The Whiskey Wash review team presents here the top 10 whiskeys we reviewed in 2022.
For the purposes of transparency, here’s what went into putting our list together:
- Had to score 5/5 on our rating scale during its initial individual review
- Had to have been published between Jan 10th, 2022 and December 12th, 2022 (we publish reviews daily)
Given this, we still had over 20 whiskeys to weigh through to make the final cut (including whiskeys released in late 2021 that didn’t get published until the early part of this year). Things thus became a little more subjective on the final choices:
- Representation, where possible, of whiskeys across different whiskey styles we cover
- Representation, where possible, of whiskeys from different size brands
Having now explained how we made this, please check out our list below, not ranked in any particular order. Clicking the title or image will take you to that specific whiskey’s review.
- Vital Stats: Distilled in 2016, new American oak, 45% ABV, mash bill: 97.5% malted barley and 2.5% chocolate roasted rye
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: Wow. This is one of the finest American whiskeys I’ve had the opportunity to taste. It has a beautiful and restrained mélange of fruit, grain, spice, and savory flavors. I love the subtle toasted chocolate notes. It’s delightful neat or over rocks. I wouldn’t bother using it as a mixer as the whiskey is very complete and harmonious, but a splash of water or soda wouldn’t be amiss.
- Vital Stats: Aged 10 years, 46.4 ABV
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: This is a delicious rye whiskey. The spice and mint flavors let you know it’s a rye, but it does not have the grass, leather, and pumpernickel notes that sometimes turn people off from the category. My theory is that this is from a combination of a more diverse mashbill from the Kentucky style rye and aging. The prolonged aging has allowed the whiskey to extract more vanilla from the charred, new American white oak barrels, leading to a robust and luscious vanilla note on the nose and palate. Age has also likely contributed to how easy-drinking this rye is.
- Vital Stats: 13 year Kentucky Bourbon, finished in vino de naranja casks, 121.2 proof
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: This is priced and packaged as a luxury product – it sips like one to boot. The flavors are mature and well-integrated, simultaneously unique and accessible. Few celebrity-associated brands merit a spot on the collectors’ shelf, but the third installment of Heaven’s Door’s Bootleg series deserves a space, both as a piece of Dylan memorabilia and as a high-end whiskey.
- Vital Stats: 118.4 proof or 59.2% ABV
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: I could drink this all night; you just relax into this. The flavors are excellent, the alcohol doesn’t overwhelm while still being a vehicle for the complex flavors. I don’t know how old this is, and I honestly don’t care. This is a lot of fun and there is so much here to enjoy.
- Vital Stats: 45% ABV, 100% Australian un-malted rye, aged a minimum of two years in charred new American oak barrels
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: This is a fantastic product. This isn’t at all what I think of when I think about rye whiskey making it so I can’t really compare it to other ryes I hold in high regard. It is bright, clean, and crisp with enough depth that I have enjoyed going back for another pour. It doesn’t need water added to be enjoyed but can certainly take it. Another Australian distillery to keep an eye on, I suggest grabbing a bottle (or three) if you can.
- Vital Stats: 50% ABV. This is composed of five bourbons: 2% 2008 bourbon (21% Rye), 17% 2012 bourbon (36% Rye), 27% 2012 bourbon (21% Rye), 29% 2014 bourbon (21% Rye) and 25% 2014 bourbon (36% Rye).
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: This is another fantastic release of Remus Repeal Reserve. But what do you expect when the company that others go to for their product releases their own pick of barrels? It is going to be something special. I highly recommend getting a bottle of this year’s release if you like a bourbon with a bit of spice to it.
- Vital Stats: A blending of select Kentucky and Tennessee bourbons, finished in stainless steel tanks with the addition of special wood spirals made from sugar maple wood. Bottled at 55.35% ABV.
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: Marianne Eaves, as far as being master blender for this brand goes, seems to once again have delivered a home run for Sweetens Cove. As Eaves asks in a release video at the launch of this more casual whiskey – “have we just become best friends?” – one can easily set aside the rivalry between Kentucky and Tennessee whiskeys in this expression. It is a perfect blending of what makes these two American whiskey regions great.
- Vital Stats: 49.4% ABV. An Islay whisky matured in ex-bourbon casks (first and refill) for 13 years.
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: The Ardbeg Fermutation is a pungent hodgepodge in flavor. From briny to smoky, to floral and citrusy, the whisky is an outstanding culmination of “why not?” Since, Dr. Lumsden has always wanted to play with longer fermentation, I am sure Ardbeg may have a lineup of future fermentation experiments. The Fermutation has seemed to unlock the full Islay flavor.
- Vital Stats: 111 proof, aged 4 years
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: I’m not going to beat around the bush: this is really good stuff. This dram produces no fewer than three distinct aromas/flavors that are major nostalgia bombs for me personally so I’m not impartial here, but even if I’m working to evaluate objectively they are all complementary and gently layered together.
- Vital Stats: Mashbill of 100% Irish malted barley. Began in copper pot stills in 1992, matured for more than a decade in hand-selected ex-bourbon barrels, followed by an additional 17 years in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. 53% ABV.
- Final Thoughts From The Reviewer: I must say that this whiskey is pretty perfect. I can’t think of a single thing I would change about it and am happy to report that the whiskey is well worth the pretty penny it will cost if you’re lucky to acquire it. There is a well-earned balance to the whiskey, with a richness that tastes natural and finely aged.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...