- There were four humble surprises: The Glenlivet 12 years, Royal Lochnagar, Tomatin and Something Special (by Chivas), all relatively "cheap."
- Something Special sells today for $20.
- Interesting to note that the best scotch I've ever had was a Royal Lochnager Special Reserve, which came in this dressy wooden box. I bought it a duty free shop in Japan, and the price was a bit more than Johnny Walker Blue Label.
- Ed Bates: “Tunnock’s Caramel wafers. With a touch of smoke. Excellent balance.”
- Seáneen Sullivan: “Toasted almonds, grated nutmeg and some fruit toast on the nose. Burnt almonds, autumn fruits stewed with golden raisins. Light, peppery and intriguing
- Jason Thomson: “Keeping it simple in a very good way. Honey, vanilla and haystacks. All combine with apples and caramel.”
- Joseph Cassidy: “Campfire smoke that enriches the malt and wood. A match made in heaven with a smooth buttery feel.”
- Jamie Milne: “Great balance, lovely spices come through with time.”
Thus, under these circumstances, Australia coming in at #1 was jarring. Yet, the scotch world had long been discombobulated, for here are the recent annual rankings:
- 2013: Ardbeg Galileo (Scotland)
- 2012: Yamazaki 25 year old (Japan)
- 2011: Yamazaki 1984 (Japan)
- 2010: Ardbeg Corryvreckan
- 2009: Highland Park 21 year old (Scotland)
- 2008: Yoichi 20 year old (Japan)
- 2007: Talisker 18 year old (Scotland)
The founder, Masataka Taketsuru, travelled to Scotland in 1918 to learn the process of distilling Scotch whisky first hand. He studied organic chemistryunder Prof. T. S. Patterson at the University of Glasgow and malt whisky production at the Hazelburn distillery, in Campbeltown near the Mull of Kintyre. He married Jessie Roberta ("Rita") Cowan, the daughter of a Glasgow doctor, and returned with her to Japan in 1920. In 1923 he joined Kotobukiya (currently Suntory) and helped to establish a distillery before starting Nikka in 1934.
The story is a lot more Hollywood than merely the above, for Rita was was also instrumental and why Yoichi? Click on that link for details.
Earlier this year Whiskey Advocate reviewed 114 bottles of whiskies and reported on its ten best:
- #10 Tomintoul Reserve 37 year old, 43% (ethanol), 92 rating, $600
- # 9 Lost Prophet 22 year old, 45%, 92, $120
- # 8 Glenfiddich Rare Oak 25 year old, 43%, 92, $368
- you can click on that article to read #s 7 to 4 (you never heard of them)
- # 3 Redemption Barrel Proof 7 year old Rye, 61%,93, $80 (distilled in Indiana and bottled in Kentucky)
- # 2 Corby Lot No. 40, 43%, 94, $40 (FROM CANADA!!...AND NOTE THE PRICE)
- # 1 Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection 12 year old, 45%, 94, $54 (FROM KENTUCKY: THEY HAVE 2,000 BARRELS OF EXPERIMENTAL WHISKIES!!!)