The whisky year 2014
Image (c) mashable.com

OK, that’s it then. Another year passed as we watched another year pass. That’s all well and good I suppose, it is the nature of things after all – or the nature of time – passing that is. So – we are older then, compared to our age last time we did an annual review. But are we any wiser? Well, looking at the definition of ‘wise’ we find that it is:

having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment

In that sense I do believe we are a little bit wiser. We have certainly accumulated more experience and knowledge. Whether our judgement is good or not I will leave up to you the reader to decide. Here are a few numbers for 2014 to prove that we have gathered some experience and knowledge though:

  • 700+ new whiskies tasted
  • 400 articles published
  • 350+ whiskies reviewed
  • 18 distilleries visited
  • 9 festivals attended

The most important metric though is not easily quantifiable, but infinitely rewarding – the large number of new and old friends that we have met and been in contact with this past year, that all share our passion for this wonderful liquid gold we call whisky.

The best of the best 2014

These are the whiskies we rated the highest in the whisky year 2014:

  1. Macduff 1967 35 YO Old & Rare Platinum Selection (95/100)
  2. The Dalmore 1969 42 YO Cask 14 Constellation Collection (94/100)
  3. Lagavulin 1976 37 YO – Limited Edition 2013 (94/100)
  4. Bunnahabhain 40 YO (93/100)
  5. SMWS 131.1 The sinful side of sexy (Hanyu 22 YO) (93/100)
  6. Highland Park Freya 15 YO (93/100)
  7. SMWS 72.35 Pink Grapefruit Granita (Miltonduff 1984 28 YO) (93/100)
  8. Springbank 19 YO Dr Jekyll’s Expression (93/100)
  9. The Arran Premium Single Bourbon Cask 1996 Cask 546 (92/100
  10. BenRiach 25 YO (92/100)

Now, unfortunately all of these are hard to get – limited editions, single casks or bottled years ago. Most of them are rather pricey as well. Therefore you might not find much inspiration or indeed joy in reading these reviews. Which is why we have made a second list…

Available & Affordable – best of 2014

These are whiskies we rate highly, that are readily available and which have a sales price in Norway of less than 1000 NOK:

  1. Laphroaig Quarter Cask (NOK 550) (90/100)
  2. Big Peat Christmas 2014 (NOK 750) (89/100)
  3. Compass Box The Spice Tree (NOK 610) (89/100)
  4. Glenfarclas 105 (NOK 800) (89/100)
  5. Old Pulteney 17 YO (NOK 840) (89/100)
  6. Tomatin 18 YO (NOK 675) (87/100)
  7. Balcones Brimstone (NOK 810) (86/100)
  8. Kilchoman 100 % Islay (NOK 690) (85/100)
  9. Isle of Jura Prophecy (NOK 750) (85/100)
  10. Svenska Eldvatten Glenn (NOK 800) (85/100)

We will expand on the Available & Affordable concept in early 2015, making this a regular feature here on the blog. We hope this will be of help for you out there as you search for new whiskies to try out.

Keep in mind that the list above only includes the A&A’s we reviewed in 2014. There will be a lot more on this list asap when we include older reviews. Please let us know what you think!

Most popular reviews

  1. Ardbeg Kildalton 2014
  2. Ardbeg Auriverdes
  3. Laphroaig Cairdeas 2014
  4. Aberlour A´bunadh batch #47
  5. Bruichladdich Port Charlotte PC11
  6. Laphroaig 10 YO Cask Strength Batch 006
  7. Writers Tears Pot Still Irish Whiskey
  8. Big Peat Christmas 2014
  9. The Glenlivet Guardians Chapter
  10. Bowmore 17 YO White Sands

I guess it is not surprising that there is a dominance of Islay whisky on this popularity ranking. We know that peated whisky is BIG in the Nordic countries. Very nice to see an Irish whiskey up there though, as well as a couple of other non-Islay whiskies.

Most popular articles (not reviews)

  1. Myken Distillery – more Norwegian whisky
  2. Visiting Chichibu Distillery
  3. Festival review – Whisky Fagmesse 2014
  4. Myken Distillery – Arctic whisky is Go!
  5. Japan – Survival Guide for the whisky drinker
  6. The Big Islay Adventure 2014 – part 2
  7. The Big Islay Adventure 2014 – part 1
  8. Ny norsk whiskyfestival (New Norwegian whisky festival)
  9. En Öl & Whiskymässa i Göteborg
  10. The Big Islay Adventure 2014 – part 3

News of a new Norwegian whisky distillery – north of the Artic circle – turned out to be very popular. Also a lot of interest for our articles covering the trips to Japan and to Islay. Festival reviews also seem to be popular with our readers. I guess we have to continue travelling, visiting distilleries and festivals!

Best referrers

The referrers are other websites that send readers in our direction. We are very thankful for this, and this is our small way of paying back. These are all sites you should give a try in 2015, if you haven’t already:

  1. STOW – ‘my’ whisky club in Sandefjord, where we used to live
  2. Rune Morten – Norwegian whisky blog
  3. TasteNote – Swedish whisky blog and news site
  4. NMWL Forum – biggest and best Norwegian whisky discussion forum
  5. Whiskynörden – Swedish whisky blog

You – our readers

The whisky year 2014 - map

Thank you, one and all, for sharing the whisky year 2014 with us. We wish you all the best for the coming year! We hope to see many of you in 2015.

Sláinte!
– Thomas & Tone

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Well all of that is quite amazing Thomas and Tone (hopefully we should meet in person very soon). We, your loyal readership (can there be a blogship?), should be thanking you mightily for what is a living, breathing resources, which I myself have found invaluable. I largely agree with you where I too have tasted the same whisky, though not in every case (and how dull would life be if there was not room for respectful disagreement, debate and discussion). Making your reviews accessible to the 7.2 billion people on this earth who have not quite yet got their mouths, tongues, teeth and tonsils around the linguistic idiosyncrasies of Swedish and Norwegian has also been a huge blessing. Google translate is pretty shocking it seems to me, in relation to descriptions of Scotch whisky for sure. With all that you are offering, it seems churlish and greedy to want more (but, true to my 2015 New Year Resolutions – to be more churlish greedy and truculent!!) I shall wonder if you could also say something more about (a) the different whisky fairs and tastings (and to be fair, you do report on same), and (b) the visitability (not visibility) / facilities of the Nordic destilleri for those of us who, like me, are excited by the country, the people, and the alcohol!! Slainte, Skol, Cheers. David.

    • Hi David! Thank you for those kind words, and the great suggestions. I think we can definitely do more when it comes to covering the Norwegian and (major) Swedish festivals – and I am actually working on that. We had a whisky calendar at the previous site (www.stow.no), but it was not much in use, and the scope was too wide I think. More info on the Nordic distilleries is also very interesting – I’ll get right on that, sir.

      Skål!

  2. Love the A&A idea! Too many blogs out there reviewing whiskies that can’t be bought without travelling.

    Thanks for a great site!

    Cheers!

    Eric

    • Hi Eric! Thank you for those kind words. Very happy that you like the A&A idea. We now have the new section up and running, and will be adding more content to it over the next few days 🙂

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