Great Drams In Brum :: Craig’s 2016 Whisky Roundup!

January 26, 2017

On The Blog

When we approached Craig to write us up a roundup of his top three favourite whiskies of 2016, we knew it was a big ask. Luckily, he’s tackled the challenge and has recommended not only 3… but 9 different whiskies that all come with the patented ‘Craig Mill’s Seal Of Approval”. Read on for more…

Always hard to choose a top 3 out of 413 different whiskies tried during 2016 but here goes..

Without doubt the highlight of the Whisky year for me was the trio of new releases from Lagavulin who were celebrating their 200th year anniversary so the 8 year old (displaying complexity and depth many a distillery would kill for at 20 years) 18 year old Feis Ile and mighty 25 year old would make a top 3 all of its own!

However i could not ignore the Ardbeg dark Cove Committee release 55% which was a real return to form after a couple of good but not great Ardbeg day releases and different enough to the wider Dark cove release at 46.5% to seek out the Committee bottle (my tasting notes of which reached new levels of war and peace like length!)

Benriach cask Strength Batch 1 57.2% also showed a whisky doesn’t have to have massive peat or Sherry cask influence to be a real roller-coaster ride of a malt and is one of the great value for money releases of the year displaying lovely rich peach danish pastry, honeycomb, butterscotch and mango salsa notes and is a faultless example of Bourbon cask aged Speyside malt at its best.

Mentions would also go to the Kavalan solist range (especially the Manzanilla cask) from Taiwan, the Paul John duo of classic select and single cask peated from surely one of the distillery stars of the future from India and a truly epic single grain whisky from the long closed Carsebridge distillery from the indie bottle company That Boutique whisky company that was 52 years old and 40.5% and shows that grain whisky can reach the same dizzy heights of magic and wonder that single malt whisky can.

So there you go, a sort of top 9 really and more of a dessert island discs amount but if it was gun to the head time and i had to choose one to try again it would be the Lagavulin 25YO but at over £1000 a bottle and only 8000 bottles released it will have to stay but a fleeting memory and in the meantime the Ardbeg dark cove will be more than a worthy runner up.