In each issue of Whisky Magazine we award the very best whisky from our tastings with the coverted Editors Choice award.
A journey round Islay, visits to Maker's Mark and Penderyn, and the conclusion to our trip down the Rockies
Old Rip Van Winkle's 15 Years Old, Family Reserve
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 53.50% 8 Big . Rich. Hearty. Robust.
Parker's Heritage Collection Golden Anniversary
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 50.00% 8 Another big whisky from Heaven Hill. A delight as the nights start to drawn in.
Paul John Indian Single Malt Select Cask Peated
Single Malt - India - 55.50% 9 It doesn't matter where it comes from, but great whisky is still great whisky.
Penderyn Grand Slam
Single Malt - Wales - 46.00% 8 A well structured whisky. Oak frames the aromatic palette without overpowering. Quite a complex dram.
Port Askaig Cask Strength 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.80% A beautifully balanced islander. The marine aromatic display is just enticing, constantly teasing the malty sweet heart.
Port Ellen 25 Years Old, Special Release 2005
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.40% 8 Old, intense and busting for an olifactory fight. Complex and grizzly, like Clint Eastwood in The Unforgiven.
Private Collection Balblair 1973
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00% 8 Elegant and uncomplicated. Refreshing and appetising. Hides its 50% ABV very well.
Private Collection Caol Ila 1990 Port Wood Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 No contest, the Inner Hebrides quickly overwhelms the Duoro.
Prometheus 26 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 47.00% 9 That's a fine old Speyside malt!
Rare Malts Brora 21 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.90% 8 A good example of Brora as a distinctive maritime malt. Very appetising indeed, but quite different from Talisker, for example.
Rare Malts Port Ellen 20 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.90% 9 Bring on the caeser salad.
Rare Malts Rosebank 20 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 62.30% 8 This is how Lowlanders used to be: drier, more herbal, more complex. Buy now, while stocks last.
Redbreast 12 Years Old
Blended - Ireland - 40.00% 9 Delicious, soothing, contemplative. A great whiskey. Makes me want to get on a plane to Dublin immediately.
Redbreast 12 Years Old
Pot Still - Ireland - 40.00% 9 This is what real pure pot still whiskey is all about, a glorious contradiction of soft fruit and firm grain, oily seeds and sweet wood. World beating stuff.
Redbreast Cask Strength
Pot Still - Republic of Ireland - 57.70% 9 Redbreast is one of the world's great whiskeys. Delicious!
- Scotland - 61.40% 8 Fuller than you normally get from Rosebank,but no worse for that. Highly recommended.
Royal Mile Whiskies Bowmore 1999, Young Peaty Islay
Single Malt - Scotland - 61.50% 8 Bring on the kippers.
Royal Salute 21 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00% 8 After dinner, I would usually think of a malt, but have long enjoyed the unashamed luxuriousness of this blend. This example seems fractionally less voluptuous than I remember, but my memories may be ...
Royal Salute 50 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00% 8 A work of craftsmanship, elegance and its own style.
Sazerac 18 Years Old
Single Grain - U.S.A. - 45.00% 9 A superb bourbon. As neat and perfectly dressed and combed as Richard Paterson!
Sazerac 18 Years Old Straight Rye
Rye - U.S.A. - 45.00% 8 A trifle sophisticated for my tastes, but a very fine rye whiskey.
Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yamazaki 1979, Japanese Oak Cask, 119.2
Single Malt - Japan - 57.40% 8 A breakfast malt? Splendidly complex, with Japanese oak adding that extra touch of distinctiveness.
Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yoichi, 116.1
Single Malt - Japan - 56.60% 8 A whole sequence of flavours emerges in this vintage. These are flavours I have found before in Nikka whiskies, but they have not been especially evident elsewhere in this flight.
Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yoichi, 116.4
Single Malt - Japan - 64.90% 8 Lots happening. Nice interplay of elements.
Scott's Selection Highland Park 20 Years Old 1981
Single Malt - Scotland - 48.50% 8 What a great dram! Complex and beaming. I like it better neat.