tire-bouchon's top of 2020...

Well, who is not happy to say goodbye to 2020 today..? It was a very long year to say the least... I had to work less days throughout the year probably since I was 20 years old, traveled absolutely nowhere but spent a lot of time cooking, reading, watching and learning new things and skills instead. I spent hours and hours every day at my desk tasting and writing and discussing online with others. I almost went through my entire sample-yard that I've been masterfully avoiding for years, exchanged new ones with friends, and split and shared bottles with strangers. In the end I ended up uploading 191 reviews onto the blog in 161 different posts in total. That's a lot... Actually the most I ever did in a year in 11 years on this blog.

And today when I sat down to work on the last post of the year I thought maybe I should do something a little different. Thanks for the friendly nudge from Koray, a.k.a. Whisky Monster... In recent years this "top of the year" post was just a simple summary of the year, a short list of top scorers so to speak, but now I see that some of the bottles I tasted were either very limited and long gone, or to be honest insanely expensive... So, I will try this instead: I will list only my top ten from bottles priced under $150 (or equivalent in other currencies) and from bottles which have been made publicly available, in other words not bottled for private clubs and/or individuals. Enough talk, here we go:

I - Whisky of the Year: Compass Box No Name 2 (93)

3. Laphroaig Lore (92)

(Overall winner without the price or availability restrictions: Compass Box Tobias & The Angel - 94)

II - Distillery/Bottler of the Year: Watt Whisky


III - "Best Bang for the Buck" of the Year: Powers Three Swallow (90)


IV - Whisky-Alternative of the Year: L'Heritier-Guyot Vieux Marc de Bourgogne VSOP (93)

(Overall winner if there were no restrictions: Jean-Luc Pasquet Lot 62 Cask #2 "Serious Brandy" pick - 93)

V - brew of the year9th Anniversary by Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

2. Expedition Stout by Bell's Brewery
3. Exile on Board 2019 by Libertine Brewing Company
4. Wit the Funk by The Bruery Terreux
5. Provisions with Chef Brooke: The Vine by The Bruery Terreux
6. Hel & Verdornenis Scotch Whiskey Barrel Aged  with Brett by Brouwerij de Molen
7. Sang Rouge by Cascade Brewing
10. It's Blursday by Three Weavers Brewing Company

VI - brewery of the year: Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo MI

The Bruery, Anaheim CA
Three Weavers, Inglewood CA

VII - winery/vineyard of the year (US): Matthiasson Winery, Napa CA

Kukkula Winery, Paso Robles CA
Pence Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills CA

VIII - winery/vineyard of the year (non-US): Envínate, Tenerife Spain

Arnoud Lambert, Brézé France
Trimbach, Ribeauvillé France