Following on from my previous post where I reflected on the malts that I have tried during 2019 and nominated by Whisky of the Year, I decided to reflect some more on my whisky journey so far. During my moment of reflection I began to think about the whiskies that stood out to me or made a impact on me, whether good or bad, in a way that pushed me further to understanding which whiskies I like and dislike. So I have put a short list together which contains whiskies that I consider have helped define my journey and leading me to the preferences I have today.
Now I know the internet is awash with top 5, to 10 best of this and that whiskies. There is a book which was written by Ian Buxton listing the Top 101 Whiskies to Try Before You Die… I won’t got that far. I have only tried almost 300 whiskies, not enough to create a 101 list. The most important thing I have learnt about my whisky journey so far is that there really is no shortcut to finding where you sit when it comes to whisky. I would even say that there is no end point at all. If you have got to a point where you have settled on your regular rotation of bottles in your cabinet then I would say that you have given up and you are missing out.
I must admit that this was my intention when I first set on my journey and I didn’t expect to find myself where I am at now. The original idea was for me to have a cabinet full of whiskies that provided me with all the options I needed. However I soon discovered that there are numerous flavour profiles and that my favourite malts will not always be available with the Arran 14 and Balblair 00 Vintage 2nd Release being two most recent examples.
Anyway, here are the whiskies that have stood out to me and the reasons why.
Glenmorangie 10 – this is what started it all for me, I discovered that it is possible to drink whisky neat and enjoy it.
Eagle Rare 10 – even though I find the bourbon category limiting in terms of flavours I found that this bourbon encapsulates the category and delivers with finesse
Green Spot – my experience of Irish whisky had been variants of the Jameson blend, this opened my eyes up to what Pot Still is all about
Glenfarclas 105 – I do enjoy a sherried malt but find that most are bland or tepid, this showcased to me how flavoursome sherried malts can be
Amrut Fusion – the combination of tropical flavours and peat was a revelation, plus it packed a punch too. This was and still is unique
Hakushu 12 – another peated malt which showed how peat can be delivered with delicacy
Scapa Skiren – coastal malts can be either too salty or too tame, this one hit the spot for me and made me a fan of the distillery and the flavour profile