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
The Balvenie Rumwood 14 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 47.10% 8 A rich whisky which has taken some exotic and sensuous notes from the rum. Stiffens up on the finish.
The Balvenie Vintage Cask 1967
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 9 A beautifully balanced classic Speyside whisky.
The Glenlivet 15 Years Old French Oak Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 Complex. Entrancing.
The Glenlivet 16 Years Old, Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.60% 8 The rich fruity profile of Glenlivet blossoms at cask strength. So well balanced.
The Glenlivet 1959 Cellar Collection
Single Malt - Scotland - 41.70% 8 Vivid descriptors, but the flavours are very restrained. A most elegant whisky.
The Glenlivet Cellar Collection 1980
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.30% 8 A stunning Glenlivet and a superb example of the benefits of long relaxed maturation.
The Glenrothes 1978 Vintage Malt
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 You need to concentrate hard on this one as it does not give up its complexities immediately.
The Glenrothes 1991
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 Big and powerful but with sufficient character to cope. Another cracker from Rothes.
The Glenrothes 25 Years Old
- Scotland - 43.00% 9 Slow,elegant and complex.
The Macallan 15 Years Old, Fine Oak
Single Malt - Scotland - 0.00% 8 This is getting difficult, but the 12 Years Old still just edges it for me.
The Macallan 1937, 37 Years Old, Vintage
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 With a colour close to that of today's product and a bright clarity, this visually recalled some of the yet-older Macallans that have inspired replica editions.
The Macallan 1948 Select Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00% 8 Paler in colour and lighter in body, but what a palate...great Speyside whiskies once tasted like this.
The Macallan 1949, 50 Years Old, Millennium
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 9 A beautifully composed, luxurious whisky.
The Macallan 1961 Vintage
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.70% 9 This one I loved. The flavours have melded beautifully, in what must have been an excellent cask.
The Macallan 1970, 32 Years Old, Vintage
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.90% 8 Still recognisably Macallan, but the dark claret colour sounded a wood warning. I am forgiving of woodiness, but this approached my limits. Other malt-lovers may be more tolerant.
The Macallan 1979 18 Years Old, Gran Reserva
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 9 Strictly for lovers of powerfully oaked whiskies.
The Macallan 1981, Unfiltered Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.00% 9 When I tasted this bottling, I was shocked by its spiciness. When I had recovered my composure, I gradually began to find it very more-ish.
The Macallan Thirties
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 9 With its floweriness and a hint of peat, this seems to me a classic old-style Speysider.
The Wee Dram Caol Ila 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 I like this young man: he's showered and shaved, suited and booted, and off for a night on the town.
The Whisky Exchange Balblair 40 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 47.20% 8 Yet another superb Balblair which chimes perfectly with the official bottlings.
The Whisky Exchange BenRiach 21 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.70% 9 Complex with excellent balance. A typical for a Speyside, but it's one hell of a dram!
Thomas H Handy
Rye - U.S.A. - 64.50% 8 An unusual floral profile for a rye. But delightful. What a nose!
Three Ships 10 Years Old Limited Edition
Single Malt - South Africa - 44.60% 9 Normally I would complain about the palate not displaying the exuberance of the nose, but I can't moan at all about the depth and quality!
Tomatin 1976 30 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 49.30% 8 Real character and finesse.
Tomatin 25 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 8 Whisky of the month, by a slender margin. This is refined and just the right age. A good eye (and palate) put this beauty together.