As many whisky lovers may know, the growth of drams from places other than Scotland, the USA and Ireland is ever increasing.
What does this mean?
Well, for me, it equates to an even greater pool of potentially great drams to pick from – no bad thing. It also means that even if I’ve attended a few tastings with world whiskies, there are always new options that I come across.
The most recent of these events was put on by whisky writer Ian Buxton at The Whisky Exchange near London Bridge.
I brought along one of my newest converts to whisky – Miss Andrea – to help me out in tasting drams from as far afield as Taiwan along with a group of other whisky lovers, such as Billy Abbott (ie: @cowfish).
We started the night on the English Whisky Company’s Chapter 6 release. This 46% whisky was the first official release from its St George’s distillery in Norfolk, and came onto store shelves in 2010. It is a light-straw coloured dram, with notes of marzipan, lemon, vanilla, pink peppercorns, paint and straw on the nose. The palate was slightly bolder, with spring, floral flavours to start and a peppery vanilla burst midway through the sip. Notes of strawberries dipped in caramel also came through.
Our taste buds next headed more than 4,200 miles westwards to Bardstown, Kentucky and the Heaven Hill distillery to try some Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey. Ian told us he enjoys this dram because of its value for money – coming in at around £22, it is a very cost-effective bottle. Now, I’m not a massive fan of rye – the bread or the drams made from it. But this was an intriguing whiskey regardless with [...]
It frightens me to write this post. It really does. How – I wonder – is 2012 almost nearing its end?
The year has gone so quickly and the drams have kept on coming. As such, I thought I’d look back at this year of whisky greatness to choose my favourite drams of the past 12 months.
While most lists put together the top 5 or top 10, I’m going somewhere in between and choosing my top 7 drams.
But the question is, do you agree?
I want to know if you’ve tried these drams (or if you’re keen to) and – if the former – what you thought of them. Did you taste others that beat these ones? Get in touch on Twitter (@themisswhisky), in the Comment section below or on email at email@example.com – and let me know what drams really rocked your 2012.
Without further adieu, here are my first four favourite drams (in order of when this year I sampled them):
Dram #1. – Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy: 46%:
I managed the chance to try this whiskey twice this year – once at an Irish tasting with The Whisky Exchange back in March, and the second time at a dinner (again with The Whisky Exchange) in September. It really stands out in my mind as a perfect all-rounder and a showcase as to why whisky (or, in this case, whiskey) doesn’t only have to come from Scotland to be dram good.
The first time I sampled it, I said the following:
“This was an exceptionally interesting dram to me, especially because it was near the end of the tasting when I find my nose and tastebuds numbing slightly. Notes of citrus fruit, black pepper, lime, crunchy Granny Smith [...]