Ok, I will try this-
Bourbon of the year- I will jump on the Four Roses wagon- either the FRSmB 2012 or the 17yo that was done for the new gift shop opening in September.
Runner up- PHC 2012, just a great bourbon even with the "short" finish.
Best main release- The new Larceny is really well done, looking forward to it being available regularly in Michigan.
Retailer of the year that people know of- Have to go with Binny's great place with wonderful communication, just wish they would ship to Michigan.
Local retailer of the year- My local shops that I frequent and spend my money with. I have built up relationships with them and they take care of me on limited releases of bourbon and beer
Bourbon event of the year- I am new and have not been to a lot, have to give it to the famed Gazebo. Just a great time with lots of wonderful people
Person of the year- This is a no brainer- my lovely wife Karry, to have the patience to let me indulge in this habit/hobby and to indulge me and join with me to go to an event in Kentucky to meet up with people from an Internet forum for festivities on a gazebo in the back of a hotel.
Distillery of the year- Go with others and say Four Roses. Had a magical tour at the Cox creek facility in January that was just my wife, son and guide, perfect. Then to experience the new visitors center opening in September was filled with great caring people that were dealing with many things going on at one time. I did not realize I was supposed to get a Mellow Moments discount at the gift shop and dealt with great people afterwards that got me my discount and even sent me four glasses to make up for it.
Great marketing of the year- Maker's Mark- the Cocktail Party advertising was great. I had the "I support the Cocktail Party" with pride in my front lawn this election season.
What a great year.
Best regards, Tony
Well, Maker's accomplished what they set out to do, which was to copy Old Fitzgerald and when you get past the hype (I know people who actually believe it's some small, family owned distillery that created some new form of Bourbon nobody had thought of before) it's a very solid, well crafted whisky that's as close as any can claim to be the current archetype of wheated Bourbons.
Retail Bourbon of the Year: PHC 2012 mislabelled 127 proof bottling.
Runner Ups and not by much: WLW '12, FR Limited Edition Small Batch, Knob Creek Reserve SB-Binny's Barrel 153, PVW 15 '12 release .
Distillery of the Year: Four Roses...more incredible considering the short time they've been back and best private barrel bourbons of the year.
Runner Up: Buffalo Trace...Pricing and NAS are drawbacks but OWA still on private barrel program make up for those sins.
The Best Lets Keep it "Shh" Bourbon: OGD 114.
The Biggest Wish: Another wheater anything close to the PHC wheater release.
The Biggest Continuing Disappointment: Wild Turkey.
The Most Trustworthy and Forthcoming Guy in the Biz: Jim Rutledge
Best Dusty: Smokinjoe's Fairfax County BIB.
Foreign Whisky: Anything Lost Pollito or Brophmonster pour me from Binny's barrel picks or Redbreast Cask.
Last edited by T Comp; 12-27-2012 at 20:39.
This falls under the "and other shout-outs" category.
Woman of the Year - My wife Linda. She came home from work today and asked if I wanted to go to Kentucky this weekend since we both have 4 days off. After confirming that she wasn't toying with me and there were no ulterior motives, we're booked for 3 nights at the Brown Hotel in Louisville. Now I'm putting together a distillery/resturant/bar game plan while she's checking out other things to do.
I'm not worthy. (and yes, I'm fully aware that you guys who know me are nodding in agreement)
Lead me not into temptation - I can find the way myself
Best Bourbon I've Gotten to Try in 2012: PHC 2012, never have I gone through a comparable (proof, price, whatever) bottle so quickly, and I think that speaks volumes.
Bourbon That Very Well Might Unseat It as Best of 2012: FR Small Batch LE, which I have coming but which, thanks to the joys of living in a control state, will probably not cross my lips until 2013.
Distillery of the Year: Four Roses, whose mashbills I've managed to try four of in the form of single barrel selections (plus OBSV as the standard single barrel) in the last few months, despite not being able to buy a drop of it in Utah. Unless it's labelled "Bulleit" anyway. No one else is doing anything like they are. I'm hooked; it's impossible that I'll make it through 2013 without having had all 10.
Distillery That Made Me Start Bunkering in Earnest: Wild Turkey. 81 proof rye? Come on, guys. But I smile whenever I catch a glimpse of the bottles that will make sure I can keep drinking WT Rye 101 for quite a while. I have high hopes for the Russell's Reserve single barrel and the new Rare Breed. Here's hoping that times change for Wild Turkey in 2013.
Best Decision of 2012: Finally deciding to post on SB.com. Take note: it's WAY better than lurking.
Last edited by HighInTheMtns; 12-27-2012 at 20:52.
I though it might be interesting to weigh in on this as a bourbon neophyte. 2012 marked my entrance into the serious world of bourbon. These awards listed below are certainly my personal preferences as far as what I have tried, and what has influenced me as I started my journey with this wonderful spirit.
Best Bourbon I tried this year: Pappy Van Winkle 15 (2008). This one really opened my eyes to what a great wheated bourbon can be. I was able to purchase several bottles in the Van Winkle line up this fall, but none of them held the overall magic of what I tasted in this bottle.
Best Bourbon I purchased this year: This one is a tie for me between Jefferson's Presidential Reserve 18yr (batch 17), and Van Winkle Lot "B". Some may be surprised by the Lot "B" shout out but I love this bourbon. The dark fruity nature and balanced oak qualities really set this apart for me as far as what I was able to purchase, and that includes a nod over the PVW 20 I also got.
The One Bourbon that shocked me and changed my perception of what bourbon can be: Four Roses Single Barrel. This one really blew me away when I tried it. So different from everything else I tried this year. Like a syrup candy bomb with unique floral and spice notes that had my head spinning on every sip. What a unique and well crafted whiskey.
Distillery of the Year: For me, this goes to Heaven Hill based on two products; Elijah Craig and Evan Williams Single Barrel. To discover two bourbons of such a high standard that I can purchase any time I like, and for a reasonable price, sets this one apart for me.
Special Bourbon Award for 2012: I want to give special mention to the one bourbon that started it all for me this year - Bookers. I purchased a bottle for my boss for his birthday earlier this year and we sat down and had a few glasses. Up until this point the only bourbons I had really ever tried were a few standards like Maker's Mark and Knob Creek. One sip of Bookers and my mind was blown. So rich and powerful. Wow! Still one of my favorite pours after purchasing so many other brands. A bottle will always be on my shelf.
Best Bourbon Resource for Beginners (or anyone for that matter): Again, a tie for me between Jayson Pyle's sourmashmanifesto.com and the forums here at straighbourbon.com. I relied heavily on Jayson's reviews as I started purchasing various bottles, a well written site with thoughtful reviews. This forum here has also been so beneficial. I have started to develop a few relationships with some very knowledgeable members here, and the endless threads on various products and topics have been a joy to explore. I have gained a ton of knowledge and insight into the world of bourbon through everyone here and I thank you all.