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.