5 Best Whiskeys We Tasted in November 2022 | Whiskey Raiders
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The 5 Best Whiskeys We Drank in November 2022

Best Whiskeys

The five best whiskeys we tasted in November 2022.

November was a busy month for us, filled with reviewing whiskey. A lot of spirit crosses the desk here at Whiskey Raiders, and this month was no different with brands old and new making appearances. Each month, we like to take a moment to reflect and pick the best whiskeys we tasted. Of all of the whiskeys we tasted in November 2022, these were our five favorites.

Penelope Valencia Bourbon

Penelope Valencia

Distilled at MGP, blended by Penelope and finished in Vino De Naranja barrels, this is Penelope Valencia. Vino de Naranja is a sweet wine that’s macerated on orange peels. It makes for an interesting finish compared to more contemporary wines. This whiskey is beautifully composed on the nose, with baking spices, honey, orange marmalade, caramel and citrus. On the palate, Valencia has nice viscosity and isn’t syrupy sweet or overly fruity. The highlight of this whiskey is its long finish, which delivers a lovely combination of orange peel, honey, maple, bold cocoa and clove.

WhistlePig PiggyBack Single Barrel Legends Series: Brothers Osborne Barrel

Best Whiskeys

The second chapter of WhistlePig’s impressive crossover series known as the Legends Series is here – a 6-year PiggyBack single-barrel rye that was selected by the prolific music duo Brothers Osborne. This is a great, rich rye, featuring lots of maple and spice notes. This is some of the best of WhistlePig’s own distillate that we’ve ever tried, and the “Legend” name is fitting as a result.

Stranahan’s 10 Year Mountain Angel

Best Whiskeys

Ten years old and released by Stranahan’s, this release is touted as the Denver, Colorado-based distillery’s oldest to date and captures the premium angle of the American Single Malt market. This whiskey is sweet and buttery on the nose, with notes of orange peel, toffee, honey, caramel and a dash of pepper. On the palate, a moderate mouthfeel is enhanced by notes of sweet corn flakes, toffee, honey, orange peel, fig jam, steel cut oats and light butterscotch. The finish is short but pleasant and sweet. Overall, this release shows that complexity can be found in the absence of bruiser ABVs. It’s different, interesting and most of all: delicious.

Waterford Ballybannon

Best Whiskeys

Distilled by Waterford Distillery, this release is one of the few, extremely rare, peated releases from the Irish whiskey brand. This whiskey is composed of barley from Tony Pender’s farm and peat harvested from Ballytiege. It features a barley peat level of 47ppm. We’re always a fan of the level of detail that Waterford presents drinkers. Pungent and ashy, this could be mistaken for an Islay great on the nose with little trouble. The palate is loaded with cream, honey, straw, a touch of hay and fresh crème brûlée. The finish is long, ashy and mineral-driven with lovely iodine undertones, plus vanilla bean, tropical fruits and more crème brûlée. Ballybannon swings hard and manages to connect on every front.

Ezra Brooks 12 Year Double Barrel Bourbon

Best Whiskeys

This is a “Double Barrel” release from Ezra Brooks, the Lux Row/MGP-owned brand from Bardstown, Kentucky. While the releases carry a 12-year age statement, it’s notable that the barrels that went into this particular bottling were 15 and 16 years old, as noted on the label. This double-barrel batch features a barrel filled on July 11, 2006, and Jan. 29, 2007. Both were dumped in October 2022. The resulting release is bottled at a barrel proof of 118.4.

The nose is beautiful and rich, full of apple, clove, honey and light spice, plus a big hit of brown sugar. On the palate, this is dry and oaky but full of life all the same. Rich and complex, the palate delivers crème brûlée, soft cocoa, leather, a touch of tobacco, cherry cordials and a ripe apple butter note. the finish is long and dry, with caramel and toffee.

Overall, these releases represent insane value for what they bring to the table, and from a quality perspective, they’re top-notch. It’s crazy to think that there are still barrels this old floating around out there, but they hit the mark and drink very enjoyably. They won’t upset any greats, but I’d bet it’s hard to find anyone who’d be disappointed in these.

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