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.
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
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
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.