The winners of the iLADDIE Whisky Nerd Awards are known! All the numbers have been added up!

Before I go into the details of the how and the why, a short video that gives you the information you need about the winners!

So, as per the rules set out in the beginning of 2018 points could be given for four criteria.

  1. How much did I learn due to the dram?
  2. How much fun did I have while interacting with the dram?
  3. How much effort did the distillery make to bribe me?
  4. How much did I like the taste of the dram?

As one can see these are not typical awards. I apply Weight Factors to the scores as well. The Weight Factors [WF] given to the criteria are:

  1. Learn : 10 x [WF]
  2. Fun : 5 x [WF]
  3. Bribe : 2x [WF]
  4. Like : 5 x [WF]

So the main focus on the Learning, then the Fun and Taste, then the Bribing.

Most Educational

I have written a separate blog entry about which dram is the most educational and why.  The most education I have enjoyed because of a dram was about Terroir!

What is Terroir? Well Terroir has everything to do with where what is grown and how it is used in the whisky making process. This year I looked at the science of terroir. On the blogs below you will have an option to read about actual science being done on terroir of barley. No just marketing, no actual science,

Most fun!

This year I had some fun on my own with whisky. I had the option to educate myself about how whisky is maturing in casks, what caramel E150a actually is, how tannins work in whisky, stuff like that.

I visited some very interesting stores and bottled a whisky strait from the cask. This is a one of bottle from the, alas, burnt down distillery Turv Exloo in Drenthe in the Netherlands. This whisky was loads of fun to bottle.

Oh I had loads of fun with learning about “sherry mature”, “sherry matured” and “sherry matured”. These three types are very different indeed. More on that here.

Then I kicked in some huge “open door” about “Ex-Bourbon” maturation and how that can mean just about anything.

But the most fun I had this year with whisky was taking part in the Tweet Tastings organised by Steve Rush. These tastings are highly educational and most of all loads of fun to do. The interaction with other whisky enthusiasts is what gave the winner of the “most fun” ten points it’s ten points.

Best Bribe!

Yeah, you read it correctly. I give points for best bribe. Why? Since everyone is experiencing bias when given attention of a gift I thought I make it transparent and even give it it’s own weight factor. So I have given all distilleries that sent me sample bottles 5 points, per the regulations. Drams that I had no interaction with the distillery got non.

The most points for best bribe go to a very special person that has been close to my heart for some time now. Her, it’s a her, service to me has been so outstanding when I purchased my drams via her the she gets the full 10 points. She know’s who she is and she would have been given 10 points for sending over a container for a Feis Ile bottle, but unfortunately that bottle wasn’t opened by me yet, so the dram could not compete in this years awards.

Best Taste!

This year I have had the pleasure of tasting amazing drams. Drams that would be on the top 3 just because of the taste are normally in awards. My awards are different. Taste isn’t everything. But some of the drams that score very high on my taste list did not make the awards since I learned very little from them, or did not have that much fun. It happens. The complete list of points is below and you are free to brows the best tasting ones.

The bottle that I gave ten points for taste was a true sherry matured dram that was so high up in my wheelhouse that I labelled it with #whiskygasm.

Note: as per the rules the best tasting dram gets 10 points and the rest score relative to that dram, using whole numbers. This 10 points might be a 93 in your system, or 4 fingers or 33 or whatever.

Get on with it already!

So with points for each category, where 10 is for the best and the rest is relative the total points possible is

  1. Learn : 10 x 10 = 100
  2. Fun : 5 x 10 = 50
  3. Bribe : 2 x 10 = 20
  4. Like : 5 x 10 =50

So the maximum points can go as high as 220 points.

From Bronze to Gold. Here are the winners!

PS, I did not bother with designing a medal as such. Just some

PPS, Please do not take these Global International Intergalactic iLaddie Whisky Nerd Awards Seriously!

