Parkway DIscount Wine & Liquor
4424 Dewey Ave, Rochester, NY 14616 - ​(585) 663-5650
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Top Ten Whiskeys of 2015


1. Hibiki 12 Year, Japanese Blended Whisky


Why does it make the list?
This is possibly one of the most interesting and different whiskies we’ve ever tasted. Japanese whisky generally emulates Scotch Whisky, and this particular blend is of two 12 Year Single Malts from both the Yamazaki and Hakushu distilleries and a single grain whisky from the Chita distillery. If you’re wondering how well Japan does Scotch style whisky, there’s an old saying that sums it up perfectly; “In January, America invents something. In February, Russia claims to have invented it first. In March, Japan is selling it to both of them.”


How does it taste?
Pineapple, plum, raspberry, hibiscus, and honey with pomegranate, custard, and pepper.


Alternatives;
Hibiki Japanese Harmony, Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask


2. Journeyman Distillery Silver Cross Single Barrel Private Selection, Four Grain “Maverick” Whiskey


Why does it make the list?
Breaking the mold of normalcy is a great thing, especially in whiskey. Instead of conforming to a set style like Bourbon, Rye, Wheat, or Single Malt - Silver cross does its own thing. Mashed from equal parts corn, rye, wheat, and malted barley; it has the best of everything all in one. We love Silver Cross so much that we bought an entire single barrel private selection, and you all loved it so much we’re onto a second whole barrel already!


How does it taste?
On the nose there is a complex harmony of cedar, baking spice, caramel, vanilla, and dried fruit. The palate opens with more caramel and spice followed by toasty oak, dried fruit, and eucalyptus all with a creamy mouthfeel. The finish is tingly and has more toasty wood notes, spice, and caramel. (These are tasting notes for our second single barrel selection)


Alternatives;
Journeyman Distillery Silver Cross (normal release)


3. High West Distillery and Saloon Bourye, a Blend of Straight Whiskies


Why does it make the list?
Once again, bucking the normal trends is a great, great thing. Bourye is a blend of; 9-year-old straight bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley from MGP/LDI), 10-year-old straight rye whiskey (95% rye, 5% barley from MGP/LDI), 16-year-old straight rye whiskey (95% rye, 5% barley from MGP/LDI), 16-year-old straight rye whiskey (80% rye, 10% corn, 10% malt from Barton Distillery). It brings the best of both worlds with authority!


How does it taste?
Molasses, caramel, coconut cream, sweet corn and honey-kissed fruit marrying nicely with the dried spice (vanilla, cinnamon, brisk mint), with a dried spice finish.


Alternatives;
Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 1838 Style White Corn, Bookers Cask Strength, Four Roses Single Barrel Cask Strength Private Selection


4. Wyoming Whiskey Small Batch Bourbon, Wheated Bourbon Whiskey


Why does it make the list?
The category for Wheated Bourbon is both fiercely competitive and suffers from a lack of supply on some of the biggest names (ie. Pappy Van Winkle, W.L. Weller, Old Weller). So when a truly stand-out bottle comes along that’s readily available it’s a wonderful thing! Wyoming Whiskey is a craft distillery in Kirby, Wyoming that has 33 year Makers Mark veteran Steve Nally at the helm. If there’s anyone who knows how to make Wheated Bourbon, it’s him.


How does it taste?
Moderate fruit and floral, light caramel and vanilla with a hint of oak on the nose. A palate of vanilla, caramel, sweet fruit, and slight oak. A mild, smooth finish.


Alternatives;
W.L Weller Special Reserve, Makers 46, Larceny


5. Rough Rider Bull Moose Rye, Triple Barreled Rye Whiskey

Why does it make the list?
There’s a big theme going on with this list, and it’s being different. In the rapidly growing Rye Whiskey world different is good. Mashed from 95% Rye and 5% Malted Barley Bull Moose is aged one year in new American Oak then extra matured for another year in ex-Bourbon casks. Then finished in casks that once held Pine Barrens Single Malt. The extra barrelings bring the whiskey to a whole new level.


