The Year in Whisky

2020 was not a good year. The fact is, it was horrid. Simply awful.

Is there anything that we can salvage from the ashes? Maybe we got some much needed exercise. Perhaps we read a few great books. Or maybe we found a couple of good whiskies to enjoy while we sat and patiently waited things out.
Let’s take a quick peek at what happened during 2020 in the world of whisky:

Earlier this year a man in the UK put his collection of MaCallan 18 up for sale. His father had given him a bottle every year for 28 years, a $9000.00 investment. The collection of 28 sequential release years is expected to sell for about $70,000.00. The impressive part is that he never cracked the seal on any of the bottles.

A New York couple found 66 bottles of prohibition-era Bourbon hidden in the walls of an old house that they were renovating. The home had been built by a well known bootlegger a hundred years prior. Each bottle has an estimated value of at least $1000.00. All I found in my home renovation was an old beer bottle.

Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsey travelled to Tasmania to participate in the making of a batch of Wholly Shit Whiskey. It’s made by drying sheep manure from sheep that were fed malting barley, and then burning it in the malt drying process. He described the resulting whiskey as rye, hickory, and light smoke. The tasting notes should be interesting…

Music legend Bob Dylan has released an American whiskey called Heaven’s Door, after his song, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, made famous by the movie Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, and also from covers by Eric Clapton and Guns n Roses. Although currently bottled by third party distillery, he plans to open his own distillery, Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts, in Nashville, in 2021. Dylan is one of only two Nobel Prize winners to have his own liquor brand. The other is Winston Churchill, for Pol Roger Champagne. Pretty heavenly company.

Sandy Grant Gordon, the great grandson of William Grant, has died at the age of 89. Heir to the Glenfiddich and Balvenie empire and the patriarch of the richest family in Scotland, Gordon headed up the largest family owned distillery company in the world. And he got to drink really good scotch every day. Funny he didn’t live longer.

The U.S Government slapped a 25% tariff on imported scotch whisky and an assortment of other goods from the EU, in retaliation for EU tariffs on US airplanes. That constitutes a good reason to get Trump out of office. He obviously does not appreciate a fine dram.

Johnny Walker has announced plans to make a new 100% plastic-free, paper-based bottle. It will be 100% recyclable. Me? I just return the glass bottle, get my 10 cents, and let them refill it. Problem solved.

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Canadian Whisky, made by Alberta Distillers, was named World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. The 100% rye whisky beat out 1,200 other whiskies from around the world for the honor. Go Canada!

Metallica, the world famous metal rock band, is in the whiskey making business. They have started a company and a whiskey called Blackened (after the song name and their record label name), produced at the Sweet Amber Distillery, near San Francisco. Aged in black brandy barrels, the whisky is serenaded by Metallica music during the aging process. This supposedly “disrupts the whiskey in the barrel, enhancing the whisky-wood interaction.” It is, reportedly, a work in progress.

That’s all for this week. Until next time – Cheers and enjoy!

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