BRONZE “MEDAL”

There are two winners of the Bronze this year. That happens when you add up numbers! With 165 points to both the winners are:

  • Port Charlotte, 10 yo, the new bottle design, 50% ABv
  • The Yamazakura 963, 21 yo, 58% ABv
Brand Name

Learn

Fun

Bribe

Taste

Total

Port Charlotte 10-year-old Heavily Peated

7

7

10

8

165

Yamazakura 963 – 21-year-old Fine Blended Whisky

8

8

0

9

165

The Port Charlotte get’s solid points in all categories and this helped it reach 165 points. It got a 10 for best bribe, because of the very best service one can get when ordering a bottle strait from the distillery. I did learn from because of this dram in a sense that it a placeholder, a baseline, a reference dram, for the peaty whiskies made by Bruichladdich under the Port Charlotte line.

The Yamazakura I tasted during a Dekantā Twitter Tasting blew me away and for a long time this was my best tasting whisky this year. I learned from this dram that Japanese Whisky is excellent and that I need to look into that. You will notice that bribe is set to zero points. That is because there was contact with Steve Rush and Dekantā, but not with the distillery directly.

SILVER “MEDAL”

The silver medals, yes there are two, go to;

  • Claxton’s, Bruichladdich 2002 single cask, 16 yo, 61,2% ABV, Sherry Puncheon
  • Claxton’s, Ledaig 2008 single cask, 10 yo, 54,3% ABV, Refill Hogshead

The dram’s I tasted during a Twitter Tasting organised by Steve Rush. This gave both these dram’s massive fun figures. The Bruichladdich got 10 point for fun due to a #whiskygasm. Due to this #whiskygasm this dram was given 10 point for best taste as well. Both dram’s did not get points for best bribe, again since there was no direct contact about these drams with the distilleries.

Brand Name

Learn

Fun

Bribe

Taste

Total

Ledaig 2008 Claxton’s The Single Cask

9

9

0

9

180

Bruichladdich 2002 Claxton’s The Single Cask

8

10

0

10

180

What I learned most of all because of the Bruichladdich is how a true Sherry Matured dram can taste. That’s why it gets 8 points for the learning category. There are some limited bottles of this dram still available and as soon as budget allows I am getting some. Yeah, some, not just one. It is THAT good.

Now the Ledaig. OMG! The smoke on this dram is absolutely amazing. It was a kind of smoke that I had not tasted on any dram everrr (tripple rrr). Just because of the facts that I learned about this new kind of smoke, and that it broke a paradigm for me, it gets massive educational points. At this price-point of well below 70 Euro in Holland this is a must have, and I am NOT telling anyone where to get it!

GOLD “MEDAL”

The section about the winner of the gold medal starts with the Feis Ile MasterClass video on youtube where Adam Hannett introduces the new line of Port Charlotte. Why? Because the educational value of this video is huge. You should watch it.

Brand Name

Learn

Fun

Bribe

Taste

Total

Port Charlotte 2011 Islay Barley

10

8

10

9

205

The Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2011 wins Gold in this years iLaddie Nerd Awards. This dram triggered my interest into finding out everything scientific about Terroir that I could find on places like Researchgate, Google Scholar, the Journal of the Institute of Brewing, etc. I have learned about the actual science behind Barley Terroir. There are loads of terroir blogs now on this blog and there are more to come. So that’s why the 10 points.

The 8 points for fun are due to the interaction with the distillery, the farmers of the Coull farm and the fun time I spent doing the research. Only 8 point’s since the Tweet Tastings are just that tad more fun!

It got a 10 for best bribe, because of the very best service one can get when ordering a bottle strait from the distillery. Hey, didn’t the PC 10 get 10 points too? Yup, these two bottles were part of the same order at the same time, handled by the same excellent person, same distillery, so same points.

This dram gets 9 points for best taste. The smoke of this dram is very “unlike” I was used to for Port Charlotte. The ashtray finish was such a present surprise to me that it blew me away. I had mentioned the PC 10 being a placeholder, a baseline, a reference dram, for the peaty whiskies made by Bruichladdich under the Port Charlotte line. One needs a place holder in order to compare others too. That is why I ordered these two dram’s in the first place. Just so I was able to experience the difference Terroir makes. And that is how it nicely links back to best educational points.

Schermafbeelding 2018-12-16 om 15.43.38

Recap

I did a wee Recap of the iLaddie Whisky Nerd Awards in this video below. It has fun music and stuff. You may as well click it. It’s only 2 minutes.

