Abov App Top 10 Whiskeys of 2023

2023 is in the books! Wrapping up our first full year operating as ABOV, we have a lot to celebrate. We have continued to work hard to provide you with great new app features, bring back some old favorites, and unveil new ways to help you elevate your whiskey!

Speaking of whiskey, there were a lot of new bottles and releases worth celebrating in 2023 as well. As we turn our gaze forward to 2024 and lots of exciting new things to come, let’s take a moment to reflect on our 6th annual list, with the Top 10 Whiskeys of 2023!

10. The Lakes The Whiskymaker's Reserve No.5

We start the 2023 list in the United Kingdom, but not from a Scottish distillery, as one might expect. No, instead we must go to The Lakes Distillery in England, where number 10 on the list is the fifth edition of their The Whiskymaker’s Reserve bottling.

This English single malt spends time maturing in an array of sherry and other red wine casks, which seems to balance the oaky, almost bourbon-like flavors coming from the malt and wood.

9. Aberlour A'bunadh

A’bunadh, which is Scottish Gaelic for “the original’ refers to the cask strength annual releases from Speyside’s Aberlour distillery. With 2-4 unique batches coming out every year since 1997, this is a consistently popular release among single malt enthusiasts.

Featuring a classic Speyside malt with a traditional sherry maturation, the A’bunadh is not flashy or innovative, just timelessly delicious

8. Octomore Edition 14.2

Calling all our peatheads for number 8 on the list of the Top 10 Whiskeys of 2023. For all you sultans of smoke and prince of peat, we have the Octomore Edition 14.2.

Known for constantly pushing the envelope of how much peat content they can cram into one bottle, Bruichladdich does not disappoint, achieving 128.9 parts per million (ppm). For context, most standard peated drams are around 20-40 ppm.

7. Milam & Greene Single Barrel Straight Bourbon

Women-owned and operated Milam & Greene has been making a name for itself in the bourbon world. With a distillery in Blanco, Texas and excellent sourcing connections in  Kentucky & Tennessee, Master Blender Heather Greene has crafted a number of incredible releases, ranging from 100% sourced to 100% in-house distilled whiskey.

This year’s single barrel releases come from Tennessee, and feature prominent notes of almond and cherries. Because they select all of their single barrels to taste, every barrel is truly unique.

6. Ardbeg BizarreBQ

One of the truly unique drams to come out of 2023, next up we have the Ardbeg BizarreBQ release. While many of you out there likely enjoy pairing a peated single malt with some tasty BBQ, Ardbeg put both in a bottle.

By finishing some standard Ardbeg juice in an “Experimental BBQ Cask”, the result is a pour that truly captures the savory, smoky, and sweet essence of barbecue itself!

5. Glenallachie 10 Year Old Cask Strength

Another cask strength malt from Speyside makes the 2023 list, next is the 10 Year Old Cask Strength release from Glenallachie. Sweet, spicy, and complex, this is a dram that you will really want to take your time with to explore.

Red wine, sherry, and American Oak casks all add layers of flavor with various dark fruits, baking spices, chocolate, and coffee notes all shining through.

4. Bowmore 18 Year Old - Aston Martin Edition

Some brand and celebrity collaborations in the whiskey world feel like nothing more than a money grab. Bowmore’s ongoing partnership with luxury car brand on the other hand, seems to be one worth trying.

Complimenting prior 10 and 15 year releases, the latest 18 year old expression has become a fast favorite! Peat and smoke, with hints of sherry and sweetness create a complex and balanced dram worth the hype.

Despite the immense popularity of their core range, Ardbeg is never one to shy away from experimenting with all aspects of the process. Although some releases (like the BizarreBQ) innovate the aging process, Heavy Vapours tweaks the distillation itself.

The distillation columns were modified to remove the purifier, allowing the heaviest and most flavorful smoke vapors to continue along the distillation process. The result is an intensely aromatic and smoke-filled nose, which caries over into the palate and finish.

2. Knob Creek 18 Year Old

Finally heading to Kentucky for the number 2 whiskey on the list of Top 10 Whiskeys of 2023, we have the 18 year old expression from Knob Creek. The oldest in the core range from Knob Creek, 18 years of maturation is much longer than commonly found in most bourbons.

While there is an intense oak flavor, as expected with that much time in the wood in Kentucky, it is well balanced with vanilla and caramel sweetness. Despite the bold flavors, its a very easy sipper at the same time.

1. Gold Spot 9 Year Old

Rounding out the 2023 list, we switch gears again, this time heading to Ireland for the Gold Spot 9 Year Old.

The “Spots” are all highly regarded Irish Whiskeys, and the Gold nicely slides in between the 7 year old Blue Spot and the 12 year old Yellow Spot, and was released to celebrate the 135th anniversary of the Mitchell Family of Irish Whiskey makers.

If you love the single pot still style of Irish Whiskey, you are sure to love this one. Lots of red wines and spices, but even more of the buttery short bread cookie flavor unique to the style!

Putting this yearly list together is always fun, as it really highlights the trending styles and distilleries that our ABOV users enjoy each year. Remember, we can’t make these lists without you! So help us keep this wonderful community growing, share the ABOV app with your whiskey drinking friends, and don’t forget to rate and review your favorite new whiskeys in 2024!

Curious to see some of the community’s favorites from years past? Check out our previous annual top 10 lists:

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