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 [...]
In the UK – and abroad – Irish Whiskey can sometimes be passed over in favour of the output from its British neighbour. But, this shouldn’t put you off. It’s a different style, has an intriguing history and creates a lot of fantastic products.
At a recent tasting with the Whisky Squad, I had the opportunity to try five great varieties and learn about the country’s history from Tim Forbes, an Irishman (and now Londoner) who runs the Whisky Exchange’s blog.
In short, Tim told us that Irish Whiskey had – in the late 19th century – been highly profitable. But, during a period of 20-30 years, it saw itself decimated due to Prohibition in the US, a trade war with the UK and a huge increase in the output of blended Scotch whisky due to the Scottish decision to embrace the Coffey Still, which decreased the cost of production.
Throughout the 20th century, distilleries in Ireland were merged continuously until it was all made at only one distillery (Midleton). This remained up to the point Cooley came into the picture in 1987, although this company has since been bought up by Beam Inc., an American spirits company.
Despite this concentration of ownership, Irish Whiskey still provides a wide variety of taste.
So, what did I think of the five I tried? Here are my thoughts:
#1. Inishowen Peated:
This peated whiskey is made from a mix of malt and grain. On the nose, I got spearmint and chocolate, while the taste provided flavours of pancakes, coffee, rubber and Terry’s chocolate orange. It had a nice mouthfeel and was softly pleasant. Not my favourite of the night, but a good starter.
#2. Bushmills Black Bush:
I found this to have [...]