Captain John’s whiskies of the year 2016

It’s been a ball this year and I’ve tried over 100 expressions and I would find it impossible to narrow down all of these and pick a “winner” so I’m going to name a few that have left a lasting impression.

So here are some proper rambling and poorly delineated scribblings.
1. Mystery bargain of the year.
And the winner is, Mackinlay’s 12 Year Old Blend. This cost me less than twenty quid at auction and was just superb, a blend made for the European market in the 80s and it was heartbreaking when it was done.
2. North American Surprise of the Year.
Crown Royal Rye might have caused all the fuss but the Hand Selected Single Barrel was outstanding, just one of the best whiskies I’ve ever tried and it shows what a mass produced bottom shelf whisky can turn into with the right level of care and attention.
3. USA dram of the year.
Balcones are a wonder, Texan Spirits really are going to be the next big big thing and this Staff selection was out of this world, I managed to track down a bottle too so I was made up when that was packed away for another time.
4. Best whisky you’ll probably never try.
This is a toss up between the Mortach 1954 and the Highland Park Ice Edition, both fantastic whiskies but one is nearly two thousand pounds a bottle, but possibly worth it if you could afford it and the other, the Highland Park, is, in my opinion, aimed at Highland Park Collectors and the price will almost certainly keep most people away but it’s excellent, just over priced thanks to the packaging.
5. Best new discovery.
Gotta be Texas again and gotta be IronRoot, I picked up a couple of bottles of the Texan Legation and was super impressed at this honest and rough around the edges spirit and I’ve now received three of their up coming releases (reviews next year I’m afraid) and all three have been mind blowing, I expect big things from them over the next few years.
6. Best Blended Malt.
Total fan boy moment here but Edinburgh Whisky are working their nuts off to produce some very fine drams indeed and everyone should check out their Highland Blended Malt, It’s a great blend of sweet peat and sherry cask Highland goodness and is well worth checking out.
7. Biggest Surprise.
After getting harassed in Edinburgh Airport at their surprising lack of choice I ended up buying a Johnnie Walker, The Spice Road this time, it was brilliant, I drank about a third of it on holiday in Turkey and the rest here and I have to say that it worked well in a hot country, not so much here but was still a good bottle of whisky.
8. Most overwhelming experience.
The Mortlach 1954 from Gordon and MacPhail, I think I could drink ten bottles of this and still not fully explore it, it was both wonderful and a challenge in equal measures and was a joy, I’ve not linked the review because I haven’t done a review, nothing I could say would do it justice.
9. Best well priced Distillery.

Goes to Glen Moray, the supermarket offerings, the Classic, the Sherry and the Peated are all outstanding value for money and a special mention to the 10 Year Old Chardonnay Finished Single Malt which is a cracking whisky and a bargain. Glen Moray prove that you can produce a decent range for a fair price. Long may it continue.

10. Best Supermarket offering.

Nothing comes close to this year’s Aldi Glen Marnoch 28 Year Old Single Malt, it is outstanding on every level and I hope you all manage to bag yourself a bottle.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this whisky year as much as I have, it’s been awesome.

The Captain.


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