Continuing my year end observations, here is a brief wrap up of the year in whiskey.
The year of our whiskey 2009 was the year of big peat. Actually, Bruichladdich Octomore and Ardbeg Supernova were released in 2009, but they took until early 2010 to make it to our shores, and the year ended with Ardbeg Corryvreckan, which I will review sometime in early '10.
In LA, it was the year of festivals, with the first ever WhiskyLive LA as well as the returning Scotch Whisky Extravaganza. Hosting both events, Santa Monica became the whiskey tasting capital of the Southland.
In American whiskey, it was a year of special releases, including Jefferson Presidential Select, a new Stitzel-Weller Van Winkle and regular new releases from Old Forester, Woodford Reserve and, of course, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. For me, though, it was my first year of serious dusty hunting.
For Whiskey Wednesday, we spent more time on Irish Whiskey than we had in the past, but less on Japanese. And being a recession year, we spent a fair amount of time on cheap booze and even cheaper booze. Don't worry, we'll definitely look at some Japanese whiskies in '10.
My biggest whiskey accomplishment of the year was probably putting together my Complete List of American Whiskey Distilleries and Brands. I feel confident in saying that nowhere else on the internet is there as complete (and constantly updated) list of American distilleries (both micro and macro), brands and independent bottlers. The list got some nice mentions from internet whiskey luminaries like Dr. Whisky and Ralfy, which I very much appreciated.
Now, let us raise a glass to a great 2010!
Cheers and Sku will see you in the new year.