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Top 10 drams for 2012 (that do not require selling an organ)

30 December 2012 2,329 views Written by: Gal Granov

top10I’ve gotten quite a few requests after posing my earlier post summing 2012, about posting a “mere mortals” version, or an under $150 / not requiring sale of organs / etc. version, and I although I did not mean to post a buyer’s guide or best of 2012 buys, I hear you friends and blog readers, and as they say “Vox populi, vox Dei”, I see that there is a demand. so here we go. A few points on who entered the list:

  1. All drams are widely available in shops, and not obscure Indie bottlings
  2. All Price has to be under £100/$160 and usually way under.
  3. The bottle is / was available for the public in one of the big online whisky shops (MoM, TWE,LFW,etc.)
  4. Bottles are not sorted according to any criteria , so #1, is not better than #2.

let’s begin:

Benrinnes 14 Year Old – Single Cask  (Master of Malt)

A wonderful single cask, i am lamenting every day. I had the opportunity of tasting a few samples, and that was way too late, as the bottle was sold out. if you can persuade someone to sell you a bottle, or gift it to you, then you’re bound to have a blast.

Glendronach Cask Strength Batch 1

A late addition to the GD range, just in time for the end of year/XMAS frenzy. It’s lovely, and if you are a Dronach fan, you need one. It’s not a sherry monster, but it’s damn good. A must buy IMHO.

Compass Box, Hedonism, £52

If you have not sampled good Grain whiskies (not the bad stuff that goes into cheapo blends), you need to try this. A lovely Compass box, with nectar from Cameron Bridge, Carsebridge, Cambus, Port Dundas or Dumbarton. Good stuff, and bound to change what you think about Grain whiskies.

Flaming Heart, 2012 edition , 48.9 % ABV , £83

Another cracker from Compass Box, this time a bit more expensive, but man, does it kick ass. It’s wonderful, this version contains liquid from Islay (Laphroaig), Highlands (Clynelish) , and some Ardmore, with a combination of refill American Oak (heavily toasted) and sherry casks. John Glaser is a master , and this wee bottle is a brilliant demonstration of the art of blending. Top dram.

The Devil’s Punch Bowl , € 72

A wonderful dram, containing some peated and non peated cask from the Isle of Arran. Brilliant dram IMHO, and if you fail to like the hooch, the packaging is also quite spectacular. Batch #2 is out now, so look for it!

Bowmore 100 Degrees Proof ,£79

A duty free edition that will make you fall in love with Bowmore (if you are not a Bowmore man). It’s lovely, and well priced (for a 1 litre bottle!). a sure bet.

Ardmore 1992, 19 yo , 49.3% , £65

I fail to understand how this single cask has  not sold out yet. Think fast. it’s brilliant. and available only at TWE. for that price? get 2!

Highland park 21 year old , 47.5% ABV , £91

Highland park 18 is an amazing dram, and I’ve recommended it on many occasions, but this 21 year old is even slightly better. with it’s re-instated 47.5% ABV (it was reduced to 40% a few years ago, due to low stocks), it’s a must purchase for HP fans. Brilliant.

Auchentoshan Valinch  2012 Release , £36

it’s time we put a well deserved Lowlander on the list,right? A cask strength Auchentoshan, packed with flavours, zing, and oomph. NAS, but who needs age when you got a cracker like this? for that price, it’s a steal!

Springbank 12 Year Old Calvados Wood Finish , £65

What better than to end this list with a Springbank. Just tasted it a few weeks ago, and it’s so lovely, it had to find a way into this list. Finished in Calvados casks, and booming with apples, honey and vanilla, with the peat to complement all. Cracking stuff. and at a good price (cask strength).

The list is not complete, and there might be excellent drams i forgot while making it, if you have a few others to add to it, just comment and let me / readers know about it.



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