When December approaches, many websites, blogs, books and whiskyentusiasts name their whisky of the year, and some even have multiple awards, lists so long they can fill up the average whiskycupboards three times. Others do shopping guides and reccomendations. What's your favourite whisky of 2010 ?
Here's a little overview of what I could find, please tune in if you heard about more.
One of the earliest set of awards that emerges each year is the Whiskybible, but I think that its connected with it being a book (printed) award, and that the book is out around October, if I remember correctly
1. Jim Murray's whiskybible named Ballantines 17, which is i blend. The choice made quite a few people wonder, more people shrugging their shoulders or giggling and a lot of people confused. Jim Murray's choices always stir an argument, here's the full list from John Hansell's blog (Malt Advocate)
Personally I had great fun reading the discussion of his choice of irish whiskey of the year on the irish whiskey forum : http://forum.irishwhiskeysociety.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=899
2. Whisky Magazine has a series of award sets, they probably manage to beat Jim Murray in number of catagories :-)
http://www.whiskymag.com/awards/ there's quite a few sublinks to follow to get around all the catagories!
If you didn't manage to find it I can reveal that Ardbeg Corryvreckan was named scotch single malt of the year.
3. Scottish Fields, a lifestyle magazine named a Miltonduff 1969 from Gordon and MacPhail (Indy bottling of the year), 25yo Ben Nevis (Distillery Bottling of the year) and Monkey Shoulder (Blend of the year)
read more about it here http://www.scottishfield.co.uk/statistic/w/
Scottish Fields awards are decided blindly with a large group of whiskymerchants (whiskyshops!) forwarding their favourites and then being judges themselves. Malt Maniacs is a group of whiskyentusiast who does a similar blind judging with a lot of whiskies entered voluntarily by distilleries, bottlers and merchants
4. Malt Maniacs rated Glendronach 38yo 1972/2010 (49.5%, OB, Sherry C#700, Taiwan) highest in 2010, here's the full list
5. Whiskywhiskywhisky.com, a forum of whiskyentusiast chose Bladnoch 20yo as their 2010 whisky of the year
6. Spirit of Islay's Gordon Homer chose the new Bunnahabhain 46.3% as his favourite distillery bottling of the year (Islay) and a 29yo Caol Ila from John Milroy as his indy bottling of the year. His non-Islay whisky awards went to Amrut 100 from Bangalore in India and a 4yo 2005 Berry Bros Ledaig.
Full list here : http://www.spiritofislay.net/
7. Malt Advocate,... well I expect something out in a couple of months, but here's their list from February last year http://www.whatdoesjohnknow.com/2010/02/11/malt-advocate-magazines-top-ten-new-whiskies-for-2009/
8. Ralfy also had the new Bunnahabhain 12yo 46.3% as his whisky of 2010
9. Whiskynotes has a shortlist of his favourites here : http://www.whiskynotes.be/2011/whisky-news/happy-2011/ with a Longmorn 1972 from the Whisky Agency and a Glenfarclas 1968 from Thosop coming out on the top
10. Scotchhobbyist has a 2010 gift guide : http://scotchhobbyist.com/2010/12/01/a-whisky-gift-guide-2010/
11. Gavin Smith's whiskies of the year (and some of his pages visitors) : http://www.whisky-pages.com/whiskies-of-the-year-2010.shtml
12. Whiskyisrael set a budget Holiday Gift Guide : http://whiskyisrael.co.il/2010/12/13/2010-holiday-gift-guide-on-a-budget/
13. The Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society has 11 catagories with Suntory Hibiki 21yo as 2010's overall favourite: http://jewishsinglemaltwhiskysociety.com/?p=3184
14. The Scotch Odyssey looks back on 2010 with Mortlach 16yo FF as his favourite dram
15. Dramming and Whiskyemporium did a joint post and Dramming chose Karuizawa 1985/2009 cask 7017 http://www.dramming.com/2011/01/01/that-was-the-year-that-was/ and Whiskyemporium chose an Old Bothwell 1982 Port Ellen cask 2039 http://www.whisky-emporium.com/Blogs/2010-12-Dec/Blog.htm#LookBack2010
16. CanadianWhisky.org awarded a set of Canadian whiskies http://www.canadianwhisky.org/news-views/canadian-whisky-awards-2010.html
17. The Whiskywire selected his 12 drams of xmas http://www.thewhiskywire.com/2010/12/12-drams-of-christmas.html
18. Jason had a wee Holiday Scotch Whisky Suggestions : http://jason-scotchreviews.blogspot.com/2010/12/holiday-scotch-whisky-suggestions.html
19. WhiskyBoys has The Best of 2010 in 3 catagories :
20. Whisky2.0 xmas shopping guide : http://whisky2dot0.com/2010/12/07/whisky2-0-holiday-gift-guide-2010-%E2%80%93-the-under-50-whiskey-list/
(I never really got the point of awards like IWSC and the likes if anyone wonders.)
End of the day these links just shows how diverse the whiskies and peoples taste in whiskies are, and as a consumer its hard to go wrong, there's just too much good stuff out there :-)
And now it's time to go find the good stuff of twenty-eleven!