Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Regular readers will have noticed that recently I’ve been unable to keep up the writing side of my whisky activity, but the backlog will all come to fruition in time, even if I have to reduce my content significantly.

Version 2 

2018 has seen me become even fussier and more selective, along with significantly reduced purchases due to rising prices [especially for the calibre vintages of which I am now priced out], and other financial demands in life. Subsequently I’ve further widened my appreciation for other spirits. Bottles I bought [in date order], in 2018 featured:

  • Delamain XO Pale & Dry [2018] Ob. Grande Champagne Cognac 40% Blog184 Blog283
  • [Springbank] Longrow 2005/2018 13yo Ob. Springbank Open Day [1096 bts] 58.7% WB89.50[24]
  • Bowmore 2001/2018 17yo Cadenhead ‘Cameron’s Choice’ hogshead 54.3% WB90.13[25]
  • [Minmore] Glenlivet 1973/2015 42yo Cadenhead Small batch [630 bts] 40.2% WB89.82[53] WF88
  • [Glenesk] Hillside 1969/1995 25yo Ob. Rare Malts 61.9% [20cl] WB92[1] [WB]92.27[24]

BBR 1979

  • Berry Bros. & Rudd BBR 1979/2018 Blended Scotch Single Sherry butt cask #4 [385 bts] 53.3% WB91[1] WF90
  • Monymusk 2003/2018 14yo Adelphi cask #JM2 [346 bts] 58.8% Blog90
  • [Long Pond] Vale Royal 2006 12yo NRoJ 150/250 Wedderburn 11 casks [3412 bts] 62.5% Blog90
  • Mezcalosfera Tobala 100% agave [Julio 2017] Victor Ramos bottled by Mezcaloteca batch 02SZ-17 [100 ltr] 51.31% Blog91

,…… and for slugging over Christmas:

  • Glenfarclas 105 Ob. CS 60%BBR’s Sherry Cask Matured Blended Malt Scotch Whisky [2018] 44.2% WB84.94[55]

Fringe venue Mansfield Traquair murals

My biggest purchases in whisky & other spirits were events themselves. TWE Show [blog], and Old & Rare continue to be two of the best & biggest whisky events on the planet, yet all the shows I’ve been to [in the UK], continue to provide great experiences as my attendance to my first Edinburgh Whisky Fringe testifies [blog]. MaltStock & the WB Gathering continue to elude me thus far.

Tequila and Mezcal Fest 2018 logo

RumFest [notes still to follow], continued its ascendancy, as did the Tequila & Mezcal Fest [October 2018], which proved to be one of my spirits highlights of the year. I also put the first TWE Cognac Festival [blog] in that category.


My biggest whisky moment of the year would have to be The Old Man of Huy’s Weekend Special [blog]. Special friends, special whisky. Thankyou.

The Old Man of Huy


Whiskyshare at Springbank

2018 also saw my first visit to Campbeltown, and then on to the Islay Festival during the glorious heatwave – some experiences of which I’ve so far published, are to be found here: blog1.

Brighton’s whisky club Malt n Copper [latest blog], continues to be a delight as does Whisky Squad [March ’18]. Further afield, I finally managed to visit the SMWS Vaults in Edinburgh too [blog], and loved it.


Ralfy edited

The online whisky community continues to flourish. I don’t spend a great deal of time there, but keep a close eye on:


There are so many good people in whisky, I’m sure I’ve only scratched the surface with regards to moments & highlights of 2018. Bring on 2019!






Merry Christmas



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