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The Best Whiskey of 2020 Is Affordable, Available and Not Very Famous

Heaven Hill Distillery's Larceny Barrel Proof wins Whisky Advocate's annual Whisky of the Year award.


Announced last week, Whisky Advocate's best whiskey of 2020 is Larceny Barrel Proof, Heaven Hill Distillery's juiced-up wheated bourbon that released for the first time in January.


The whiskey, which the distillery releases in batches three times a year, retails for $50 and is aged about 6 to 8 years. It's a wheated bourbon, meaning the grain bill it's based on replaced rye with wheat. Wheated bourbons — often called "wheaters" — are known for their sweetness and relation to Pappy Van Winkle whiskey, which put modern wheated bourbons on the map.

"Big and powerful, it enters the ring at 61.1% ABV, but it’s no lumbering heavyweight. It floats across the palate with stunning grace and subtlety, its wheated mashbill a delicate counterpoint to its formidable proof," Whisky Advocate executive editor David writes of it.

The whiskey that earned a 95 on the publication's 100-point scale is also available in most markets for around its suggested retail price. It follows in the footsteps of other recent WA top picks George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond and, Nikka From The Barrel and Elijah Craig Barrel Proof as whiskey champions that aren't ultra-rare or expensive.

The rest of the year's Top 20 — which includes bottles like Knob Creek 12-year, a new expression from Bulleit and a lot of great scotch — can be found here.

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