It is a wonderful time to be a fan of whisky (ey). Distillers are working overtime to provide their customers with new offerings, flavors, blends, versions, and types of whisky. Just 15-20 years ago in America (at least the bars and eating establishments I visited across the country) one could get Glenfiddich or Glenlivet when one asked for single malt scotch. While I have enjoyed both of them at various times in my life (and still love the Glenlivet 21) the selection that is available here in 2012 is nothing short of astounding! The different productions include sherry, port, Madera, rum, sauterne, peat, oak, bourbon, champagne, and Lord knows how many other wonderful choices. It really is like being a grown up kid in an adults only candy store. Options include several double or triple wood offerings where the spirit rests in (for example) oak for 5 years, sherry casks for 5 years and then Madera or port for a final 5 years. These complex flavors are just delightful and give fans so many wonderful choices that it almost can make your head spin. It is kind of like going to the county fair and finding out they have 100 different fun rides all set up and waiting for you to try. Thank you distillers! Your hard work is greatly appreciated. I have heard recently that even the venerable Johnny Walker is coming out with a gold and platinum version to go with black, red, green and blue. Yes all these versions are designed to sell more whisky and gain more market share…..but who cares, the consumer has never had so many amazing choices. Prices for old and rare bottles of whisky are going for ever higher prices with each passing year. Countries around the world are working hard to produce their own versions of whiskies and some like the Japanese have succeeded in producing some delicious products. I know that whisky is not for everyone and many will never like it much less enjoy it (like my dear wife for example) but each year more and more people are enjoying the wide diversity of whisky that is now available to all of us. Have you noticed more people are smiling these days? I think I understand why.
Here is hoping you find your new favorite soon. Please try a few of these great new whiskies and let me know which ones you love. Happy sipping.
The Whisky Warrior