2012 is very nearly at an end and so it's time for that blog requirement that is the "2012 in review" for me.
2012 as a year has been filled with ups and downs, it probably counts as the worst year i've had as an adult and yet it's also the same year that my love for whisky went from being a fun filled journey for myself to one that i now share with people the world the over. Certainly i'm not saying my whisky experience is the good karma in my life this last year but it has been one of the few good things in my year.
I've made a lot of whisky friends and shared a lot of whisky memories, some of which i will talk about below.
One of the biggest whisky experiences, and one that has let me experience a lot of whisky, has been the Tweet Tastings By Steve Rush of The Whisky Wire (@thewhiskywire)
In 2012 i was lucky enough to get involved in the the following Tweet Tastings - The Cooley Tweet Tasting, The Cutty Sark Tweet Tasting, The Jura Tweet Tasting, The Compass Box Part Deux Tweet Tasting, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Tweet Tasting, The Old Ballantruan Tweet Tasting, The Cutty Sark 2 Tweet Tasting, The Dalmore Tweet Tasting and the Milroys of Soho Tweet Tasting.
Throughout those tweet tastings i've been lucky enough to taste some utterly outstanding whiskies but which were my favourites? well there's such a big selection but my top 3 would be:-
1. Isle of Jura 21 Year Old, 200th Anniversary Edition
2. Cutty Sark Tam O'Shanter
3. SMWS 44.52
That was a really hard list to narrow down but it's always a really hard thing to qork out what your favourites were.
Whisky Events 2012
I didn't manage to make it to as many things in 2012 as i had originally planned or wanted but there were three things that stick out as great things that i managed to do.
They were the Auchentoshan Festival, Whisky Fringe 2012 and Finally becoming a member of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
All three have led to me tasting some new and interesting whiskies, meeting fantastic people and enjoying a great atmosphere, and it would be very unfair to pick 3 in any order from these so i will simply pick one whisky from each as great example of brilliant whisky.
* Auchentoshan Valinch 2012 from the Auchentoshan Festival
* North British 50 Year Old Directors Cut (Douglas Laing) from Whisky Fringe
* SMWS 30.74 from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Competition Winner 2012
In an otherwise odd as heck year i still managed to win more things that i'd ever won before with the complete list of whisky, whisky sponsored and whisky related goodies i've picked up via various competitions looking like this :- * Bunnahabhain Silk Head Scarf
* Personalised Famous Grouse (The Famous Thomsons)
* Personalised Famous Grouse (The Famous Tom and Lynn)
* Pack of Tunnocks Tea Cakes
* SMWS 121.50
* Bruichladdich Proof Plate
* Cocktail Experience with Drambuie
* Macallan Fountain Pen, Notepad and Pencil
* A .uk Domain Name (www.tomswhisky.co.uk)
* Meet and Greet with Paul di Resta and Signed Whyte and Mackay Special
* Bottle of Drambuie
All in all thats not a bad haul of goodies by any standard and i'm still amazed by the fact that i managed to win any of them at all.
Other Stuff and Summary
Other than the stuff above i've also had a year where i've been given the opportunity to sample some truely spectacular drams and for that i'd like to thank my wife for buying me some, my whisky friends for doing sample swaps and the whisky distillers and their representatives for allowing me to sample their whiskies.
So what are my top 3 drams of 2012 that I was lucky enough to sample, well no surprise at the top dram, it was always going to be there, but the other 2 also deserve their place at the top of the 2012 dramming list.
Toms Top Drams 2012
1. Isle of Jura 30 Year Old Camas an Staca
2. Auchentoshan 1979 (Oloroso Matured)
3. Auchentoshan Valinch 2012
Any of the three of these drams would be a perfect whisky shelf addition for anyone's collection.
i hope 2013 takes on the mantle of 2012 and runs with it to give me a great whisky year.
Slainte Mhath to you all :)