The list of nominees has been made. The criteria have been agreed on! The scores have been added to the spreadsheet! This means the results for the 2016, Annual, Global, International (yeah yeah yeah, get on with it) Whisky Nerd Awards are known.

I could start with the third place, then second place, and then the winner, but I wont.

The Gold medal winner is the Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Valinch Bottle I bought during the trip to Islay this October together with my friend.

It’s total score of a 185 points, out of the maximum of 220, made this dram win the GOLD medal. It scored a 8 on the “Learn” scale. This is due to the reading I did due to this dram into how Phenols are transported thru the whisky production process. It scored a 9 on the “fun” scale. This is due to the fun I had with my friend at the Laddie Store, taking this dram from the barrel!

Port Charlotte Valinch
Port Charlotte Cask Exploration 11

The score on the “bribe” was a 5, just like many of the drams. I did have multiple phone, email, twitter, Instagram and personal interactions with the people of the Bruichladdich distillery.

The score of 10 on the “taste” was the winner of them all, getting the maximum of 10 points. For me this is my dram of 2016. The taste is absolutely beautiful and I love it. I should put up a tasting blog of this single barrel valinch bottling. If I ever do I will add a link. With the multiplication factors the outcome was that it wins GOLD.

The Silver medal goes to the Noah’s Mill Bourbon Whiskey from the Willet Distillery.

 

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Noah’s Mill Bourbon Whiskey

This Bourbon Whiskey my favorite Bourbon Whiskey so far on the taste. This made it score a 9 on the “taste” scale.

It scored a 8 on the “learn scale”. This dram was the reason I started reading about the wood influences of American White Oak. How does a new barrel influence a dram? How is it different to European Oak and why?

It also made me learn that I should not limit my field to just Scotch Whisky. There are so much more beautiful drams out there from all over the globe.

The score on the “fun” scale was 8. This is due to the good times I had at the bar in Berlin where I first drank this during a fire and safety conference. Later in the year I was able to take other coworkers to this bar and enjoy a beautiful Blantons. I also had fun drinking this at home and telling others about it. A shop keeper also has it now on his shelves due to the tasks we had about it. On the “Bribe” scale it just made 5 point due multiple twitter replies and Instagram interactions with the Willet Distillery.

All this is why the Noah’s Mill won the Silver in this years awards.

The Bronze medals goes to, not one, not two, but three drams:

  • Bruichladdich, Laddiemp4, micro provenance, cask 16-062
  • Compass Box, “The Circus”
  • Corsair, “Triple Smoke”

All three of the drams scored an 8 on the “taste” scale. Please note that this is not the same scale as the 70, 80, 90 scale most bloggers use. If I were to score on that scale all these drams would score something like a 92. Which means these a friggin whoppers of drams.

I did not have a full bottle of “The Circus” to photograph myself, so I use a blog entry photo!

The Compass Box “The Circus” won the most, 10, points on the “learn” scale. This is due to all the reading and learning I started doing due to this dram. This dram made me read about sherry influences. It forces me to dive into woods, investigate distillation technology, read 400 page text books, papers, journals etc. etc.  It basically sparked a train of questions, answers, more questions, etc. Combined with all the learning I did due to the other drams, this dram sparked most of the questions that sparked more questions as I drank the peated Port Charlotte Valinch and the Multiple Smoked Barley of the Corsair and the mash-bill influences and cask influences on the Noah’s Mill and all the sherry whisky’s I drank.

The points on the “fun” scale for The Circus are 4. This means I had good fun tasting it. but I tasted it alone, without friends, I could not share the experience.

The points on the “bribe scale” would have been a 10, due to the fact Compass Box send me the samples of “The Circus” and “enlightenment” to taste. Chris and Gregg of Compass Box were only surpassed by Ailsa of Bruichladdich because she personally bribed me in the Laddie Store when I wanted to get into the laddiemp4 live tasting on October 13th. She felt sorry for us, when Adam Hannett told us no on the question if we could sit in. There is no better bribe than getting a bottle of stupendously good whisky from one of the goddesses of the Laddie Shop.

This brings us to the “fun” points for the laddiemp4. We had so much fun getting the dram from Ailsa in the first place. Second we had a excellent run in with Keith of the Lochside hotel as he almost kicked us out for opening the bottle on his bar! How dared we! Then we had fun drinking it. We had fun smuggling it out of Scotland! So the laddiemp4 was by far the most fun dram this year. Resulting in a 10 on the “fun” scale.

Where the laddiemp4 scores a 6 on the learning scale, the corsair scores a 9. The Corsair is the second to highest scoring on the learn scale. This is due to the fact that I intentionally sought this dram, so I could experience a smoked single malted barley whiskey matured in fresh American Oak. This helped me understand, first hand, the influence of the size of barrels, the woods, the charr etc. I could compare a single barley malt to a Scottish barley malt. With the only difference the wood! Highly educational, hence the 9.

The laddiemp4 “only” scored a 6 because I now was able to understand how blenders bring together the different congeners from multiple sources. The laddiemp4 bottles were chosen for this purpose.  Why are the other two bottles not in this award? Because Ailsa bribed me with this one bottle, not all three 😉

To give the overview of all results. Here is the table I used to score these drams.

PS: the multipliers are explained here.

Brand Name Casktype

Learn

Fun

Bribe

Taste

Total

Bruichladdich #LADDIEMP4 – 2006 Ex-Bourbon + Sherry Cask Finish

6

10

10

8

170

Noah’s Mill 15-year-old New Charred American Oak Barrels

8

8

5

9

175

Port Charlotte Cask Exploration 11 VDN

8

9

5

10

185

The Circus Blended Scotch Whisky

10

4

5

8

170

Triple Smoke

9

6

5

8

170

Normally there is a jury text that the winners can copy to their websites. Since these awards are highly personal it would be sorta useless to write such a text. But I did just the same.

Compass Box “The Circus” : a whopper of a dram that lets you ask questions about the origins of tastes from casks and previous content!

Corsair “Triple Smoke” :  a whopper of a dram that lets you ask questions about the relationship between malted barley and new American Oak.

Bruichladdich “Laddiemp4” 16-062 : this dram has been the most fun for me this year and it gave me insights in how my favorite dram, the classic laddie, is created!

Willet’s “Noah’s Mill” : the increadibly tasting dram that opened my eyes to an entire continent of beautifull whiskeys!

Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Valinch Cask Exploration 11 : the dram of 2016! It not only was the best tasting dram I had this year it helped me understand friendship, life, fun and the origins of Peat!

Feel free to download and use the photo’s or medals 😉 not that anyone will, but who knows 😉

 

 

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