2015 TWJ Whiskey Awards aka My Favorite Whiskies From 2015

2015 TWJ Whiskey Awards aka My Favorite Whiskies From 2015

I was sitting in my favorite, and only, recliner contemplating a year-in-review style post. How would I do it, what should I include and that’s when the idea of my own whiskey awards dawned on me. Sure I could just put up a list of my favorite whiskeys of the year, but that doesn’t have the grandeur, spectacle and prestige of being able to dole out approving nods to whiskey that has had the esteemed honor of being sipped by yours truly.

After deciding that an award was the way to go I had to come up with said award and since gold is the color of excellence a golden jug was the only way to go. I’m not rich so that removed my option of handing out physical award and my photoshop skills are mediocre at best so really that left me with… nothing. This realization brought me down off my mini horse and put me back in my place.

Having had my ego inflated and then deflated by myself in the course of a single paragraph I decided to even cut the pretense of “best” and simply called them what they are: My Favorite Whiskeys of the Year with the word Award thrown in so welcome to TWJ’s version of whiskey awards!

Yes some of the whiskey below is difficult to find, but most of what I’ve listed are able to be found either at your local bottle shop or via an online liquor retailer. I’ve also already published my Top 10 Not-Hard-To-Find Whiskeys of 2015 to ensure that topic was covered. Regardless, the majority of what I’ve listed below is relatively easy to find and won’t break the bank should you want to secure a bottle yourself.

Though if there is one award I really do need to give out it’s to you. The reader. I started this as a way for me to take my hobby to the next level of nerdiness and catalog and I never expected anyone to give a rats ass about what I wrote, let alone contribute their own thoughts and opinions in the comments. So to everyone who reads this, I give the 2015 Golden Jug award of Best Blog Audience On The Entire Damn Internet. Thank you!

Now on the 2015 Whiskey Jug “Awards”!!!

 

2015 Whiskey Jug “Awards” for favorite whisk(e)y

My Favorite Bourbon Whiskey of The Year Award = Russell’s Reserve 98

This is just flat out an obscenely good bourbon. Not “good for Wild Turkey” or “good for a modern bourbon” but just an out and out great example of the potential bourbon holds.

My Favorite Rye Whiskey of The Year Award = Pikesville Rye

I was having a bit of trouble figuring out what my absolute favorite reviewed rye this year was and then this little gem popped into my life. Do yourself a favor and get one.

My Favorite Peated Scotch Whisky of The Year Award = Kilchoman Vintage 2008

I had the AnCnoc Rutter down as my favorite with its incredible grace and balance. Then this guy showed up and stole the show.

My Favorite un-Peated Scotch Whisky of The Year Award = The Arran 18

The Arran is easily one of the most under appreciated distilleries out there and this stellar whisky proves they deserve a seat at the big kids table.

My Favorite Irish Whiskey of The Year Award = Redbreast 21

This whiskey made me want to scream out HOLD THE PRESSES, but since there is no pressing actually involved in digital writing I settled for just loudly going “mmmmm”.

My Favorite Canadian Whisky of The Year Award = Lot 40

While I can’t claim that my Canadian whisky experience is super deep I can claim that this is the best whiskey from Canada I’ve veer had.

My Favorite Craft Whiskey Of The Year = Old Log Cabin

For being a young bourbon with an odd Mashbill it’s not too bad and they take operational transparency to a whole new level. Just a great outfit.

My Favorite Blended Whisky of The Year Award = Faultline Blended Scotch

Not only is this a perfectly sippable blend it comes in at a crazy awesome price. Perfect as an afternoon sip or as a smoky backbone for a cocktail.

 

2015 Whiskey Jug “Awards” I Just Made UP

The “You Gotta Try This” Whisky Awards = AnCnoc Rutter & Benromach Imperial Proof

AnCnoc Rutter has a beauty and a balance to it that was nearly unmatched in 2015 and that Benromach Imperial Proof was so complex and interesting I couldn’t decide between them for this award. Good thing I didn’t have to!

My Favorite “easy to find” Limited Run Whiskey Award = Booker’s Noe Secret 

Daaaaamn.

The reliable go-to awards = Old Grand-Dad 114 & Balvenie 12

A big bold bourbon that takes well to water and works equally well in cocktails and a solid fruity and complex scotch. These two were my favorite “I just want something decent” pours this year.

Best Value In Whiskey Award = Henry McKenna 10 year SiB BiB

A 10 year, single barrel, bottled in bond Heaven Hill bourbon that you can usually get for under $40… yeah that’s a freaking steal in todays market!

Best Value in Whisky Award = Benromach 10

Tremendously good whisky at a tremendously low price. Ounce for ounce this is one of the best deals in Scotch when it comes to flavor for price.

The “I’m going to miss you buddy” Award = Laphroaig 18

This award was to celebrate a fallen hero (discontinued whisky) whose character will be missed.

 

Even More 2015 Whiskey Jug “Awards” I Just Made Up

Truth In Whiskey Making Award = High West

High West proves that you can be transparent and honest with your customers about sourcing your whiskey and turn a hell of a profit doing it. There’s literally no excuse for any to not be following in their footsteps.

Dusty Whiskey of The Year Award = Bellows Club 6 year

Yeah yeah I know it’s a weird award to give out because who the heck is going to get to find it let alone try it, but this is what happens when I have the power to run my own award show. Just be happy I’m not giving away an award for best cap or cork… and don’t think I didn’t consider it.

My Favorite Whiskey Packaging of The Year Award = John E Fitzgerald’s

How could I not give out an award like this and give it to the JEF? The packaging was the best thing about that whiskey!

 

That’s it for 2015 and now that I’ve started this tradition expect the 2016 “Awards” to have a bit more fanfare and possibly even a photoshopped Golden Jug… if I learn how to make it that is.

Cheers!

2015 TWJ Awards

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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17 Responses to 2015 TWJ Whiskey Awards aka My Favorite Whiskies From 2015

    • Thanks and yeah that was an accident. I was going between those 2 and after sitting down with a glass of each I decided on Kilchoman, but deleted the wrong link. It’s been fixed. Cheers!

  1. Great list and I loved the made up awards!

    You nailed it with Henry McKenna 10 Year SiB BiB as the best value in whiskey. I love it and can consistently get it for $29.99. A single barrel, 10 year old at that price? Keep signing me up.

    And the way you’ve been talking about it, I have got to get my hands of a bottle of Noe’s Secret. A one word review like that is epic. 🙂

    Looking forward to the trophy you come up with next year!

  2. Agreed on RR1998 and great point; it’s flat out a remarkable pour. Also a game changer and the best part about it is everyone is so obsessed with VW and BTAC that it went under the radar.

    One distributor here told me they got about 12 cases (36 bottles) and I got 6 of them no prob. It’s really the only whiskey of its caliber I’ve wanted to ‘bunker’ in the past 3-4 years.

    Keep up the great work, dude!

  3. Is it a Freudian slip on your part that when I click on “Kilchoman Vintage 2008”, it takes me to Laphroaig Cairdeas 2015, the rightful winner of this award. You know it in your heart to be true, therefore the “mixup”.

    • Hey John. My current basics are Booker’s, Four Roses SiB, Wild Turkey 101, Russell’s Reserve SiB, Henry McKenna BiB and Maker’s CS. For Rye it’s HW Rendezvous, Pikesville and Russell’s Rye. Buffalo Trace, George Dickel 12, Rye & Hand Selected and Weller 107 (when I can find it) and Willett Rye also make their rounds through my “regulars”.

      Cheers!

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