The scores for 2018

It wouldn’t be a contest if the winners were not transparent. Feel free to brows the point given for

Brand Name

Learn

Fun

Bribe

Taste

Total

Comment
Port Charlotte 2011 Islay Barley

10

8

10

9

205

Different kind of smoke
Ledaig 2008 Claxton’s The Single Cask

9

9

0

9

180

Different kind of Peat
Bruichladdich 2002 Claxton’s The Single Cask

8

10

0

10

180

Real Sherry Cask
Port Charlotte 10-year-old Heavily Peated

7

7

10

8

165

Yamazakura 963 – 21-year-old Fine Blended Whisky

8

8

0

9

165

Different kind of Whisky
Octomore Edition 09.3 διάλογος / 133

7

7

5

9

160

Port Charlotte MRC:01

6

8

5

9

155

Clynelish 14-year-old

7

7

0

9

150

Octomore Masterclass_08.4 / 170 PPM Virgin Oak

6

7

5

9

150

Highland Park 18-year-old Viking Pride – Travel Edition

6

7

5

9

150

Port Charlotte 2001 – The Heretic Feis Ile 2018

9

9

5

0

145

Not tasted yet
Deanston 12-year-old

7

7

0

8

145

New Distillery
Shelter Point 2011

7

8

0

7

145

Different kind of Whisky
Shelter Point Distiller’s Select – Cask Strength

7

8

0

7

145

Different kind of Whisky
Isle of Jura Seven Wood

6

8

0

9

145

Clynelish 1995 SV Cask Strength Collection

6

8

0

9

145

Clynelish 1995 SV Cask Strength Collection

6

8

0

9

145

Dumbarton 1986 Claxton’s The Single Cask

6

9

0

8

145

Tormore 13-year-old Gordon Mac Discovery

6

8

0

8

140

Miltonduff 10-year-old Gordon Mac Discovery

6

8

0

8

140

Isle of Jura 10-year-old

6

8

0

8

140

Isle of Jura 18-year-old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

6

8

0

8

140

Teaninich 1999 Claxton’s

6

9

0

7

140

Springbank 1996 Claxton’s The Single Cask

6

9

0

7

140

Corsair Artisan Distillery Hydra

6

7

0

8

135

Corsair Artisan Distillery Wildfire – Hickory Smoked Barley

6

7

0

8

135

Isle of Jura Journey

6

8

0

7

135

Highland Park 14-year-old Loyalty of the Wolf

5

7

5

8

135

Highland Park 16-year-old Wings of the Eagle

5

7

5

8

135

Glenfarclas Passion The Legend of Speyside

6

6

0

8

130

Crown Royal Fine De Luxe – Blended Canadian Whisky

6

7

0

7

130

Highland Park 17-year-old The Dark

5

5

5

9

130

Caol Ila 13-year-old Gordon Mac Discovery

5

8

0

8

130

Balblair 12-year-old Gordon Mac Discovery

5

8

0

8

130

Highland Park Spirit of the Bear

5

7

5

7

130

Highland Park 17-year-old The Light

5

5

5

8

125

Talisker 57° North

5

6

0

8

120

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley The Classic Laddie

5

6

0

8

120

Ardbeg An Oa

5

6

0

8

120

Ardbeg Grooves

5

6

0

8

120

Jim Beam Double Oak

5

5

0

8

115

Talisker 10-year-old

5

6

0

7

115

Talisker 2003 The Distillers Edition

5

6

0

7

115

Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve 1797

5

5

0

7

110

The Oamaruvian 16-year-old NZWC Cask Strength – Doublewood

0

0

Not tasted yet
Lagavulin 08-year-old Limited Edition – 200th Anniversary

0

0

Not tasted yet
Bruichladdich #LADDIEMP4 – 2005 Micro-Provenance Series

0

0

Not tasted yet
Bruichladdich #LADDIEMP4 – 2006 Micro-Provenance Series

0

0

Not tasten yet
Bruichladdich #LADDIEMP4 – 2008 Micro-Provenance Series

0

0

Not tasted yet

 

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