I want to take a moment to thank you, the reader, for joining me for a yearly roundup of the best whiskeys out there. Ultimately, the winner (which wasn’t even bourbon this year!) was chosen to reflect the things we whiskey geeks clamor for: barrel proof, non-chill filtered, fairly priced, and [somewhat] available. While Weller Single Barrel was one of the best bottles I tasted this year, it doesn’t represent what I look for in my Best Of.
Rare Breed Rye is a delicious representation of the aforementioned things–and while it may not be sitting on every shelf in the nation (it certainly isn’t in Maine as of this post) I was able to get a few bottles this year which tells me it isn’t so limited that no one is willing to share it. The ability to sip a whiskey neat or to place it into a cocktail without feeling like you’re going to hell scores a lot of points for me. Combine that with the previously mentioned checkboxes and you’ve got yourself a winner, Wild Turkey!
As far as the other bottles go, they have certainly made an impact on my whiskey experience throughout the course of this wild year. Some out of sheer value (read: Crown Royal 16 Year Rye for $69.99) some for being recognized as under-performers and being relaunched (read: Baker’s 7 Single Barrel) and some just because they’re damn tasty (read: Rolling Fork Single Barrel Rum). This isn’t meant to be an all-inclusive playlist of the year’s best hits so much as it is meant to share some bottles that stood out to me as having an impact on the whiskey world throughout these past twelve months.
As we proceed into a new year I look forward to finding a new form of normal. I look forward to finding more great whiskey to write about, and I look forward to sharing it all with you. Cheers, everyone, to making 2020 memorable in a variety of ways…but ultimately for enjoying the whiskey world with me. If you’re looking for additional content to close out the year I encourage you to find myself and my good friend Jay (t8ke) on YouTube for our weekly livestream, aptly titled “Weekly Whiskey”.