Each year, Whisky Advocate Buying Guide reviewers collectively sample hundreds of whiskies. These include rare and extremely limited releases, as well as new and emerging labels that will find their way to shelves across the nation. To determine the Top 20, they begin by looking only at whiskies that rated "outstanding" (90 points or higher on Whisky Advocate's 100-point scale). However, the Top 20 is not simply a collection of highest-rated whiskies, because many of those are so limited they would be impossible for most readers to locate or purchase. Therefore, in addition to quality (based on score), the selection also prioritizes value (based on price) and availability.