things elegant in a blend that combines only the rarest of elite whiskies. At first taste, it’s sweet, spicy, honeyed, and robust. Then its smoky texture envelopes the tongue for a finish that is all at once surprising and eagerly anticipated. Johnnie Walker’s premium rare blended Scotch whisky is created from the rarest and most expensive whiskies in the world. Every bottle is individually numbered and packaged in a premium box, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Single Malt Scotch
For over two centuries, Glenlivet has been offering single malt whisky to beat all others. One of the first legal distilleries in Scotland, their time honored tradition of fine craftsmanship and top notch ingredients makes for an unforgetable whisky. Fruit cake, nougat, figs, and raisins make up the first palate. Creamy vanilla and coconut then emerge, followed by rich espresso beans and chocolate for a hint of decadence that any Scotch enthusiast will appreciate. A smoky under layer is present as well, adding a boldness to the palate that makes Scotch what it is.
Glenfiddich 21 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky
It spends 21 years being perfected and you can enjoy this dedication to the craft of whisky making in your own glass. Aged in casks which one housed Caribbean rum, the flavors are enhanced with each passing year. You’ll notice the difference with the first sip. Notes of toffee, honey, ginger, and lime meld with hints of oak, pepper and vanilla for a complex texture that unravels slowly and offers an exciting combination of bold and vibrant with soft and smooth.
Macallan 12 Year Sherry Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Just one taste will tell you that its something special. The sweet taste of apples, sultanas, and golden syrup is combined with a firm feel and strong finish with oak undertones. Aged for 12 years to allow for the perfect mingling of flavors. Opens gracefully and finishes with a firm but elegant note of oak and spice.
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition Irish Whiskey
This oh-so-Irish combination was bound to happen sometime and you’ll be glad it did. Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition Irish Whiskey has its origins in a conversation between the head distiller at Jameson and the head brewer at the Franciscan Well Brewery. Jameson Whiskey barrels were sent to Franciscan Well for the brewer to age its stout in, and then those same barrels were returned to Jameson for the maturation of a whiskey now known as Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition Irish Whiskey.The stout adds notes of chocolate, coffee, and caramel to the whiskey, giving Irish Whiskey drinkers an enjoyable new dram.
There are so many whiskies that did not make it onto the list and are just as good, these are just the ones that were flying out of our warehouse this year. We have great tasting samplers if you are looking to expand your palette and try something new. Jefferson’s Wood Experiment Collection, Johnnie Walker Collection, and The Glenmorangie Collection are all great places to start. We have a great Japanese Whisky selection made in new and contemporary styles that are making their mark in the world of Scotch. We look forward to seeing what new trends evolve in the new year and we can’t wait to see what makes the list for 2017.