How does it taste?
Crisp yet rich with a fruity sweetness on the nose followed by spice, caramel, vanilla and blackberry on the palate with a long, warm, toasty, velvety finish.


Alternatives;

Woodford Reserve Rye, Sazerac Rye, High West Double Rye!


6. Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, Double Casked Single Malt Scotch Whisky


Why does it make the list?
The Quinta Ruban release from Glenmorangie spends 10 years maturing in American white oak casks, before being transferred into specially selected ruby port pipes from the Quintas, or wine estates, of Portugal to end at a minimum of 12 years old. The marriage of Glenmorangie’s soft, fruity, and delicate malt and the intense, full, and rich port influence is truly something beautiful.


How does it taste?
Mint chocolate and walnuts envelop the palate like velvet, laying the foundations for rose, Turkish delight and sweet Seville oranges.


Alternatives,
Aberlor 16 Year, Glenmorangie La Santa


7. High West Distillery and Saloon Campfire, a Blend of Whiskies


Why does it make the list?
Once again taking risks and breaking the mold pays off in a big way. Campfire is a blend of straight bourbon (75% corn, 21% rye, 4 barley from LDI now MGP), straight rye (95% rye, 5% barley from LDI now MGP), and a peated Scotch. All of the whiskies are 5 years or older. High West loves to do things that nobody has ever done before and they always seem to nail it.


How does it taste?
Vanilla, honey, toffee with some nice fruit, blueberries and black cherries. Chai spices - nutmeg, cinnamon and orange zest. Salty caramels. Tobacco. Gentle smoke.


Alternatives;

Journeyman Silver Cross


8. Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, Double Casked Single Malt Scotch


Why does it make the list?

Aged ten years in used Bourbon casks then aged another two years in Sauternes (French Dessert Wine) Casks, Nectar D’Or brings about a wonderful harmony of fruity Scotch liveliness, confectionary bourbon notes, and rich Sauternes sweetness in the most amazing way.


How does it taste?

Ginger, nutmeg and toasted almonds bring a deep, warming taste interwoven with a syrupy lemon meringue and honeycomb middle.


Alternatives;
Glenmorangie La Santa, Balvenie Double Wood, Tomatin 18 Year Oloroso Cask finish


9. Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection 1838 Style White Corn, Straight Bourbon Whiskey


Why does it make the list?

The use of high quality and more expensive White Corn instead of the current normal of Yellow Corn brings out a concentrated richness that you just don’t usually find out there. This Bourbon is definitely a cut above most others out there. Only 30,294 bottles of this were made for this year’s Master’s Collection release, so don’t delay grabbing yours!


How does it taste?

Soft and nutty with a malty grain note sweetened with apple fruit, hints of spun sugar, cooked sugar and vanilla. Glimpses of cedar and clove spiciness through a delicate veil of oak smoke.


Alternatives;

High West Bourye, Makers Cask Strength, Four Roses Single Barrel Cask Strength Private Selection


10. Black Button Distilling Four Grain Bourbon


Why does it make the list?
Local Distillery Black Button succeeded in creating a deeply complex Bourbon that is under two years old, and that is no easy feat. To make this whiskey work they had to find the perfect balance of barrel size, char level, and time in the casks to have it come out right. And that they did. Though very young, it definitely has a wisdom beyond its years.


How does it taste?

Rich corn, vanilla, caramel, walnut oil, feint black cherry, and muted baking spices on the nose. The palate opens with sweet corn and cinnamon and is followed by toffee, caramel, vanilla and char. A quick punch of eucalyptus hits right before a long walnut oil, caramel, and spice driven mouth coating finish.


Alternatives;

Journeyman Distilling Featherbone Bourbon, Breckenridge Bourbon


Honorable Mentions;

Woodford Reserve Rye Whiskey, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye, Balvenie 14 Year Caribbean Cask, Journeyman Distillery Ravenswood Rye (now known as The Last Feather Rye), Makers 46, Springbank 10 Year, Henry McKenna 10 Year