6 Best Whiskeys We Tasted in April 2023 | Whiskey Raiders
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The 6 Best Whiskeys We Tasted in April 2023

Here at Whiskey Raiders, we taste a lot of whiskeys. And if you don’t monitor our site on a daily basis, it’s easy to miss some of our reviews. For that reason, we like to take some time at the end of each month to shine a spotlight on the best whiskeys we tasted.

Some of these are brand-new releases, while others have been out for a while but just happened to cross our desk for the first time.

The Best Whiskeys We Tasted in April 2023

Best Rye Whiskey: WhistlePig 18 Year Rye PX Finish

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Distilled in Canada and bottled by WhistlePig in Vermont, this is the fourth edition of WhistlePig’s 18-year double-malted rye. This release is finished in PX sherry casks and bottled at 46% ABV.

This is a very nice release from WhistlePig, which has established over the course of many years that it knows how to make good rye. This whiskey is bright, floral, fruity and spicy on the nose. The sherry influence is mild on the nose, but it shows itself on the palate. The finish is long, jammy and oaky.

Overall, this is an excellent sipper. The low-ish proof (92) works well with the sherry influence, and this isn’t an overly tannic whiskey despite the high age statement.

Best Bourbon Whiskey: Wild Turkey 12 Year 101 Proof

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An export-only release at this time, Wild Turkey’s 12-year, 101-proof release delivers an enviable combination of age, proof and price.
Rich on the nose and full of maple, this release is viscous and sticky on the palate with notes of brown butter, toffee, honey, rich tobacco, fig, cinnamon roll and a hint of funk. This pour only gets better on the finish, which is long and packed with maple, brown butter and cinnamon bun straight from the oven.

Easily one of Turkey’s best releases in years, this bottling is available a touch more easily than Russell’s Reserve 13 thanks to some vendors in the U.S. If you happen upon this bottling in the wild, you should snatch it up.

Best Wheated Bourbon Whiskey: Larceny Barrel Proof A123

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Distilled by Heaven Hill, Larceny Barrel Proof A123 is a barrel-proof bottling of the brand’s wheated bourbon Larceny product. This is the first of three releases in 2023 under the Larceny Barrel Proof line released to stores across the country.

Bottled at a healthy 125.8 proof, this whiskey presents caramel, waffle cone, honey, toffee, cake batter, cinnamon, clove, ginger and brown sugar on the nose. On the palate, it’s rich, syrupy and viscous with maple, caramel candies, cherry cordials and apple butter. The finish is long, spicy and maple-driven.

A delightful pour, this is a killer start to 2023 for Larceny.

Best Finished Whiskey: Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend Batch 161

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A blend of whiskeys aged 11 to 18 years old, this is the 161st release of Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend. The blend, once constructed by Nancy Fraley, is finished in Armagnac casks and bottled at cask strength.

Bottled at a powerful 60.05% ABV, this whiskey is certainly punchy, but it’s packed with leather, tobacco, caramel, baking spice, ginger, clove and pepper on the nose. The palate is rich but hot, with notes of caramel candies, toffee, praline, butterscotch and creme brulee.

If a punchy pour doesn’t scare you, this is sure to be up your alley.

Best Craft Whiskey: High Bank Whiskey War Barrel Proof

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This is the barrel-proof version of Columbus, Ohio distillery High Bank’s flagship product, Whiskey War. Aged at least five years, this is a rye-heavy blend of American whiskeys bottled at 59.9% ABV. Available for about $50, this is pretty accessible price-wise.

On the nose, this excellent dram delivers bold char, maple and baking spice, as well as light notes of honeydew and citrus. On the palate, expect a pleasant viscosity with cinnamon, clove, honey and bitter oak. The finish is long with cocoa, graham cracker, marshmallow, ash and char.

This rich, full-bodied expression is a home run from a young distillery (High Bank was founded in 2017). We’re excited to see how High Bank develops as a producer over the coming years as it has more time to age its spirits an establish itself as a reputable producer.

Best In Class: A.  Smith Bowman Cask Strength Bourbon Batch 2

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The second edition of Virginia distillery A. Smith Bowman’s cask-strength releases, this hazmat-proof release is small in volume but damn mighty in proof (144.5).

Rich and intoxicating, this whiskey has notes of cherry cordial, cola, Werther’s candies, crème brûlée and Madagascar vanilla on the nose and bold cherry, barrel char, tobacco, and salted caramel on the palate.

The finish is incredibly long, with cola, cherry and tobacco.

This beyond-rich bourbon is easily the best expression from Bowman we’ve tasted and an early contender for whiskey of the year.

Here at Whiskey Raiders, we do more than write about current events in whiskey. We are the only media property reviewing whiskies and aggregating the scores and reviews of other significant voices in the whiskey world in one place. If you’re interested in getting a shot of whiskey in your morning email, sign up for our Daily Dram Gram

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David Morrow is the Editor In Chief of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.