Sign In


Latest News
Whiskey Brands We’re Excited About

Whiskey Brands We’re Excited About

Love whiskey? We do, too. Frankly, there’s never been a better time to pour this spirit. From thoughtfully sourced grains to creative cask finishes, today’s whiskey offerings prove the category is an ever-evolving field. We could talk about American single malts alone all day long. And that’s just the beginning of what excites us. 

Here’s a shortlist of the brands (and bottles) we’re fired up about right now. Note: This is a highly subjective, of-the-moment list—not a “best-of” ranking—and likely to change over time. After all, the category’s shifting nature is what makes it so dynamic. 

New Arrival

Vanity Unbreakable Signature Cocktail Glass – Set of 2

In Stock | $41.00


While this isn’t the only whiskey-producing brand to come out of Mexico (see also: Sierra Norte and Gran Maisal), Abasolo was the first on my radar. Its whiskey is made from heritage corn that is nixtamalized (like masa), which yields honeyed, roast-y flavors that have me energized to further explore the still-nascent Mexican corn whiskey category. 

High West  

When autumn arrives, I look forward to the annual release of this Park City, Utah-based distillery’s blend of straight rye whiskies. 2024 marks the 12th year (Act 12, get it?) of this Port-finished offering, which will be released in October. Each bottling is a little different, but in general, they’re richly spiced with plenty of caramel and red fruit. A vertical tasting of all the limited releases would be a treat, but we’ve never been able to save any of the bottles. While you’re waiting for Act 12, we suggest consoling yourself with any of the blend’s previous iterations, including Act 9, which earned a notable 96-point rating. 

 You May Also Like: The Difference Between Bourbon and Whiskey, Explained

George Dickel 

To be fair, we’re a little biased: This Tennessee whiskey brand was recognized as a 2023 Wine Star earlier this year. But ever since distiller Nicole Austin came on board, Dickel has been turning out excellent whiskeys, and its Bottled in Bond offering—which we gave a 95-point rating back in 2019—punches above its weight class, providing memorable notes of toffee, dried fruit and oak that work well to sip or mix. (Note: an 18-year-old Dickel bourbon is coming soon.) 

In the Shop

Wine Enthusiast Adjustable Logo Baseball Hat

In Stock | $25


Japanese whisky—light, elegant and endlessly complex—is one of my favorites. The category is also one of the most traditional, so when a Japanese distiller bends the rules, that gets my attention. In general, Japan is known for single malts and blended whiskies. However, Hatozaki’s Omakase offering is a limited-edition rye, made in America and aged in Japan, where it’s finished in rare mizunara oak. Tasting notes include sarsaparilla, allspice and black pepper, with a gentle, even slightly floral exhale. However, this surely will raise eyebrows among Japanese whisky purists: New labeling standards specify that Japanese whisky needs to be made in Japan, although these rules are voluntary. 

New York Distilling Co. 

In February, Brooklyn-based New York Distilling Co. moved to a larger facility, and launched Jaywalk Rye, a new line (replacing the old Ragtime Rye) with new liquid distilled from Horton rye, a nearly lost heirloom grain popular in the 1800s. It’s an exciting development for a number of reasons: It adds to the burgeoning Empire rye category; it’s an opportunity to literally taste history; and it’s a bold, robust whiskey that makes a killer Manhattan. Read more about the rise of rye whiskey. 

You May Also Like: How to Taste Whiskey

Lost Lantern 

An upstart independent bottler, Lost Lantern specializes in special barrels selected from distilleries around the U.S. Sometimes it releases single-cask offerings, other times it blends liquid from multiple distilleries. These limited releases are often completely snapped up before our reviews are even released—which is a bummer, because they consistently land on our Top 100 lists. A recent stunner: Lost Lantern Soaring Spice (97 points), which showcases a real firecracker of a whiskey from Nevada distillery Frey Ranch. Lucky for you, there are still some bottles available. 


For a long time, I thought of peated Scotch the way some people think of opera: I appreciated it, but never thought I’d love it. Super-peated Octomore, from Islay’s iconic Bruichladdich distillery, was the bottling that changed my mind, unfurling all kinds of mentholated smoky black magic around a core of oak. Bruichladdich releases a new series of single malts each year; the 14 series featured Octomore 14.1 (95 points), aged in ex-American oak (others in the series were aged in European and even Colombian oak). I’ll be watching for the Octomore 15 series later this year. 


I’m very much intrigued by the wave of single-malt whiskeys coming out of India. Rampur’s Special Release 2022 (94 points) was one I couldn’t stop thinking about last year, with its haunting sandalwood, incense and candied ginger tones. A visit to India—including its distilleries—is officially on my travel bucket list. 

Uncle Nearest  

This Black-owned, woman-owned brand generated excitement since it launched in 2017. (It was also our 2020 Spirit Brand of the Year.) The brand’s 1856 bottling, a blend of eight- to 11-year-old whiskeys, sizzles with ginger and cinnamon right into the toasty vanilla-tinged finish. 

Waterford Whisky 

There’s a lot about this distillery to like. For one, it focuses on single-farm whiskeys, all made using 100% Irish barley, leaning into the terroir of individual farms and harvest. Further, Waterford spotlights farmers with organic and biodynamic practices; the latter includes lunar planting cycles. The brand’s emphasis on sustainability—and the resulting fruity, almond-y Waterford Biodynamic Luna whiskey, which earned a 90-point rating—makes us want to lift a glass. 

In the shop

Wine Enthusiast Deluxe 8-Piece Barware Set – Mirror Finish

In Stock | $29.99

Source link

Related Posts