“Novelty is a wonderfully short-lived thing,” author John Wyndham wrote. So get out there and try some of these whiskies that have made their way to U.S. stores lately.
First, let’s hear from Forbes.com’s John McCarthy, who rounds up 14 bottles that impress him. We’re intrigued by Distillery Select ($60*), a Scotch-style single malt from Taiwan-based Kavalan. As McCarthy tells us, master blender Ian Chang capitalizes on his island nation’s subtropical climate by maturing the spirit in malt neutral casks. “This means minimal wood influence and an emphasis on the distillate, which is bottled at 86-proof and laden with fruit flavors.”
Or how about a 12-year-old Marco De Bartoli Marsala Cask ($80), by Ireland’s Knappogue Castle Whiskey? “The sweet, distinctive marsala flavor comes across right away on the nose, then presents itself again on the finish, with a fresh, fruit-driven journey in between.”
Bonus: For Distillery Select and several other whiskies, McCarthy kindly includes cocktail recipes.
Smoke on the water
Clay Dillow of Fortune recommends six Scotches, including one overlap with McCarthy’s list—and one real smoke show. That would be the hard-to-find Octomore 9.1 Dialogos, from Islay’s Bruichladdich Distillery ($140), clocking in at 59.1% ABV.
“If you come across a bottle of the slightly vegetal and very peaty mélange of sea breeze, salted fudge and Christmas confections that is Octomore 9.1, consider yourself fortunate,” Dillow says, noting that the range’s next edition should drop this year. Lucky us.🥃
*All dollar figures in USD