2014 in Perspective – And the Best of the Best!!

2014 was a hell of a year!

I started Malt and Oak in the very last days of April as a means of talking about my personal whisky journey while providing an “objectively subjective” view on the world of whisky and of the expressions I’m tasting, and as a way of integrating more deeply in the very rich and amazing “whiskyfabric” and the amazing people in it. In the eight months that ensued, the 164 posts covering about 180 whiskys were read more than 62,000 times. I must admit to being awed and humbled by this amazing readership for a brand new blog, and thank each of you for being the most important part in this journey.

Photo Credit: vegaschatter.com

Photo Credit: vegaschatter.com

2014 saw prices rise, some bottlers aggressively seek to close the retail/auction gap,  and a tsunami of NAS expressions coming in at higher and higher prices. Not surprisingly, Diageo’s Special Releases, Ardbegmania and a full blown Japanese whisky craze fanned the top of the most popular posts, in which I voiced a rather stark critique of all these forms of craziness. But nestled within the most popular articles of the year is also the exact opposite. Two very popular posts were on the best valued and most honestly consumer oriented whisky on the market, the GlenDronach 15 and the 12, in which I review one company’s commitment to fair pricing, keeping a sane core range (despite selling older whisky in the bottles) and a staunch commitment to quality, which includes no artificial coloring and no chill filtration.

The blog has been active for nine months, so I’ll list the top nine posts in order of popularity, and if you missed any of them, here’s your chance to catch up with them:

1. The Deadly Sins of Whisky – On Diageo’s pricing strategy for the special releases

2. Glendronach 15 – Is it the Best Buy in the World of Whisky?

3. Ardbeg Supernova (Miniature) Mania – And One Blogger’s Response

4. The Port Ellen Phenomenon and a Tasting of the 26 Years Old Malt Cask

5. The Balvenie Tun 1509  – This one actually surprised me in ranking so high, but it has some nifty geekery 🙂

6. Yamazaki Sherry Cask – Is it the Really the Best Whisky in the World?

7. The GlenDronach 12 – Sherry/Rum, Spice and Everything Nice

8. This one is a guest post by Jun Nunez, who reported on a Battle of the Monsters: Macallan Sherry Oak 18 vs. Glendronach 18 Allardice.

9. Octomore 06.3 Islay Barley – A Farmer, His Niece and A Whisky


Photo Credit: funmozar.com

Photo Credit: funmozar.com

As 2015 begins, I wish you and all your loved ones a happy new year.

May your wishes come true, and may the oldest whisky you enjoyed in 2014, be the youngest you have in 2015.

May your glass always be full, and your malt always single.

May your horizons expand, and the price of whisky shrink.

And may we all meet again in the end of 2015, with health and happiness and a great whisky year!

Slàinte !

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