In each issue of Whisky Magazine we award the very best whisky from our tastings with the coverted Editors Choice award.
The Irish West Coast Trail, Tullibardine Distillery, Bourbon Pot Stills, Westland Distillery
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.
Secret Bottlings Series 30 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 A superb after dinner dram.
Selected by Berry's Glenlivet 1973 38 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 8 A real cracker. Perfect balance. Rich, enticing. Alcohol is beautifully mastered.
Selected by Berry's Speyside Reserve Blended Malt
Blended Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 8 A refined, complex and charming dram. An absolute cracker.
Signatory Highland Park 1988
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 8 A lovely whisky. A sweetish bottling. More complex and elegant than the 'official' 12 Years Old, but not quite as expressive as the 18.
Signatory Laphroaig 1988 Unchillfiltered
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 8 I enjoyed this very much, but it does not add a great deal to the canon.